In some ways the last few weeks have been very rewarding. Four stories have been accepted for publication, two of them in places I really hoped to crack. But in other ways, it's been a bust. Four agents and one editor have passed on the book manuscript. Three agents wouldn't say why, one, as I recounted already here, hated the protagonist, and the editor told me I had a well-written mainstream novel, not a crime novel. I know five people's opinions are not enough, but I have a very clear sense I have written a novel that straddles genres in a time when that's a no-no.
Do I go back and make it more mainstream? This would probably be the easiest solution. Do I try to ramp up the crime elements--I can't really think how to do this without adding a second story-line. Do I put it aside, figuring in six months it might become clearer. Do I continue sending it out? Do I ditch the whole think and regard it as a practice novel?
Maybe I am strictly a short story writer and the whole enterprise was a misstep. Alice Munro only wrote one novel and it wasn't very good. Not that I'm comparing myself to her but you see the point.
What would you do?