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:~: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 :~:

Oxymorons

Yes, you know them: Military Intelligence, Government Organization, Working Vacation, Jumbo Shrimp, Peace Force, and my personal favorite...

Positive Rejection.

I've heard of this nebulous thing, but always thought, "Come on, a rejection is a rejection. You can spin it however you want, but it's still a big fat R."

And then I got one. Actually, I didn't get one, I've received a couple off this last round of mail-outs. I've gotten used to the standard form R's. I've even gotten used to the polite personalized R's that gently say, "this isn't right for me, but I see promise" (ahem, a gentler, kinder, standard R). I've even gotten used to the fact a lot of agents are sending form R's on fulls - although it grates on me. So when I got my first personalized POSITIVE R on a partial, I was shocked. No, wait, I was floored. Esp. when it came from a big agent who is known to be a little snarky in her responses - IF she takes the time to give you a personalized R. I read it, and thought, "Woohoo. R." Then I reread it and realized as far as R's go, it was a pretty good one. Then I got another one, from another big agent. And while both of these agents ultimately rejected for different reasons, they each had great things to say about my story and writing, were very encouraging, and both thought I wouldn't have a problem finding someone to rep it.

It's not the answer I wanted, and it still means nothing until I find that one person who loves it enough to pick it up, but it feels like a move in the right direction.

So, okay, maybe positive rejection is still an oxymoron, but it's not as bad as I thought it was before.

6Comments:

Blogger Piper Lee said...

Ya know, the sad part of these rejects is that they're going to be so upset when you get representation and then you're one of the NYT's #1 sellers etc... They'll be SORRY!

Glad you're looking at this in such a positive light though. Each one can be a learning tool and at least you've got stuff out there to be rejected.

And I love your oxymorons. ROFL

Hang in there, it'll happen!

4:27 PM  
Blogger Christine Keach said...

Celebrate EVERY SINGLE step along this road! A positive rejection is not a standard rejection, and if 2 top agents are saying good things about your writing, it's a good sign.

And I so agree with everything Piper says!

5:15 PM  
Blogger Edie said...

Elisabeth, I feel better about those kind of rejections too. We need reinforcement and I'm glad there are a few agents who give it. :)

Piper, even when I'm a NYT's bestseller, I'll still think kindly of these agents. *g*

8:51 PM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

When you start receiving those kind of letters you know you are headed in the right direction and it gives you a boost. It was several rejects that went "Loved it, but not something I feel I can take on right now". It meant to me though they loved it, they may have had other similar works out there already or because it was a western didn't feel the market was strong enough. However, those rejections kept me writing and knowing the day would come.

Your day is coming! And soon!

8:55 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks girls. :) I've had nice personalized rejections before, but these were the first that were highly specific and very encouraging. And that's the big difference here.

9:08 PM  
Blogger TJBrown said...

Yes, there are positive rejections... Sort of. Sorry about the R's!
Teri

7:16 AM  

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