I scooped my own blog today by giving up my awesome rejection. For real though, is that street cred or what? “Honestly I’m not comfortable with where this book is coming from.” Wow. Thank you, stranger agent in your big fancy office (I assume it’s big and fancy, but it could be a medium-sized broom closet at her mom’s house). You totally made my day.
Many agents have adopted a “no response=rejection” policy. Though writers are expected to adhere to each agent’s strict submission guidelines, therefore acknowledging each agent as an individual, some agents cannot even bother with a quick “no, thanks” e-mail. By the way, “no, thanks” is a thoroughly acceptable rejection. Some agents use flowery language about the subjectivity of fiction, blah, blah, but it’s the same rejection they’re giving everyone else. It’s a little insulting, truth be told. I got a rejection once that read “the first few pages didn’t draw me in like I’d hoped.” I felt like I had let that agent down. Fast forward a few days and I find out through chat boards that this is her standard rejection. It’s like breaking up with someone because you’re already seeing someone else, but you tell them it’s because they hurt your feelings when they drank the last of the red wine without checking to see if you wanted it.
So, the rejection du jour is fairly pimp. Personal and it lets me know that someone got a little squeamish just from my pitch. Okay, I just realized that I’m judging my success by the quality of my rejections. I really hope to get this novel wrapped up before my brain eats itself.
As all four people who read my blog as my witnesses, I vow to make every single agent who has rejected me say, “Oh, shit. I shouldn’t have rejected her.” I’ve made a stranger who reads query letters all day uncomfortable with a few paragraphs. Can’t wait to see what I can do with the entire manuscript.