Wednesday, September 3, 2014

SEPTEMBER ALREADY! WHERE HAS THE SUMMER GONE? NOOOOOOOO NOT ANOTHER WINTER!

Hi, All,



Time for another segment of the IWSG.... This month marks the third year! Who would've have guessed when Alex mentioned on his blog that it would become such an amazing group! Three years of helping each other through our worst anxieties. Not to mention the Facebook page and the ISWG blog! AMAZING....

August has been a very trying month for me. Hauntings of my near death accident last year at this time taunted me all month. Every walk I did on the lake front had me on edge. Something that was once so pleasurable to me now riddles me with stress and awareness.

But I am strong. I will not let it get to me and I continue to do my daily walks. 

This month also knocked me down with more rejections. But at least the last was a personal note from my FAVORITE agent who is well respected and so helpful to newly writers, Sara Davies. I learned that it wasn't the story or my writing but choosing a male voice to narrate my story. In a world filled with female mc's flooding the y/a market, I thought a male voice would be refreshing and different. The bottom line. It doesn't sell. So now I am at a crossroads. Do I still keep querying, hoping some agent will take a chance or send it directly to publishers to see what they think...

I do have one more scenario.... rewrite it in the female character's pov. ANOTHER MAJOR re-write. Do I really want to go through that again? 

Has this ever happened to you? I'd love to know what you all think...

On a good note. My friend Melissa Bradley made it through her last round of Chemo. Although a bit weak she sounds great. Thank God. You prayers and warm wishes are working. Thank you all and Thanks to ALL of you who are spreading the word about Melissa and the Cancer blog hop and Anthology.... drop down to the previous post for details if you haven't heard...

I am also happy to say I signed a new client this week. Finally a worthwhile design project. Not just a staging or quick fix , but a REAL job. I haven't had one of these in three years. SO at least now selling my condo isn't so urgent. But WINTER is coming and I still want to get out of Chicago. The real estate market has slowed tremendously, so I'm stuck. But obviously I need to be here. At least I know I'm needed. Spending time with Melissa has done us both a great deal of good.....

I'll be seeing her again on Tomorrow. She is a real stubborn woman... GOTTA love it! She'll beat this monkey on her back for sure! 

Don't forget to visit our other friends in the IWSG.... Thanks to Alex and his co-hosts, Mark, Shah, Laura, and Sheena.... You guys ROCK!







55 comments:

  1. You are still there for a reason - Melissa needs you.
    That's a tough one on the manuscript. If you believe in it, start querying publishers instead.

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  2. I agree with Alex. Getting an agent is rough and the rejections so disheartening, but keep querying and if nothing happens start with the bigger publishing houses that still take submissions from agents and unagented submissions. Glad hear hear Melissa's almost done with her chemo. She's been in my prayers.

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  3. I'm with Alex also. Unless of course you want to do the re write. Then you could put both of them out there and see what happens... I'm glad Melissa is through the round, and that you are there for her. I have a friend also suffering through this and understand that getting the rounds done is only part of the story... Prayers are still coming her way, and yours.

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  4. Memories of hard times can be tough but glad you're still walking. Hope you'll be able to figure out how to move when the time is right.

    Awesome you got such good feedback. You might want to continue to query and then consider the rewrite if you can't find an agent interested. Can't believe there is no market for a YA male character.

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  5. Good to hear Melissa's spirits are up and she's determined to get better. Your companionship is a great boon to her, I'm sure.

    I also agree that you should stick with your male voice, I hadn't thought about the lack of a YA male voice but it would be something different. You could start the next big trend!

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  6. How odd - I would have thought a male POV would be a refreshing change too. Good job I'm not an agent... or a YA writer! I would probably try submitting elsewhere - but then, I'm very stubborn and protective of my work.

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  7. I'm a firm believer in writing from the heart. If the MC of your story is a male, then he is a male. We shouldn't be writing with sales in mind. I truly believe that's why so much of what's out there looks exactly the same. It's all vanilla. What the world needs right now might very well be your story.

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  8. Keep the male POV, Michael. There aren't enough YA books with that POV. Some publisher or agent somewhere will recognize that.

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  9. My POV is a male as well! I couldn't imagine changing it to a female, every trait, characteristic, would be almost a complete rewrite to the story. Good luck with the decision x

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  10. Remember, it's your story, not anyone else's. If your character is male, he's male. That's that. Don't change to fit a trend or what someone else wants to read. Just listen to your character and trust your intuition. It's there for a reason.

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  11. I'm glad you keep walking. That's all we can to, right? I'll just echo what Annalisa said about the male POV. Maybe it's the story itself that she feels would lend better to a female voice. ??? But, as always, we all have opinions. It's hard at times to sort out the opinions that truly apply to our work.

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  12. Great news about Melissa! I pray she continues to improve and get her strength and her health back!
    You are there for a reason. My husband and I have been trying to move for several years now but it just hasn't happened yet. We know we belong in another city, but the time has not yet been right. It will happen! Perhaps, as others have said, you're there for Melissa.
    Regarding the POV, I'd say stick with what you believe in your gut is the right way to go BUT try writing it from the female POV. If it catches fire on your pen, go for it. If not, drop it and continue shopping the story the way you wrote it, the way YOU believe it needs to be told!
    Cheers!
    Jen

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  13. Changing the MS will be a lot of work, but do what you feel is right. Good luck with your new client, and congrats to Melissa on her last round if Chemo.

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  14. It's probably normal to have some PTSD after a near-death experience, Michael. Hopefully, with time, it will ease. And so glad to hear Melissa is doing better.

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  15. So glad to hear about Melissa and I'm glad you're still walking despite the trauma. Congrats on the project and I believe you about the real estate market. I'm dreading winter too. I hate the cold.

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  16. Good news about Melissa!

    E.J. Wesley just released a NA book from a male POV. I loved it. Maybe yours is a story you need to publish indie, and then work on something else for query. Just a thought. ...from a biased self-pubber. :P

    IWSG #179 until Alex culls the list again.

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  17. Oh, Michael, I don't know what to say about doing a re-write from a different POV. That is huge. I suppose it depends on your attachment to this story. If you really love it, then I would do it. I just got another idea that could work: two POVs. It wouldn't be a total rewrite, but just a partial one. I just finished reading Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Linger, Forever, and Sinner books ( a series). In the first book there are two POVs (one male, one female). In the second and third there are four (two male, two female), and two again in the last (one male, one female). So that is another option. Oh, and those are all YA books if you haven't read them, which is your genre. I hope you figure out a workable solution.

    Good news about Melissa. I am so glad that she has you there for her. Support makes all the difference.

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  18. Alex is right: perhaps you were delayed in leaving because the Father knew Melissa would need you.

    Winter is Chicago is indeed challenging, but the views during the holidays are truly beautiful.

    I was told by several readers of Victor's YA fantasies that reading a male POV was refreshing. If you are considering re-writing your novel with a female POV, why not try writing a new book since you will have to almost do that with a re-write.

    You have grown with your struggles into a more perceptive person which will be reflected in your new novel.

    WATERSHIP DOWN was turned down 10 times before Richard Adams submitted it to a publisher he heard reprinted a novel told in the manner he had used. Keep on trying. Hold fast to your dream. And do your daily walk -- BUT MIND YOUR SURROUNDINGS! :-)

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  19. Keep up your strength, Sir! It's too bad that your MS was turned down because of its male POV. I don't think there is enough, if hardly any, male POV in new YA. Marginal at the most. Is this reflective of guys not buying YA books? I have no idea. I say keep trying. I'd read it in a skip-beat. :)

    Glad to hear about Melissa!

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  20. Michael, this did happen to me. I had a manuscript rejected by an editor who loved the story and the characters, but said the publishing company did not think a male POV in historical YA would be marketable. She also said she would have been more likely to take it if it was written from the female character's POV. The only problem as far as I'm concerned? This wasn't the female character's story.

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  21. There are as many paths to readers as there are stories to tell. Go with your gut. I'm with a small pub and unagented and for the most part, I think I made the right choices. I simply enjoy writing.

    Good to hear Melissa is doing well. Give her a hug for me.

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  22. Ugh! Changing POV doesn't sound like a fun task. I don't think I'd do it, but then, I've never tried to please the market before.

    Glad Melissa is getting better and good job at landing the job! That's great!

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  23. I'm no expert, but I think you should stay with the male POV. I don't envy your Chicago winters.

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  24. Congratulations on signing a new client! And I am happy to hear Melissa is doing good.

    Changing POVs is a huge undertaking. It's up to you if you want to do that, but I have read YA books with male POVs and really enjoyed them. You might find an agent who likes it, too. Keep going! If you exhaust your list of agents and even send to publishers then that is the time when I would consider changing the POV, but not now. GOOD LUCK!!!

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  25. I'm surprised that she said the male POV is what's keeping it back. Is this a MG or YA novel? Because those usually sell better with a male POV. At least they used to. Huh, maybe it has to do with genre? I would definitely look around at the genre and age group you're marketing to before changing anything. But keep yourself open to ideas.

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  26. I thought a male POV for a YA book would be interesting. Michael, I would suggest that you please approach a few publishers before tackling the rewrite. Because changing POV from male to female is a huge task.

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  27. That's bad news about your MS. I actually love reading YA books written from a male perspective, and I quite like writing them too.

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  28. Nice to hear you're not letting your accident destroy you and that your friend's doing better.

    On the manuscript, I've read a lot of YA fiction and I can name several books I liked that were (whether fully or partially) from a male POV. If it were me, I'd keep trying. Good luck.

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  29. I say go to publishers. Truth, you'll write another book. If you've put that much into this one, I say get it out there. If you want to pander to the market on your next work, great, but there's no reason to rewrite something that's pretty much ready to go. (Unless you land a publisher and they tell you to change it...) ;)

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  30. Someone I care for is dealing with the dreaded chemo too, and got good news last week. We take deep breaths and step forward. I have a theory (totally untested!) that males like to read male POV's but females will read both. I'd keep it the way it is.

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  31. It's hard to imagine it's been a year since you were hit by the biker, Michael. I'm sorry it still brings you such anxiety, but I can definitely understand why. What a trauma! I'm glad you aren't letting it interfere with your walks.

    I am kind of surprised by the female voice feedback, but obviously the agent knows better than you do. I would have thought exactly as you did about the male POV. I have to agree with Crystal though, I would go to publishers. It's your book and it's how you wanted to write it.

    Please give my best to Melissa!!

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  32. Michael - meant to say the agent knows better than I do, not you!! Definitely didn't mean that sentence to sound so rude!

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  33. "Stuck in Chicago"---sounds like a premise for a book.

    Good to hear the news about Melissa.

    Hang in there with your writing. Persist. Something will come of it. Or maybe the rewrite will be the best thing. You can experiment with it and see if it grabs you enough to keep running with it.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  34. Don't you dare change that voice! That book is too awesome! If nothing else, self-publish and start marketing! Have you queried small publishers? I say go for it - you have all of us for support!
    I'm with you about winter, I love the fall, but winter just becomes too dark!

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  35. If your creative juices chose a male voice, then keep it that way. I agree with Yolanda (above comment). Go to the small publishers. Best of luck with it.

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  36. Such great news about your good friend. Let's just keep the positive energy flowing her direction, so she continues to move through this very tough time. I've had three friends who did the Chemo and they've made remarkable recoveries.

    Out of Chicago? Whither goest?

    Keep up the writing. Don't give up. That's the only way to insure failure.

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  37. I see what you mean about your novel not being marketable due to the male POV. But, you could make your protagonist very passive in his approach to life, which could make him more relatable to the female readership. Think how Harry Potter is versus Percy Jackson. Young female readers relate to softer personalities and a going-with-the-flow approach to life. Some male protags are a bit too lively and take-charge.

    Congrats to your friend! May she see many, many happy years in her future. :)

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  38. each experience adds another piece to the puzzle that is us. i'm grateful you are still with us, grateful melissa is staying strong, and you never know. maybe something big is around the corner for you, and you have to be in chicago to find it!

    very glad you got a job! keep at it!!

    ps - i've read plenty of things from a male POV... but maybe it depends on the story. i'd send it out more before rewriting!

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  39. Hope Melissa continues to rally. Congrats to you on the project win! I try to go with my gut feeling when I get advice on something I've written. I try a few paragraphs to see if it works.

    Be careful I tend to avoid places that give me that nervous, jumpy feeling. That's our survival instinct at work.

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  40. I agree with everyone about writing the story the way you see it, feel it. Someone, publisher or agent, is waiting for it. Never give up. Blessings to you an yours.

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  41. It's tough, but I know what the agents are saying. I went to pick up some books suitable for my young male students, and it was so hard to find boy books--the female market is flooded. To be fair, girls read far more books than girls. None of that helps your situation, but surely there's going to be a break for you soon.

    So glad that Melissa is doing okay. So many of us are thinking of her. I added the GoFundMe to my last blog post.

    Glad about the interior design project!

    Denise

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  42. I'm sending you positive vibes all the way from my end of the globe -------- WHOOSH --------
    Great news about your new client, Michael!
    And I'm thrilled to hear that Melissa is in good spirits... and she's staying strong!
    (((((Ubuntu Hugs))))) for you and Melissa!

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  43. Hi Michael .. good to hear about Melissa and am pleased you're able to spend time with her. What great news re the design job - that will be uplifting ..

    Sorry about the hauntings about your accident last year - that's very difficult to adjust to .. but the estate market will change and you will get out of Chicago ... it's funny how things happen for a reason ... cheers to you both - Hilary

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  44. I'm sorry that your pleasant walk has now turned into a stress ball of fear. The book is tough. If you love it as is, continue to query, maybe enter it into a contest to generate a buzz.


    I'm glad your there for Melissa. It's a rough time.

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  45. A male voice doesn't sell in the YA market? Wow, That's crazy, Michael. I suppose you could rewrite Aidan as a female, but these trends seem to shift so rapidly, by the time you finished, males would be the desired protags. Hang in there and keep querying, or as Alex mentioned, approach publishers directly. All it takes is one book and the market can shift. Yours could be that book.

    Congratulations on the new client! Florida's in your future, but I think you're meant to stay in Chicago for the time being. Melissa needs you.

    VR Barkowski

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  46. YOU Rock, Michael! You're so giving - and that's why things have been so tough lately. But thank goodness for a new client and for you.

    Well before she got hit by the beast that is cancer, Melissa had mentioned how important your friendship is to her.

    We love you.

    I'm excited about tomorrow's reveal and very appreciative of your awesome work on it. (You're the most handsome young old broad I've ever known.=))

    Take care. xo

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  47. Wonderful news about your new client! I'm glad to hear that Melissa is going strong after chemo. She is so lucky to have you, and she's not the only one! Thanks again for your brilliant work, and I couldn't agree more with Robyn!

    Julie

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  48. You ARE very strong. I am so sorry that the lakefront walks have been blemished by last year's accident. But I love the good news about your new client. I have a hard time changing my writing completely for the market. I was told to do this with my yet unpublished memoir. An inner voice tells me to keep it the way it is. I've only received rejections from agents, too. So I think a small publisher is my next move with it. Whatever you decide, remember to listen to your inner voice first. Lots of love to you!

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  49. You should come to Australia. We're heading into summer now :)

    Congrats on your 'real' job!!! Exciting!

    I probably wouldn't rewrite to change the POV unless it's a direct request from an agent or editor. Keep querying!!

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  50. I've read quite a few books with male mc's, in fact, I'm reading the sequel to White Cat by Holly Black right now and Cassel, a 17 year old boy, is the narrator. Another male mc book I read recently was Reality Boy by A.S. King, a wicked awesome book. So I don't think it's entirely true that male mc books don't sell. I do, however, think they're in the minority which might make your story a harder sell - but not an impossible one!

    Meanwhile, I'm dreading winter, too; last winter was AWFUL!

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  51. I didn't know you had a near death experience last year. I haven't been following you that long. Our ghosts try to keep us frightened and distracted.

    Love,
    Janie

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  52. I think you should start with the publishers and don't loose faith in your story. If you selected a male mc and you think it's the best way to tell your story, then sooner or later someone will see it too. You have a great attitude towards life, even when it gets tough. Keep strong. Best wishes!

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  53. Really surprised to hear that male POV is not more popular with agents, another thing that shows how subjective this writing business is. I think I would try the publisher route before I thought about a complete re-write. Re-writing changing POV would change the essence of the story you are trying to tell.

    Pleased to hear Melissa is making such good progress and well done to you for preserving with the walking even though it is hard. Best wishes to you.

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  54. Wow. Tackling a rewrite. Only do it if it feels right for the story or because it'd make it better. Not because the market says that's what's selling.

    You'll figure it out. As long as you stay true to the story, that's what's important.

    That really sucks though. I'd thought the market wanted more boy pov. Guess I'm wrong too. :(

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  55. Great job you're doing Michael, my late husband had "The Big C" twice before it claimed his life.

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