Veal stew and polenta. A dish common in the Vicenza area of Italy. Delish to me. Maybe disgusting to you.
This is where I’m at in the querying process. I’ve heard every reason under the sun to be rejected. And they all differ. Which makes it really hard to find anything useful in it.
Let’s see here’s a smattering:
- I don’t like your voice
- I don’t like your writing
- Your writing is not quite there
- Your voice is too breezy
- The beginning is too slow
- The beginning needs to slow down
- This is not a good fit for me
- I’m not enthusiastic enough
- I didn’t love it, but there’s nothing wrong with it
The list goes on. Variations of not for me. After a certain point, you either crumble (I did in Italy) or you distance yourself from it and pretend it doesn’t hurt (my new modus operandi). I view this like any job search. You send out hundreds of resumes and eventually you get a few interviews and a job.
It’s not personal. It’s business. This I repeat 10-20 times a day to myself.
I track each query in a spreadsheet. And every 10-20 queries, I look for a pattern in the rejections. Unfortunately this is not happening. Which may mean the story is good and I just haven’t found its soulmate. Or the story stinks and it should be burned.
Obviously, I think it’s the former. So I keep querying. I keep trying. I’ve worked out the kinks in the query. I think it’s the best query I can write.
I spent 4 months revising. I know this is the best book I can write (right now). So I’ll keep trying. For each rejection, I send another query out.
Publication is a great goal, but if that’s the only goal, I would be a monumental failure.
So my goal is short term. To write everyday. To finish each story and revise it to the best of my abilities. And then to send it out into queryland.
What reasons have you been given for a rejection?