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Thread: The Daily Rejection, Vol. 2

  1. #10076
    the possibilities are endless noranne's Avatar
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    Huh, got a very unexpected response today from a query I sent back in February. It was my 3rd time querying this agent and she'd never responded previously so it's been CNR for a while. Anyway, she sent a rather detailed rejection. I know she must have liked it a little bit to have read all the sample pages (10) and write so much back, but damn it kinda hurt. "the craft elements are missing" and "it needs lots of revision". Basically the only thing that she liked was the premise. Other than that, she pinged my characters, my setting, my names, my POV structure, and even my choice of genre. Based on her comments, I think it's mostly just a basic incompatibility of taste, but that can't account for *all* of that. Good thing I'm done querying MS6, I guess.
    “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
    —Ernest Hemingway

    Website |♦| The Write Side of Life |♦| Twitter |♦| YouTube

    MS1: YA SF, 68k, trunked
    MS2: YA F, 70k, trunked
    MS3: YA F, 76k, trunked
    MS4: A SF, 94k, trunked
    MS5: A F, 63k, trunked

    MS6: A SF, 87k, editing, again
    MS7: A F, 79k, waiting its turn

  2. #10077
    Goddess of Rationalization Hathor's Avatar
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    That seem downright peculiar, noranne. Methinks it reflects less about your work than the day this agent was having or some other issue. Why take all that time to reject a query when you can ignore it or send a form R? In the rare instances when one gets a personalized rejection, my impression is that it is nearly always to say something positive.

  3. #10078
    figuring it all out NotForUsThanks's Avatar
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    Noranne, I'd have to agree with Hathor. Sounds to me a sort of "if I had that idea I'd have done it this way" sort of response, which screams Frustrated Writer to me.
    shoot me, shoot me now

  4. #10079
    figuring it all out NotForUsThanks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ Litke View Post
    It doesn't seem too much to ask that people go to the mentors' sites and actually read what they're willing to take on. They got more than 3,000 total entries. Even aside from reading entries, this is no small amount of work the mentors are doing.
    Never said anything about it being too much to ask to go to the mentor's sites and read their blogs. My point was that it would have been more productive for the mentors to put links up to their blogs and social media sites rather than putting out irritable tweets.
    shoot me, shoot me now

  5. #10080
    People are not wearing enough hats JJ Litke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotForUsThanks View Post
    Never said anything about it being too much to ask to go to the mentor's sites and read their blogs. My point was that it would have been more productive for the mentors to put links up to their blogs and social media sites rather than putting out irritable tweets.
    They did do that, and Brenda Drake had a complete list of all the mentors with links on her site. And as Jeneral pointed out, that cheat sheet list was inaccurate, so it caused a lot of trouble.

    I guess I'm a little defensive on their behalf because a lot of these people put in a ton of work without pay, and the suggestion that they aren't doing enough really bothers me. I'm not sure what more they could be reasonably expected to do.
    The Invisible Box, Apex Magazine issue #92
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  6. #10081
    practical experience, FTW goddessofgliese's Avatar
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    Just checking in to see how you guys have been doing. It seems that you are still hanging in there! I've decided to take a break after 25 rejections. So far the process has been very detrimental to my mental health, thus the need for a break.

    But hope you all will receive good news soon!

  7. #10082
    pinkbowvintage's Avatar
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    noranne - Ahh that's hard! Sounds like a complete difference of taste/opinion, and maybe a bit of "If I Had Written This" as NotForUsThanks said. Please don't let it get you down!!

    I'm hopelessly confused about Pitch Wars. I hope everything sorts itself out.
    YA debut BURRO HILLS coming from Diversion Books on March 20, 2018!


    YA LGBT Contemporary/Thriller - On submission + revising
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  8. #10083
    the possibilities are endless noranne's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I believe that this agent is also a writer (she has a mystery novel out, I think?) so maybe that was it. The most charitable explanation I can give is that she got really excited about the query and was let down by the pages and was trying to be helpful without realizing that she was just coming across as, um, kinda mean? Definitely one of the stranger rejections I've gotten. Filing that away in the "Stories from the Query Trenches"!

    Working on some revisions. Amazing how easy it is to scribble on a piece of paper "add a scene where protag is more active ch 8" and then how haaard it is to do!
    “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
    —Ernest Hemingway

    Website |♦| The Write Side of Life |♦| Twitter |♦| YouTube

    MS1: YA SF, 68k, trunked
    MS2: YA F, 70k, trunked
    MS3: YA F, 76k, trunked
    MS4: A SF, 94k, trunked
    MS5: A F, 63k, trunked

    MS6: A SF, 87k, editing, again
    MS7: A F, 79k, waiting its turn

  9. #10084
    figuring it all out NotForUsThanks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ Litke View Post
    the suggestion that they aren't doing enough really bothers me.
    I never said they weren't doing enough. Take a breath JJ, I just made some observation is all.
    shoot me, shoot me now

  10. #10085
    Ummm, just one more chapter...
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    Question on Submissions:

    Is it appropriate to include a Table of Contents in a full ms that you are submitting?

    I have not read anything regarding this, in any of my research.

    I am thinking of including one from now on, but am not sure if it is an acceptable practice.

    Any thoughts, ideas, or opinions?

  11. #10086
    the possibilities are endless noranne's Avatar
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    I have never included one. I don't think it's generally considered part of the standard format. If you're using Word, you can use headings so that a reader can pull up the chapter outline if needed.
    “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
    —Ernest Hemingway

    Website |♦| The Write Side of Life |♦| Twitter |♦| YouTube

    MS1: YA SF, 68k, trunked
    MS2: YA F, 70k, trunked
    MS3: YA F, 76k, trunked
    MS4: A SF, 94k, trunked
    MS5: A F, 63k, trunked

    MS6: A SF, 87k, editing, again
    MS7: A F, 79k, waiting its turn

  12. #10087
    Ummm, just one more chapter...
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    noranne:

    Thanks for the response.

    Actually, I suppose that that is yet another question: are headings acceptable in a submission?

    I generally use them (headings) when writing a novel, as it helps keep me on course, and have a template file created specifically for that.

    However, I remove the headers, and replace them with plain text, before submitting, as I know that that is the general standard.

  13. #10088
    Goddess of Rationalization Hathor's Avatar
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    I agree with noranne. When I first started writing, I was paranoid about standard manuscript format (which drove me crazy when the self-proclaimed experts disagreed with each other ). Anywho, I remember someone specifically saying NOT to include a table of contents and nobody ever saying you should.

    Yep, plain text when you submit.

  14. #10089
    practical experience, FTW sockycat's Avatar
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    Feeling a tad stuck. I was reading through my MS, and I realized how drastically writing short fiction like a crazy person has changed my writing (for the better) over the past six months. I'm looking at my MS through new eyes and I can't help but feel like the entire thing needs to be rewritten. Like, read out loud, cutting entire characters and arcs, rewriting entire chapters rewritten. It's been a work in progress for about four years now, and I'm wondering if forcing myself to do a complete overhaul over a few weeks is the best solution. I feel like the alternative (making tiny baby tweaks every few weeks like I've been over the past few years) will mean I just nitpick it until I die and never actually send it out. It's like I finally just need to write this thing the best I can, and send it out there, and if it fails oh well. I need to get myself in a place where I am comfortable moving on to a different project.
    Visit my website and send me a neat pun.

  15. #10090
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Socky, maybe the perfectionist bug has bit you? No harm in another revision, but if you accept you'll never be 100% satisfied with the book, maybe you'll allow yourself to submit it and move on. You can apply your awesome new skills to a fresh project.

  16. #10091
    practical experience, FTW goddessofgliese's Avatar
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    I've spent a lot of time, energy and money perfecting my book, but I really don't think there's a market for it . I think it's time to give up, instead of getting stressed over it and wasting more time and money on it.

    Somehow the thought makes me feel a little better.

    When do you guys decide that it's time to let go?

  17. #10092
    Ummm, just one more chapter...
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    goddessofgliese:

    In my case, I know that my books will not sell well, and I am comfortable with that.

    Not because they are poorly written, or because they are not interesting -- but because there is a particular "market" out there, and my work does not fit well into what is popular.

    However, I write, and re-write, as well as I can for the stage of writing that I am in, and then I move on. I do, however, look at it again later, and with a fresh perspective.

    Your choices might be different.
    Last edited by RLGreenleaf; 08-14-2017 at 11:34 PM.

  18. #10093
    practical experience, FTW sockycat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atlantic12 View Post
    Socky, maybe the perfectionist bug has bit you? No harm in another revision, but if you accept you'll never be 100% satisfied with the book, maybe you'll allow yourself to submit it and move on. You can apply your awesome new skills to a fresh project.
    I think that's what the plan will be. Do one more big revision and then send it out there. The tiny tweaks are going to be the death of me.

    In happier news--I've received three rejections this week (womp womp, the normal amount) BUT an hour ago I just received an email from an anthology I've been dying to be a part of accepting my story!! It's my first semi-pro sale (everything has been token so far) so I'm suuuuper geeked. And it's such a wonderfully validating feeling to get an acceptance after the routine of a few rejections a week lol
    Visit my website and send me a neat pun.

  19. #10094
    practical experience, FTW CJSimone's Avatar
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    Congrats, sockycat!

    noranne, hang in there! It's tough and we all get discouraged, but you never know...

    goddessofgliese - maybe readjust the goals and methods, but if this particular book means a lot to you, I wouldn't give up on it yet.

    Good luck to all who've entered Pitch Wars! We've been discussing it over here too if anyone's interested and missed it: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...rs-2017/page13

  20. #10095
    Queen of Catastrophes Carleree's Avatar
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    Just popping in to send hugs to anyone who needs it today.

  21. #10096
    the possibilities are endless noranne's Avatar
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    Way to go, socky, that's awesome news!
    “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
    —Ernest Hemingway

    Website |♦| The Write Side of Life |♦| Twitter |♦| YouTube

    MS1: YA SF, 68k, trunked
    MS2: YA F, 70k, trunked
    MS3: YA F, 76k, trunked
    MS4: A SF, 94k, trunked
    MS5: A F, 63k, trunked

    MS6: A SF, 87k, editing, again
    MS7: A F, 79k, waiting its turn

  22. #10097
    the possibilities are endless noranne's Avatar
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    Nice personalized rejection today from a good short story market. On the one hand, it's nice to know they actually read (and enjoyed!) my story, but on the other, gah, it's still a rejection! Normally I'd send it right back out again, but I did like the comment they made so now I made need to make a small edit. Sigh.

    Not making any progress on MS6, need to clear out some mental headspace to really get into it again.
    “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
    —Ernest Hemingway

    Website |♦| The Write Side of Life |♦| Twitter |♦| YouTube

    MS1: YA SF, 68k, trunked
    MS2: YA F, 70k, trunked
    MS3: YA F, 76k, trunked
    MS4: A SF, 94k, trunked
    MS5: A F, 63k, trunked

    MS6: A SF, 87k, editing, again
    MS7: A F, 79k, waiting its turn

  23. #10098
    Polydactyl Landshrimp underpope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sockycat View Post
    I think that's what the plan will be. Do one more big revision and then send it out there. The tiny tweaks are going to be the death of me.

    In happier news--I've received three rejections this week (womp womp, the normal amount) BUT an hour ago I just received an email from an anthology I've been dying to be a part of accepting my story!! It's my first semi-pro sale (everything has been token so far) so I'm suuuuper geeked. And it's such a wonderfully validating feeling to get an acceptance after the routine of a few rejections a week lol
    That's fantastic news!!! Congratulations!
    -----
    Richard S. Crawford: Code monkey by day, word monkey by night
    Website/Blog: www.underpope.com
    For your reading pleasure, a wee horror novella: The Winds of Patwin County

  24. #10099
    practical experience, FTW CJSimone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noranne View Post
    Nice personalized rejection today from a good short story market. On the one hand, it's nice to know they actually read (and enjoyed!) my story, but on the other, gah, it's still a rejection! Normally I'd send it right back out again, but I did like the comment they made so now I made need to make a small edit.
    That's encouraging.

  25. #10100
    Ummm, just one more chapter...
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    Received a rejection to a query, and I was wondering how best to move forward.

    The agent said that the idea behind the story is really wonderful, but that she did not love the writing as much as she hoped she would. I suppose that is a well-used (and somewhat vague) rejection, but I was wondering how best to pursue this.

    The story takes place in the 1700's, and is about a young boy and a young girl, both around ten years old. I wanted to make them sound like children from that era, and not like modern kids, so I had them use dialect that approximated the English used at that time; and I suspect that it was this dialect that the agent did not like.

    Perhaps a different agent might appreciate that effort at realism a little bit more, but I am left wondering how much I should "modernize" their speech.

    Anyone else ever run into this issue?
    Last edited by RLGreenleaf; 08-21-2017 at 11:40 PM.

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