Yesterday I was out of town and unable to blog because I got home very late. Today, I’m continuing with short answers to the “easy questions” you all have submitted over the last few days. I’m holding the “hard questions” for later.
One thing I continue to struggle with is balancing the POVs in my novels (both in number of POVs and the weight allotted to each). I’ve read of various formulas to follow, but I’m afraid that in reality it parallels the writer’s ‘voice’… which I’m still developing. Does it? How many POVs is too many?
Randy sez: You can do as many or as few as you like. A lot of novels have only one POV character. THE GODFATHER seemingly had about 50. (Probably not that many, but it felt like it.) Whatever works works.
Is there anything you (or your agent) can do to help guarantee placement of your book in a bookstore? Of the 17 or so commercially published books I’ve been a part of, I’ve only ever seen two or three that have actually made their way onto shelves.
Randy sez: There are no guarantees in publishing. Bookstores make their decisions based on what they think will sell. Self-published books are very hard to place in bookstores. Books by royalty-paying publishers will generally end up in stores that work with those publishers and not in others. For example, a book published by a Christian publisher is very likely to be stocked by Christian bookstores, but less likely to be stocked in a Barnes & Noble. A book on Eastern meditation is very unlikely to wind up in a Christian bookstore, but it has a fair chance of being in Barnes & Noble, and quite a good chance of being in a store with a mystical slant.
If you are working on public speaking and are willing to help promote your book in other ways, at what point in the proposal do you mention this to a publisher or editor?
Randy sez: Mention it in the Marketing Plan in your proposal. In your bio, mention your experience in public speaking or other promotional methods that you have experience in.
And another question that is not related to “Best Practices” and one that doesn’t HAVE to be answered: What’s your take on the NaNoWriMo?
Randy sez: NaNoWriMo is GREAT! Use it as a motivator to get you writing on a large scale. Don’t worry about how “good” the novel is. Just focus on getting your wordcount up. As most of my readers know, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and there’s a site at www.NaNoWriMo.com dedicated to encouraging people to write that novel in November.
Is it okay to begin a second scene with another POV character directly after the disaster ending the first scene and after the second scene proceed with the sequel to the first scene?
Randy sez: Yes.
I have a question that I hope someone has an answer to. What doors are open to the disabled writer. My disability has kept me chair-bound for four years. I had spent the time improving my craft and have a short story coming out in an anthology soon. I don’t have the ability to go to conferences and meet agents and publishers. I have finished two science fiction/fantasy novels for young adults, and am currently working on book 1 of an adult sci-fi trilogy.
As my health allows, I research publishing houses until I find one that sounds like it prints what I write. Then I send my manuscript. To this point my health has only permitted me to submit by e-mail.
I know I will need to have an agent in the long run because of my poor health. I have started two new treatments that promise to increase my energy so I can start submitting to agents. But from what I read, agents don’t usually like unsolicited manuscripts from unknowns any more than publishers do.
Randy sez: It certainly helps to make personal contact with an editor or agent at a writing conference. However, most agents are open to unsolicited queries or proposals. You should check their web site to see which they want–a query or a proposal. Then just follow the directions. It would make sense to insert a note with the query/proposal saying that you would love to meet them at a conference, but you have a disability that prevents you from traveling.
Remember that good writing trumps everything. It always has. It always will.