Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Update to Intrusions

What did I tell you?

I sent my acceptances and rejections out. Almost immediately, one of the guys I rejected came back and said that he'd be happy to revise but he didn't understand my comment that the story was spotty. Did I mean uneven? And if so, he needed clarification. This is a person who has supposedly--I didn't take the time to Google him--been nominated for a couple Edgars. Right.

I now know why agents and editors can be so terse in their rejection letters. They are saying, "No, thank you." That's it. Once you throw in the "Your writing has promise" or "Maybe with a little work", you as the editor are screwed. Because they just keep coming back. I have taken the line with "please keep submitting" out of the rejection letter. It is now simply, your story doesn't work for us. Period.

The other response I got to a rejection was another story. Immediately. Okay, let's get this straight. You sent me your best work two weeks ago. I have sent a rejection to that work and your second (or third or fourth) best work is going to impress me? I did read it. Two typos and 3 POV shifts in the first 6 paragraphs. It doesn't get any better.

So to quote the much missed Miss Snark, "No means no."

The good part of this is that I am now SO ready to start working on my own stuff. And reading things from the Pirates. You guys don't know how good you are.


Ali said...

I've always thought you were too nice to offer reviews on the pieces you reject. Sounds like it's time to get a bit terse yourself. Embrace it, you are the boss of short fiction for AP. You have the power to tell people no without any explanation what-so-ever. Feel the power.

Debbie said...

Yeah, I do that to myself sometimes. I think most of the exasperation I vented on John's blog came from my wanting to tell a few writers to just hang up their pens.

From now on, terse it is.