First off, apologies to any Alice Cooper fans out there for the lift. Secondly, apologies for the absence. This was due to circumstances beyond my control. OK, now back to the show.
This week it’s all about rejection. The sort all writers have to prepare themselves for and the particular hell of finding an agent. That’s the big hurdle. If you get over that then, if traditional publishing/books is your thing, then you are almost there. That will not be the case for the vast majority, who will end up littering the in-trays before the cursory rejection e-mail. Why will an agent reject your blood/sweat soaked masterpiece? Well in no particular order they might do it for the following reasons.
- It’s a poor idea
- It’s a poor idea badly written
- It’s a poor idea well written
- It’s a good idea badly written
- You picked the wrong agent for the genre you are writing in
- Your genre/story just isn’t that popular at the moment
- You didn’t format/synopsis/cover letter as requested
- They were swamped and decided to dump a whole lot sight unseen
- The agent is a jerk and hates you
- The universe hates you
- You wrote an OK story quite well…..meh
Of those possibly the last is the worst. You were OK, he/she has read worst, probably got it published too. So near but so far. Better luck next time. As for the rest, the point to understand from them is that they are they are all your fault to a greater or lesser extent. Even No.8. Did you check to see if they were even taking submissions at the moment?
So in the last week or so I have finished the second draft. It still needs work, but that can continue, no need to wait any longer. The basic plot, story telling, characterisation, world-building is done. If they don’t like it, no amount of tweaking is gonna save it. To that effect I have written a synopsis, a covering letter and formatted the first three chapters in the style most of them seem to want. Next step is to sign up to Agent Hunter, create a profile search and identify 8-10 agents who might be interested and who are open for submissions at the moment. Press the send button and wait for those rejections to just start rolling in. But I am lying to you dear reader because I have already sent it out to one agent. The reason, well it’s a bit weird actually. Whilst researching the book and it’s London locations, I was in the Citte of York, which has some of the old furniture of Beneke’s the setting for the first two chapters. Well while taking some photos, a gent strolled by and asked what I was doing. When I told him about the book, he told me that just behind the pub were his agents. He wished me luck and went off to meet them. Well, at that moment I knew I just had to send the finished MSS to this lot. The coincidence (I imagined) foretold of great things. Such were my delusions at the time.
See you next week.