I learned a lot of new and interesting things about my WIP and my writing last weekend. For one, I've got some slight POV issues going on, due to an occasional tendency to drop very literary phrases into the third-person perspective of a fifteen-year-old boy. Oops. More channelling of Rick Riordan, less of Nicole Krauss.
I also tackled an issue that's been concerning me for a while; more precisely: am I writing YA or MG here? My story is an adventure that revolves around two young teenage boys, but it is longish and fairly complex. I was very fortunate to get to talk to the delightful Laura Rennert about this, and she told me that I was right on the cusp and could tweak it either way. She also told me that calling it MG would make it easier to sell, should I reach that point. Certainly something for me to chew on.
And finally, a strong word of advice: if you ever go to a conference where there is even the slightest chance that you'll find yourself face-to-face with an agent who asks, "So what is your book about?" FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND BE READY FOR THAT. Or else you may find yourself staring at your empty breakfast plate, red-faced and stuttering something about boys and space and adventure, and on the receiving end of a kindly smile from a premium agent or two that means they just realized that your work is nowhere near ready. OUCH!
To that effect, I am now (finally) reading Save the Cat, and eating/ dreaming/ showering/ vacuuming a constant stream of loglines, looking for not just any logline, but one that will make an agent sit up and take notice, with the knowledge that the best logline may provoke some necessary changes that could improve my WIP.
It wasn't all gloom and doom--I did get some positive feedback as well, which is why I'm feeling pretty upbeat right now. And on goes the journey. Anyone have any similar stories to share?