Wednesday, July 22, 2009

When you get rejected...

It stinks. We all know it, but it's part of the job and so we just have to get used to it. I have, and because of that I can see how awesome some of my rejections really have been.

I got an awesome one awhile back that said something like this:
"You have this amazing energetic voice in your query and your emails, but it didn't translate to the novel as well as I'd hoped.

It's the one thing that can't be taught or coached: voice.

Now you just need to work on the other parts. I'm not sure how you feel about critique groups or writing partners but they can be hugely helpful about some things.

Stephen King said the first million words are practice. That sounds daunting, but it's really not. All you have to do is keep writing. You've got the right stuff to be a writer...it's just not quite ready yet.

There's a 24 hour flaming dog poop delivery service here in New York: 1-800-RJCTHIS! They know where I live...
"

Recently, I got another one that looked like this:

"Thank you so much for your patience while I reviewed your work. I appreciated the opportunity to review ORACLE and think you have a lot of talent. The premise was interesting, unique, but I couldn't connect with your protagonist and so I didn't feel part of the story. It was a personal issue and I do not really have any recommendations for change. Since this is such a personal business, it's integral that an agent really be behind a work 100% and that's just not the case here for me and ORACLE. I do wish you the best of luck with your writing and know that you will find an agent who can represent your work with the enthusiasm it deserves.
"


Anyway, they may be rejections, but these are the kind of things that keep me going and working. Thank you to all the agents who take the time to give positive feedback and encouragement. We appreciate it.

28 comments:

  1. Ooh, can I have the number for the flaming dog poop delivery service? I've really been remiss in keeping in touch with some ex-girlfriends. Just kidding. (no really, what's the number?)

    Cool blog. Love your rejections. Badge of honor, and courage!

    Cheers

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  2. Oh, I've seen those before:) They always leave me in the split state. Half of my saying, "I'm so close! It'll happen eventually!" The other half saying, "Man, I suck just enough to get rejected. Crap."

    Once I get over the initial sadness, they do push me to work harder though. I'm close—it's bound to happen eventually if I don't give up.

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  3. So close you can taste it... My last R of a partial said something about the writing being good and she enjoyed the story but it wasn't as focused as she liked.

    Glasses? ;-)

    Sigh.

    Keep going Jenn. You are talented. I'll see your books at B&N sooner rather than later.

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  4. I love personalized rejections. The form ones make you wonder if it's the work, or just not a match.

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  5. BJW - Feel free to use the number all you want LOL, enjoy, and thanks for visiting.

    Natalie - My sentiments exactly :)

    Shawna - LOL about the glasses, thanks for the support :) Right back at ya!

    Feywriter - I feel the same way about forms... but I do appreciate them more than non-responders. :)

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  6. "There's a 24 hour flaming dog poop delivery service here in New York: 1-800-RJCTHIS! They know where I live..."

    That has to be the best rejection line ever.

    Sorry to hear about your struggles, but glad to see that you have the right attitude about it!!

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  7. Wow, those are two GREAT rejection letters! You should be really encouraged! Most agents just don't have the time to respond like that. But you've been given great direction and affirmation. And we all need that to help keep our chins up!

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  8. Megan - I know, right?! I laughed so hard, but since she was so awesome, I couldn't bring myself to take advantage of it. :P

    Jody - They are great, and both from uber agents. I heart them. :)

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  9. Those aren't really rejections...just mile markers to let ya know you're on the right road and going the right way! Write on.

    (Drop by and read my interview with a writer's writer today if time allows.)

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  10. Those are great rejections! Lately, all I've been receiving is form letters. Bah.

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  11. I'm so with you on this one, sister writer! I'm putting a post together about my recent rejections...very recent (ouch). Once the sting stops, I can actually put it up. *sigh* so it goes, so it goes....

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  12. Angie - Thanks for the support, and great interview by the way! :)

    Melissa - Take heart! I got a lot of those too!

    Tess - It is cathartic, go for it! :)

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  13. Recently an agent seemed really enthusiastic about my work. I sent him the book, though, and he rejected it saying it seemed more like a tween novel than a teen novel and the writing could use more punch. He invited me to revise it to be a tween novel and pump up the writing and he'd look at it again. I'm going to do it, definitely, but I've noticed with agents they are a WHOLE lot more blunt about what they like/don't like than editors are. Most editors will just send you a form rejection. Okay, most agents do too, but agents are more likely to tell it like it is, even if it hurts.

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  14. Stephanie - I agree, you gotta appreciate the honesty. :)

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  15. I love rejections like yours (and I've had several), but at the same time I don't like them. I keep wondering, "Who WILL connect with it? Is it possible that I'm the only one who has connected with my MC?" The "your writing is good" line is always a bonus though. Rejections. Gotta love 'em.

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  16. That's so awesome that agents took the time to give you personalized rejections. I never got one of those. I think that is a sign that you truly are almost there. And way to share the bad stuff with everybody. I think it helps others in the process.

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  17. Elana - I know, there is definitely a positive and a negative side to them--but I'll take them over a form rejection any day. :)

    Kasie - Yeah, they made me happy. Definitely could have been worse...hey look! I'm an optimist too! :P

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  18. From the sound of these letters, I think there is something else you are supposed to write - something that is pulling at you but you haven't done it yet - that ORACLE will be put aside while you write this whatever it is you need to write, and when you do, that voice and strength and character will explode off the page....of course, I may be wrong and all you need to do is take ORACLE and look at it with another eye - say, someone else in the novel takes a look at your main character and talks about the main character - does that even make sense - but it gives you a new dimension to the character -- or, something ...something - I can't put my finger on what I'm trying to say!

    However, all that said --- rejection is a part of this business and it sucks *laugh* - but, these are nice letters and any time you receive a personal letter from an agent or publisher, that is a great sign! They don't have time to write letters like these to people who have no talent, no gifts - so let this lift you up up up! :)

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  19. You're going to get that acceptance letter. I just know it!! This is one of the nicest most encouraging rejection letters I've seen.

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  20. These seem like close calls to me. But rejection is always tough.

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  21. Kat - You should know... you may be psychic.

    Candi - Thanks! Keep the faith, lady, keep the faith! ;)

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  22. Those are great rejections (if there is such thing). It is frustrating when you know a 'yes yes yes' is so close, and yet there's nothing you can do to quite touch it.

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  23. Debbie - Yeah, I feel so close... just gotta keep on chugging.

    Stina - Thanks for stopping by, yeah, I just need to hold on and hopefully that 'yes,yes,yes' will be on it's way soon :)

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  24. Well......I won't reject you!! Okay so maybe my acceptance isn't a vital part to getting you published, but wouldn't that be cool if it was?! You know I will be your cheerleader anytime :)! Thanks for being your cool, awesome, fabulous self and I really am so think you are one talented lady!

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  25. okay so half of my comment got deleted....sorry. what it was supposed to say at the end there was: and I really am so happy we were able to meet. I think you are one talented lady!
    Apparently I need more writer friends to edit my comments :)!!

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  26. Steph - Yay! You visited! :D I miss you guys! Thanks for the sweet comments, and don't worry about your missing words...most of my writer friends need writer friends to edit their comments...including me! :P

    By the way, are you ready for Oracle yet? It is almost ready for you :P

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  27. Those are some great rejections (as far as rejections go). You're close! Keep going!

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  28. Jaime - Thanks so much! This is my plan :)

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