Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ups and Downs

Got a partial request--and then a nice rejection with a personal note. My novel is not high concept enough.

I had to look that up.

High concept, as far as I can figure, means "You can explain the plot in 10 words or less and it has broad appeal."

You know, none of my novels are high concept, I guess. They do have very intriguing premises. The trouble is, they aren't written for your average, everyday teen. They are written for 13 year old girls with IQs over 120 who are widely read but who are still a little sensitive for full-out adult situations and language in literature, although they can handle the complexity and length of an adult novel. Like Adult Lite--complex, well-thought-out, exciting, long, not really about high school (because girls like that really think high school is dumb--why would you want to read about it?)--but no sex, all off-screen or bloodless violence, and no swearing. In other words, squeaky clean.

I can see why an agent might not pick that up--there might not be a big enough market. Smart LDS girls?

So I know now that I don't write adult lit--too sweet--but I realized tonight that "Young Adult" lit is all that stuff I hate--coming of age, teen angst, etc. It's what chick lit was based on. It's set in the high school. It's gaggy.

So how do I search for an agent? What search terms do I use? "Smart?" It's like literary teen fiction, except literary has as strong (and unpleasant to me) connotations as "Young Adult". It's that genre question again...It's fairytale fantasy, but who reps that?

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