Thursday, February 23, 2006

Perception & the Divine

At this point in the mobius strip of publishing, I have about 8 rejection letters sitting in a pile on my scanner. I also have 2 requests for partials, but one partial has been rejected, so now my hopes are pinned on one partial and various query letters.

That other partial was sent to Kristen Nelson of The Nelson Agency, who stated on her blog that all the partials she read on Monday were rejected. Odds are, mine was in the pile. I will admit, the thought leaves me blue. Then the next step, what is always the next step when setbacks occur, I must decide how to make things better.

When I was applying for jobs in Wyoming, I sent applications, cover letters, letters of recommendation, resumes and college transcripts to over 15 districts. I wasn't excited about all of them, but I knew I wanted to get back to Wyoming, and I was willing to work in Etna or Wamsutter to do it. When Greybull asked for an interview, I was delighted. Greybull is not far from the Cody/Yellowstone area. It's beautiful and I have relatives there. I loved the school and was immediately at ease with the principal. But when I returned to my apartment in Texas (and discovered that the electricity was out and everything in the fridge had gone bad) there was a message waiting for me--I hadn't gotten the job.

The next step? I called every district I had applied to but had not heard from yet and inquired if the position was still open. Some were still open, some had been filled. Unlike agents, who will send rejection letters if you remembered your SASE, school districts do not tell you a position has been filled unless you were interviewed. I let the districts with open positions know that I was still interested.

I did get a job here. And though I was upset about not being hired in Greybull, I'm now glad. Recently, the aircraft maintinence plant in Greybull shut down. It was the only industry and the only place where my welder husband would have been employed. Here, there are several mines and two powerplants that employ welders. God knew where he wanted me, and where would be best.

So back to my manuscript, which is not for many people, or does not meet their needs at the current time. On her blog yesterday, Kristin points out some reasons that authors might receive a rejection. I won't go through them. If you want to see them, go to www.pubrants.blogspot.com

I don't think my writing is weak, though I'll admit that it might not be fantastic. I get mixed reactions from people, but no one has ever said that it's bad. I don't think my plot line is same-old same-old, though I do admit to haveing some fantasy cliches. The herorine's famliy and village are destroyed. She is coming into mysterious power. Her father is the bad guy. But I think those elements are mixed with enough originality within plot, setting and character. So maybe I'm guilty of being only mediocre--and what a deep fear that is. Mediocre story and writing . . .
And that's unacceptable to me. If it isn't good enough, I will revise some more, rewrite if necessary, go on to another, better book, but I will get there. As with my job search, God will guide me to the right agent, the right publisher, and the right words to put on the page.

4 Comments:

Blogger Kristen Painter said...

I write fantasy, too and yes, it does make the publishing road a little bumpier.

And if it makes you feel any better, Kristin rejected me out of that pile, too. Although it wasn't one of my fantasies, it was one of my contemporary paranormals.

Keep sending stuff out. It only takes one!

February 23, 2006 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Rachel Vincent said...

Hi Becca.

I don't know you, but I saw on Diana Peterfreund's blog that you write dark fantasy, and that you were thinking of concentrating on something lighter.

I'm no expert, but I also write dark (urban) fantasy, and based on what little I know of the market, it seems to be selling really, really well right now.

I got a form rejection from Kristin Nelson a few months ago, and it broke my heart. It didn't even have my name on it.

But a month later, I signed with a great agent (who's sold at least seven dark fantasies this year), and now my book sold, as part of a three book deal.

I just wanted to encourage you to continue to write your dark fantasy unless you truly feel that your writing is taking you in another direction. Don't stop writing it because of the market. What one (or six) agent(s) doesn't like, another might love.

Best of luck!

February 23, 2006 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Sometimes, I wish I had faith that there's a reason for not getting a decent job since 2002. I'm so tired of it, esp. the lack of money that comes with it and the being dependant on state welfare.

Good luck on your submissions.

February 23, 2006 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger The Beautiful Schoolmarm said...

So Rachel, is your agent still acquiring dark fantasy?

Gabriele, is the economy and job market in Germany very depressed? I noticed you put up more beautiful pictures, by the way.

February 24, 2006 at 12:20 PM  

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