One of my partials came back today: rejected.
That makes three of my partials that have been rejected. I see a lot of people lament this sort of response, and I get it, it came be tough. Writing a manuscript is hard, finishing it is harder, sending it out and watching the rejections roll in is the hardest. But… during these times one needs to remember that this is the name of the game. Partials get rejected, queries get rejected, heck even full manuscript requests get rejected. You face it and you keep moving, because in the end that’s the only option you have.
(Unless of course you’re a quitter, and you’re not a quitter.)
My first rounds of submissions were to agents who took only query letters and accepted them over email. (I discovered agents usingquerytracker.com and agentquery.com – both of which are excellent resources.) There’s a lot of agents in the market that will take queries this way, but a greater number of agents want a lot more things – items beyond the query letter – cheif among them is the synopsis.
So I spent a better part of my weekend working on the synopses for Coal Belly. Synopses. Not one but two of them, a long one which was about 2000 words and 10 pages double spaced and a much shorter one which is 2 pages single spaced and around 800 words. The challenge of taking 130k words and reducing them to 2000 words was difficult, however, the smaller one, stripping it down even further to 2 pages was one of the more difficult things I have done in this whole process. Stripping away the flourishes and focusing on the structure, but still trying to maintain pace and hooking the reader. Tough.
I learned a lot.
Now… to send it out.
Sent out another wave of query letters a few days ago. Some egregious number, something like forty-five. That brings the total count (according to my handy query spreadsheet) up to eighty-five query letters sent. Eighty-five. Wow. Eighty-five people reading my words and debating whether or not they want to represent me.
Okay that’s not totally true. Technically it’s not eighty-five anymore. I have received twenty-four rejections.
Seems like a lot, hell, feels like a lot, but from what I read it’s fairly typical. I’ve seen authors, talk about forty rejections, sometimes fifty, and I know I’ll be there. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the rejected.
It happens. I do my best not to take it personally and I move on. I’ll keep sending out the letters, I’ll keep opening my email, and I’ll keep reading the rejections.
I would forever be a manuscript-ist and never a novelist if I didn’t put my work out in the marketplace. Eventually someone will be interested, and eventually I’ll published.
I know it.
Besides, I promised myself I’m going to buy myself something nice if I can get to 100 rejections.