Que(ry) Sera, Sera.

Getting rejected is no fun. It’s part of the writing game, though, and so instead of complaining about it, it’s a good time to take stock.

If you are lucky enough to get a personalized rejection, you at least have some feedback to consider. Whether the agent didn’t connect with your work, or if they’re already repping a similar manuscript, you can take that for what it’s worth and continue on.

A form letter is a different animal (and don’t think that they don’t happen with partials/fulls). You have no idea why your work has been rejected, what might be wrong with it, or how to fix it. You can guess, but should you go to the trouble of rewriting, or just assume that you haven’t hit the right agent yet?

Critique partners and beta readers can be helpful, to an extent, but in the end, you are still the one who decides whether their suggestions  are good ones or not. If you are getting the same comments over and over, like, “it doesn’t flow well,” or, “your main character is unlikable,” it’s time to pay attention and do some editing. Otherwise, just keep an open mind, and keep researching agents/sending query letters.

Sooner or later, you’ll hit the jackpot, or you’ll write something better, or you’ll crawl into a literary hole and decide that maybe writing wasn’t the life for you, anyway.

However it works out, it will.

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3 Comments

Filed under Critical Thinking, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized, Writing

3 responses to “Que(ry) Sera, Sera.

  1. Your post title made me laugh. I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment. Take what you can from your rejections, weigh the commentary (if there is any) and decide from there how to proceed.

    Whatever we do next, curling up into a ball and sipping margaritas is not an option. Get busy, get editing/querying and let the rest take care of itself.

    : )

  2. I like the post title too!

    I’ve put a manuscript to the side to marinate based on some nice feedback. Basically I think I need to rework it, make it edgier, and make it flow better. I feel a little guilty putting it to the side after only 10 queries, but I think the comments were right.

    I’ll probably look it over in the summer again. Right now my whole focus is on the steampunk I’m working on 🙂

  3. One more vote for loving the clever title. Your encouragement of a level-headed, rational response to rejection is the perfect advice. Like it or not, it’s part of the game we’ve chosen to play. Those who cannot adopt this sensible attitude, take their ball and go home to self-publish. The worst response to rejection is to somehow shape it into motivation. Rejection isn’t like fertilizer; it’s more like Round-Up. Don’t poison your work or writing process with negativity.

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