Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Coolest Rejection Slip Ever

Dear Jennifer:

Thank you for submitting The Mind Bender's Apprentice to Wild Child Publishing. I have had a chance to read the first chapter and synopsis, and while I think you have a very imaginative and interesting story here, we will not be offering a contract on this manuscript.

The idea is a good one, but there are areas in the storytelling that need to be strengthened. Chapter one starts out in an almost omniscient point of view. It would be better to start out deep in Cameron's POV. Also, the I can't quite tell who the market is for this story--adult or young adult?

At times there is more telling than showing in the manuscript. I would suggest going through it and making sure it is as active as possible. You may want to find a critique partner, if you don't have one already, to help you hone your prose.

I still think you have a wonderful voice and great talent. Please consider us again in the future.

So how'dya like them apples? I guess I could snarkily point out that anybody who could confuse this with young adult fiction has not read the synopsis I spent a month pounding my head against the wall trying to write, but that's not the point. Rejection slips, by and large, are, "Thanks, don't bother us again, goodbye." When an editor takes the time to write you a personal note, you don't suck nearly as much as you think you do.

(Incidentally my "inappropriate content" filter on my work email catches the word "suck" and flags it as profanity. It also catches the words "Avis Rent A Car" for reasons I cannot explain. We have a case where a guy got s*cked into some machinery at work. We're going to have to start saying he, I dunno, Rented A Car. Hm, new Mafia euphemism for 'death'. "Yeah, ya know Vinnie? He rented a car. Real shame. Terrible for his wife and kids...")

Just to point out how little things have changed, I got the email in my box and knew immediately (from the typeface perhaps?) that it was a No. Rather than read it I forwarded it to Joan, who came back with, "Hm, those are good ideas. Have you thought about....?" It took me almost four days to read the thing. I still haven't responded to it yet, though I need to. You'd think somebody who tosses sentences around all day, at work and at home, would not be afraid of them. Well, ya'd be wrong. Sentences are scary. Check out this article if you don't believe me.

Other than that, things are kind of crazy around here, what with company and the ongoing audit thing at work and the Final Dash to Billable Hours for the month of May and just incidentally, I seem to be going through another hyperfertile phase with Spellbinder. I think I know how it's gonna end now. Should be interesting. More on Buddhism, bugs, Bentleys, babes and buttocks to follow shortly.


David Isaak said...

That's a great rejection. And I ought to point out that anything that invites you to submit other work isn't strictly a rejection at all.

Nor is it an acceptance. It's something in between. We need a word for it. "Rejectance"? "Acceptjection"?

In any case, it's an opportunity. Congrats.

Jen Ster said...

I sent a nice note back. I really don't have anything else to send the lady, except for this thing I wrote when I was nineteen about a punk rocker who made a wrong turn on the LA freeway and ended up in 16th-century Scotland brokering a land deal.