After receiving four very nice rejection letters from four very nice agents just this week alone, I've decided to take a closer look at the project I've been submitting for the last month.
First off, the title. While I personally love the title, EVENING STAR, because I know the true, symbolic meaning behind why I picked it. Others do not. (The real "evening star" is not actually a star at all, but the planet Venus. Hmmm...something disguised as something it's not?) Well, as much as I like it, that title just doesn't connect with my query and convey the message needed to catch the eye of agents or readers. So, that was the first thing to go. Now, I have retitled it IGNITE, (which was the original title of the first chapter). One word titles seem to be the trend lately, as far as I can tell. And, as my novel has supernatural elements involving fire, this suits it quite well.
Secondly, the genre. It appears YA Paranormal Romance is a dead genre. Who knew? Well, maybe I did, a little. But, it's what I love to read, so naturally it's what I love to write. Gosh darn it, we should all be able to write what we love, right? A bunch of heads nod in agreement. Well, that might be the case, but it might not get you published either. And the whole point of this writing thing is to get published. So, what's a girl to do? Answer: write what will get published. Of course, it took me five LONG years to complete my current novel and while I have another WIP brewing at the moment (I've written some pages), I'm having a hard time kicking the "love-of-my-life" to the curb. Again, so what's a girl to do? Answer: change the genre.
I happened upon a book called, BURN TO BURN by Jenny Han, which was of all things....a YA Contemporary Paranormal novel. I had no idea those two genres were even allowed to coexist. But I should have. When writing my own novel, I struggled between how contemporary it was (I really tried hard to have regular teens with everyday struggles), BUT how there were also those that had supernatural abilities. Alas, I see now that my genre can be Contemporary Paranormal without having to make any BIG changes, (and that's not a "dead" genre). But, it doesn't stop there. No, there's more. YA thriller is a hot genre right now. Not that I wanted to jump on that bandwagon, but originally, my story was about a girl and her Watcher/Guardian angel friends tracking down the leader of a rebel Watcher (think Fallen angel) who was after her and her dead grandmother for their abilities. But, I decided to take the "angel" element out of the story because angels seem to be SOOO two seconds ago (according to the feedback I've received), and instead someone (human) murders her grandmother and then my MC tries to find the killer. Hence, the addition of the thriller element to the genre.
So, did I hold 'em or fold 'em? Neither really. I'm not going to trunk the novel until things look up OR completely give up on it. Nope. I've decided to take what I love--love it even more--and then send it out into the cruel, cruel world again. If it comes back wounded, again, I will bandage it up and THEN decide whether to hold 'em or fold 'em . . . or even walk away or RUN!
Have you had any similar experiences when you weren't sure if you should hold 'em or fold 'em? What did you do??