Rejection is a part of the writing process. Precious few writers don’t suffer it in one form or another: rejected queries, rejected manuscripts, or the rejection of the reading public (often in the form of one-star reviews).
Today I received this rejection from an agent who’d done me the great good service of reading my entire manuscript:
This is an original concept and you’ve done a great job creating a novel with a strong voice and engaging characters. That said, after careful consideration, I just didn’t connect as strongly with this project as I would need to in order to represent it.
Arrrgh! (No, not a pirate. Frustration.)
I really, really want to take consolation from that first line. But . . . If the novel was good, why doesn’t she want to represent it? And since she doesn’t give me any specific feedback or suggestions, I can’t help thinking the manuscript must be unsalvageable. Like, if she thought I could do something to make it better, she’d at least give me an R&R, right?
[For the uninitiated, an R&R is a “revise & resubmit.” Agents and editors sometimes offer that if a manuscript isn’t quite there yet but they see potential.]
There are a couple other agents still looking at the manuscript, but all the rejections thus far have been of that same ilk: “Really good, but didn’t connect.” At this point I don’t know what I’m going to do with this book. Burn it? While I try to decide how to build a suitable bonfire, I’ll focus on finishing Faebourne. That one I’ll publish myself. (Already have a gorgeous cover, so be on the lookout for it in a future post!)