• stopping person from going forward rejection

    Unhelpful Rejection Letters: A Rant

    As I put Replaneted to bed and put into the bin of other failures, I gotta rant about the rejection process. In “On Writing”, King says you keep writing, keep submitting to agents, and expect to get form letters. The signal you’re getting good will be when you start getting personalized rejection letters. Something that says “we didn’t like this, but try again”. Of course, King was doing this back in the 1970s and 1980s. Those were the days, weren’t they? Back when you sent in physical copies of your manuscript and had to pay for stamps. Nowadays you’re lucky to get a response at all, let alone a form…

  • Is 90,000 Too Short For a Fantasy Novel?

    So the other day I got a rejection for Defender that said “most publishers require a word count of 100,000 or more from a fantasy novel”.  And that got me thinking, is that what’s been stopping me? I’ve sent 46 e-mails since January and only gotten two bites, no acceptances.  Is it just that agents/publishers are expecting something longer?  And that no one’s been telling me because they send form rejections? This is why I hate the query process.  You get rejected, but no feedback on why.  Probably most of them are just “it didn’t grab me/interest me”, but it’d sure be nice if they could be a little more…

  • writing desk

    A Merm-8 Rejection

    On the writing front, I wanted to talk about a rejection I got for Merm-8, first chapter, that said that the manuscript needed a stronger voice and “less telling, more showing”. And I thought “damn, I thought I had done that”. I mean, I really, really tried to not to tell anything, unlike in “Black Hole Son” or other previous works. I looked for any infodumping (I have some, but not in the first chapter, I think), and tried to make it all come out as dialogue or something more transparent. Like a dog treat in peanut butter. And it’s difficult to do that in science fiction because there’s always…

  • snoopy writer rejection

    Why Did My Story Get Rejected (condensed)

    Basically, I’m rewriting this article, which I found in college and only just now found again, for myself. All credit for this content goes to Marion Zimmer Bradley, who is awesome. WHY EDITORS BUY STORIES-Editors do not buy stories because they are well written.-Editors buy stories that will give their readers the kind of specific reading experience the magazine provides. Ways to Make a Story Sellable• A Satisfying Reader Experience, the kind that magazine provides.• A clear-cut, likable character. One that the reader can identify with.• A story that tells and solves a clear-cut narrative problem. This problem is solved by the main character’s own efforts.• A story that makes…

  • Nothing To Say

    I really have nothing to say at the moment, but blog entries are getting sparse because of that so I wanted to nip that in the bud. The problem is that no one’s responding on my queries and short stories. I’ve got submissions that have been languishing for almost half a year. I really have to stop submitting to publications that have 100+ day response times. It’s just not worth it. And I haven’t gotten a rejection from an agent since May 7th. Either they’re languishing in the slush readers inbox or have already been rejected and no one told me. I really hope it’s not the latter, because that’s…

  • Midwest Literary Magazine Is Helpful

    While I was busy helping my wife poop out a tax deduction, I garnered a few rejections in the e-mail box, natch. One of those came from the Midwest Literary Magazine for Vampire Family Story. They gave me one of the most complete personal rejections I’ve ever received. He told me what he liked and didn’t like. AND he gave me a recommendation on where next to send it to. This is a good sign. The more personal the rejections get, the closer you are to being thought about by an editor for selected. Plus a recommendation is already a +5 to acceptance. The hard part is trimming the story.…

  • Fairy Kingdom Rejected From FlashQuake: Didn’t Hold My Interest

    Fairy Kingdom got rejected from FlashQuake. And it looks like they give you some feedback. Two editors. One voted no. Comments: I lost interest in the first two paragraphs. Another voted no. Comments: It didn’t hold my interest. First, let me say it’s pretty awesome that they let you look at what the editors were thinking while they’re voting on your piece. I intend to look closely at the first two paragraphs of Fairy Kingdom to see what I did wrong. Second, the words “didn’t hold my interest” is the most useless piece of feedback you can get. In no way does it help me improve the story. What do…

  • The Realization

    Well, the good news is White Mage Story is done. Finished last night and sent it off to its first candidate – Heroic Fantasy Quarterly – of which it’s totally not qualified to be in. Much thanks to all the critiquers who helped out. I’m glad I sent it in for a second round of critique, if for nothing else then to help me realize that this was a good piece of polished prose. The bad news (or good news, depending on how you think about it) is that now it’s time to return to Black Hole Son. I’ve all the RFDRs back, so I can start making the third…

  • Daikaijuzine Rejection

    Daikaijuzine rejected Avatar yesterday. Normally, I wouldn’t write about this, but their rejection came in the form of a limerick. That’s right, a limerick. A story transcending the mass—we hoped that we’d found it at last,but page-turning plotis something it’s notwe’re sorry—we’ll just have to pass. Now, if I were a lesser man, I’d be angry about this. It seems insulting to me, in a childish way. This is not a response I’d expect from a professional magazine. Would you? I read it as saying “I had hoped to find a transcendant story, but your story did not have a page-turning plot, so I will pass”. That in itself sounds…

  • No Hub

    Still working on refining the Mermaid Story outline. In the meantime, I’m checking up on my short story submissions. “Thicker Than Water” got rejected from Shiny, no big deal there, and now it’s off to its next destination. Fairy Kingdom is at Electric Spec, no word expected until July. Avatar is still rotting away at Hub, and it’s expired its allotted time according to both itself and Duotrope/Ralan’s. So I sent my first “what’s the status of my story” query. Initially, I wasn’t sure what to say, but my vast experience in cover letters asking for employment has taught me to be short and sweet. And especially in this business,…