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3Dynamic
11-06-2012, 12:36 PM
Hello all,

About a six weeks ago I posted, asking if an agent ever accepted a half done work. Despite the advice I received, I decided to query an agent anyway. This one was from a place called Writer's House. (I will protect anonymity and not say the name). Anyway, he declined with the email below.

I am now trying to decide what to do next. When I posted last time, some people thought I was desperate for an advance. I am not. I am about to start a major engineering project while here on sabbatical in Norway. What I must decide now is now to focus the little time I have in the day. On the one hand, I could query other agents. Or I could self publish. But what I will not do is change the weaved voice in the story.

I am not a writer. I am a professor of mechanical engineering. I have only seen one query letter - my own (maybe I should have looked at others). And now I know only one rejection, my own. I just do not know how to interpret this rejection. Is he being kind and does he really think "Dude, this is junk, get back to work" Or do agents write stuff like this. Why would he say nice things if he declines? Was he just trying to get out of it nicely? Do they do that?

Could I ask what you would do? I am so sorry for the long post. I am 55 years old and have never written fiction before and I do not know your culture.

-----------------------------------------

Thanks so much for sending your novel along last month. Wherever you are, I hope that Sandy spared you and yours, and that you’re safe and sound…

It was a strange thing, as you can probably imagine, to sit down this weekend and take a closer look at your story (though I promise I don’t think you used voodoo to cause an actual hurricane to hit NY to match the one in your book that did the same). But it was the enjoyable version of strange—there’s a lot going on in this novel, but what rose to the top for me (and for most of your readers, I’d imagine) was your portrait of the impossible efforts being made by Marco and Thomas to stay father and son, stay loving family members, stay a part of the family they belonged to when Marco’s mother and Thomas’s wife was still a part of it, when there was more obvious promise.



You showed a remarkable amount of sensitivity, and ease with that sort of especially emotional language…it’s so easy to come off sounding maudlin or worse, but your writing rang true, as did their relationship, and it felt like quite a feat. Ultimately, though, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t find myself connecting as wholeheartedly with the other legs of the novel, that is to say, the more thriller-ish aspects of the story that gave the book its shape (the violence overseas, the gangsters, the drug trafficking, etc.) They showed a tremendous amount of imagination (the entire set-piece of the hurricane and the unexpected wildlife of the river is brilliant and wonderfully dramatic, seems to me), but for some reason I can’t quite put into words (though it’s no doubt entirely subjective, and most likely much to do with my own habits as a reader), that half of the book left me yearning for the other half of the book.



But it’s all part and parcel, of course, and all that means is I’m not the right agent for you…it means nothing else, and I can absolutely imagine any number of agents leaping at the opportunity here. In the end, I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to see your work, and I hope and expect nothing but the best of luck for you! Just a few parting thoughts…I really do think you’ve got something here, and I just worry that some agents won’t immediately take your query as seriously as they should because of the title…however appropriate it is (and it seems amazingly appropriate), that title was just too popular and is still too well-known to not mess with your intended effect, and I can’t imagine a single publisher not wanting to (rather, NEEDING to, in order to pitch the book to retailers effectively) change it to something else. I’d hate to think that the perfect agent for you out there somewhere would stop himself from requesting your novel because of the signal sent by the title!



And lastly, I really and truly can imagine an agent falling for your novel as is, but if for some reason you end up pondering a larger re-write, or pondering future works, I thought the first person voice you achieved for Marco in this book was really special, and out-shined the third person sections in a few ways…that feels like a real strength of yours, the way you connected with Marco’s character and to the reader without any separation, and if there were somehow a way to make your story all first-person (multiple first-person narrators? The mix of one first-person narrator and other third-person sections felt a bit distracting and unfair to me!) I think you’d be able to achieve that emotional immediacy throughout the entire book, and not have it feel like two too-noticeably-distinct parts of a whole.

In any event! I’m sorry to ramble on, and I want to thank you again for giving me a shot at your really striking work…Godspeed, good sir!

3Dynamic
11-06-2012, 12:43 PM
Oh, briefly... I did not submit the half done work. I raced to conclusions and submitted one that is 78,000 words. But maybe I should have removed a few commas. I have a problem with commas. Or maybe it really is junk. I cannot deduce a thing from this letter. I do not know this discipline.

Theo81
11-06-2012, 12:58 PM
In my opinion, it is a stupid thing to query an unfinished work. What were you going to do if they asked for the full MS? Write it in a week? Write back and tell them its not done?

In my opinion, it is a double stupid thing to query an unfinished work when you are obviously a writer of considerable talent and I am hugely grateful on your behalf that this agent took the time to write this reply to you.

Make no mistake: they are NOT trying to spare your feelings.

This is NOT a standard reply.

A standard reply is a form rejection: "Thankyou for sending me your work. While I enjoyed it, I do not feel I am the right agent for this. Good luck with your future endeavours."

This is something personal, that they have taken the time to write to you because they think you have something good. Agents do not do this unless you are worth doing it to.

You have been given a massively valuable (and honest) critique. Think carefully about it while you finish your novel and whether you feel any of the points are valid and whether you want to act on them.

Now, finish the novel. Let the squirrels at your query. Then, and only then, get querying. It is as he says - he is simply not the right agent for that book. I've started reading dozens of books which, while very good indeed, just weren't what I want to read.

One rejection means nothing.

A rejection with this amount of feedback means LOTS. Please, don't do yourself the disservice of letting your MS get lost in the self-publishing pool without querying it properly.

Good luck.

Polenth
11-06-2012, 01:07 PM
Short translation: This isn't for him, but he thinks it could use some editing. Especially to strengthen the thriller aspects and the third person parts.

You could self-publish or continue querying it as a rushed novel, but you'll only be hurting yourself. It's clear the agent thought there was potential, so you have a chance of making it. Don't throw it away because you were in a hurry.

3Dynamic
11-06-2012, 01:17 PM
OK, I agree it was idiotic. In the engineering textbook world we do this. I just thought you people did it too.


Also (now you are really going to think I am an idiot), I submitted the partial work and over the course of one month kept sending revisions. It is done now as I want it done. That is my point. I may pay for an editor, but it is done And he read the done one.

So finally, what do you mean by
"Let the squirrels at your query"


First, you are an idiot for querying an unfinished work. What were you going to do if they asked for the full MS? Write it in a week? Write back and tell them its not done?

Second, you are a double idiot for querying an unfinished work when you are obviously a writer of considerable talent and I am hugely grateful on your behalf that this agent took the time to write this reply to you.

Make no mistake: they are NOT trying to spare your feelings.

This is NOT a standard reply.

A standard reply is a form rejection: "Thankyou for sending me your work. While I enjoyed it, I do not feel I am the right agent for this. Good luck with your future endeavours."

This is something personal, that they have taken the time to write to you because they think you have something good. Agents do not do this unless you are worth doing it to.

You have been given a massively valuable (and honest) critique. Think carefully about it while you finish your novel and whether you feel any of the points are valid and whether you want to act on them.

Now, finish the novel. Let the squirrels at your query. Then, and only then, get querying. It is as he says - he is simply not the right agent for that book. I've started reading dozens of books which, while very good indeed, just weren't what I want to read.

One rejection means nothing.

A rejection with this amount of feedback means LOTS. Please, don't do yourself the disservice of letting your MS get lost in the self-publishing pool without querying it properly.

Good luck.

Terie
11-06-2012, 01:33 PM
OK, I agree it was idiotic. In the engineering textbook world we do this. I just thought you people did it too.

Oh, nice. We fiction writers are 'you people'. Thanks.

Also, the most minimal research would've told you that fiction is queried differently from non-fiction. According to your first post in this thread, you even did the research and then disregarded it. That's not quite the same thing as making an error out of plain ignorance.



Also (now you are really going to think I am an idiot), I submitted the partial work and over the course of one month kept sending revisions. It is done now as I want it done. That is my point. I may pay for an editor, but it is done And he read the done one.

So what the heck is your question? Your next step is clearly indicated in the fantastic rejection letter: query more agents. I have no idea how you could glean anything other than that out of the agent's extremely clear comments.



So finally, what do you mean by "Let the squirrels at your query"

That means putting your query letter through Query Letter Hell. Except you need 50 posts before you can do that.


Here's the thing. You've been given very clear direction from people here (who said 'don't query unfinished fiction') and from an agent who wrote a rejection letter that most writers would be thrilled to get and actually tells you what to do, and yet you can't figure out what to do next.

What do you want from us?

You ignore advice you're given and act as if you can't parse out what the agent said. (I don't actually think you're incapable of understanding such clear and simple prose, just that you're acting as if you don't.)

So, in light of these things, what the hell can anyone here do for you?

Why not just do exactly what the agent suggested: send out more queries?

Oh, and as a final bit of advice, don't refer to your peers as 'you people'. Duh.

3Dynamic
11-06-2012, 01:44 PM
Sorry... I actually meant "you people" as a mark of distinction, honor and respect. I did not mean it in a bad way.

Your world seems so much more fun than mine. I hope to join "you people"'s club one day.



Oh, nice. We fiction writers are 'you people'. Thanks.

Also, the most minimal research would've told you that fiction is queried differently from non-fiction. According to your first post in this thread, you even did the research and then disregarded it. That's not quite the same thing as making an error out of plain ignorance.




So what the heck is your question? Your next step is clearly indicated in the fantastic rejection letter: query more agents. I have no idea how you could glean anything other than that out of the agent's extremely clear comments.




That means putting your query letter through Query Letter Hell. Except you need 50 posts before you can do that.


Here's the thing. You've been given very clear direction from people here (who said 'don't query unfinished fiction') and from an agent who wrote a rejection letter that most writers would be thrilled to get and actually tells you what to do, and yet you can't figure out what to do next.

What do you want from us?

You ignore advice you're given and act as if you can't parse out what the agent said. (I don't actually think you're incapable of understanding such clear and simple prose, just that you're acting as if you don't.)

So, in light of these things, what the hell can anyone here do for you?

Why not just do exactly what the agent suggested: send out more queries?

Oh, and as a final bit of advice, don't refer to your peers as 'you people'. Duh.

waylander
11-06-2012, 02:24 PM
As others have said this is a long way from a standard response from an agent in one of the powerhouse agencies. I would advise you to look very carefully at the advice they have given and see if any of it strikes you as something you agree with as a way to improve the work. And come up with a new title.

3Dynamic
11-06-2012, 02:54 PM
Sorry everyone. I suppose I see it now. The letter is good.

My hope was that, despite all the advice, it would still work out.

It came down to this. I have a massively stressful job and now, on top of it, was offered a consulting project with lots of money. I was hoping to convince my wife that we really did not need it. I wanted to focus on this. I really had hoped the agent would say "nice, now let me help you fix it." Then I could have asked my wife to let me slide on the other project. I was hoping to see here something else. I have a decision to make

DeaK
11-06-2012, 03:07 PM
If you want this agent thing to work out you're going to have to put some more time into it. Consider the comments in the Writer's House agent's reply, consider whether you agree and whether you want to change the book based on the comments. Then query more agents. You can query a handful at a time.

I haven't read your writing, so I don't know if I think it's any good, but I respect agent feedback, and the feedback you got is telling me your writing is quite good, and you should definitely keep trying to get published if you have that aspiration.

Good luck!

Terie
11-06-2012, 03:26 PM
Sorry everyone. I suppose I see it now. The letter is good.

My hope was that, despite all the advice, it would still work out.

It came down to this. I have a massively stressful job and now, on top of it, was offered a consulting project with lots of money. I was hoping to convince my wife that we really did not need it. I wanted to focus on this. I really had hoped the agent would say "nice, now let me help you fix it." Then I could have asked my wife to let me slide on the other project. I was hoping to see here something else. I have a decision to make

You need to do a lot more research on how publishing fiction works.

Agents don't help you fix your novel. They sell a ready-to-submit novel to a publisher, whose editors work on any changes required. Although some agents will work on improving a manuscript with a writer, not all do, and even when they do, the manuscript must be pretty close to submission ready to start with.

If you got an agent tomorrow and they sold your book the next day, you wouldn't be seeing substantial money for years, if ever. Advances are typically broken into two, three, or four chunks paid at intervals that can be months or even years apart.

Frankly, I'm not convinced you want anything from us, since you keep ignoring pretty much everything we say. Like the way you did on your previous thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254799). I notice that after starting that thread, you never replied. Your track record here doesn't show you to be someone interested in learning, so I wonder why you even ask questions.

I also find it astonishing that someone with a non-fiction publishing background does such poor research.

3Dynamic
11-06-2012, 03:31 PM
And I can only apologize again. I never responded to the first one because I was a bit discombobulated by some responses. I should have had the same skin I have in my other work. Also, immediately after that, my project doubled in size. And, I did correspond with a few people one on one as I did not want to waste bandwidth on my issue.

Anyway, sorry again. As I explained... normally I can wrap things up well and get the hang of it. But there is way too much going on right now (My wife and I are thinking of my dropping tenure in the US and permanently moving here to Norway... way too much stress right now... sorry if I offended you.)


You need to do a lot more research on how publishing fiction works.

Agents don't help you fix your novel. They sell a ready-to-submit novel to a publisher, whose editors work on any changes required. Although some agents will work on improving a manuscript with a writer, not all do, and even when they do, the manuscript must be pretty close to submission ready to start with.

If you got an agent tomorrow and they sold your book the next day, you wouldn't be seeing substantial money for years, if ever. Advances are typically broken into two, three, or four chunks paid at intervals that can be months or even years apart.

Frankly, I'm not convinced you want anything from us, since you keep ignoring pretty much everything we say. Like the way you did on your previous thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254799). I notice that after starting that thread, you never replied. Your track record here doesn't show you to be someone interested in learning, so I wonder why you even ask questions.

I also find it astonishing that someone with a non-fiction publishing background does such poor research.

Stacia Kane
11-06-2012, 04:14 PM
3Dynamic, this is a lovely, personalized rejection. This agent obviously thinks you're a fine writer but felt some parts of the story were stronger than others.

My advice is to set both rejection and ms aside for a while (after sending the agent a heartfelt thank-you for his time and his comments; don't ask questions in the thank-you, just say how much you appreciate his time and comments, and how much you hope he and his are all doing okay after Sandy). Give it, say, three weeks or so at least. Then sit down and reread the ms straight through, and then reread the rejection. See if perhaps it makes more sense to you. Remember, one of the problems with being a writer is learning to see what's actually on the page and not what we wanted to put on the page. :) This is why setting the mss aside for a while is a good idea; it gives you time to "forget" what's there, and see it more clearly.

At that point you can edit some more, or query some more, or whatever. But I do recommend you set both aside right now. And really the timing is perfect, since not much is going on in NY at the moment with the hurricane recovery. Publishing is a very slow business anyway, but perhaps knowing people are focused on other things will help you take the time away, if you know what I mean.

I don't think you need a professional editor. Learning to self-edit is an important part of the job of a professional novelist, and it sounds like your work is good enough that you don't need to pay for feedback anyway.

Just set it aside and focus on something else for a bit, so you can come back to it with fresh eyes.

I hope that helps.

quicklime
11-06-2012, 05:29 PM
3D,

You've kind of had your ass handed to you in this thread. To be honest, you've deserved it; you came here, in both threads, with a stunning level of naivete and a sort of determination to read your own reality into the situation instead of examining it for what it is, which is a bit ironic with what you say about your day job. So, you've deserved what you've gotten. On the flip side, you've also handled it with far more grace than most newbies manage, so I give you considerable credit for not flouncing in an overly dramatic attempt to defend the indefensible.

Here's the thing: If you want to write this, fix it and keep plugging away. If not, don't. But your wife's urging you to take a second project and you don't want to, you need to decide if you guys have enough money without the second, if the money isn't worth the stress, etc. based on the rest of your life, not the writing thing......because that money isn't coming fast, if ever. If you try to rush the writing to beat deciding on the project, you're just going to diminish your chances by rushing it.

Do this once, and do it right--you can do the work quickly, or do it well. It sounds as though you have quite a bit of potential, but you still gotta do the same hoops everyone else does, and this is NOT a fast process. So make your real-life decisions based on real-life, and hope for the writing thing to work out, but don't bet the farm on it......especially if you need money in the near future.


As a side note, you may want to look at "average" advance rates per book, and see if that's anywhere near enough to counter your second project's money. And again, decide if you need the extra money from the second project in the first place, and make that decision on its own, not with the "but maybe I can offset it with publishing income" because everyone hopes so, but the odds are long--if you're that unhappy you may want to consider other means of escape as well.

3Dynamic
11-06-2012, 05:53 PM
3D,
If you try to rush the writing to beat deciding on the project, you're just going to diminish your chances by rushing it.
.


Well you just went right to the beating heart of the issue, didn't you?

Yep, that is about it in a nutshell.

OK... I will do as Stacia Kane says (thank you) and set is aside for a few weeks.

And a double thanks to Terie... was hard hearing, but yes there was a lunacy driving me. Quicklime saw it. But thanks, Terie, for the cold water. (I wasted a few years seeing therapists when I was younger... should'a seen you.)

Truth be told, I cannot let the story go. I will find a way. I suppose my mode of operation was to get a few slaps. Sorry again for taking all your time. You people... sorry (could not resist that one)... You all have a lot at stake too and I suppose I disrespected that in my fear and anxiety (and in the reality that the work ain't over).

Jamesaritchie
11-06-2012, 06:19 PM
It's a good letter, a personalized letter, and means the agent liked your writing. But it also means he didn't like it enough to take it on, and any rejection means you just move on to the next agent.

Take comfort in knowing one agent did like your writing, but stop trying to interpret rejection letters. Unless asked for a rewrite, a reject stays a rejection, however nice the wording. Just move on to the next agent, and get back to business.

Bufty
11-06-2012, 06:37 PM
Good luck, 3Dynamic - I'm sure you'll make the right decision, based on the calm, cool, collected way you've reacted to straight-from-the-shoulder responses that would have thrown other less-minded individuals into flouncing tantrums. :snoopy:

Phaeal
11-06-2012, 10:41 PM
Sorry, I'm still laughing at "a place called Writer's House." That's kind of like "this baseball team called the Yankees." :D

I second Stacia's advice and will only add that your novel won't run away if you have to take another job for a while. Patience, my young Padawan. Also, you need to savor getting a big-time agent to write such a detailed letter on a rejected novel -- this is a very, very, very rare event and indicates that he was impressed by your work.

If you revise the book addressing his issues, you could always write him and ask if he wants to look at it again. If yes, great. If no, nothing lost.

And yes! Write him a thank you note right away! The time he took analyzing your book was money to him.

thothguard51
11-06-2012, 11:07 PM
3...

Just an observation and a little friendly advice...

If you don't want the consulting job with the big $$$, don't take it. But please do not expect the novel you are working on to make up the $$$ lost in the consulting job. If you are serious about writing, it will still be there when you get back to a less stressful life.

Good luck on whatever you do...

Kallithrix
11-08-2012, 03:02 AM
It came down to this. I have a massively stressful job and now, on top of it, was offered a consulting project with lots of money.

Take the money and run, dude!

Seriously, the novel will still be there in a month, 6 months, 2 years - and a decent paying job now could give you the breathing room to finish it later.

Man, I wish I had your problem...

Rise2theTop
11-08-2012, 03:39 AM
No...This does not compute.

First things first. HOW in the AF is this acceptable here at AW???

First, it is a stupid thing to query an unfinished...

Second, it is a double stupid thing to query....

The punch in the face is this>>> Last edited by Theo81; Today at 03:51 AM. Reason: There's no need to insult the bloke.

WOW, really? I mean REALLY??? Sorry...not acceptable to me.

I know the post was well intended, however, at all times wordage should be handled with care. And while I'm not a 'coddler', will tell it like it is, being flat out rude, callous-- especially to new members, is a big no-no in my book. One can convey the message and not put the OP in a situation that could elicit a flame war with just a little thought, compassion. Yeah...

Kudo's to those that handled their responses in a dignified, helpful way.

And most of all, I applaud 3Dynamic for taking that *f* with as much dignity as one could.

3Dynamic
11-08-2012, 10:40 AM
Rise2theTop:

Thank you for your kind words. I should say, in defense of Theo, that s/he messaged me. We communicated and s/he invited me to forward my query letter.

I can see now how truly bad that was and how fortunate I was to even get that one reading. Under his/her advice, I cut the query letter from... gulp... (you really are going to see me as loopy) 900 words, down to 280.

In reality, I flew in here like a bat out of hell. Like Terie said, I did ignore the advice from my first posting, so I cannot fault anyone for strong language with a second posting which, in one sense, seemed pointless.

And I suppose one must learn the ropes somehow.

As I explained to Theo in a message last night, just writing that query letter revealed a better title to me. So that issue is now solved. I am going to ignore the agent advice on the multiple voices. It must stand that way.

Incidentally, I did take the advice and thanked the agent. He emailed back again to me and told me exactly where he faulted in reading it. He advised me to fix that chapter.

I informed him that I would not send it again to him as I am not going to address the voices issue. (I also think he misunderstood the issue of the thriller parts - they were not intended to drive plot; they were intended to drive the theme. So I will not fix that either, but I will strengthen the segues... not much work there. And if I fail in securing representation, then maybe will set it aside and make the thriller parts support plot next summer.)

So thanks again everyone. As you can imagine, there is too much to do for me to post regularly here. So there is no way I will reach 50 posts to exploit the query squirrels.

So thanks again everyone.




No...This does not compute.

First things first. HOW in the AF is this acceptable here at AW???

First, it is a stupid thing to query an unfinished...

Second, it is a double stupid thing to query....

The punch in the face is this>>> Last edited by Theo81; wToday at 03:51 AM. Reason: There's no need to insult the bloke.

WOW, really? I mean REALLY??? Sorry...not acceptable to me.

While the rest of the post was fine, and I'm sure well intended, this is not. And I'm not a 'coddler', will tell it like it is, but this was flat out rude, callous-- especially to a new member. One could have conveyed the message and not put the OP in a situation that could elicit a flame war with just a little thought, compassion. Yeah...

Kudo's to those that handled their responses in a dignified, much more helpful way.

And most of all, I applaud 3Dynamic for taking that *f* with as much dignity as one could.

Stacia Kane
11-08-2012, 03:36 PM
Incidentally, I did take the advice and thanked the agent. He emailed back again to me and told me exactly where he faulted in reading it. He advised me to fix that chapter.

I informed him that I would not send it again to him as I am not going to address the voices issue. (I also think he misunderstood the issue of the thriller parts - they were not intended to drive plot; they were intended to drive the theme. So I will not fix that either, but I will strengthen the segues... not much work there. And if I fail in securing representation, then maybe will set it aside and make the thriller parts support plot next summer.)




Wow.

So much for taking some time off, then re-reading and re-considering the advice. Much better to just burn that bridge.



Rise2theTop: If you feel a post has crossed a line, please feel free to use the Report button and alert a moderator. The Report button is that little exclamation point inside the red triangle, to the left, beneath the username etc. of the person who posted it. It's much better, generally, to let a mod handle it rather than arguing in-thread. We do look at all reported posts, and take whatever action is deemed necessary (although this is often done back-channel, as it were, so it may seem no action was taken, but that doesn't mean it wasn't).

bearilou
11-08-2012, 04:33 PM
Wow, 3D, what a wild ride so far.

I understand the desperate drive behind what happened. I sympathize, I really do.

I have to echo what quicklime said about the timing for writing. You can't do anything 'fast' in this business and the money certainly doesn't come back to you fast either.

It'll be hard to take on this project to get you money, especially if it is time-consuming and stressful. You do have two choices, as put forth buried in the comments.

Take the project, put the ms aside until the project is done, then go back to it and push up your sleeves to get to work.

Use your writing for your down time on the project. At some point, any stressful endeavor will require down time for your brain or you'll go bonkers. Use that time to work on your ms. Just a little bit every day can help and you'll see progress. It may be slow, but it'll be progress.

In any case, I wish you much luck!

Filigree
11-08-2012, 06:50 PM
What Bearilou said, 3D. You've had one agent's opinion on your work. He didn't have to say anything, but something about your writing prompted him to elaborate. This is an agent with Writers' House. Whether you agree with his opinions or not, you need to understand how rare, positive, and hopeful that personalized rejection truly was.

It should tell you two things: your skill level is high enough to attract important notice, and certain details about your structure and technique raised doubts in a commercially-active literary agent.

Publishing moves at such a slow pace, you could sign with an agent tomorrow and see no money for years - if ever (if the book cannot be placed.)

The novel won't wither on the vine. If anything, if you take your time on it and use it as stress relief for your 'real' job, the novel will be stronger and tighter. Don't rush this. It likely won't end well if you do.

Learn from this experience, and from whatever jobs you take in far away places - right now, money in the bank may be better for your ultimate creativity than months of struggle and internal doubt. Validation in one field tends to help in other areas, too.

You could be far closer than you think to a really good agency and/or publishing experience. Many of us go for years without getting a rejection letter - or two! - personalized to that degree.

Susan Littlefield
11-08-2012, 06:51 PM
My interpretation:

Darn good story but not for me. Keep sending those query letters out. :D

Ms_Sassypants
11-21-2012, 07:02 AM
If I ever receive a rejection letter like that from an well-established agent, I would be smiling in my sleep for weeks!

You are so blessed to be given that opportunity to improve (and I hope you take it - LEARN and revise). If someone tells me, straight to the point, what needs fixing in my manuscript (and even had the kindness to actually finish reading it in the first place), I would be forever grateful and revise on their suggestions!

I am surprised that you didn't take the agent's advice for improvements. Perhaps, one thing, about becoming "us people" is to learn to use your reader mind, instead of the writer mind. We get so caught up in our story that we refuse to see the bigger picture - what the reader sees - so do take the generous advice that was given by everyone.

Good luck with the writing! Thank you for being humble despite being pelted with stones, lol. Keep us updated!

Eric Smart
11-21-2012, 08:17 AM
Hi 3Dynamic,
Be very positive about the reply from the agent. I have never seen, or heard of, such a long and detailed rejection. At least the agent read more than the first few pages. It shows you've definitely got something there - it just needs tweaking. Most writers do multiple revisions to get their story as good as it can possibly be. I suggest You read some books on writing that may clear the fog. I found Writing The Breakout Novel by Donald Maas and How To Grow A Novel by Sol Stein helped me immensely when I was starting out. Also I would advise that you Google the agent to check how an approach to them should be made. I'm surprised that the agent accepted half a manuscript.
I'd be interested to read some of the story to give you feedback.
Eric