26 February 2014

Where the F*** Do I Fit In?

I'm having an identity crisis.

If you've been watching the #mswl page on Twitter today, you know it features agents tweeting about what kinds of manuscripts they're looking for (or I think that's the gist of it...I only discovered it today :/). And as I'm working through the second draft of my novel, I've started to give some serious thought to querying. But I'm kind of at a loss.

I fully understand that first I will have to research literary agents to figure out who and where my book will fit in with. I'm sure I'll find several that I'll feel comfortable sending query letters to. The problem is when I actually sit down to write that query letter. Writing a blurb or synopsis doesn't faze me, really. I've got a draft already, and yes, it needs work, but it's a start. What I worry about are labels.

Every book is supposed to fit into a specific genre, right? Sometimes more than one. Like, you can have a YA paranormal romance. That's several elements rolled into one. But still, it's very clearly defined. What if I don't know exactly how to define my book?

Ok, so the whole straight-girl-writing-gay-fiction thing is a crisis for another day. Obviously I wouldn't send my book to any agency that wouldn't accept gay fiction, so I plan on identifying my book as such. My real problem is the age bracket. I don't really know where my book falls. My protagonist is fifteen, but I don't really see the book as being YA. There's a lot of swearing and some sexual situations (that are in no way held back like you would usually see in YA). But can I pass off a book that's written from the point of view of a fifteen-year-old to adults? I've read descriptions for NA, as well, and that doesn't feel quite right, either.

I also worry about falling into a niche as far as genre goes. Yes, right now I identify as writing gay fiction, and I do have other ideas in that genre. But I also have ideas that don't fit. I know I don't have to limit myself, but if I develop a fanbase from my first book, will they be disappointed if I write something different?

Blah, ok, I'm sure I'll figure it out. I'll find my agent soul mate, just like I found my real one, and my fictional character one, and my cat one...I'm a firm believer in having more than one soul mate...

Another issue I'm having is whether or not to participate in an awesome blog hop this Friday! It's the WIP: The Movie Bloghop, hosted by Kyra Lennon and Rachel Schieffelbein. If you haven't heard of it, you get to "cast" your WIP, sharing pictures of the actors and actresses you would want to play your characters, as well as sharing music that would be on your movie soundtrack. I'm on the fence about actually doing it, partially because I pretty much shared all of this info in my 100th post, and because I'm just really awkward about sharing these sorts of details in the first place. But it sounds so awesome! I could definitely go into more detail about my choices if I participate, and I do have songs picked out for specific moments, so that would be fun to share. Plus I could possibly maybe share a photo I have of myself with one of my dream actors from a couple years ago. I really hate pictures of myself but I mean, how many people have actually stalked MET their dream actors???

Ok, here's the deal, dear readers. You have two tasks. One is to check out the link for the blog hop and sign up, because it's a really awesome idea. And don't try to pretend you don't think about these things. Two is to convince me to sign up as well. I think I will make my decision by tomorrow night and hopefully join the linky list, then post sometime on Friday.

Well, go on, convince me! <3


  1. I have or had this issue with my past WIP and stupidly put it up as NA in most of my Pitmads. I got requests but as you know, NA is quite romance based these days. My MC's are 20/24. I feel half the time that I might as well go ahead and label it Adult fiction but I just felt it had a lot of themes teens would be interested in.

    What I've done now is I've left it be. I think, once NA starts branching out of the romance field, I can go in!

    As for the blog hop? Go on! I wanna seeeeeee!

  2. I think there are several books - although I can't think of a single example, sorry - where a child is the protag, but the situations are adult. I'd suggest querying the way you think it should be. If the agent is interested in the story, you can argue/haggle later. Good luck!

  3. Mmm... I think your book can still be for YA, but for an older section of the age bracket. Say 16-18 year olds. You can just say that in the part devoted to your target audience. Believe it or not, some people do want gritty, hard hitting YA stories, regardless of sexual orientation of the characters.

    As for signing up, do it if you have time. :-P

  4. Looks like you've already gotten some great advice about where your book fits in, Best of luck with it, and the movie bloghop sounds like fun!


  5. I've asked this question before, too. My fantasy MC is 17, but the supporting charries (save one)are between 19 and 26, including the guy she starts liking. That's kinda statutory IRL, lol, but the meat of the story is probably still on the older side of YA...