Another rejection

Can’t believe it’s so long since I posted anything – where did that time go? I’ve been editing my novel, not as much as I should have been but it’s been perched on my shoulder pecking away at my conscience all the time. Oh, and I went on holiday. Part of my paper draft is marked ‘edited in Bruges’ so that’s a pleasant reminder of sitting in a pavement cafe in the sun with an inevitable Belgian beer.

Earlier I posted about a rejection letter (email actually). Yesterday I had another. It began ‘Dear Author’. Three months to send back a standard email which they couldn’t even bother to personalise. I wrote back, politely, to express my dismay at this rudeness. I started the email ‘Dear agent’!

I’m not surprised by the rejection, especially as I’ve edited deeper and deeper – I’d have rejected the sample chapters myself. I found a massive error in the second chapter, a mind-numbingly stupid one, even though I’d edited several times. The general advice seems to be to have the draft as polished as you can get it before submission and I thought I’d done that. The step I missed, I think, was having someone else read the sample chapters once I thought I was happy with it. I’m lucky enough to be married to someone who is also a writer and we actively critique each other’s work but I didn’t run these past her. She’d have spotted the errors in an instant. I’ll not make that mistake again.

How do you make sure your material is as good as it can be?

2 responses to “Another rejection”

  1. It is never as good as it can be. But it has to be good. Even after edit after edit, I still found things to change. When I stopped finding story errors and was down to wrestling with commas and quotation punctuation and not plot holes, I was much more confident of “goodness.” Then the publisher sent it to their editor. Put your writer’s ego in a bucket of cold water. But my first novel, SINK RATE was released last week. Now it’s up to all those other editors out there to judge and I’m back to work on the next “good” thing.

    • I agree, Mike. Even when I’m doing readings of my first novel, published in April after countless edits, I find things I wish I’d written differently.
      Good luck with ‘Sink Rate’.

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