Taking The Sting Out Of Query Rejection

Believe it or not, writing the novel is the easy part. Once it’s finished and polished, it’s time to send it out in the world in search of an agent, editor, or publisher. The writer now has to undergo the often daunting task of condensing their entire novel down to two paragraphs. For tips on writing query letters, see the links below.

I’m here today to talk about taking the sting out of rejection, or at least a technique that has worked for me. It has taken the fear out of hitting the “SEND” button because either way, it’s a win win situation.

For every rejection (or 3) I get a book.

It can be checked out from the library, borrowed from the Kindle Lending Library, a free download e-book, new book, or a not-even-out-yet book like Gena Showalter’s new book Alice in Zombieland.

Don’t be tempted to cheat with this technique. It only applies to query letters written to the best of your abilities. Since I started this, I’ve earned a few nibbles from interested agents. Awesome! I’ve also received a few rejections. Only now, instead of thinking my work isn’t good enough, when the truth is my project isn’t right for that particular agent, I think NEW BOOK!

How do you take the sting out of rejection?

Related Post

Why You Should Only Query 6-8 Agents At A Time
Operation Query Critique: A Good Egg
How To Format A Query Letter
Writing A Query Letter

How To Write A Query Letter

Committing to Manuscript Improvement

(Source)Recently, Rach Writes posted a quote from a post written by Mary Kole titled Big Revision on Kidlit.com. One line (two, for those of you who want to get technical) in particular, clarified the difference between sort of being committed to revising a manuscript and complete commitment to manuscript improvement.

“Let me say it here once and for all: unless you make big changes, a revision isn’t worth doing. If you go out on a submission round and get roundly rejected, you’re not going to solve your problem by going back to the page to tweak a few words here and there.” – Mary Kole

During the first rounds of the editing process, writers:

  • fix typos
  • correct grammar errors
  • correct punctuation errors
  • ensure characters are believable and consistent from beginning to end
  • double-check for plot holes
  • make sure readers are well-oriented with the setting
  • include the senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch [and where applicable sixth sense]) into each scene
  • etc.

This process yields a polished manuscript ready to submit to agents, editors, or publishers depending on the authors career goals. Sometimes, even after the daunting task of revisions, fundamental changes to the manuscript are necessary.

This is where Mary Kole’s advice comes into play. It takes total commitment to improve a manuscript. Writers have to be willing to let go of carefully selected words, beautiful prose, even entire pages for the good of the manuscript. When something in the story isn’t working, we can’t just change a few words in hopes of making it better. We must put in the effort and do the hard word to fix it, even if that means throughout portions of the story and starting fresh.

This week, DearEditor.com is hosting a Revision Week where eight prolific, bestselling, award-winning authors give insight to their revision process. One of my favorite questions the Editor asks is about the most drastic thing an authors have done. Some major thinking outside of the box. I’ve learned much through their interviews.

Has your work ever needed major revisions? Care to summarize why and how you fixed it? How do you know when to put down the proverbial red pen?

Bonus Post: Dear Editor Contest

It’s revision week at DearEditor.com and they’re hosting a series of contests. In today’s spotlight Cynthia Leitich Smith’s gives an interview about her revision process and to find out the most drastic thing she’s ever done while revising a story.

For today’s giveaway the Editor is giving away a FREE PARTIAL EDIT of your manuscript. The contest ends tonight, March 5 at midnight. Click here for details and good luck!