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  1. #11
    Splat
    Guest

    Re: Holmes Literary Agency

    Would you prefer to communicate directly with me on cindy.dale@pandora.be?



  2. #12
    CarolO
    Guest

    Re: Holmes Literary Agency

    If youíre okay with it, I donít mind "speaking" here.

    Alrighty then: we've got a novel based on a true story. I'd categorize that as "literary fiction". Iím concerned that youíve queried agents without a complete manuscript, and that you say an agent has already offered you a contract.

    It is not advisable to shop incomplete fiction, since an agent would not be able to judge the strength of the complete work. Also, if a legitimate agent does express interest in what you have, they may very well lose interest by the time you complete it or, even worse, pressure you to complete it.

    Which leads me to what is setting off alarm bells in my head: Not to cast doubt on your work in any way, but I would be leery about agents who respond to a query for an incomplete novel. Would you share who they are, so that we can get a sense of them? Is one the aforementioned Holmes Literary?

  3. #13
    Splat
    Guest

    Re: Holmes Literary Agency

    Thank you for that.

    When I initially approached the 12 agents I mentioned earlier I only sent them a synopsis of my novel a nd asked if they would be interested.

    Some responded with a "not our line but thanks" response and others asked for 3 chapters to view my writing style... they also liked the story line.

    Two of those asked for me to submit what I've completed thus far. The one agent (mentioned in the subject line) is the one that is most excited about it and whats to enter into a contract now but start working with me after summer (he is running to a tight schedule and has several other commitments/authors he is working with on special projects that will be sorted by then). He says he wants to spend a lot of time "working with me" on this novel. (??)

    The other agent is also very keen but want so wait until I can present a full and complete MS before entering into a contract.

  4. #14
    CarolO
    Guest

    Re: Holmes Literary Agency

    Hmm. Iím leery of the Holmes Agency because of their past problem with conflict of interest (funneling folks to an editing service, which is fundamentally unnecessary except to separate hopeful writers from their money). Also, their website has been taken down, which I find odd.

    I suggest emailing Writer's Beware and asking what they have heard regarding this (or any) agency. WB is a watchdog group that tracks complaints and general going-ons with agents. Hereís their website <http://sfwa.org/beware/>. Contact info is at the bottom of the page.

    If you do decide to go with Holmes (or any agency) do NOT pay them anything until they sell your book, nor let anyone tell you that you need to pay for editing. Legitimate agents survive on commissions, not on fees from their authors. Iím grossly simplifying a lot of issues, but I hope you get the idea.

    I also recommend that, when you do get to the contract stage, you make sure that your solicitor is familiar with the publishing industry and all its peculiarities. I believe the SFWA site also has a list of contract clauses to watch out for.

    In the meantime, if you havenít already, I suggest finding a writerís group in your area that will help with critique and refinement, or even a few friends or relatives not afraid to tell you where you might need more work.

    I think that just about exhausts my advice on agents. Anything else I can help with? :-)

  5. #15
    Splat
    Guest

    Re: Holmes Literary Agency

    Thank you fro this. Your advice is appreciated and I will take heed of your suggestions... A writers group out here (folk that speak English are far and few in between) is near impossible to find. I am aiming my novel at the American market and would have thought having it sussed out of an American would make more sense. No? Your guidance on this would be greatly appreciated too. Best wishes.

  6. #16
    CarolO
    Guest

    Re: Holmes Literary Agency

    I’m happy I can help. As far as getting feedback for your writing, there are lots of ways to get work critiqued online. For instance, you could post snippets on this board, under the Writing Craft topic, just to get a feel of how your writing comes across to people. Most folks here are nice, but be prepared for a few nuts who like to be mean. (Which is not to say that they’ll be wrong...just that they’ll be nasty about it.)

    There’s another writer’s board that I like: Absolute Write. <http://www.absolutewrite.com/>. Here’s their forum: <http://p197.ezboard.com/babsolutewrite>
    I highly recommend reading through the Writing Novels topic, specifically the “Learn Writing with Uncle Jim” subtopic. The Uncle Jim in question is Jim Macdonald, a well-established author. This forum also has a Share Your Work topic (toward the bottom). I suggest reading through what others have posted to get a feel for what you’re letting yourself in for. :-) Or you could just post that you’ve got a novel about (subject), and you’re looking for critiquers. Then you could arrange to email stuff back and forth with anyone interested.

    A couple of key points about posting work on public forums: 1) Post excerpts only. Items posted to places where the general public can read them are sometimes considered “published” by professional publishers, so you’ll want to be careful not to post a complete work. 2) Be sure to read the rules of the board as to what you can and cannot post. And if what you are posting contains controversial material (sex, violence, etc.), post a disclaimer at the top to warn folks.

    I also recommend online workshops. Places like these will usually require you to critique other folks’ work in return, but I think you’ll find that critiquing other people is the best way to learn how to edit your own work. Also, since these are private sites, you’ll be able to get your whole novel critiqued, either a chapter at a time or as a whole, without having to worry. Unfortunately, the workshops I’m familiar with are strictly sci-fi/fantasy, but I’m sure that there are literary ones out there, too. Google is your friend. :-)

    Failing all that, are there any English teachers in your area? He/she could help you with stuff like avoiding passive voice constructions. And you could pass your book around a class. Students may not be the best people to help you refine grammar and such, but they could certainly give you feedback on plot pacing and characterization, which are equally important.

    A final note on feedback: Don’t panic if someone tears your work apart. They may be right, they may be wrong. The long-term benefits come from getting response from as many people as possible, and then seeing if there is any pattern to what they are saying. If one person announces that you can’t write yourself out of a paper bag, he’s probably wrong. If five people agree, then you may indeed have room for improvement. :-)

    Be strong, have faith in yourself and your story, and keep writing!

  7. #17
    Splat
    Guest

    Re: Holmes Literary Agency

    There arre few folk that would take the time you have on my "cause" - AGAIN, I thank you!

    I think its best that I go with the writers critique in the US. The folks out here in Europe don't have the stomach to cope with what I am writing about, bless them. But yes, the English teacher is a good idea. I have been wanting to ask one chap I know at my son's high school but did not have the nerve - now I can blame it one you :-)

    Best wishes.

  8. #18
    CarolO
    Guest

    Re: Holmes Literary Agency

    Heh, I'm just glad I've made any sort of sense. :-) Best of luck to you!

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