Friday, August 12, 2011

In Which I Reconsider Feedback....

So it happened.

I got my first rejection on a full yesterday. It was very odd for me. I was let down, but not distraught. I guess deep down the thought that I would obtain representation on the first full request was pretty slim. If anything, I was hoping for some feedback from her so I could evaluate my MS and make changes. But the agent was snowed under and could not give any specific reasons for her rejection (other than she loved the premise, but it wasn't right for her list--otherwise known as the standard reason). It's so hard to dissect a form rejection.

X marks the spot...or in this case
the rejection!
I am now at an impasse as to what to do. I didn't realize how much I was hoping for feedback from her, so I would know how to proceed. I've struck a wall in regards to finding betas (I only managed two). I want to join a writing group, but I've got to find one first. OK, I've found one but they only meet the 1st Saturday of the month. I'm so desperate that I reversed my feelings about online feedback and posted my first chapter for technical comments. We'll see where that takes me....

And until then, I'm sort of just hanging out here, twiddling my thumbs. How I hate being still!

So what about you guys? What do you after a big rejection?


  1. It didn't happen because of a rejection, but I was in that same stage of desperation for feedback/a good critique. I ended up finding a published author (that I love and who writes with a similar feel) who occasionally accepts ms's for editing (for a fee of course).

    If you feel you've gotten *stuck*, you might look into hiring a professional to give it a structural edit.

    Good luck :)

  2. You didn't cry? I know I did. (First rejection of a full.) I was really crossing my fingers, because it was from one of the first 3 queries I'd ever sent out and I thought maybe, just maybe, I'd get lucky and not have to go through all that crap writers talk about, with the endless queries and whatnot. Alas, I was not so lucky.

    But, keep writing. Keep writing. :-)

  3. I don't think agents spend a lot of time on manuscripts they are not going to represent and that's to be expected.

    Go to conferences, seminars and events in your area. Meet other writers and form a crit group. I know this isn't of any immediate help but it's worth it for the next time.

  4. Ditto Mike. If an agent has recently sold something similar, or has something similar the need to sell, they may not pick up your book no matter how brilliant it is.

    It's just a matter of finding the right agent at the right time. Don't doubt your work after one X. Good luck!

  5. I had my first rejection of a full recently too (unless you count my first attempt, years ago). It stings. I even got two different rejections from the same agent, a week apart. Uh, thanks, I got the message.

    After a period of wallowing I've dusted myself out and sent out more queries. I'm now in the process of re-writing my query with a stronger hook. I have a sinking feeling this MS won't see the light of day, but I want to give it my best shot.

    I write contemporary romance, but if you want to swap critiques we can talk :-)

  6. Rejections always suck, period. And it's so rare to get real feedback from an's like the holy grail of rejections when someone takes the time to tell you what didn't work for them. I think, in the end, you either have to be patient and work with critique partners or find a writing group (easier said than done sometimes--I have yet to find a local group) or pay someone for professional feedback.

    But here's the thing--one rejection doesn't mean you need to change ANYTHING about your work. Sure, you might need another revision--or you might not. That agent may not like your writing style, period--and so it wasn't for her. Or she just signed a client with the exact same writing schtick and can't have identical authors in her stable. Regardless--it's so hard to have the confidence that your work is ready, and only you know if it's there (or at least there enough as far as you can tell). Good luck--if you ever need a beta, let me know :) I love me some HistFic!