Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stamp an R on my Forehead

That's right--the big R for REJECTION. Ho hum. I had a partial for my most recent ms out, Coffee & Donuts, with a really great agent who would've been like a dream. She had my partial for almost three months, and just responded a few days ago with the dreaded, "Thanks, but no thanks."

She was actually really nice in her response. She took the time to personalize it, and stated she didn't have any constructive critisizm to give because everything was fine. She said my dialogue and writing were good, and that she loved the premise. She couldn't offer representation because she wasn't passionate about the story.

Oh, for the love of God! Really??? They gotta be passionate??? LOL! It's always something, huh? Well, a year or so ago I'd have been racking my brain trying to figure out what that meant. But now, after so much exposure to other unpublished stories, I can honestly say I understand what she means. I can read a story that's well written with strong characters, but would it be something I'd normally select to read? A lot of times, no. It goes back to that subjective taste.

So this agent advised me to continue looking in hopes I will find the agent who is pssionate about it. I was really hoping she was the one. :( But she also encouraged me to submit to her again with other stories. So at least she left me with a sliver or hope. At any rate, it's good to know my work doesn't suck.

Here's the deal, though. I want to move on. I know persistence is key, but I've got another story begging me to tell it. I really want to move on, but I love Coffee & Donuts and feel like it needs a chance, too. So I've decided to revamp the first few chapters (based on some beta feedback) and possibly change the name. Then, I'll query my list of other dream agents and see what happens. If no luck, I may just upload it to Amazon and see if I can get it out there as an eBook. Why not, right? May as well get my work out there to be read while I'm moving on to other stories. I've got a notebook full of story ideas and I hate wasting time.

Which leads me to my next question.... how long does one really need to spend on a single ms? What do you think? How long do you toil away at perfecting your story before setting it aside and moving on?

I know working on a new story will help lift my spirits. I'm not totally bummed (maybe a little). I understand this is my path and this story was a stepping stone to get me where I need to be. I'm always learning and that's the important thing.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)


M.L. Mansfield said...

First of all, I think it's great that she gave you such HUGE compliments as your writing and dialog are great! That's amazing. I think you should work on another ms. Then, maybe when you're finished with the first draft of your new one, you can come back to C&D. You might be too familiar with the story, the characters, the flow... everything to take a step back and really see it for what it is. I think C&D is a good story you've just got to find an agent that thinks so too.

Anonymous said...

How great that you got a request! I say, take some time from your current MS and let your creative juices flow into another WIP. Don't forget about your current MS, but go back to it with fresh eyes and a renewed outlook. You're a creative person who needs an outlet, so write I say!

Mary said...

Worry she didn't have the passion to represent you, but in a way this could be a good thing- you want an agent who is just as passionate about your book as you are.

I'd keep working on your new WIP and let the other sit for a bit. Then, as Nathalie and ML said, you'll have fresher eyes looking at it.

As for how long you should spend, I think that is up to you. I spent over a year working on my MS, then another 6 months revising it before beginning to query. I've heard most authors are never ready to let go of their work as there is always something you can polish more!

Good luck!

Mary said...

Well- that posted funny. The first sentence was supposed to say:

It shouldn't be a worry...

Sorry about that!

LTM said...

If that was just your first request and you got such positive feedback, I wouldn't quit on it yet. Send it out to a few more folks you think might like it--good luck! :o)

rejections stink, but give it a day. You'll feel better~ <3

E.J. Wesley said...

That's actually pretty positive, PK. Keep at it!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was a rejection, but it was a nice one all the same! She personalized it, which is already something and she said that your story wasd good, just not for her. It's disappointing, but not demotivating! Chin up :D Your story kicks butt, I know you'll find the right agent.