Rejection Letter

July 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm (Writing Ranting)

Today is Tuesday. That means there’s a 50% chance Publisher B is having an acquisitions meeting today, hopefully including two books of mine. Cue angst.

Last Friday I received a rejection for my empath NaNo novel from Publisher H. Somewhat surprisingly, they gave me comments (just for the first thousand words, since they didn’t request more). My comments are in square brackets.

I’m sorry for the delay in my reply. Thank you for your submission Blind Sided. Unfortunately it is not suitable for our publishing list.

[This is the standard reply. Anything other than that is a huge deal.]

I felt thrown into the world you have created without sufficient explanation of the concept of being an empath. For example, the way empaths ‘see’ and are yet blind; their ability to sense feelings even from inanimate objects such as carpets and balconies; and the way some people can ‘cover’ their thoughts or feelings.

[I thought I’d fixed that issue, but CLEARLY I hadn’t. This is a first-draft type problem, so it’ll probably be six months before I send this book out again. Oh well. On the up side, I just had some ideas that are a MUCH better way of fixing it than my previous attempt.]

The extract from your first chapter had a nice tension to it [thanks. I thought so], but having little understanding of how this world worked, I found it hard to connect with the characters and their situation.

The idea of empaths is an interesting one, but ultimately I feel it needs further development and explanation so as not to confuse or overwhelm the reader.

[Fair enough.]

I wish you well if you look to place your manuscript elsewhere.

[And back to the standard template to end.]

So, the next thing I’ll do is a massive edit, bordering on a rewrite. I need to send “The Princess and the Pirate” to Publisher D before they forget me, so fixing that comes first.

And that’s what a writer’s life looks like. Except when it looks like this:

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