Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Good Rejections

*yawn* :blink: :blink:

I feel like Rip Van Winkle this morning. Not that I spent yesterday sleeping or anything, I just feel like I did. In fact, I probably should've, but that's a whole nother story. After the weekend writing marathon, I was just bleh. To combat the blehs, I sat on the couch and watched TV, and I read most of a book. I also played some poker, but that went badly so I'm trying not to think about it.

Now about that oxymoron of a subject...

In the midst of my bleh-defeating day, I received a rejection letter from a partial of RTL I sent back in May. And yay, it found me, since it was sent before I knew I would have to move and therefore the SASE had the old address. On the rejection scale it was a really nice letter. She said she really liked my writing, but... 1) with the economy sucking like it does, she has to be extra super selective, 2) the synopsis didn't wow her, 3) from said synopsis, the bad guys all seemed one-dimensional, and 4) she was concerned the politics of the plot would overwhelm the suspense.

I'm hanging on to the 'really liked my writing' part. I'm also cursing the economy and the people who got us in this mess. As for the synopsis thing, I'm going to have to take a look at it and see where it fell apart, because it obviously wasn't doing its job.

For instance, I really don't think my villains are one-dimensional. Sure, they're all evil (because I don't do diet evil) but each of them has many layers to their personality. Perhaps that's not quite apparent in the first few chapters, and obviously not in the synopsis, but the layers are there.

There's nothing I can do about the politics. They're integral to the plot, but IMO they don't overwhelm the suspense of the book. I purposefully wrote the novel in such a way that the politics are an undercurrent, but not the main thrust of the plot. *shrug* I guess my synopsis didn't tell that tale very well.

So anyway, I'm taking that one as a positive letter. Have to take the positives where you can. I'm also calling another RTL rejection positive (I got this one back in November from a partial sent in September). In that one, the agent said she liked the premise but she thought it was more suited to the SF market, with which she wasn't familiar. *shrug* Miss Snark always said : Query Widely. Since RTL is one of those stories that crosses genre, I was trying everyone who represented any of the three genres it touches.

Anyway, as I approach the end of the year, and the end of another novel, I'm starting to think about the query process again. I'm taking the lessons learned, and working to apply them to the next round.

Oh, and speaking of rounds... Karin Tabke is getting ready to host another First Line Contest. I think I'm entering RTL this year. Here's hoping my first lines make the cut. I could really use some good news this month.

Your turn: Any thoughts on my rejections? I'm trying to stay positive about it, but I don't want to turn into Pollyanna. Have you ever gotten a good rejection, or is the oxymoron just too much?


Kristen Painter said...

Rejections fall into two categories:

1. Their loss
2. They were right

Other than that, I try not to dwell.

JenWriter said...

I've gotten form rejections and positive rejections and rejections that stung.

I would put yours in the positive rejection category. Praise for the writing is always wonderful even if placed in a rejection letter. Plus, personalized comments rock.

Travis Erwin said...

I used to get what I considered good rejections but now I'm jaded and a no feels like a no.

But there are productive rejection in which the other party gives me insihgt into why they said no and therefor give me the chance to correct my mistakes.