A step forward, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

An agent came back and asked to see the full manuscript of ‘Railroaded’, but then quickly rejected the whole thing.

I’ll ignore the obvious negative and take some positives;  I grabbed the interest of a literary professional and, albeit briefly, viewed the slush pile from the outside.

She gave good feedback, some of it highlighting some points I was already conscious of and keen to avoid/focus on for Novel No.2.  So having someone else comment on these aspects too means I must be ever so slightly thinking along the right lines.

I didn’t agree with everything but then that just means I haven’t communicated clearly enough.  Also, for sanity’s sake, I can’t agree with everything otherwise I would just give up with ‘Railroaded’ and I’m not ready for that at the moment.

At university, a mate and I went round some London ad agencies with a portfolio of print and billboard ads we’d drawn up.  One agency creative pairing were really nice and praised us, the other were OK but bland and the third tore us a new arsehole.  I learnt so much and remember more fondly the agency creative that ripped us to shreds than the other two.

That didn’t happen here, she was very nice and friendly (agents DO have hearts!) but while this was the closest I’ve been yet it resulted in failure, I’ve got some valuable expert feedback, had some things confirmed which I thought I already knew and feel more confident going forward with this experience.

October 2, 2009

arseThe pain!  The humiliation!

The second rejection for ‘Railroaded’ plus a rejection for a short story just to twist the knife a little more.

I’ve just finished another short story and going to start another one this weekend…because I just can’t get enough rejection in my life.

September 15, 2009

be-gone-loserJust before I left for work I saw a London postmarked envelope that didn’t appear to be a bill, so I opened it.

Only my first rejection!  I’m so chuffed!

OK, I’m gutted that they didn’t say yes but you gotta take positives from it.

  1. The submission found its way to the correct person.
  2. I got an answer in less than a week!  (That could be construed as a bad thing, but I ain’t even going there).
  3. The submission was deemed worthy enough to actually respond to.
  4. Even though I guess 70% of the letter was part of a form letter, he did actually say ‘the premise was interesting‘ and that ‘you write very well‘.  I’ll take those comments at face value and deposit them in the old ego bank.
  5. I spotted an error in the letter, it’s missing the word ‘with‘ in the second sentence (if you’re reading this).  Spelling Nazis ftw!

I’m not going to put the letter up or say who it is as I haven’t asked permission, but it was a very nice rejection letter.  I’m sure this guy’s ex-girlfriends have been dumped very kindly, maybe over dinner whilst he tenderly held their hand and let a tear form in the candlelight.

Of course, after the 57th rejection letter I probably won’t be feeling so forgiving but my first time has been a pleasant one.

Onwards and upwards.  I’m going to have 5 submissions on the go at any one time, so that’s one crossed off the list, time to get another one sent out tomorrow.