I'm posting this because a writer friend emailed today, disillusioned because the novel her agent recently took to market has been rejected over and over. (I won't say how many times or by how many houses, just that it's a painful and humbling process).
That said, my friend has written 5 novels and still isn't published (a common problem, I'm afraid). Frustrated, she's decided to put this one aside (as she has with the others) and has started writing another. I'd like to have it finished by June so my agent can hopefully sell before summer. What do you think?
I told her what her agent probably told her -- that every editor/publisher is looking for the same thing: a big story. That story is more important than anything. I told her IMHO she should focus on quality, not quantity. That she needs to slow down and spend 90 days brainstorming a unique story instead of 90 days trying to write another cookie-cutter chic-lit novel that doesn't stand out from the masses. That once she's got that slam-dunk great story, she should then take at least 6 months to a year and write it.... taking... her... time. I'm not sure I got through to her, but she reads my blog so hopefully this will :)