The Guardian posted this article a few days ago which echos the urgency many writers currently feel during the pandemic---if not now, when?
If it already seemed like every fourth or fifth person we knew was writing a novel or memoir, hold on to your hats because that number is sure to increase significantly in the time of Covid. Some agents are seeing a doubling of submissions. Juliet Mushens of Caskie Mushens agency says that while some are trying this whole novel thing for the first time, more experienced writers have decided to finally release their pages into the world because, “it’s also about people who have already written that novel but were too scared to hit send – they are realizing that life is too short and you have to seize the day.”
Like the baby boom that we expect to see in nine or ten months from now, editors are bracing for a book boom with a much faster gestation period, likely in two to three months.
The article notes that, while it is tempting, it may not be a good idea to write the next zombie pandemic thriller. A HarperCollins editor recently wrote on Twitter that readers are going to want to escape to fictional worlds where the virus doesn't exist rather than immersing themselves more deeply into it.
The piece ended with the following advice from Juliet Mushens.
Five tips for would-be authors, from agent Juliet Mushens
Finish and edit your novel before submitting anything to agents
Do your research and send the agents what they have asked for in terms of material
Have a think about where your book fits in the market. Would it be shelved as a thriller, romance, or perhaps reading group fiction?
Be patient: use the time while waiting to hear back to write something else or brainstorm other ideas
Don’t give up! Keep writing – the more you write, the more you’ll hone your craft