Thanksgiving Blog Hop- Rejection

Yup, you read that right. I’m continuing my Thanksgiving Blog Hop by talking about rejection. Weird, right? Maybe.

Well, after I wrote my first Thanksgiving blog on Thursday, I got three rejections from literary agents right afterward. Of course, I was upset at first. Writers put our heart and soul into our work, and then lay it out there for literary agents to either decide it’s worth representing and promoting, or the worst case scenario, they tell you it’s horrible. No one said my work was horrible, but I did see an agent who tweets about her queries tweet that she was passing on a contemporary romance (which my MS is), because the conflict “felt not authentic/contrived.” Ouch. I had a feeling she was talking about mine, but I hoped not, because no one wants to hear “not authentic” used to describe their story. Alas, about half an hour later, I got a form rejection from this agent. 😦

At the same time, I had a partial request from another agent who pulled my query out of her “slush pile” and apparently was impressed enough with my query to want to see the first 50 pages. I was THRILLED. I also had the full manuscript out to another agent who’d requested it. First, I heard back from the partial request–she passed because she said my story “didn’t stand out enough.” Again, OUCH. I’d really thought since she requested a partial, she would love the story and want more. And then, yesterday, I heard back from the full request– also a pass, because she felt the characters fell for each other too fast. Neither agent was rude and both said they loved reading the story. But still, they passed. So now I’m rethinking the whole thing. The things these agents pointed out are valid, but would require rewriting the entire manuscript to change. I’ve been working on this manuscript for four years now, and it has already been through many rewrites. I’m not sure I can rewrite it again, honestly. I feel like I’ve exhausted the story. Now I’m contemplating self publishing, just to get the story out there for the people who enjoy reading it.

So what am I thankful for in all this? I’m thankful for my wonderful critique partners: of course, my twin sister, Amy (@twisted_writer), who’s always my first editor :D, Kyra Lennon (@Klennonwrites) and Karma Brown (@karmasdogma). They helped me to see things in my story that I don’t think I ever would’ve seen otherwise. You three will definitely get a thank you in my acknowledgements if I ever get a book published!!!

I’m also thankful for all those who have read GOING HOME AGAIN, either in the original form that was waaaay too long, or the most recent, trimmed-down version. Amy, again, of course, Kim Rutka, Pennie McLeod, Karina Tabron, Julia Easterling, Masumi Furukawa, Verena Grube, Tanya (what is your last name, girl! LOL… @1xand1Y), Cynthia Hill, Carey Heywood, Cheyenne Campbell, Carol Pavliska and last but not least, my BFF, Angela Futrell, who hasn’t read the book since I finished it but that’s OK, I know how you roll, Angi. 😉

And lastly, I’m thankful for the agents who have requested my full manuscript or offered detailed feedback in their rejections. They’ve let me know that at least I have some writing talent. I just need to figure out how to translate the talent into a story I can sell. It WILL happen. I truly believe that. It may not be with GOING HOME AGAIN as I’d hoped, but I refuse to give up on this dream. It’s a big dream, and it seems impossible at times, but even when I’m crying myself to sleep over my latest rejection, I refuse to give up.

My favorite quote is from the late, great Jim Valvano, former N.C. State University basketball coach: “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up!” I won’t, Jimmy V. I promise.

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9 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Blog Hop- Rejection

  1. Ah yes, BTDT. In fact I got so sick of rewriting my first book that I wrote another one. And then another one. And that first one is still waiting to be revised/resubmitted to one of the agents who read the full. I’m just not all that enthusiastic about diving back in-but I will. I stalk agents on Twitter too, half hoping, half dreading to recognize “my” ms in something they’re tweeting about. If you’re getting requests for subs you’re doing something right, so yes, DON’T GIVE UP! Every week some friends of mine and I blog about what inpires us and keeps us going (often in the face of rejection). Our theme song is Tub Thumping from Chumbawumba. We’d love to have you join us any Thursday-there’s always a linky.

  2. That’s right – don’t ever give up!! You know how I feel about this & I’m glad you are grateful for those agents’ critiques – they will make you a stronger writer. I know it’s discouraging but you have real talent & I know one day you will succeed. It may not be with GOING HOME AGAIN, as we’d hoped but it WILL happen. Baby, I believe in you 😉

  3. Yes, please never give up! I’ve had the same responses before. I hate the word contrived. Each time I’d tweak the story, trying to make it the best. I don’t know how many times you’ve queried, but I’m a firm believer of querying wide and often. I’ve queried two books with over 200 rejections, but I kept going. I know you’re a great writer (I’ve read your stuff before) and your day is around the corner. You never know where your journey will take you, and I’m surprised where mine has lead me. I love the quote you use at the end of this post!

  4. I do hope you don’t give up, that would just be sad (and from what I understand from those who’ve been blessed to read your work – as stated above, it would be a shame). Hang in there, writerly friend, you aren’t alone and you never will be. If you can’t stomach another re-write, then just continue on with your current WIP and keep moving forward. You’ll get there, it may not seem quick enough, but I have it on good authority (another writerly friend of mine) that when the day comes when the agent calls to offer representation, EVERY rejection and all the time is WORTH IT. Check my blog again tomorrow, I’ll have a W.I.T Badge for you.

  5. Thank you for sharing!! I hope you never get discouraged. I can only imagine how many publishers and agents there are out there, so just hold true to the fact that a few doesn’t mean that your work isn’t great. I guess that’s the difficulty with submitting queries, although I have yet to do so. I have self-published, but getting representation does seem appealing to me. Sharing your rejections doesn’t discourage me; it further strengthens my desire to finalize my path to have writing be my full-time career. That’s what writing is about. There’s the good and the time put in to get to that good.

    Thank you again for sharing!

  6. Keep going, keep going, keep going. Why do I say that? I have been writing 16 years. In that time I wrote 8 full books which I queried (and a few partial false starts that I may or may not get back to). I submitted often, widely, regularly. I polished. I honed. I joined contests. Conferences. The whole shebang. I kept writing, kept learning…I just landed my DREAM agent. After 16 years. WORTH every single moment of rejections. Please keep the faith!

  7. I’ve only ever gotten personal feedback from one agent on a full manuscript pass. But just that one paragraph confirmed my desire to have an agent. Her feedback was awesome and gave me the push to work harder to turn out something worthy of having an agent represent it.

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