You're Obsessing Again

Dear Miss Snark,

I am a writer who hopes to be published in the future- though I won't start submitting until I've edited my manuscripts several times and maybe had one professionally critiqued.

I have completed three novels (one sucked, and isn't going anywhere but under my bed), edited one, and am working on a fourth because I've heard from several people that it's easier to be harsh on work if you let it sit for a few months.

My question is this: If you write in one genre, but drastically different styles, how likely is it that you'll need multiple agents?

All I write seems to fall under the sci-fi/fantasy section. However, one of my novels is written in a style that's very comical, and even in dire situations the characters make it seem funny. The edited one is written so, even though everything is very dark and serious, a glimmer of hope shines through and leads optimistically to the end. The one I'm working on now seems more suspenseful, with creakings from nearby and a dreadful, lingering fear of being caught.

Since I doubt one agent would ever accept all three, if I do need multiple agents how will I go about it?

What if you get hit by a bus tomorrow?

When it's time to look for an agent, query agents based on one book. Then, if you have a book that's a lot different, we'll deal with it then. You're three YEARS away from this being anything remotely resembling a problem.

Most agents who handle a genre handle all kinds of books in the genre.

Fret less. Write more.


Feisty said...

Writers do obsess too much. Heck, when the time comes, you'll have a hard enough challenge finding one agent who loves your work. Don't worry about the next thing after that. Life is just too short.

Besides, it could take you years to find an agent. Or finish the books. And like Miss Snark said, you could get hit by a bus.

Anonymous said...

You must be kidding me?

Do they allow you visitors on weekends?

Do ANY of you pay ANY attention to what Miss Snark writes?

Any of it?

Atyllah said...

Fret, fret, fret. Rather use the time to write, write, write.

Julia said...

I know how you feel, sometimes I think about getting an agent even though my book's not finished yet. It'd be nice to have the validation wouldn't it?

Snark's right though. The horse goes before the cart. We need to keep it simple.

I was actually approached by someone wanting to represent me earlier this week and I turned them down. It was a tough thing to do (you have no idea how much I'd like to go around saying I have an agent!), but I know I'll have so much more knowledge and confidence once I have the book finished that it's best to wait.

Have faith in your work. If it's good and you're persistent you'll find someone when the time's right.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

"You're three YEARS away from this being anything remotely resembling a problem."

WTF - I get the 1 year once you sign with an agent, but are you saying it will take 2 years to get an agent?

Lyndyn said...

I may have "Fret Less. Write More." tatooed somewhere on my person.

desert snarkling said...

I get the 1 year once you sign with an agent, but are you saying it will take 2 years to get an agent?

At the very minimum, I get:

- One-two years to finish the new novel
- Six months-one year to find an agent, assuming the novel truly is excellent
- Three months-one year to sell the new novel, assuming the same thing

All of which adds up to two-three years before you're ready to chat about the book you set aside, assuming all goes well. (Which, at least, allows lots of time for revising that book.)

Eika said...

Thank you, Miss Snark. I figured there was something nitwitish about all my fretting, but it's harder to talk yourself out of it when you're worried. It's MUCH easier to let someone who knows what they're doing yell at you.