Thursday 20 May 2010

What's a girl supposed to do?

So: not waiting. 

Breathing has been restored as my default reaction when about to answer the phone or open my e-mail account. Worrying, wondering and daydreaming have been shelved.

I can’t say I feel bigger, stronger or tougher in response to the experience but I haven’t been mortally wounded either: determination and belief are intact. 

What is a girl supposed to do with a rejection letter? I’m not about to use it printed/pleated/sculpted - copied multiple times - to create a piece of statement modern art: noose, flagellation whip or red-carpet full length, halter-topped, told-you-so, flock frock. 

Nor am I off to bitch about how that rejection thingy was, like, right out of order! Cos, like, it came on an off-white background with black lettering and that "no-Daz?-like-I-feel-so-sorry-for-you" white teamed with black is so last-year!

The e-letter was the single most useful critique I have ever received: advice about how NEAR EDGWARE could be improved; and the reason why Eve decided not to add it to her portfolio.

I began by celebrating the strengths. Then started unpicking the text in search of sections in need of clarity – Clarity? Clarity? Has anyone seen Clarity anywhere I think I might have lost it (and I think you, Dear Reader, are probably agreeing round about now) – page one received its 94th re-edit!  Don’t you think it’s super I've been keeping track of this statistic?

I wrote a submission while my partner bought the chocolate.

Many thanks to Eve White and her team – Sally Popplewell, so close to perfect it hurts. 


  1. Sorry! :( Make use of the positives and discard the rest. Whose next?

  2. Cheers DL
    I've written the next four submissions, I've had time for preparation recently ;)

  3. I just sent out another round of submissions today. I am now officially AGAIN in wait mode.

    I'm sorry you got a rejection, however, just because she didn't love it, doesn't mean the next one won't. I'm behind you 100% cheering you on from across the pond.

    We can do this, it might not get any easier, but we can do this!!!

  4. Hi Anne
    Disappointing but encouraging too.

    "I know this is a huge disappointment but it may be helpful to know that you got very close. It was a great idea with a good central character, lots of well thought out minor characters, nice plot and a good mystery surrounding the triplets."

  5. I went through a similar circumstance last fall and as sissy as it sounds it wasn't so bad because the agency that rejected me treated me humanely and were very precise about the problems with the novel. And yes, I did revise it and it wasn't a happy or pleasant process but I do think it's better now and I'm sending the ms out again with renewed hope. So it can only get better from here. Keep your chin up.

  6. Sorry. I have a binder full of those letters. Keep trying!

  7. you are amazing, Elaine -- and your response to this experience only further proves my point. hang in there, love. i've been EXACTLY where you are. it stings like hell -- but this much is certain: YOU'VE GOT ONE HELL OF A BOOK if you're getting those kinds of rejections.

    it's only a matter of time. i promise.

    just keep pushing.

    <3 you!

  8. Sorry to hear about this, Elaine. I was hoping the response would be different. I know you'll use the advice to make the story even stronger. Good luck with it.

  9. So if you got that close with her, you might go all the way with someone else. Don't change too much, truthfully, I'd send it out some more just the way it is and see what happens. She ALMOST loved it, so it's great the way it is. Someone may definately love it JUST the way it is. Don't lose sight of who you are and what you've written just to please one person. The only person who can demand changes is an editor. And if that agent didn't ask you to change it and resubmit, then wait. Send it out the way it is and see what happens. Just because she wants clarity or whatever, doesn't mean the next person will. The next person might be all over it like a fat lady at the ice cream shop.

  10. I second Anne's advice. That was a VERY promising rejection letter. Go back at it!

  11. Sending encouragement and creative thoughts. I'm sure you'll get there sooner than later Elaine. Especially with those positive thoughts you're keeping up.

    Good luck.


  12. Wow!
    Thank you everyone - I appreciate the support from you all.
    Laura and Rena - I tinker with the book all the time. Nothing too major was suggested and I'm so will look for any descriptions I may have under described ;)
    Tahereh - hey - so kind. I got the e-mail headed to Starbucks AND IT CLOSED WHEN I GOT TO THE DOOR! It was all to much for a moment.
    Hi Jemi - I have to say "Me, too!" Thanks for the support and the luck which I need.
    Hi Anne - I am going to go through it and see what I might want to do, it can't hurt it. Great image: "all over it like a fat lady at the ice cream shop" :)
    Karen - thank you. I am working on it!
    Donna, thanks for the encouragement. I'm certainly feeling supported this morning :)

  13. The cliches never really help easy the pain, but they are true.

    Every rejection is one step closer to finding your perfect agent.

    It all happens for a reason.

    Don't give up. You've already come so far. It's only a matter of time before you contact the person who will fall in love with your story.

  14. Receiving rejections myself, I know how you feel. *hugs* Just think of it this way--it's their loss... You'll find someone who appreciates your wit and genius! :)

  15. Karen and Elizabeth
    Thanks for your kind, and encouraging, words.
    I began researching other excellent agents, with an e-mail submissions route, but I did hope I wouldn't need to use this list. Ah, well! :)