11 March, 2012

The Best Rejection

I'm up to six short story rejections—but the most recent one came with a (short) explanation!
Unfortunately, it's not quite right for us.  The details felt vivid, but the tone of the narrative felt to me more like an external camera, recounting the dialog and actions of the story from afar but not taking me inside a character's head to make me feel the story through their own eyes, through their personality and attitude and mood, such that I could empathize with their goals or fears.
Given the story in question, I can't argue; he's got a point. But the fact that the editor in question actually decided to give an explanation is incredibly encouraging.

I do realize that it might still be a "form" rejection—maybe "external camera" is on his prefab rejection list right between "I saw the twist coming a mile away that your main character turns out to be Jesus" and "Your prose reminds me of a Chick tract written by someone having an aneurysm"—but the very presence of that second sentence tells me that I'm possibly on the right track.

I've never been so happy to be rejected in my life.

For all I know, this will mark the apogee of my efforts, but I intend to keep at it until I do succeed (by a more conventional standard).


  1. That is fabulous feedback even if it is a 'form' rejection. New writers need this kind of feedback to grow, to get better at our craft.

    1. Yeah. It's just probably not best found from editors at paying markets, since they're so overwhelmed with submissions. I considered myself pretty lucky to get this.