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Bluestone
06-12-2008, 09:05 PM
After much elation and trepidation following the request for a "full from a partial" by Barbara Poelle of Irene Goodman, I have been rejected. This is more of a blow to me than I thought. It seems that if someone who was so interested and wanted to like it, didn't like it, then who will? She sent a very nice email and this is an excerpt:

"I found myself involved in the storyline immediately- I really wanted to love this one! Unfortunately, despite my initial interest, I am going to pass on representing the work. Although the plot was intriguing, I couldn’t get the overall narrative style to resonate with me as strongly as I would have liked and I began to feel as if there wasn’t enough uniqueness within the storyline to sustain the work as a true commercial competitor. In an already crowded genre, material must have a unique premise and a strong execution in order to become a stand-out, and this one just didn’t leap out at me as much as I had hoped."

She said the usual encouraging stuff about it being subjective and someone else may love it, etc., but I really am dejected. I thought it actually was such a unique premise! A murder of an abortion clinic employee during the setting of a fire, by someone you'd never suspect for an unusual, but plausible, reason. But I must not have the voice to tell it.

I could really use some support and maybe some light at the end of the tunnel experiences from anyone else who has gone on to publication success.

Or if you think I should be looking at the writing on the wall, then tell me that too. I have worked on this darn thing for years now and I really believe in it, but will anyone else? This is my second request for a full, but the first in the round of latest queries, when I felt the MS was at an appropriate stage. The other was Uwe Stender, 2 years ago when it wasn't as polished and edited as it is now.

Red-Green
06-12-2008, 09:18 PM
Dang, that really is a tough one. I got a rejection similar to this on the first novel I wrote. Big name agent "wanted to like it," but found that in practice the book was "too depressing." Yipe. I gave up after that, my 7th query. I don't recommend doing that. I should have stuck with it and put some more effort into it at the time. I let myself get bogged down in that defeat.

So, that's my first thought--don't give up over this one rejection. You don't mention how many queries you've sent this round, how many rejections off just the query. You also don't mention what genre--although I can imagine a few based on your premise. I don't think the premise is that done, but my first thought was that it may not be that timely. It's been a while since abortion clinic violence has really been in the news.

Those are just some quick thoughts. Might have more with more info.

(And isn't it weird how clearly I can remember that rejection, years after it happened? They really do stick to you.)

Calla Lily
06-12-2008, 09:39 PM
There is a 95.378% chance that all the bolded parts below are form:



"I found myself involved in the storyline immediately- I really wanted to love this one! Unfortunately, despite my initial interest, I am going to pass on representing the work. Although the plot was intriguing, I couldnít get the overall narrative style to resonate with me as strongly as I would have liked and I began to feel as if there wasnít enough uniqueness within the storyline to sustain the work as a true commercial competitor. In an already crowded genre, material must have a unique premise and a strong execution in order to become a stand-out, and this one just didnít leap out at me as much as I had hoped."

She said the usual encouraging stuff about it being subjective and someone else may love it, etc., but I really am dejected. I thought it actually was such a unique premise! A murder of an abortion clinic employee during the setting of a fire, by someone you'd never suspect for an unusual, but plausible, reason. But I must not have the voice to tell it.

I could really use some support and maybe some light at the end of the tunnel experiences from anyone else who has gone on to publication success.

Or if you think I should be looking at the writing on the wall, then tell me that too. I have worked on this darn thing for years now and I really believe in it, but will anyone else? This is my second request for a full, but the first in the round of latest queries, when I felt the MS was at an appropriate stage. The other was Uwe Stender, 2 years ago when it wasn't as polished and edited as it is now.


I make the above statistical statement because some of my 50+ rejections contained those exact same words. :)

So, it ain't as bad as you think! I can't comment on your voice because I haven't seen any of your writing, but the fact that this agent isn't the right one is not the end of your writing career! And I certainly won't tell you that you should quit.

You're working on another book while you wait, right? :poke:You put your query through Query Letter Hell here onthe SYW boards, yes? You targeted agents through AgentQuery or a similar winnowing process, yes? How many queries are still out? How many requests for partials did you receive?

I've seen similar stories with your premise, but it's in the storytelling that your difference comes out, not the premise.

So have some chocolate and booze, whip the query into shape, and send it out again.

RoccoMom
06-12-2008, 09:50 PM
Bluestone, don't worry! Just keep at it.
It took me 11 years before I got an agent- and now subbing to the publishers brings even more rejections. You've just got to keep at it and keep writing. If one idea doens't work, keep trying others! My current ms has gone through 50 rewrites and I expect it'll go through more.

gettingby
06-12-2008, 09:55 PM
Bluestone - We all hate rejections. Knowing it is part of the process doesn't make it any easier. I have received so many rejections from agents who didn't love my work as much as they thought they would. Blah, blah, blah. I hate hearing that. But try to focus on the fact that your story is able to get enough attention through your query letter. Send out that query letter as many times as you can. If one agent has been interested, chances are others will be too. I have learned that I need to have a few agents reading requested material at the same time so if I get a pass from one, I still have other possibilities in the works. Good luck.

ink wench
06-12-2008, 10:00 PM
Sorry, Bluestone. Just remember it's only one person's opinion. This business is so subjective. In past couple months, I've read 2 NYT's bestsellers, and I could barely get through either of them - they just put me to sleep. Meanwhile, I think I've got this fabulous novel I'm agent-hunting for and I can't get a bite. :Shrug:

Unless you're consistently getting rejections on partials or fulls that say the same thing, nothing to do but shrug it off and keep querying. Good luck!

Bluestone
06-12-2008, 10:12 PM
You're working on another book while you wait, right? :poke:You put your query through Query Letter Hell here onthe SYW boards, yes? You targeted agents through AgentQuery or a similar winnowing process, yes? How many queries are still out? How many requests for partials did you receive?

I've seen similar stories with your premise, but it's in the storytelling that your difference comes out, not the premise.

So have some chocolate and booze, whip the query into shape, and send it out again.

I'm working on two other books actually - a sequel to this rejected MS and a non-fiction How To on the wine business. I haven't worked on the former in a while, because I have a full-time business, I was editing the first MS and started writing the How To, because I think there is a real market for this subject - and 75% of the books published are non-fiction!
I sent about 18 queries altogether. I've had about eight rejections from the 18. I have received only one other partial request so far this go round. I have not put my query through Query Hell! But have definitely gone through Agent Query with a fine tooth comb and researched every agent I considered submitting to, including cross checking their submission guidelines through their own sites.

Chocolate and Cabernet sound pretty good right now!


You also don't mention what genre--although I can imagine a few based on your premise. I don't think the premise is that done, but my first thought was that it may not be that timely. It's been a while since abortion clinic violence has really been in the news.


The genre is cozy/amateur sleuth murder mystery. The clinic owner is the one looking for the killer of her good friend/employee. There may not be as much publicized violence now, but the Bush years have strengthened some of the anti-choice laws and emboldened some of the more hard core activists. Not to get into a political discussion, but I felt it was still timely. However, we probably all feel that about our ideas and final work.

Red-Green
06-12-2008, 10:25 PM
I sent about 18 queries altogether. I've had about eight rejections from the 18. I have received only one other partial request so far this go round. I have not put my query through Query Hell!
...
There may not be as much publicized violence now...but I felt it was still timely. However, we probably all feel that about our ideas and final work.

Get thee to Query Hell. They really will help you. Both of my full requests have come since I submitted myself to the cruel lovely people over at Query Hell.

Unfortunately, "not much publicized violence" = "not timely" in most people's minds. As someone who volunteers at an abortion clinic, how I wish that weren't so. If it's not in the news, lots of people don't think about it. Of course, *cringe* that could change at any time.

Calla Lily
06-12-2008, 10:32 PM
And I work down the street from the office of the doctor who was shot in the head--in his own kitchen, while his family was in the living room--by an anti-abortion "God told me to do it" activist. Here in Bflo, we know he violence is still there. Stay safe, Red.

And we luuurves new meat writers in QLH. :e2teeth: Come into our parlor...

Bluestone
06-13-2008, 03:26 AM
Thanks very much, all. I will get me to Query Hell and see what can be wrought of my current query. And continue to persevere. I'm a believer in what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but I have developed a pretty substantial case of self-doubt these days too.

Appreciate the feedback and support.

JenWriter
06-13-2008, 03:42 AM
Only 18 queries? Send more! There's a girl in here who sent over a hundred for one book before landing an agent. And now she has a three-book deal! With a major house!

Bluestone
06-13-2008, 04:56 AM
Only 18 queries? Send more! There's a girl in here who sent over a hundred for one book before landing an agent. And now she has a three-book deal! With a major house!

You're right, I should. I guess I was so proud of myself for editing my baby for the billionth time, researching the agents so thoroughly and taking my time with the queries and submission guidelines, that even 18 took a lot out of me and it seemed like enough. Of course what is enough? Enough is when you get the agent. It's the way I always see sales (of any kind): the difference between success and failure is one more contact.

If that's not completely clear, I mean that there are people who give up and say they failed, when it could have been the next person they contacted to sell to (or query) that could have been the one they needed. So, I'm not giving up!

I think I just turned my dark mood around (with the help of several people on this thread). I could still go for chocolate and Cabernet, but I just might enjoy it a whole lot more right now, instead of drowning my sorrows.

HorsebackWriter
06-13-2008, 06:28 AM
{{{{{{{{ Bluestone }}}}}}}}

And, don't forget what it all means, rejection or not -- all the heart, hard work, and courage that goes into both writing and querying. Especially the courage. It's a very, very big deal.

You're on the right track, you're on the ladder climbing up. Keep climbing. We believe in you.

Em

Bluestone
06-13-2008, 07:54 AM
Thanks so much Donnettetxgirl and horsebackWriter.

This is an amazing place for like-minded support.