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kathleen_grant
12-09-2009, 04:00 PM
Okay, so yeah, I understand that a fantastic query letter can get agents to look over my writing, and I have gotten to that point in the past.

About a year ago, when I was going through my manuscript for any errors I may have missed when I was about to submit a partial to Jenny Bent, I realized that my writing was...

... well, crap.

So as a sort of experiment, I'd re-written the portion I was sending to Jenny, but I didn't just write this time--I created it from what I'd want to read as a reader.

A few days later, I got the nicest personal rejection:

"I’m sorry, this one wasn’t a good fit for me. You’re clearly talented but on a purely subjective level the voice doesn’t work for me."

I'd come to the conclusion that it was personal with the help of you all :) But now I'm worried that my MC just doesn't have the ideal voice anyone is looking for.

Renae (my MC) is a very confused girl who has never really had the opportunity to grow into the witty, perky, passionate person/voice everyone wants to know/read about. There are certain points in the story where her voice is stronger, but only when she is more comfortable.

I'm worried because the beginning of Night Willow doesn't start out with Renae's voice being overly... enthusiastic. It's sort of a depressing beginning, and I'm hoping that that's not what's affecting my chances.

But my sister who is an avid reader is super critical, and I had her read it and she loved it! (She even did this thing where when she reads an exciting part, she has to leave the computer and do a happy dance in another room.)

So I'm not bummed about my writing, nor am I bummed about my story, but I'm bummed that the beginning of the story is depressing and potentially gives agents the wrong impression about it.

:(

sheadakota
12-09-2009, 05:11 PM
Have you posted you first chapter in SYW?

kathleen_grant
12-09-2009, 05:21 PM
Have you posted you first chapter in SYW?

I'm sort of afraid to to be honest. Afraid of being told it's crap.

But maybe that's what I need...

In this case, would I post the prologue or first chapter?

Calla Lily
12-09-2009, 05:27 PM
If you start with the prologue, post that. I'll be happy to look at it when you do.

kellion92
12-09-2009, 05:36 PM
There isn't an ideal voice -- different voices will connect with different readers. But I have two questions: A) whether the first few pages of your ms match the rest of your voice, since you just rewrote them B) whether you could rewrite them again or otherwise bring in a more engaging beginning that would draw in readers who might appreciate the MC's growth but be turned off by her dourness at the start of the story.



I'm sort of afraid to to be honest. Afraid of being told it's crap.





Much better to get the low-risk criticism in SYW than to burn through agents, looking for feedback they won't be able to give you.

kathleen_grant
12-09-2009, 06:04 PM
Much better to get the low-risk criticism in SYW than to burn through agents, looking for feedback they won't be able to give you.

Good point.


I also wanted to let you all know that I posted my prologue under YA SYW, so if you wouldn't mind having a peek, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks again. And again... and again.

Nateskate
12-09-2009, 09:21 PM
Any sort of personal note is a plus. It means you're doing something right.

But here's the question. Is it the agent's tastes? Or do you need a new opening?

You would need more than one opinion. If four people read it and love it, then you might just need the right agent and publisher. If one out of five likes it, then maybe you should at least change the opening.

Some people like dark books.

kathleen_grant
12-09-2009, 09:51 PM
Any sort of personal note is a plus. It means you're doing something right.

But here's the question. Is it the agent's tastes? Or do you need a new opening?

You would need more than one opinion. If four people read it and love it, then you might just need the right agent and publisher. If one out of five likes it, then maybe you should at least change the opening.

Some people like dark books.

Thanks Nateskate.

Yeah Callalily commented on my prologue saying it really wasn't necessary... and you know what, she is 100% right. I think that may have been my submissions problem. They read the prologue and they think "Well that was babble on about everything we can assume simply as we read the story."

So, sure, that cuts off about 2K from the book, but I don't care. It's worth it.

Thanks for the insight everyone!

kuatolives
12-09-2009, 10:40 PM
'Voice' is just a general buzz-word agents use to reject something. It's just a non-offensive way of quickly brushing off a piece of work for any of a million reasons. Don't do re-writes based on this.

ania
12-12-2009, 07:00 AM
It is all very subjective, and not something to worry about. I had an agent actually call me (talk about stress, as everyone said agents only call when they want to sign you) to tell me she loved my writing, but hated my MC.

Now, readers my age, identify with the MC. The agent was of a different generation, and she said that she wouldn't tolerate a friend like my MC. Well, I guess that's her preference.

CK Matthews
12-23-2009, 09:29 PM
Ease up on the panic button. Just take a few breaths and relax.

While I think it's nice that you have a sister who loves to read, I think you need to expand your readership. It's not that your sister isn't qualified; however, before you make changes, definitely get a bigger sample group. I'm looking forward to reading your sample.