Monday, September 6, 2010

Temporary Hold

I woke up this morning feeling crappy. Yes, it is a holiday Monday, but still, I felt horrible. Then I sat down at my computer to find a response to a query letter. Rejection. My crappy day just got crappier and it wasn't even 10am, yet. So, I read through the rejection, knowing it came from an agent who often personalizes query rejections and my stomach sank. She liked my concept, and title - gee, didn't she say that to some other people on QueryTracker? But after what I assume is her form ego-boost she says she reads the first few paragraphs (Should I take it to mean that she didn't bother with the rest of the chapter?) And found it wordy in the wrong places and too descriptive.

So, should I take it to mean that it's crap? It would certainly match my mood. I don't think I've ever had a reviewer say that before. It's not that I want to discount her words, because I know that there are always ways to grow as a writer, and maybe she's seeing something I'm not. That my reviewers aren't. But at the same time, do I place one agent's three sentence rejection above the twenty or so reviewers who've read that opening? Do I take the chance of changing the opening because one person says so?

The answer is I just don't know.

The longer I query the harder each rejection is because it's one less agent I can query in the future. It's one less door to open. I don't want to do it anymore, and that's scary because I haven't felt that way before. Even when I stopped querying on Songbird I did so because I knew I needed to do more work on it and on the query.

After stewing over it for an hour, I decided that I wasn't going to send out anymore queries until October. I'll use this month to give Janie a complete read over and maybe try to find a beta reader to help me see anything I'm missing. Hopefully, I won't be reworking that entire novel again. We'll see.

On my iPod:

You're Beautiful by James Blunt


  1. You could have a technically perfect novel and yet there's always going to be more people that just don't 'get it' than there are people who LOVE it. You are in a very small minority of experts i.e. someone that has actually written something. It might not feel like it sometimes, editors might tell you that you're wrong, but it's YOUR writing and only YOU know how to make it right. Trust your own instincts as a writer more than you trust anyone else's opinion. Sometimes I find myself thinking that what I'm writing is too contrived, too purile, too bum-numbingly long... but if I wrote it any differently I think it would simply not be MINE.

  2. Thanks for the pep talk, Emily! I needed it :)

  3. Robert Dafydd CadwaladerSeptember 7, 2010 at 2:43 AM

    Hang in there! Just keep pinning the rejections to the wall and use them as a dart board! One day you will have the last laugh!