My Writers Circle

Writing => The Writers Circle => Topic started by: 510bhan on September 12, 2012, 10:42:12 AM

Title: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: 510bhan on September 12, 2012, 10:42:12 AM
An older article but still with some very relevant advice.

Why Did my Story Get Rejected?

Marion Zimmer Bradley
(c) copyright 1997 by Marion Zimmer Bradley

http://www.mzbworks.com/why.htm
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: A.W.M on September 12, 2012, 11:29:31 AM
Placed on my desktop.  Thanks for posting, 510. 
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Dawn on September 12, 2012, 12:26:52 PM
I've copied to my desktop also. Lots of good advice coming through this week.
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Wolfe on September 12, 2012, 01:04:14 PM
Grim stuff, right? Now, let me make you even more depressed. Your story may compete with opposing stories or sales from another agent or editor in the office.

Let me explain.

Let's say I love, love, love Dawn's novel. But, Gyppo has a project he loves too from Sio. Our budget for this quarter will only allow one new project.

Gyppo and I duke it out, not literally, and try to convince our peers to vote for our project. Here's where marketing comes into play. Let's say A.W.M. also wants to get his project the funding, and he has an offer for a tell-all from Brad and Angelina's nanny. It seems Angelina makes Joan Crawford look like Santa Claus.

Guess who's going to get the votes from the board to buy?

It's the reason you'll hear agents and editors say, "I didn't love it." They have to love it in order to go to bat for it. And yes, sometimes those meetings get nasty. We're all convinced our project is the next big seller.

Often, and sadly, it's all about timing. When you spin the wheel, sometimes you'll land on the big money. Ask Sparks. The person he requested rejected The Notebook. She died. Her assist saved it from the garbage and went to bat.

You know the rest.

Just be aware, sometimes it really isn't you or your writing. Sometimes it's something you'll never know about. And just so you know, agents and editors see rejection more often than any writer. The biggest rejection being the one where you get the boot from your agency or company.

That one leaves a mark.
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: 510bhan on September 12, 2012, 01:06:50 PM
Cheers Wolfe -- you can see why fiction writers avoid reality ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Matt Walker on September 12, 2012, 02:23:19 PM
It's the reason you'll hear agents and editors say, "I didn't love it." They have to love it in order to go to bat for it. And yes, sometimes those meetings get nasty. We're all convinced our project is the next big seller.

And then said book only sells a few hundred copies, barely breaks even - glum glum glum all round - "Ugh, not again... I was sure this one would sell..."

And so the cycle starts again until someone finally does find a bestseller that actually is a bestseller.

"Phew!" they say.
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Daniel J. Pitcher on September 17, 2012, 09:11:42 AM
A very interesting article and thread, but I'm glad I read it now I've finished for the day rather than this morning when I first sat down at the laptop.

I also liked the wry humour running through the artcle, especially:

Quote
Times, and readerships, have changed, and editors who don't please the new readership, at least 40% female, are now out of work and haunting the bread lines or editing porno mags.

 :D

Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Gyppo on September 17, 2012, 12:31:39 PM
Just be aware, sometimes it really isn't you or your writing. Sometimes it's something you'll never know about.

Oddly enough I find that reassuring rather than depressing.  It's the reason why I used to tell writing students not to rush to rewrite just because one person didn't like it.

Now, if a dozen people are kind enough to point out the same implausible plot point in your tale you really should listen.  Your story about a three-legged lesbian Giraffe may be the best thing ever, but if the world isn't yet ready for it you're going to go hungry.  If three of the dozen who said no suggested changing the Giraffe for an Orang-utan could cash in on the burgeoning 'tang tendency' then once again you might want to listen.

Without being 'precious' about your work if you don't already think it's good enough you shouldn't be submitting it.

You do your best, you research likely publishers or agents, and then you send it out to do battle on your behalf.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Justin S on September 21, 2012, 02:02:39 AM
...or you simply forego all that and self-publish, because if I can't now get my hands on that lesbian giraffe saga, there is no justice in this world.  ;D
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Boshman on September 23, 2012, 06:25:35 PM
Justin, you need to keep up with the times!!!

The giraffe is SO last year!

It's the Orang-utan now. 

C'mom, keep with it!  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Taylor on September 23, 2012, 08:33:05 PM
And his name's Clide.

So fetching.  ;D
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Justin S on September 23, 2012, 10:00:25 PM
Potential Titles:


Monkey See, Monkey Do

Aping About

Queen Kong

Gone Bananas

Homo Erectus



 ;D
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Margarett on September 24, 2012, 10:06:23 AM
A three legged lesbian Orang-utang???
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Daniel J. Pitcher on September 25, 2012, 06:42:29 AM
Received a rejection today.

Knowing why hasn't made it any easier.  :'(

Not all doom and gloom though...they did say they felt I had an excellent writing style and enjoyed the tone of the piece, but just didn't think we were a match.

That's something, at least, isn't it?

Isn't it?   :-\
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Matt Walker on September 25, 2012, 06:45:12 AM
Not all doom and gloom though...they did say they felt I had an excellent writing style and enjoyed the tone of the piece, but just didn't think we were a match.

That's something, at least, isn't it?

Isn't it?   :-\

Yes! Absolutely. It was a personalised rejection rather than a standard rejection. They're like gold dust. Was it for a novel or short story?
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Gyppo on September 25, 2012, 07:01:38 AM
As Matt said.

A personalised rejection means what it said.  Someone actually took a minute to offer encouragement.  Suggests they took time to read it as well, even if they realised party way through it wasn't for them.

See it as a fish which got away.  The bait was good and the hook was in for a while.  You just need to find another fish ;-)

Gyppo
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Daniel J. Pitcher on September 25, 2012, 07:21:37 AM
Matt- It was for a novel and you're right about the gold dust! This rejection shall take pride of place in my special drawer, on top of all the standard ones, lol.

Gyppo, I like the fishing analogy and well done for avoiding the 'plenty more fish in the sea' cliche!  :D

I'm loving the way I'm so needy that a little encouragement has me gushing like a little schoolgirl. It's like I'm a writer or something...
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Matt Walker on September 25, 2012, 07:48:36 AM
Agents and publishers hardly ever take the time to personalise selections, so that's great encouragement.
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on September 25, 2012, 07:28:25 PM
My first rejection letter was one of the standard type. It was for a short story and I have kept it along with the story for years now.

Any time I need a real boost, I pull that story out and read it then bask in the knowledge of how much my writing has improved since then.  ;D
Title: Re: Rejections -- Why?
Post by: Biola on September 27, 2012, 05:54:09 AM
Now I am learning quite a lot from the comments. Must have had MWC as my god parents as I am yet to experience that level of rejection. Came to MWC for training and it paid off.
biola