Well my lovely supporters, I have now joined the ranks of the Partial Request Rejects Club. Friday, I received a form rejection letter from the agent who asked to see sample chapters. I was bummed, of course. Not only to get a rejection, but a form rejection at that. I was hoping for some type of helpful rejection. I know that agents are incredibly busy, but just a paragraph, a snippet, even a single sentence. “Dialogue needs work” “Not enough showing,” something. Unless my MS is just so bad that they cannot bare to say “It sucks, quit now.” I’m sure that they could come up with a single sentence to give me something to go on. How is one to improve if they don’t know what’s wrong?
I threw myself a mini-pity party on Friday. I ate too much pizza and watched a chic flick that made me cry while my hubby was out with friends then attempted to do that whole ‘sleeping’ thing. Saturday I went back to work on the new novel. It’s easy to sit and sulk, feeling bad for myself and racking my brain trying to figure out what might be wrong with the MS. But without any type of feedback from the agent, I can only go off of the feedback I have already received. Which after my last revision, has all been good feedback. Beta readers, critique groups and the like, the big things a writer looks to when an agent won’t give a morsel of advice. I am not much for sulking, I let myself feel bad for a day, and then it’s back to work. Pouting will do nothing for me or my career. It won’t fix my MS, won’t improve my writing, won’t magically give me an agent that loves my work. Only working will do that. So I went back to work.
I’m only human, so I’m still bummed. There’s that little voice urging me to rip apart my MS again to see what could be changed. But I’m not going to. Not yet anyway. I haven’t stepped away from it for that long, I won’t have fresh eyes, and you shouldn’t revise when you have lingering doubt. It becomes too easy to shred your novel, changing it all when perhaps it only needed minor changes. Then you’re left with a bigger mess, because you’ve ruined what was good. So for now, I will keep querying/researching other agents and work on the new novel. If/when I do finally get some feedback to go off of from an agent, then I’ll take another look at the MS. Or when it has been sitting on the shelf long enough for me to have fresh eyes. When I don’t remember what happens in every chapter, when I can’t remember the majority of it by heart. When you have spent so much time revising it as I have, I couldn’t possibly see it with fresh eyes right now.
The only way to improve is to keep reading, keep writing, keep working. So that’s my plan. Until I start getting replies from agents that my work is terrible, only then will I consider the idea that maybe writing should simply be a hobby. And that’s only considering it, I think it would take much more than that to convince me of it. I have read some down right terrible books from authors who continue to get published. If they could manage to find someone who saw promise in their writing, then I’m sure I will too. Everything happens in its own time, not when you want it to happen, but when it wants to happen. So I just have to get through the ride until then, and keep working while I wait. Perhaps next time, I’ll get helpful feedback and have something to go on. Regardless, I am still glad that my query is doing its job and cracking some doors open for me. Now, I just need to find a way to jam my foot in before they shut it. It’s all in a days work, right? What do you guys do when an agent pops your excitement bubble, and sends you that rejection? What’s your pity party, or next plan of attack?