Friday, June 25, 2010

Two-Page Personal Rejection

But what did you really think?

Text = 
Dear Tim Love:  Thanks for this-- it has some interesting content, but we can't use it as it stands, I'm afraid.  I think you need to give the reader more information about what is going on, for one thing.  In a story like this, there's a lot to take in, so it helps the reader to set out some things clearly + concisely e.g. what exactly the beehive is and what are its uses, the fact that he's trying to get rid of the (something?) of his girl-friend, etc.  Also, having the action in past tense + flashback in present is confusing.  Try it the other way around maybe. (Or italics for flash-backs?)  The conversations go on a bit  Try to weed out (something) E.G. stuff about capitals on p.5.  The real problem is there's too much density of information and not enough story.  The ideas are interesting but there's not really enough involvement with the characters to draw the reader on.  I think you could try having at the characters b? the guy + the girl love, maybe intersperse the story of their relationship with all the info that's coming from Dr. Peace.  That's a hell of a lot of work to do. in other words, and I can't promise you'll produce anything we can publish but the story contains some promising ideas and I think it's worth more work.  The main thing to remember are 1) Make it easy for the reader to assimilate, 2) Really the essence of short fiction writing: make everything relate to the story. Don't put in (something?) details just because they appeal to you. e.g. (something, something?) Cat Stevens.  It's quite fun, but does it mean anything in the context of the story?  Best, Susan Quinley  P.S. I don't much like the "joke ending, I'm afraid.  I think the ideas in the story deserve something better.

From Tim Love's talk on Breaking into Print (UK)

4 comments:

The Rejection Queen said...

It's nice when an agent provides you feedback...but like I've always said: Opinions are like a-holes...everyone has one and they stink. So all a writer can really do is take it with a grain of salt.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Wow, longest rejection letter ever!

Anonymous said...

Geez, you start off thinking, wow, they must have really liked the piece and come close to bother writing a two page rejection letter! And then you read on and slowly realize that they apparently didn't like much of anything about the story. They have highlighted so many flaws I wondered why they bothered. Just having a particularly nice day?

Anonymous said...

"don't put in irrelevant details just because they appeal to you (e.g., crabs singing Cat Stevens)" or, um, Arabs singing Cat Stevens? I think crabs are more likely...