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gerrydodge
11-27-2007, 09:24 PM
Sometimes it is very hard to tell if a rejection is a form letter or not. For instance:

Thank you for the opportunity to review the requested portions from THE KILLING DAYS ON CAPE COD. You are a talented writer and there was a lot to this that I thought had merit. Unfortunately, despite my initial interest, I am going to pass on representing the work. The subject matter was unique, and there was some strong imagery, but the narrative style just didnít resonate with me as strongly as I would have liked. In the end, I just wasnít able to fully connect with this.

Given todayís competitive market your writing deserves to be represented by someone who can be wholeheartedly enthusiastic about it. I appreciate the hard work and since this is a highly subjective business, you may well find success elsewhere. I wish you all the best with your writing.

Siddow
11-27-2007, 09:31 PM
I would guess form, but at least it's a nice one. The wording sounds a lot like the one that Kristin Nelson sends out (at least according to her blog...haven't queried her myself).

Shadow_Ferret
11-27-2007, 09:42 PM
I would have guessed not a form. I've never seen one that seemed like they actually read the story and made comments like that.

I usually get:

Not for us.

waylander
11-27-2007, 09:49 PM
The second paragraph looks like form phrasing, the first personalised

popmuze
11-27-2007, 10:58 PM
This is probably Form A out of your three basic forms, tailored slightly to seem a little more personal. I really don't know why agents have several levels of forms, including one that implies the writer is a bit further along than some of the others submitting. Is it just to allay their own guilt? Less of a form would be to note specific images they liked, or pick out scenes from later in the submission to prove they'd at least skimmed all the pages. Even better would be to make comments on what could be improved in the plot, pacing, character development, etc. And then to offer to see the revised edition or at least your next novel.
A lesser form would not throw in explosive words like "talented."
I don't honestly know why they'd care to tell you you're talented if they're not really giving you a substantive reason behind their rejection. Like, "you're talented, but only about one-tenth as talented as you need to be to get any reputable agent interested."
Or, "You can write two sentences in a row that can be read without wincing, but you need about 7000 more to make me actually sit up and react.
Mostly, agents are trying to cover themselves; they don't want you writing back unless they ask you to. And they especially don't want you writing back if your book winds up getting published.
You can tell it's not a form when agents get really specific.
But it's kind of a mark of progress when you start routinely getting the higher level forms.

gerrydodge
11-27-2007, 11:03 PM
This is probably Form A out of your three basic forms, tailored slightly to seem a little more personal. I really don't know why agents have several levels of forms, including one that implies the writer is a bit further along than some of the others submitting. Is it just to allay their own guilt? Less of a form would be to note specific images they liked, or pick out scenes from later in the submission to prove they'd at least skimmed all the pages. Even better would be to make comments on what could be improved in the plot, pacing, character development, etc. And then to offer to see the revised edition or at least your next novel.
A lesser form would not throw in explosive words like "talented."
I don't honestly know why they'd care to tell you you're talented if they're not really giving you a substantive reason behind their rejection. Like, "you're talented, but only about one-tenth as talented as you need to be to get any reputable agent interested."
Or, "You can write two sentences in a row that can be read without wincing, but you need about 7000 more to make me actually sit up and react.
Mostly, agents are trying to cover themselves; they don't want you writing back unless they ask you to. And they especially don't want you writing back if your book winds up getting published.
You can tell it's not a form when agents get really specific.
But it's kind of a mark of progress when you start routinely getting the higher level forms.

A kind response, popmuse. Thanks for taking the time. I had the same intitial feeling. The "A" form letter. Also, I was thinking, yes, they're inundated with queries, but they aren't necessarily inundated with manuscripts they request. So I agree with you; take the time to say a smattering of things about the content or just say "no." I like "no" a lot better than bullshit.

gerrydodge
11-27-2007, 11:04 PM
I meant popmuze! Sorry!

ishtar'sgate
11-27-2007, 11:14 PM
The last paragraph is definitely form but the comments are specific. I always take special note of such opinions. If you find these same comments repeated by other agents, you'll want to address them.
Linnea

veinglory
11-27-2007, 11:23 PM
I would agree. The last part is a form but the earlier bits are probably tailored.

IceCreamEmpress
11-27-2007, 11:43 PM
This is probably Form A out of your three basic forms, tailored slightly to seem a little more personal. I really don't know why agents have several levels of forms, including one that implies the writer is a bit further along than some of the others submitting. Is it just to allay their own guilt?


No, it's because agents usually like to read, and therefore want to encourage people who can write well even if they pass on representing them.

Julie Worth
11-27-2007, 11:45 PM
A personalized form, for sure. The one-size-fits-all form may look like this:

Thank you for the opportunity to review the requested portions from/MS of (Insert Title). You are a talented/untalented/possibly psychotic writer and there was a lot to this that I thought had merit/needed work/suggested a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. Unfortunately, despite my initial interest, I am going to pass on representing the work. The subject matter was unique/was too familiar/made me sick, and there was some strong/weak imagery/dialogue/scenes, but the narrative style/subject matter/execution just didn’t resonate with me as strongly as I would have liked. In the end, I just wasn’t able to fully connect with this.

gerrydodge
11-27-2007, 11:53 PM
A personalized form, for sure. The one-size-fits-all form may look like this:

Thank you for the opportunity to review the requested portions from/MS of (Insert Title). You are a talented/untalented/possibly psychotic writer and there was a lot to this that I thought had merit/needed work/suggested a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. Unfortunately, despite my initial interest, I am going to pass on representing the work. The subject matter was unique/was too familiar/made me sick, and there was some strong/weak imagery/dialogue/scenes, but the narrative style/subject matter/execution just didnít resonate with me as strongly as I would have liked. In the end, I just wasnít able to fully connect with this.

I'm glad I asked this question, Julie Worth. I like this, and you are probably right.

Gerry

IceCreamEmpress
11-28-2007, 02:01 AM
I'm glad I asked this question, Julie Worth. I like this, and you are probably right.



At least you didn't resonate like a glove. That is the Fate Worse Than Death.

nerds
11-28-2007, 02:07 AM
At least you didn't resonate like a glove. That is the Fate Worse Than Death.


What? Do agents actually say that? omg. The last resonating gloves I had were the ones which became irradiated by natural methane from working in a dairy barn. You're joking, right? *plz say joking*

IceCreamEmpress
11-28-2007, 02:36 AM
What? Do agents actually say that? omg. The last resonating gloves I had were the ones which became irradiated by natural methane from working in a dairy barn. You're joking, right? *plz say joking*

Is joke, parodying Miranda Prather's two all-purpose press releases for PublishAmerica authors. They either "quickly resonate with an audience" or "fit the market like a glove".

JAG4584
11-28-2007, 04:02 AM
I needed this today- thanks for the laugh!!! I am so sick of agents the one's you want to call don't and the one's that you know are not right - well they call. Before this site I was querying hoping that all agents were created = so I am paying the price. I guess win some lose some.. How to keep my sanity that is a good question with no real answer

Birol
11-28-2007, 04:56 AM
Nah. Don't try to keep your sanity. There's a ton of stories waiting for you on the other side.

(The letter reads like a polite form or standard rejection letter to me.)