1. Quillpower
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    Quillpower Member

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    New member seeks advice

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Quillpower, Aug 23, 2010.

    Hello to all!

    When I began my first novel, I promised myself that I would never allow myself to be put under pressure to finish it. I fondly imagined it would take a couple of years. In the event, it took 16! Mind you, I wasn't actually working on it all that time but I was continuing my research by one means or another. It is now completely finished, revised, ruthlessly re-revised etc. I have even written appropriate music for the text. I have now started another novel which is well under way and I have a set of short stories, intended as a single volume, which is almost finished.

    I would very much like to publish my first novel, now, but need advice as I am completely ignorant of the world of publishing. I have already realised that I am at a disadvantage because my first book is so long. It is broken down into three books, 53 chapters in all and the total word count is 383, 376. It is also difficult to fit into any one genre, encompassing as it does several different fields: historical (as accurate as I can make it) and religious/philosophical: being set in the early 15th century, it has, it of course to be seen from a Roman Catholic viewpoint. It is in effect, a kind of parable. I've written a chapter by chapter synopsis but even this is 27 pages long in order to give a comprehensible overview of the whole.

    Everyone who has read from the text has been encouraging but what do I do now? Does anyone know of an agent in the UK who might be prepared to help me? - an agent who would not pressurise me to complete the work in hand. Is it better to go it alone? Most of the publishers I've contacted directly don't even deign to reply.

    I'm hoping that by joining this forum, I'll feel less isolated and that the canny among you will help to direct me.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hello QuillPower, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    Please read How to Use the Review Room before you post there. Posting your own writing for people to comment on should not be among the very first things you do here. It is worth taking the time to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    Also, be aware that posting a piece of writing on any public site, including this one, will greatly diminish your chances of selling it for publication. Removing the writing later does not alter that fact - once posted, it is irreversibly considered published. So do not post anything more than a small excerpt of any piece you are planning to submit for publication.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize constructive critique as a vital writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). Also, please use the same thread for all revisions and additional excerpts from the same piece of writing. See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out the RPG forum for improvisational fiction. Also try our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  3. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welcome. :)
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the UK check with the agent but I have information on several I intend to canvas, they usually ask for a completed novel and word count.

    The Writers and Artists yearbook is worth buying. I haven't yet because I know where I am going first. However I have joined the website recently and am creating a profile, it has a lot of really useful UK specific information on it about how to approach publishers and agents, how to progress your work etc

    The one's I want to send off too all ask for a query letter, 3 chapters and between 2 paragraphs and one A4 page synopsis. Font they ask for is usually Times New Roman 12pt double space A4, however the one's that take email submissions don't mind as much about that.

    I have yet to come across one that asks for a detailed synopsis but maybe someone more experienced may have.

    The smaller publishers if you approach them directly seem to want a blurb and ideas on what you can and are willing to do to market your book.
     
  5. Zane
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    Zane Contributing Member

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    Welcome to the forum :)
     
  6. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Welcome to the WF.
     
  7. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    Hello and welcome :)
     
  8. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hello Quill power and welcome
    If your novel covers a number of genres Then maybe you have two or three novels rolled into one.
    Have you thought about going on a creative writing course? Some universities here in the UK run 6/10 week courses and you do not need any qualifications to be accepted on them. I have been on a couple of these courses and apart from finding them informative and enjoyable I also met other writers.
    The reason I mention these course is that some of them are taught by published writers, and they are the people best equiped to advice you on how to get published.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    oh yes I have just applied for the OU one forgotten about that lol Do you have the ILA accounts in England that we have in Scotland? I got £200 towards my course (You get £100 if you income is over a certain amount). Its a second year degree course looks good. They do a first year course my ILA would have fully covered.
     
  10. Quillpower
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    Quillpower Member

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    Thank you

    Thank you all for your words of welcome and for your suggestions, Elgaisma and Trilby.

    The novel I have written may not fit easily into any normal genre but it is very much a whole and the story unfolds continuously throughout the three books. I just need to find a publisher who is prepared to be a little adventurous.

    It may be that I will have to wait until the second novel and the stories are finished as they superficially demand less commitment on the part of the reader. If they were accepted, the first novel might then be considered.

    I am not in a position to be able to undertake any university courses.
     
  11. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Try the writers and artists yearbook, your local library may have a copy. It details nearly all the publishers and agents taking on and their criteria. At least thats my understanding of it. The website is very informative.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm a bit confused about what you are trying to get published... do you have any stand-alone novel of 80-120k words to offer agents/publishers?... or is your only story-complete book pushing 400k?
     
  13. Quillpower
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    Quillpower Member

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    Yes. I have other work in progress but this first novel is complete.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    then i hope you realize that you'll have to save that huge one for later, if/when you become so well known that a publisher will even look at a ms of that size...

    and to get to that stage, you'll need to start off with 80-120k stand-alone novels...
     

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