I’ve been sending out queries lately, so I’ve been getting rejections. I think I would be more accepting of the situation if there was a consensus as to why agents and editors are turning down my work. One rejection letter said that my writing was good and the premise intriguing but the book leaned too far toward science fiction to be a good fit. Another letter I received the same day for the same novel said that she was immediately impressed but that there weren’t enough science fiction elements for their list.
Oddly enough, I never considered the book to be science fiction at all — I thought it was more of a thriller, except that it’s not thrilling enough to be classified as a thriller. And if not a thriller, then a mystery, though it doesn’t quite fit into the mystery/suspense category, either.
I can’t imagine what reasons they will give for rejecting my work in progress, assuming I ever get the book finished. (For some reason I can’t write during the summer, so it’s really a work in stagnation.) But the book defies any sort of classification. Well, there’s no point in worrying about that now. I have four completed novels that are racking up the rejections, and that’s about all I can handle for now.
As I was writing this, I received another rejection in the mail. Lucky me! This one said “The concept of the novel is intriguing and the ominous and tense tone of the writing reflects the mood of the protagonist fairly well. Unfortunately, due to the confusing nature of the plot, it’s not right for our current list.” Confusing? I thought that was the point — keep the reader confused until the end when all is made clear and they become unconfused.
I’m used to rejection, of course. It’s all part of the submission process. But oh, how marvelous if just once in my life I had to get used to acceptance!