Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A nicer kind of rejection

Well, I received my first personalized rejection in the mail yesterday. To date, I have only been getting form letters, most aren’t even signed.

What I received was a form letter, about five lines printed at the top of an 8/11 page. On the bottom the agent added a handwritten note that said while my idea is intriguing, my book is simply too short for her to try to promote. I’ve always known it is a little light, the final draft is only 46,000 words. The first draft was well over 100,000!

It’s a bit a quandary. The story is told. It doesn’t need to be longer. (She asked for 90-110K.)

On the other hand, it’s no quandary at all. If the question is “do I make it more salable or do I respect the piece,” I hope that I would choose to respect the piece. But if the question is “do I make it salable or respect the piece,” where respecting the piece leaves it unsalable, there doesn’t really seem to be much of a choice.

Don’t get me wrong, if I ever get to the point that I’m working with an editor I’m prepared to slash here and add there as they ask. What I’m talking about in the paragraph above is adding material that is, in fact, extra. I’d have to double the length of the book and that would mean adding a lot of unnecessary stuff to the central plot.

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