Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ummm . . . what?

So I'm at a conference. I'm done with my three editor meetings and I'm looking for lunch tables of possible editors I want to pitch to. For those of you who don't know, at some conferences, tables are "hosted" by an editor or agent. This gives you a chance to possibly pitch to someone who you didn't have an appointment with. I personally don't like pitching at these tables. There's usually 8-10 people who are pushing themselves on these poor souls who are trying to eat.

So my strategy is I don't pitch unless they ask and they usually will. If they don't then that means they didn't want me to and I'm fine with that. At one of these tables, hosted by an editor, who said he was representing both fiction and non, asked me about my script and what kind of response I've gotten at my meetings. I told him (gender neutral) and he then asked me to send it to him. (Can't remember if it was a partial or full)

The response was pretty quick and he gave me a few paragraphs of advice which I thought were pretty thoughtful and I did appreciate his time. He did write that he wanted to encourage me because my writing was almost there. That's great to hear.

However, he told me I should write stories unique to my neck of the woods, that would grow organically from the area, and gave me examples. Now this would have been good advice if I were writing that To Kill a Mockingbird "great American novel". But I write suspense with a supernatural element. He said that my story should be set ANYWHERE but south Louisiana. As though, my story couldn't happen where I set it. Ummm. . . . What?

He then finished with and I'll slightly paraphrase: "I'm not even a fiction editor so take these thoughts with a grain of salt."

Ummm . . . consider it done.

So I my script got rejected by a publisher's non-fiction editor. What if the fiction editor would have liked it?


Kay Day said...

That's weird. Wonder why he even asked for it if he didn't do fiction.
also, umm, heard of voodoo? duh.

I don't know if your book has voodoo in it, I'm just saying, South Louisiana probably has some organic suspense with a supernatural element going on.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

No voodoo in my story, Kay. But you're right. from voodoo to haunted plantations, this area certainly has its supernatural mythos.

Nicole said...

Some believers love to leave out the supernatural aspects because they consider them speculative. And their choices can make for sterile writing.

I agree: "Um, what?"