Thursday, June 16, 2011

How thou dost afflict me!

A form rejection on a full?  Really?

Look, I know agents are busy. I know they have to sift through encyclopedias of bad grammar, incorrect punctuation, and poorly-constructed storylines, but come on. How can an agent gush about how much they loved my partial and can’t wait to reading the rest of it, then come back with nothing more than a brief, soul-crushing, “Thanks for the look, but this is not for me?”


It’s insulting, is what it is.

If you loved the first three chapters, what about the next 18 turned you off so much? At what point did you say, “If I try finish this load of crap my head might explode?”  Did you start to hate my characters? Was the ending unbelievable? Did parts of it drag? Was it too sexy? Too violent? Not sexy or violent enough? What? Give me something, anything, to work with. Even a brief sentence or two describing what aspect of my novel poured icy water on the coals of your enthusiasm would be appreciated.

I’m not saying this agent should have offered unconditional representation. I get that my book will never be everyone’s cup of tea. I get that it probably needs work. But how can I fix it if I don’t know what’s wrong?

Giving a one-sentence form rejection on a FULL MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION is like finding out you’ve been dumped when your boyfriend changed his Facebook status to “single,” then never speaks to you again.  It’s like stumbling into a void that wasn’t there ten seconds ago.

I hate emotions. They’re so depressing. Up, down, up, down, sideways, backwards, upside-down, over and over again, until I throw up.  I feel like a manic-depressive or something, and I am not enjoying it.

Maybe I need to find another couple of Betas.  Or maybe I just need to go eat my feelings. Perhaps curling up with Watership Down and half a cheesecake will take the pain away.

Only one way to find out…


  1. *Hugs*

    Sometimes it's not something easy that they can put into one sentence, or there wasn't anything glaringly wrong, it just wasn't something they thought they could place in there.

  2. Ha! Just wait till you get the truly heartwrenching ones that gush about how much they love it and they wouldn't change anything about it and they have no doubt it'll get picked up but "hand on heart" they really don't think they're the right agent for it because of X, which is some personal quirk or they're UK based and they think it'll sell better in the US (although a UK publisher asks to see the full). Multiply those rejections by 4 or more and THEN come back and tell me how much a short, impersonal reject on a full hurts. I've gotten a few of those impersonal ones, too. And I've had a couple of full requests I never heard back on at all. Honestly, I'd MUCH rather get a short, sweet "not for me" answer than one that makes you realize just how little control you have in the whole process.

    Hmmm, where's the other half of that cheesecake? I'll bring ice cream and a cuddly dog and we can commiserate together...

    And, yes, *hugs X lots* because it sucks even knowing it really CAN be worse.

    Here's to your next rejection (if rejection there must be) being a revision letter that you can get on board with!

  3. lol...Yes, I could definitely see how that would be worse. This week has just been unpleasant all around. I'm feeling very frustrated and un-creative. Ugh. Where'd I put that other half of that cheesecake...

  4. Hugs. And I'm with you. I HATE forms on fulls. A detailed personalized rejection I got on a full from an editor from Tor was so awesome that it was almost better than my actual acceptance I got. Hang in there.

  5. Been there, done that and hated it!!!!
    Sorry about the R.
    If you're getting frustrated and feel un-creative, take a break. A few days, a week, who knows? It'll come back to you. Hang in there!

    Stephanie S. (a.k.a. Alniah)

  6. *hugs* R's SUCK, no matter what. We all have faith in you. <3

  7. Sorry about that, but hey, you made me laugh with your choice of words, but seriously, that's not cool.


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