Monday, October 31, 2011

Dealing with Literary Agent Rejection

Rejection ... it is as much a part of a novelist's life as plot lines and character development. You put out good queries to various agents, and you WILL get rejection notices.

OK, what next? Agent Rachelle Gardner dealt with that on her blog within the past week. Her post couldn't have been more well-timed with my own circumstances. I received notice from one agent ... I won't identify the agent ... who wanted a partial manuscript of my first novel. She requested the first 50 pages, but I sent the first 54 in order to include a full chapter rather than breaking it in the middle. The result was something I have encountered before ... request for partial, followed by a rejection letter. How do I read the context of the rejection letter?

Here is what I received ... "I enjoyed reading it. While your pages are interesting and well-written, after careful consideration, I feel that your project is not right for my list at the current time." That is as much depth as any rejection letter will contain. What do I take from those words? I like "interesting and well-written" because it validates my own feelings. Beyond that, there is nothing to grasp.

Rachelle Gardner says that is typical. Agents don't have the time to detail things that might have swayed them this way or that. As an author, I have to go with the flow. I will take "interesting and well-written" as some sort of validation. That means I will send out more queries soon ... but not today. I have writing tasks I want to complete and a day job to give my full attention to. My days off will include queries to at least three agents whose areas of representation fit the parameters of what I have written.

None of us like rejection, but there will be that day when my novel and an agent will make the right connection. That has to happen, doesn't it?

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