The Daily Rejection, Vol. 3

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

litdawg

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Awesome news, Belle! Congratulations! Use the buzz from this to send out a few more queries :)

I got a rejection on my flash fiction piece, and I've moved to the next venue on my list. After submitting the short story, I made a few more edits--that's always the way with me. The upside of always fiddling is that I'm already to send out a revised version when the piece is rejected. Pre-vision?
 

ValerieJane

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Great news, Belle!

Man, the rejections are really rolling in now. It was silence for a long while, but now they all seem to be coming at once. I was complaining when I wasn't hearing anything but maybe it was better that way, haha! I also got a rejection on one of my partials, which was a pretty big bummer. I'm still struggling with when to call it quits on querying this manuscript... It'll probably be one of those things where you just have a feeling?
 

Lakey

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Belle, that’s very exciting—good luck with it!

litdawg: I don’t ever seem to stop touching my stories. The story that was just accepted I submitted way back in April, and I’ve done at least two more rounds of tweaks since then! There always seems to be some paragraph I can tighten up or some word I can replace or some action beat I can move before or after the dialogue or some paragraph break I can insert, delete, and insert again.

ValerieJane, sorry about the flurry of negative activity.

This week the winners and runners-up of a contest I entered were announced, and I wasn’t among them. I was a little surprised not to have been informed of this sooner, but I chalked it up as a non-response. It’s a more prestigious journal than I have any business submitting to, anyway. I submitted the story somewhere else to keep up my goal of at least 5 pending submissions per story. I also submitted another story to the journal that gave me the very nice rejection a few weeks ago. As it turns out, there wasn’t really any place to mention the nice rejection in the submission—the editors read blind and so they do not even want a cover letter.

:e2coffee:
 

Belle_91

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ValerieJean -- the best thing I can suggest is get started on a new project. You'll be amazed at how much you'll improve as a writer. The distraction will help from dwelling on the rejections. Besides if/when an agent picks up your current queried project, they usually want to know what else you've got up your sleeve. IF you decide the manuscript your querying isn't going to cut it, the blow will be softened by having a new project. But it does sound like you're getting requests so keep your chin up.
 

Liz_V

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The housemate brought home a warehouse-club pack of Twizzlers, so life is improving. ;)

Margaritas and cookies. For everybody.

Belle, double woot on the full request! Proof indeed that, while we all strive to be perfect, a minor goof will not sink your chances.

I'm on the opposite end of the editing spectrum. Once I declare a story done, I rarely touch it unless I get very specific and on-target feedback. In fact, I have a bad habit of forgetting all about a story once it's finished, to the point that I sometimes forget to put it in the submissions stable. (Oops.)

It’s a more prestigious journal than I have any business submitting to, anyway.

Now cut that out. Your business is submitting to any journal you darned well want to. The question isn't are you good enough for them, the question is: Would they be a good home for your story? As they say on another forum, writers are not beggars at the banquet of publishing.

And that goes for everybody here, right along with the margaritas and cookies. :Lecture:
 

angeliz2k

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I totally agree: submit to any journal you think is a good fit for the material, Lakey. Don't sell yourself short.

Speaking of giving oneself a shot and not selling oneself short, I need to psych myself up for sending out some more queries. I guess I have two outstanding at the moment. I should get serious about it and send a flood of queries in hopes that something'll stick (forgive the mixed metaphors, if you can). But I've gotten such a paltry response to my queries (almost zero response, in fact) that I'm not encouraged to devote much time and effort to it. The manuscript deserves to be given a chance, though, I'm sure of it, and I just need to sternly tell myself to turn my attention away from the VAD uniform I'm starting to sew and actually send some queries, dammit, child.
 

OctoberLee

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Burnt Starbucks coffee is pretty tragic!! Congrats on the request Belle - so exciting!

I haven't been on here for a while, but am now writing at a pace/with a regularity that I feel like hanging out ((lurking)) in this area again.
 

Liz_V

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But I've gotten such a paltry response to my queries (almost zero response, in fact) that I'm not encouraged to devote much time and effort to it.

This is my problem, too. If I get pretty much the same results from working really hard at querying or hardly working at all... why am I not just eating Cheetos and watching YouTube, again? There's a reason, right?

Welcome back, OctoberLee!
 

Kerry56

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I didn't think anything would come of it, but I sent a manuscript to Baen books a while back. It's been so many months, I'd forgotten I'd sent it to them, but today got a rejection letter. It was more or less a form letter, but the guy's title amused me. He called himself the slushmaster.
 

angeliz2k

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Good news! I got a full request.

It's off of a query I sent back in October. It came via Query Manager as a partial request, so I uploaded that, and the agent contacted me directly to say she had seen the first 50 pages with the original query (gonna take her word for that--I don't remember the details of that query! I was not in a great mental place at that time, and I'm faintly amazed I sent any queries at all then), and she she actually wanted the full manuscript based off those first 50 pages.

That's the first full request for this ms, and it's very encouraging. It feel less like I'm shouting in the wilderness.
 

Tamlyn

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Hello everyone!!

Now to figure out how these newfangled forums work...
 

zmethos

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Lots of nearly-but-not-quite for me. Had agents say things like "marvelous characters," "fun read," and "you've written a solid manuscript that was a delight to read"... only to ultimately pass for unspecified reasons. So I finally gave up and will be self-publishing this one, too.
 

joeyc

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Since the forums have been down, I've gotten two rejections (with feedback). Both liked the voice, one said it was two wordy and the other said she couldn't sell it. So it's pretty much the final nail in the coffin for that project.

Luckily I'll have another one ready in the next three months here to hop into the query trenches again.
 

Liz_V

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Hi everybody! Gosh, I've missed this place.

zmethos, joeyc - Sympathies. What are we doing for shelved/self-pub'd/coffin'd works? Shot of sympathy scotch? Coffin cake?

Tamlyn, I'm with you on figuring out the new forum. I think I need to go try it on the computer that isn't running a decade-old browser; I don't know if some of what I'm looking for isn't here, or just isn't showing up on this machine.

I don't even know what I've been doing while AW was down. Brief bursts of querying, I suspect, and a flurry of short-story submissions. Still haven't finished the effin' WIP; I think I'm about 10K from the end, but I've been thinking that for at least 15K now....
 

Tamlyn

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I think I'm the decades old browser that's the problem in my case!

I've been getting rejected while the forums are down. So nothing new there. I've actually only got two story submissions out at the moment; it's hard to keep sending things when they just come straight back.

I did, however, finish the first editing pass on my novel. So while that sits I might try to focus on shorts again for a while. This month I'm taking a break from writing to do lots of reading. I find it refreshes me for the second half of the year.
 

Liz_V

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LOL!

Oh, yeah, I've been getting rejected too. And even rejection-rejected: there's an anthology that I collect an R from every year, and this year when the annual window was approaching, I realized I didn't have anything for them. So I hurried up and wrote a story especially for it... only to find they weren't doing it this year, due to Covid-related business downturn. But don't worry; the story's since been rejected by other places.

Y'know, if you type the word "rejected" enough, it starts to turn into gibberish....

I need to make a new avatar pic. My old one does not work well when cropped from rectangular to circular.
 

kinokonoronin

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Hadn't sent anything out in quite a while, and it was that time of year when my wife hypes me up. So I made an effort to touch up some shorts, sent them all out, and was swiftly rejected across the board.

Glad I sent them out, though. A short just doesn't feel "done" until it's got a big red stamp on it. :D
 

Alan Yee

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Liz_V, I’m 99 percent certain I know which anthology you’re talking about. I started writing something specifically for them, then found out they were skipping this year right when the momentum fizzled out and I didn’t know where to go with it. The humor I was going for probably wouldn’t work well at any other pro market, so I’ll probably come back to it after I finish a few more stories.

My short story that’s making the rounds has gotten mostly form rejections, with the exception of one personal rejection saying “there sure is a lot to love here” but ultimately the editor thought the story felt too short for what it was. Considering this was the first story I had been able to finish in years, I couldn’t feel too bummed about it. It just confirmed that getting back into writing was the right thing to do. After all, I clearly did something right.
 

Lakey

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Hello all. I did have a story accepted and published right around the time AW went offline (yay!); the other two-plus stories I've been shopping around are still racking up the Rs. I think there is something about this time of year for the types of journals I submit to--the academic year coming to an end, maybe--because the rejections have been thick on the ground. One of the stories is getting a lot of "nevertheless we are eager to see more of your work" sort of responses, so I guess that's something. I wish I had more work to send them. I've been trying to move my novel forward which means I haven't been developing new short stories. I've also been running out of steam for finding new journals to send these "almost good enough" stories to, so I haven't kept up the pace of submissions that I was doing last year. :/

Good luck to everyone out there in the trenches!

:e2coffee:
 
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Belle_91

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Hi y'all! Welcome back.

I got a couple of bites for my story since the site went down, but then it fizzled out. I decided to rewrite it and I finished up the first draft a few days ago.

Then I went to query two agents for another story today only to forget to sign off on one of my queries and then send the agent the wrong file for another.

I hope they're forgiving, but I feel pretty stupid right now.

I hope everyone else is having better luck!
 

Liz_V

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R cookies to kinokonoronin, Alan Yee, Lakey, and anyone else who needs 'em.

Alan, ;). Hey, if you do get the story done, wanna swap critiques?

Lakey, congrats on the acceptance! Woot!

Belle, go you on finishing the first draft! And brain-fail sympathy for the querying goofs. I haven't done that recently, but I did lock my keys in my still-running car yesterday. So it's not just you, FWIW, and I would hope agents can roll with that right now.

I have started referring to the current novel as my Work Still In F'ing Progress. My dearest goal right now is to get the WSIFP finished and just concentrate on short stories for a while; I need some faster turn-around times, and I'm having (slightly) better luck on that front anyway.
 
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