Monday, May 30, 2011

Niche Writing

My name is Scott and . . .

. . . I'm a niche writer. Yes, I admit it! I'm not a mainstream writer. I don't write about vampires or mermaids or, well, whatever.

I write about the life I see around me, the life I want to read about.

I don't want the overt stereotypes constantly portrayed by the media.

I don't want the marginalization of a distinct group of people.

I want - some of the time, not all of the time - characters I can relate to on a deep level, rather than a peripheral level.

Yes, there are books there our there that deal with what I'm talking about. There are writers - agented, multiple published - who write what I write.

But . . .

. . . the market is still niche. The market is still . . .

. . . limited.

In all fairness, the market shouldn't be limited.

In all fairness, equality should exist for all people.

It doesn't.

So, in submitting my query for my cozy mystery, I've begun to wonder if . . .

. . . the main characters weren't gay, would it be more marketable?

If I made the characters heterosexual, would it have more marketability?

If I made the characters female, would it have more marketability?

Okay, perhaps marketable isn't the proper word for the first question. Perhaps the question should be . . .

If the main characters weren't gay, would it be less rejectable?

Yes . . . rejectable.

Is the fact that the characters are gay a deteriment to acceptance?

Then again, perhaps my query just sucks.


I don't know. The more I think about it, the more I talk about it with others, my instinct (normally right, not always right) is telling me that gay is too niche.

So, do I alter the first 20 pages so gay is not so evident, not obvious. Do I do a test and find out whether it's my query, or the gay aspect?

Do I want to know that truth?

I'm not sure.

I'm really not sure.

So, rather than submitting the query further, I've sat back and done, well, nothing. I haven't made the changes in the opening pages that would imply heterosexuality over homosexuality. I haven't researched more agents on the slim (maybe, maybe not) hope that someone will see beyond how the characters were born, to the actual story.

Yes, perhaps I'm being a bit too cynical. I don't know if I am or not. I just don't know.

I do know that one publisher pretty much said that gay is too niche. Go figure. So, scratched that potentiality off my list.

So, what would you do? Would you alter the first 20 pages to imply heterosexuality versus homosexuality? Would you query until you could query no longer?


1 comment:

Barb said...
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