Sunday, July 6, 2008

Why Am I Here?

Hello there. My name is Brian O'Rourke. I'm an aspiring novelist and screenwriter, just trying to get my foot in the door. Despite my natural aversion to shameless self-promotion, I've decided to create this Blog, because I'm told that it's essential in this day and age.

I've written three manuscripts of novel length. (I'll call them manuscripts for now; if and when they're published, they'll be magically transformed into "novels.") One of them is crap. One of them has its moments. But this one, The Unearthed, is the strongest of the lot in my humble opinion. Even if The Unearthed were the next Les Miserables (it's not), I'd still have a difficult time getting it published.

You might think that the age of the Internet, Blogs, podcasts, and all other forms of electronic communication have made it that much easier for someone like me to get noticed by the powers-that-be. After all, I can query literally hundreds of agents, in a matter of hours, and without spending any money.

To the contrary. As the Internet has effectively, and quite dramatically, lowered the barriers to entry, anybody, everybody, and their mothers are making noise. A lot of noise. So while the Internet has made it easier for me to query agents and publishers, it has also become easier for everybody else to query agents and publishers.

Add to that the fact that the non-fiction market is beating the pants off of the fiction market. The zeitgeist is calling for the latest "celebrity" memoir, "how to" book, or the umpteenth take on whether Dan Brown is full of crap or not. Don't believe me? The next time you're at Barnes & Noble, take a look at the store as a whole and you'll see that non-fiction dominates the shelves. I don't know how or why this happened. I'll leave that to the economists, who are often about as right as weathermen. But, this sad fact is partly responsible for how selective fiction publishing has become--since fiction is selling less, relative to non-fiction, publishers (and therefore agents) are more selective in choosing manuscripts.

So Why Am I Here? Why am I writing this? Well, the plain, honest truth is I want you to read my stories.

You see, I've been doing the typical thing for someone in my position: contacting agents and publishers feverishly. And I will continue to do so. This will no means be a substitute for that. What I hope to do with this Blog is to find a way to separate myself from the hundreds of other queries agents receive each week.

So I'm going to keep you updated on what's happening with my stories. Right now, I'm going to continue pitching The Unearthed while I work on my next story.

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