Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thank the Onion...

...for making this blogging stuff as easy as point and click so I can get back to work.

But before I go, I met a novelist last night who was discouraged because she'd written four novels, sent one of them out and had it rejected.


That's right. Two times. Two friggin' times.

Can you beat that? Sure you can. I have no idea how many people passed on Beneath A Panamanian Moon before St. Martins picked it up, but it was enough to fill a freight elevator, of that I'm sure.

So share your war stories. I know you've got 'em.

Talk to me.


John McFetridge said...

Rejections? I've got truckloads. Twenty years' of 'em. I've got rejection from stuff I sent cold to slush piles and rejections for stuff an award-winning novelist recommended to his editor. Short stories, novels, screenplays - I've been rejected by bigshots and by guys who expected me to buy the drinks.

Before a small publisher bought my first novel it was turned down by almost every other publisher in Canada (okay, so we only have about a dozen, still, more than half turned it down).

deangc said...

I don't have any war stories, sadly. I only write short fiction. Perhaps that makes it a skirmish story?

I sold my first submission. For money. For a pretty good rate, too, for short genre fiction, something like $350.

For a while there, I was 1/1, a 1.000 batting average.

I was undefeated.

That average, as you can imagine, did not last. Oh, no, it did not. One of my favourite stories has been out something like 30 times.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The thing is... some people (not mentioning any names)love to write more than anything but can't take rejection. The idea of opening up email after email or letter after letter of rejection is too much for them (not mentioning any names).
I wonder how many decent novels languish on a hardrive for want of more nerve or fortitude.

Anonymous said...

The worst thing that ever happened to me was one of the first publishers I sent my book to signed me.

Two weeks before I got an agent.

Publisher imploded. Agent left the business. (Mind you, I think Mark left with his head held higher and and credibility still intact.)

So I started the agent hunt anew. I got a lot of form rejects. I had a couple that were infuriating, including one that turned me off to one well-known agent. (Since met him. Perfect gentleman.)

I sent Svetlana, my current agent the book I hoped would net my second contract back when my first one was a going concern. She hated it, but asked to see the next one.

I sent her the novel the Imploded Press was supposed to put out. Liked it, but we could not agree on changes. Could I please try again?

I sent her a book I originally had no intention of publishing and wrote mainly on a dare.

We have a winner.

Now Svetlana deals with the rejection while I go do other stuff.

Bryon said...

Two rejections? Sheesh, I feel like a slacker because I only got 39 rejections over four years on my first novel before I pulled it and started something new. That second novel was more respectable with 71 rejections in 2007.

Short stories are a little different. I've only had 4 literary stories accepted in 40 attempts. My best success so far has been with crime short stories. Since my first story was accepted in 2002 (after 12 rejections) I've had 11 stories accepted in 28 attempts.

Seriously though, TWO rejections?

Anonymous said...

Once more did Horatio smite the lock with his imposing truncheon. Once more the metal sounded with automatic indifference. Horatio slid down against the back will of his stony prison into a squat. His head sank into upturned palms, thus obscuring an aqualine nose, regal cheekbones, and a square jaw from which bristled a veritable toilet brush. A solitary tear marked the first defeat in his singular life.

Upstairs the vile Buscamante chortled as he mockingly wielded his own truncheon, this however less large and firm than Horatio's. For the moment Buscamante was not worried over his equipment; he was too elated by the utter humiliation of his nemesis.

This is the lead-in to my novella, "A Ferocity Forged by Humiliation." Watch for it in the display tables of your local B&N. Probably.

--Karl K