Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back to the drawing board

Good news or bad news first? Ok, bad news: I received a very thoughtfully worded rejection this morning. Good news: my query letter works! There's always an upside!

I am now going to send out a different manuscript to some other agents and this time I won't get so excited if someone asks for a partial (...bit like asking for a semi isn't it? Not much I can do with either option!) When I am over my disappointment with my failed MS I will read it again (can probably recite it backwards now) and see if/how I can make it better. Onwards and upwards...erm...as they say (I should like to know who 'they' are in these lexical instances). Well, in the words of Robert the Bruce (does anyone know if he actually said this?): "if at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again. This quote is the only spider related thingy I like!

11 comments:

a cat of impossible colour said...

Are you querying more than one agent at once? I sent out about ten at a time.

I don't think you should count your manuscript as 'failed' after one rejection - or am I misunderstanding you? Are there other reasons?

Rachel Fenton said...

Hey Andrea...good to hear from you. I Have put my heart and soul into this novel but I don't think I am selling it properly. It's a grave story told with an acidic and flippant narrative...this is deliberate, there's method in my madness, but I don't think any agent is sticking with it/seeing through the madness to see what it's about. They read the synopsis, then my description and (I think) go, "UH?". I write my ass off but I'm always prepared to go back to the drawing board and make it better. I need more opinions on my writing to know what I write. I know where I would put it in the book shop - right by Angela Carter but I don't know how to tell the agents what I write. Everyone who has read my work has said how great it is - and I've badgered a lot of people to read it since leaving uni - all of it, not just this novel - and the worst thing I have had back is that it reads (this novel at least) like a play, by which they meant that there's a lot of dialogue. I've researched it thoroughly and rewritten it over four years and I need to find a way to describe it that doesn't do it injustice. I think I have failed this manuscript in my poor salesmanship. I have so many questions I would love to ask you!

Valerie Storey said...

Hi Rachel,
I found your blog by happy accident. So glad I did! I used to live in Auckland, and my favorite writers include Angela Carter and Katherine Mansfield. My new book coming out in a few weeks is a Young Adult titled "Better Than Perfect" and set in NZ during the 1970s. It was inspired by a James K. Baxter poem. I met him a few months before he died. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts. Sending you warm wishes!

Valerie Storey said...

I just found your blog by happy accident. So glad I did! I used to live in New Zealand (the rest of my family still do). In a few weeks my YA "Better Than Perfect" is coming out, set in NZ during the 1970s. My favorite writers include Carter and Mansfield, and this new book was inspired by James K. Baxter. I was lucky enough to meet him a few months before he died. I'm looking forward to reading your posts. Wishing you success.

a cat of impossible colour said...

It sounds like you need to rework your query letter and possibly the synopsis, and maybe think about approaching some different agents. Have you chosen the ones you think would be most interested in your kind of novel?

If you'd like to ask me any questions, my email address is andrea[dot]eames@gmail.com. :)

Rachel Fenton said...

Hi Valerie,
Thanks! I'll keep an eye out for your new book. Hope I can offer you some happy reading!

Andrea - I have researched agents - three at a time (am too disorganised/memory too poor to do ten!), and sent out queries for the last two years. Done a major rewrite in that time and really thought I'd nailed the letter this time!

I will definitely be firing some questions your way - many thanks for the offer :)

Rachael King said...

I just clicked that you are the 'Rachel' that posted all those lovely questions on my blog a few weeks back. Good luck with it all and welcome to blog land! :-)

Rachel Fenton said...

I appreciate that Rachael, cheers; I'm still non the wiser am I :)

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Synopses are hard, eh? I think the one for the novel I am flogging doesn't (can't?) do the book justice...
Best of luck with it all. I found you through your comment on Petina's blog, btw. Thanks for your input - I really liked waht you said.
Women Rule Writer AKA Nuala

Rachel Fenton said...

I take that as a real compliment coming from you Nuala - many thanks! Have spent (hopefully not wasted) yet another day sloshing that great dolly of a synopsis and hopefully rinsing out all the superfluous wordy suds...time will tell. Thanks again.

Mars said...

Hi dear! I just wanted to thank you so much for the kind words you left on my blog the other day - it really lifted my spirits for not just the day, but the whole month probably :)!

I was going to recommend you speak to Andrea but you've already found her! I'm not a writer but I understand rejection, and yes, keep your head up! From what I understand, these things happen in time! <3