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Why Rejection with Feedback is a Good Thing

By On Sep 3 2010, 1:00 pm

Let’s face it: rejection sucks. There’s just no other way to put it. All writers hate to get those form rejections. I know I do. Whenever I get one of those, I wonder what’s wrong with the story, why didn’t that editor like it, what could I have done differently? Maybe my query letter was awful… maybe it’s my story… maybe it’s just that it wasn’t a good fit. Or maybe something else entirely.

It’s hard to know what to do except to keep querying when receiving those form rejections. That’s all you really can do until you get some kind of feedback from a rejection that really tells you what the strengths and weaknesses of the story is.

I was lucky in that I recently received a rejection with detailed feedback on the story. The editor gave me all sorts of insight into the characters and the worldbuilding. No, my query letter didn’t suck. What a relief! Right?

Wrong. I was crushed. Almost. I read through the comments, set them aside, and then came back to them a few days later and realized the editor was RIGHT. I got insight into the story from a different perspective and when I thought about it, digested the information, I realized that THAT was what I needed to do for the story. It suddenly all made sense!

I was grateful to the editor for taking time out of her busy schedule to write me a four paragraph rejection letter. I emailed her back with a heartfelt thank you. I’ve since begun rewriting the story. It’ll take me a few months but at least I feel as though I’m on the right (write?) path now. I’m not giving up on this story yet!

Michelle Miles writes hot contemporary romance and is currently rewriting her fantasy romance as well as working on an historical/time travel. To find out more about her and her books, visit her website.


2 Responses to “Why Rejection with Feedback is a Good Thing”

  1. Sami Lee says:

    Oh, those form rejections are killer. Congrats on your detailed one (yes, they are a good thing when you’ve eaten as much comfort food as you can and then manage to take the time to look at the book again).

    Good luck with rewrites.

  2. Oh dear, yes. Its nearly a pain that hurts so good, isn’t it? I feel as though, I want sooo badly to know how to improve my work, to make it as close to perfection as possible. And then the rejection letter comes with my epic fail in detailed paragraphs and I’m thinking, “I wanted this?” But in the end, yes, I do. Its kind of like, when you’re trying to lose weight and that evil doughnut box somehow magically appears in your cart every time you enter the store and then you complain about not losing one single pound. We all need someone to rip the doughnut box out of our hands and show us how to improve ourselves. That’s where the editors come in. They throw out our grammatical riddled pastries and make us beautiful writers. Or at least they try.

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