The Query Wars: The Truth, The Truly Bizarre and All That Lies in Between

I have a secret to handling rejections on queries, partials and fulls. It’s not Ben and Jerry’s. Nope. I  share my rejection letters with my trusted critique partner, the fabulous Kat Bender. She’s part of my tribunal in determining what to take away from each rejection letter. I thought you might enjoy a glimpse at excerpts from the rejection letters I’ve received lately.

Let’s start with my YA paranormal mystery, Reckonings

…Agent X has had a chance to review GHOST WHISPERER. Regrettably, he is taking on very few new clients at the moment and does not feel sufficiently excited about the manuscript to take it on…

Sincerely,

Intern Q

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…I don’t think I’m an ideal fit for RECKONINGS. I had trouble buying the tension between Kat and Evan, largely because I had trouble buying Evan. I’m a tough audience for British characters written by American authors anyway, but Evan felt less developed to me than the other characters.  I did like the voice…and the story at the heart of this book is compelling, but ultimately I didn’t feel that spark of connection that I need to feel to represent a project successfully…

Sincerely,

Agent Z

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…While I love the idea and am a fan of gothic mysteries, I’m afraid I’m not connecting enough with Kat on an emotional level to remain invested in the story. I’m sorry I can’t have better news, but I think in the end this is simply a matter of personal opinion and not a comment on your writing itself…

Best,

Agent A

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Now onto The Six Train to Wisconsin rejections…

…Thanks for sending along the pages of your manuscript, THE SIX TRAIN TO WISCONSIN. Truth be told, though, I’m afraid these pages just didn’t draw me in as much as I had hoped…

Best,

Agent Q

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…I find the story very interesting, and unique. I am having trouble wrapping my head around the story though  as I can’t answer this question:

 How is the husband able to get into his wife’s head to know when her suicidal tendencies are going to flare? I understand that she is a suicidal telepath, but how is her husband able to also sense this in his mind?
 
I found it hard to continue to read on not being able to answer this question and therefore must pass.
 Best,
Agent N’s Assistant
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…Though the husband is a valiant figure, we feel the piece has some problems: the language is melodramatic; the organization, a bit scattered; the content, somewhat redundant…
Respectfully,
Agent L
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Now onto the fun part–separating subjectivity from actual issues in the manuscripts that require further revision. 🙂
Have you received any rejections lately? Did they help you improve your manuscript or just leave you shaking your fist at the world?
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