I just want you to know you’re not alone.
I know, I might sound like one of those kittens on a poster saying “Hang in there!” But trust me, I get it. I swear I feel your pain. I was once there too. Or maybe even twice…or even twenty times.
I remember obsessively refreshing my emails, and double and triple-checking my phone to make sure I hadn’t missed “the call”. I know what it’s like to swing between those manic highs (This is the day...I can smell an auction coming!) and those despondent lows (No one will want my book. It’s garbage. I might as well give up and become a bag lady.). I, too, wondered how time could have possibly slowed down to the point that I could actually HEAR the sun dragging across the sky…this phenomenon is known as “Submission Time” and it’s a whole new twist to the space-time continuum.
And the rejections. My god, the rejections! If only there was some consistency to them…am I right? If only they offered some tiny tidbit of information you could cling to, something useful you might be able to use so you could start thinking of revisions if, and when, this torturous round of submissions comes crashing to an untimely end. (Okay, people on submission are also prone to bouts of melodrama…just FYI.)
But they don’t. Your rejections are as varied as snowflakes, and sometimes just as cold.
One editor says “I just didn’t connect with voice,” which in your mind clearly translates to: “I hate you and wish you were dead.” The next explains that “I didn’t connect with the plot,” which obviously means: “I love crushing your hopes and dreams.”
And another just thanks your agent for the submission, saying “I loved it, but just didn’t love it enough” (Hello!!! Any chance a few revisions might change your mind????)
To show you what I mean, I’ve bravely dug out some of my rejections for THE BODY FINDER. (Remember when your parents told you this is gonna hurt me more than it’ll hurt you? Well, this might sting a little, and I’m not talking about you guys.)
Thanks so much for thinking of me for THE BODY FINDER. The premise is fantastic; I was excited to have a chance to review.
While I understand the appeal of this, I must admit I was disappointed by the character development. I wished the motivations and relationships were more compellingly drawn. For this reason, I feel I must pass.
Thanks again for sharing this with me, and best of luck finding the right home for it.
(Didn’t care for the characters and relationships. Check!)
I read this over the weekend -- it's such a great concept, but I'm afraid I'm going to pass. The prose didn't sparkle for me, and more than that, I was waiting for a huge plot twist I hoped the author was building up to -- and found that, for me, it never came.
I'm not much of a CSI person, and it could be I just don't have the right eye for this kind of thing. I so appreciate the opportunity to consider it, though, and wish you the best of luck! I'll be curious to see where it lands.
(Didn’t care for plot. Got it.)
I took THE BODY FINDER home over the weekend and can definitely see the potential here. Kimberly has a great concept and her protagonist is the kind of girl a reader can really get behind and connect with. Unfortunately, I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t as charmed by her writing. One of my pet peeves is repeated words and phrases throughout a manuscript, and on the first page alone she used the word “sound” eight times. It’s just one of those things that jumps out at me as a red flag.
Thanks for thinking of me with this, though.
(Ahahahaha! I counted, there were six “sounds,” not eight, in the first draft. But touché, dear editor. Touché! And check it out, she liked the character…remember Rejection #1?)
Okay, so you get my (painfully delivered) point, right? You see how subjective this business is? How different all the rejections were? Do you understand that it’s all about finding the right editor with the right manuscript at the right time???
I’m telling you, my fellow writers, don’t be discouraged, and don’t give up. Just…don’t!
And if you need an example of true perseverance, check out this post about author Kate DiCamillo. 397 rejections! Dude.