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View Full Version : My First rejection by an agent. What do you think? Form letter?



pepperlandgirl
02-23-2005, 12:14 AM
I know that regardless of how they are worded, a rejection is a rejection, period. No=No. But I can't help but think that maybe this rejection leaves room for hope. Or am I just grasping for straws?




Thank you very much for your submission, Mad World. However, at this time, we do not feel that our agency could represent this work successfully.

Despite the novel's accessible plot and well-paced narrative, we unfortunately felt that it lacked the uniquely compelling premise and characters necessary to market such a genre piece.

Please understand that this is a very subjective business, and we wish you the best of luck in your quest for publication. Feel free to send us any additional projects you may have in the future.

maestrowork
02-23-2005, 01:05 AM
It's a no. But by all means, send them your other mss.

Daughter of Faulkner
02-23-2005, 01:58 AM
it's the second or even third novel written that becomes a first published novel.

It's a no.

Keep writing and submit again and again until your hit pay dirt!

Anaparenna
02-23-2005, 04:19 AM
If you mean hope for this book with this agent, it's a no. :) However, if you mean hope in general terms, of course there is. Even if not for this book, it seems they took the time to give you at least some info that might be helpful when re-examining your writing. Accessible plot and well-paced narrative are nothing to sneer at. And now you know that your premise and characters might have been a bit lackluster. So, while you continue to shop this one (because of course you won't trunk a piece after only one rejection!), you have a workable goal for your next ms. And best of luck to you on both.

pepperlandgirl
02-23-2005, 05:05 AM
If you mean hope for this book with this agent, it's a no. However, if you mean hope in general terms, of course there is. Even if not for this book, it seems they took the time to give you at least some info that might be helpful when re-examining your writing.

That's pretty much what I meant. I didn't mean "should I resubmit!" I meant the letter was encouraging in its own way, especially the last line.

paprikapink
02-23-2005, 05:58 AM
Yeah, that's a very nice rejection. I'd call that a Congratulations-caliber rejection. From the sound of that letter, one could imagine that they really read your manuscript. That doesn't happen every time.

"Well-paced narrative...." I'm a rookie, but I'd be on cloud-9 with a rejection like that.

:Clap:

-pkpk

triceretops
02-23-2005, 08:42 PM
That's not bad at all really. They took some time with the manuscript, and are soliciting future materia. That means you have a good foundation going for you. Now use their comments to polish your next script.
Triceratops

jdkiggins
02-24-2005, 07:27 AM
This was a very nice rejection with some tips. If you have other manuscripts that may fit their unique premise, by all means, send them out.
Good luck with this.
Joanne

pepperlandgirl
02-24-2005, 07:54 AM
I only sent out two queries to sorta "test" the waters--basically I'm a big fat coward and I could only get the courage to query two agents.

The second one emailed me back today and requested the first 50 pages :)

jdkiggins
02-24-2005, 08:04 PM
Congratulations. You've got one foot in the door.


Joanne

JanaLanier
02-24-2005, 08:32 PM
Congrats! Keep us posted :Thumbs:

awatkins
02-24-2005, 09:14 PM
The second one emailed me back today and requested the first 50 pages :)

Wow, that's great! Keep us updated. :)

triceretops
02-26-2005, 10:48 AM
Pepperlandgirl,

I just went over that rejection letter again and again. There's not a whole lot there to draw a lot of clues from, but I do know how editors think sometimes, since I've received over 300 rejections in 15 years.

The key words for rejection here were "premise" and "Characters." Now, premise by itself could mean plot, but I doubt it in this context. But when premise is coupled with Characters (Not characterization, mind you), I have the distinct feeling that there is something askew with the MOTIVATION. Of course, if the plot is weak, your characters are weak in providing solutions. Ask yourself what is the major obstacle or dialema in the story, and how badly the characters want to resolve the problem. Also, what clever devices can your characters use to solve this problem sans cliche' solutions.

Present a major crisis or hurdle

Install interesting characters who have the ability and desire to solve the crisis.

Make the characters suffer while trying to solve the crisis

Resolve the crisis by intelligent or believable means via the characters who've suffered so terribly trying to solve the problem.

Dang it! We should have a thread or workshop that interprets rejection slips.

Hope it helps a little

Triceratops