View Full Version : Discouraged before Rejection

08-24-2005, 08:30 PM

Maybe you read my post in "Agents", where I was so excited because agents were interested in my work?

Well, I figured I'd send my ms for a quick spin around my critique group, just to give it that little extra shine before whooshing my first three chapters off to Ms. and Mr. Important Agents.

How does this comment strike you, from someone who read only the first three chapters: "If I were you, I'd start your story off on chapter 3. If I picked this up at the library, I wouldn't be able to suffer through the beginning in order to get to the good stuff."


And I wanted to bring people joy, entertainment with my writing...not suffering. Grrr.

Now I don't know what to do. Do I make those changes? Do I just send it out anyway so that the agents can laugh in my face? Do I run screaming from the computer?

Come to think of it, my writing really does suck. *sigh*

08-24-2005, 08:37 PM
Now, Now. One person's comment does not s crisis make. What did your other Betas say? Worst case scenario, they liked the book AFTER chapter three. Does the action start slow? Does the beginning need revved up? Don't get discouraged over one persons coment. Post chapter one and let your fellow AWers help. Don't run anywahere yet. I would get some more feedback though before sending to an agent. You only get one shot with them and you want your best possible work out there!

Keep going!!!

08-24-2005, 09:04 PM
Calm thy self newbie...it'll be ok.

Now, I assume you asked this person to crit your work because you respect his/her opinion. I will also assume this crit wasn't meant to be malicious or cruel, but to help you in bettering your work (if that's not the case, then maybe this person is just a jerk). What did your other critters say? Did they say it stared slow? If they didn't say one way or antoher, ask them. Did this critter tell you why, what was it about those chapters that dragged? If not, ask; if so, re-examine your work with a critical eye and see if this critter has a point.

If the general opinion is that it is slow, it's best to do serious revisions. If not, then it's up to you what to do. What bummer timing though. Hope it all works out for you.

And we all runaway screaming from our computers at one point, and that's fine, as long as you come stomping back, determined to make the ms the best dang writing you can. (High doses of caffine help)

08-27-2005, 03:02 PM
I am in total agreement with those who posted before me -- actually, a bit miffed that they got all the good points in before I had a chance to do so myself!
;) Only kidding! (Great minds think alike, right?)

So, rather than repeat those good points, let me say that figuring where/when to open/start off one's novel is one of the toughest parts of writing the d*mn thing!

You need to grab the reader (especially when the reader is an agent you want to represent you) from the first line -- first paragraph, at the latest. Otherwise, the reader sighs, looks at the stack of other material to be read, and never gets to that slam/bam! wonderful chapter three.:Lecture:

So, your critical friend from the writing group is actually doing you a great favor -- you MUST focus on the question of where to open the story, or the story won't be read (no matter how much work you put into the other elements, such as characterization, dialogue, etc).

Open up in the middle of the action -- with some element that isn't run-of-the-mill, that makes your following story stand out from the crowd (of submissions) ...

And good luck! :Thumbs: I'm wrestling with this question myself at the moment for my sequel.

[Well, I'm actually trying to avoid wrestling with this question :flag: by reading AW and trying to fit as many emoticoms in a posting as possible!]

08-28-2005, 05:12 PM
Have you tried putting it aside for a few months and working on something else? Then you can come back with fresh eyes, read it again and if you find yourself skimming through the first few chapters, cut them ruthlessly out and start where the action is.

Good luck.

08-28-2005, 06:23 PM
To brainstrains,

Yesterday, I spent the majority of my day battling Frustration. By the time I went to bed, I was drained. Defeat for the moment.

Today, I will destroy Frustration with the sword of Determination. This sword, as mighty and as legendary as Excalibur, can be found in the rock of everyone's soul. I am about to journey there, to my rock, where I will retrieve my sword.

Odd are the ways of internal war. I am grateful for enemies such as Frustration. They provoke the warrior spirit in me. These enemies are the means by which I carry on and accomplish my goals. Without them, I would not move.

If you think your writing sucks, you should read some of mine. My mind is "convoluted". This word, "convoluted", was the least cruel word used to describe me by a multitude of hatemongers. I dare not share other descriptions I have received. The words are much too sickening to divulge.

Because of the way I write, I have been torn to pieces by human cruelty. I spent a long period of time in hell. It was the Rape of My Muse by many demons. Now, I am in the process of healing. She is wild, my muse. Very much untamed and perhaps a bit uncivilized but she is no hatemonger.

You may be in the midst of a personal war but look around you. There is much support at your service. If writing is something you really want to do then do not allow demons, personal or otherwise, to defeat you.

Journey to the rock that is your soul. Take up arms and retrieve your sword. We will be here to support, encourage and guide you.


08-30-2005, 07:51 PM
Thank you!

Guys, based on all your suggestions, I sent it to a couple of other people to look at, then I put it away for awhile. When I went over their comments, I had my sanity back. I was easily able to go and trim and I think I made it a lot better.

I just sent it to the agents. They may hate it, but at least I feel comforting knowing I did my best. I'll let you know how it goes.


08-30-2005, 08:37 PM
Excellent news! I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed for you but I need my eyes to see straight. :)