Friday, September 16, 2011

No One Gets Recess

Remember when you were in elementary school? You're sitting in the cafeteria, lunch forgotten, waiting, yearning, to get outside on the playground. Recess! But then one or two dork-for-brains are talking or throwing paper or sassin' the teacher on duty (yes, sassin'. There's the southern Ohio in me., lol), and recess is taken away. A few ruin something for everyone else.

That's kind of how I feel about the Publishers Weekly article discussing how agents say no to or try to change LGBTQ characters/stories. A couple bad experiences have created a stir, and agents, like Kristin Nelson, are moving quickly to assure writers that, as we all know, it's about the story, it's about the writing, and most agencies don't reject based strictly on a homosexual characters (or, to go one step further, a Jewish character or an African American character). A few ruin something for everyone else.

I thought our country got all this molded, gloppy Hate out of our systems fifty-plus years ago. Maybe I'm just naive, but with an MS dealing, in part, about a 17 year old girl struggling with her attraction to a girl in her class (in the Bible Belt of southern Ohio, of all places), I want to know that someone may see the 'real world' potential for my story. So, if an agent loveLoveLOVES my writing, but can't handle or won't sell it because I've tried to make my characters real-to-life, then that's probably not the agent for me. That person has a job, and he/she has the choice, but it shouldn't put a brand on the industry or discourage writers from *clears throat* WRITING YOUR STORY.

What's the lesson? People disagree. It happens. Write from the heart, polish your story within an inch of its life, and find an agent that loves it as much as you. If you can't, write something else and then another something else (and another, dot dot dot). And, oh yeah, let's tone down that gnarly Hate and embrace perfect, potent Positivity!


1 comment:

Andrew Leon said...

Or, you know, skip the agent entirely.