View Full Version : I'm Ugly

07-19-2007, 12:28 AM
That's my conclusion/metaphor, or metaphor/conclusion, take your pick. I just made this remark to a friend in a woe-is-me email following (yet another) rejection.

When an agent tells me the writing is strong or solid but that they didn't connect with the writing or voice, it's the most discouraging thing to hear. Hooray, my prose is technically and grammatically sound! Oh but wait, I can't write in such a way that actually appeals to or interests anyone. Obviously.

Plot, pacing, characterization--these can be fixed. Connecting to the reader and voice? That's as much "me" as anything else, and there's only so much range--pun not intended--a writer's voice can have.

I feel ugly. As a writer.

07-19-2007, 12:29 AM
You've got a fantastic username though. :)

07-19-2007, 01:49 AM
Hi Pisarz - Have you posted anything in Share Your Work here on AW? If you have, did anyone mention voice and reader connection? If you haven't posted in SYW, why don't you put up a post and specifically ask for comments about connecting to the reader and voice. My thoughts. Puma

Celia Cyanide
07-19-2007, 01:55 AM
You've got a fantastic username though. :)

And your thread title is rockin'!

07-19-2007, 02:20 AM
Piz, you might not reach them, but that doesn't mean you won't reach another reader. I personally don't believe that there is a writer's voice that can't connect with ANY readership - it's a matter of opinion. For a start, you got me hooked with the thread and I've no probs connecting with the writing therein! And you have a solid base in the writing itself, which is not to be sneezed at.

(I've just written the phrase 'not to be sneezed at'. It's time I went to bed).

07-19-2007, 02:57 AM
I think it's less of "you're ugly" and more of a "he's just not that into you". Yes yes I know, little comfort, but really as everyone else has said, it's a matter of taste. And if it makes you feel any better it's obvious their taste sucks. End of.

Calla Lily
07-19-2007, 02:59 AM
Pisarz, I know you're terrific--inside and out. ::hug::

Bo Sullivan
07-19-2007, 03:04 AM
There is something for everyone. Keep writing and you will find an audience.

07-19-2007, 05:56 AM
Aw, you're gorgeous. :Hug2:

It sounds like this agent just had a tin ear for your kind of music. But keep on playing, and you'll eventually find an audience.

(this has been another edition of Strained Metaphors From Tired Writers)

07-19-2007, 06:22 AM
Just think of all the books you put down (even if you paid cash) because you couldn't "connect with the story or characters"....then, when you picked the same book up again when you weren't so tired, or distracted, or whatever and suddenly the book was "better" even held your interest...this happens to me all the time.

But if you're an agent, you have to be "on" all the time...Frankly it would fry my brain...so I really suggest this not connecting thing be heard more as an all purpose rejection...than anything to try and draw feedback from...

just a thought...

07-19-2007, 06:52 AM
Plot, pacing, characterization--these can be fixed. Connecting to the reader and voice? That's as much "me" as anything else, and there's only so much range--pun not intended--a writer's voice can have.

Your voice has range. http://www.smileyarena.com/emoticons/Main/Music/singing3.gif Maybe the agent can't hear your high notes.

07-19-2007, 07:19 AM
At least you don't smell bad. And your mom doesn't dress you funny anymore, does she?

Just Me 2021
07-19-2007, 04:25 PM
Pisarz! You are BEAUTIFUL (I've seen a picture of you, too, so I know what I'm talking about!) and your writing is also. You just haven't connected with the right agent yet, that's all. You are talented and creative, and you have great ideas and more brains stuffed into that pretty head of yours than most of us would know what to do with.

No more self-abusive talk allowed today. (Though the thread title is funny and caught my eye...)

ink wench
07-19-2007, 04:40 PM
Seems to me 'connection' is part of the publishing process where luck comes in. It's absolutely out of a writer's control. We all know how it is to connect or not connect with a story but we can't do anything about it. In a way though, that's better than having problems with plot, pacing, etc. because it means you're not doing something wrong. (Although I can totally see how it would be far more frustrating.)

Sorry you're going through this, and here's hoping your luck changes for the better soon! May your story connect with an agent like two legos snapping together. :)

Soccer Mom
07-19-2007, 07:44 PM
Didn't we have an "I'm gonna go eat worms" thread at some point?

I know the feeling. You aren't ugly. You just need a shower.

And some chocolate.


07-19-2007, 08:05 PM
Thank you, everyone. You have been so, so kind in your responses. I truly appreciate it. Root for me to get an agent and get published so I can give a shout-out to AW in the Acknowledgements.

I got a request for material yesterday. I'm sending it out with "Will the voice kill it?" in my head, but with this thread in mind, I'm telling myself that "Maybe they'll love the voice and everything else" is just as legitimate a thought. (Kinda sorta. I still don't feel pretty, just a little less ugly).

I'm off to Switzerland, Germany, and Austria in a few days. Virtual Swiss chocolate for everyone when I return. :)

Susan B
07-19-2007, 08:27 PM
Have a great trip! Sounds like just what you need, a good break--not to mention all that great scenery and chocolate!

Your posts are so engaging, it's hard to believe there is really a problem with your "voice."

But it's definitely hard to avoid taking this stuff personally. I managed to get an agent for my memoir, but now have had a whole round of publishers say basically this: nice writing, interesting little story--but really, how many people would actually want to pay to read it? So I don't feel ugly, necessarily--just boring and trivial :-)

A guy in my critique group had written 5 or 6 novels, but was unable to get an agent or publisher. With his latest book (it's nonfiction, don't know if that made a difference) he got an agent, and now is on his way to NY to meet with a publisher who's very interested. So don't lose heart!


07-19-2007, 08:57 PM
I can't add anything to the wise words already on this thread. Have plenty of chocolate, and remember: you are NOT ugly!! If those agents can't recognize your talent, then they don't deserve to represent you. This stage seems to be all about chemistry and luck, so hang in there.

And eat lots of chocolate!

Saundra Julian
07-20-2007, 02:31 PM
Ugly? Never! Good luck and stay positive, sweetie.

07-22-2007, 03:03 AM
'Ugly' by Constance Briscoe sold 300,000 copies in the UK. Ugly is good...

07-22-2007, 11:23 PM
Have a lovely trip. Eat lots of chocolate for me. Mmmmm. And may you find an acceptance waiting for you when you get back! :)

07-23-2007, 12:19 AM
You're not ugly. Maybe it's just a matter of timing. Everything changes, even reader preferences

07-23-2007, 01:03 AM
I hate rejections too. I used to cry a lot.

Now I just complain to my husband. If that doesn't help I eat something chocolate. If that doesn't work I go take a walk. If that doesn't help I read a book. If that doesn't help I write a poem. If that doesn't help I watch a funny movie til I'm laughing so hard I forgot why I was upset.

Hope this helps.

08-06-2007, 10:01 PM
As promised, here is the Swiss chocolate for everyone. *passes out mouth-watering teuscher candy bars in all flavors of chocolatey goodness*

I came home to two rejections on partials, one form and one rather encouraging (voice not an issue, what do you know?). At any rate, it doesn't matter, since I've brought home enough chocolate to self-medicate for quite some time. :D

08-06-2007, 10:05 PM
I'm ugly and my mother dresses me funny.

08-06-2007, 10:43 PM
I think it was Miss Snark who said don't overanalyze rejections. Strong writing but didn't connect with voice sounds like BS to me. The real reason for the no is more likely all about potential sales. Did you know most agents sell to the same small group of editors? So to me the subtext is, 'I like this, but I don't think I can sell it to the 15 editors who buy my clients' stuff.' Keep trying. Especially try to target agents who are selling books that are similar to what you write. You just have to find that perfect fit.

08-16-2007, 12:58 PM
Stand in front of the mirror and tell your self and your writing self out loud.
"I am not ugly but a beautiful creation and creator of great work" Do that everyday out loud and that will change things.


08-21-2007, 12:32 PM
Hi, Pisarz, that bites, but keep subbing, k. You'll get there if you perservere! Much good luck. Wait 'til ya get 6 rejections in one day. Now, that's fun! :) Yay, chocolate. Thanks much!

Scrawler, you're not ugly. I heard you are quite a looker & those dresses are just a little bit funny!:)

08-21-2007, 04:26 PM
At least people are looking at your work! You got someone to read it and take the time to comment and that's great!

I just wish someone would request sample pages/chapters of my novel. It's only been two days since I started querying, but the lack of enthusiasm has made me grouchy...