Today’s rejection feels a bit like this quote from Harry Potter. I was really excited about how responsive this agent has been. But she was awesome in rejection, at least. She gave me detailed feedback on major issues she saw with the manuscript.
One issue could be solved with some thorough editing of voice, but the other requires a potentially massive rewrite of the plot. I’ll certainly let the manuscript rest for a few weeks before starting.
In the meantime, I’ve been writing short stories. After the pacing of 75K word novels, a 4-7K short story seems to fly by! Hopefully it is good practice with plotting and characterization, a chance of publication and a quick-but-positive outcome.
What’s the tipping point for rewriting a novel?
Another kind set of words that the book is engaging but not right for them. Because I did a lot of research into the agents and editors, I know that they have chosen a lot of books like mine.
This is telling me I need to make the story more unique, my protagonist’s voice stronger. While I wait to hear back from all the agents and editors, I’m focusing on creating moments of concentration.
Haruki Murakami said:
“The great mystery writer Raymond Chandler once confessed that even if he didn’t write anything, he made sure he sat down at his desk every single day and concentrated.
I understand the purpose behind his doing this. This is the way Chandler gave himself the physical stamina a professional writer needs, quietly strengthening his willpower.”
After just under 3 months, I’ve heard back from the first person out of 6 editors and agents I pitched. I’m deeply appreciative that they read the whole book and provided insight into why they’re passing on it.
They liked it, but didn’t think it was unique enough in a crowded market. I know my pitch worked enough to gain attention, but the manuscript didn’t follow through.
Getting feedback from an industry professional is like gold.
I hope that all my rejections come with something to help me learn.