1. Zuneida
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    Zuneida New Member

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    Rejected.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Zuneida, Jan 11, 2010.

    Ok maybe this is just a vent but also asking advice. I have been writing a fiction novel based on the struggles our country (South Africa) went through. I know it might be controversial but it has a real look at love back then.

    I have completed only the first 3 chapters (11000 words). Is that sufficient number of words for 3 chapters? I send this with the synopsis to several (7) publishers. I got rejected by all. The comments ranged from we are not only publishing a few fiction books a year and the writers are very good to 'oh your writing style is perfect but the subject might not make us enough money'.

    Now my dilemma is that I have tried writing 2 new novels after this rejection but i still believe this book is a winner. Do I continue writing this initial book or do i write something more lighthearted, easy reading kind of book.

    I would appreciate any contribution to ease the confusion.
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Well first off, you should always finish the novel before submitting it. But aside from that, it is almost always going to take quite a while to get a novel accepted. Several rounds of submissions, probably. It may be easier to try and find a literary agent first, as a lot of publishers will only look at submissions from reputable agents.
     
  3. Smithy
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    Smithy Senior Member

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    It depends on what you mean by continue writing. If you just want to go on with the story and ignore the fact that the first three chapters got rejected, that probably isn't the best idea. If you think those initial chapters can be improved however, I say go for it.

    Personally speaking, I've been rejected by an agent (although not in as many words, he just never got back to me) but I now realise I submitted to early and my story wasn't ready. So I'm going back, reworking, and when it's better I'll try again. So I don't see anything wrong with that approach if you want to take it.
     
  4. Zuneida
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    Zuneida New Member

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    thanks so much for the replies guys. I think what i am going to do is definitely improve on the chapters written and complete the novel. revise until im blue and make sure it is up to scratch before submitting it. think i was just in too much of a hurry with submitting it. thanks a lot again.
     
  5. Tamsin
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    Tamsin Senior Member

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    I would definitely suggest finishing your novel before contacting agents or publishers. I doubt they would take on an unpublished writer who has only written the opening few chapters. Carry on with it and resubmit the opening chapter(s) when you have finished. This would put you in a much stronger position for getting published.

    If you have a story that is controversial and a bit of a risk I say go for it. I am so tired of seeing the same cliched stories in the best seller list! Good luck!
     
  6. Zuneida
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    Zuneida New Member

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    Thanks Tamsin. I definitely take all this advice to heart. I will complete and revise my manuscript. I will also try and find a agent and up my chances of being looked at as a serious writer.
     
  7. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    Keep writing, J K rowling, had 49 rejections before someone had the sense to publish her, admitedly i don't think much came out of it, soemthing about a spectacled boy wizard or something, so i doubt anyone read it, but it goes to show that rejections aren't the end.
     
  8. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    The accepted wisdom is that an unpublished writer needs to present a publisher or agent with a complete and polished manuscript - it's just too much risk for them to take on a writer who (in their eyes) may never come up with a finished product.

    As for whether to carry on with this novel or try something new - I'd say to put your effort where your heart is. If you complete this novel and it's still rejected, at the very least you will have learnt a lot through the process of writing it.

    Any length chapters can work - it all depends on your personal style.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No professional would submit anything other than a completed and polished manuscript, whether or not he or she has previously been published.

    An established writer and a publisher may sign a multi-book contract for work not yet written, but the manuscripts will still be submitted in polished form.

    But if you are sending out query letters, you had better be prepared to deliver the goods!
     
  10. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    The proverbial nail on the head!

    Imagine your quandary if you find an agent (or three) interested in your project.
    "Send the complete!" they say. "I have two publishers already interested in just such a tale," they tell you. "E-mail by return reply," you are told.

    And then you have to say, "Thanks. I'll be finished with the first draft in 8 months - the finished ms should be ready in a year or so."

    What do you suppose an agent's response would be to that?
    "It's hot now. Can't wait for next year. Thanks anyway."

    Too many times in the past, agents have found themselves burned by a novice writer who has a great beginning but just cannot follow through on the promise. Unless your story is truly timeless (which, given the meaty subject matter, yours may well be) no agent is going to want to sit around and wait for you to finish the manuscript while the public interest for the subject goes cold. Additionally, you may have one solid idea in your head about how the story will unfold but, as you write, you may find certain things will change. This can become something of a domino effect and you may find many things changing that you had not planned.

    You have an incredible subject to deal with from a personal and intimate perspective. Finish the novel. Be certain you know what you are offering before you start sending it out.

    Also, there is a great talent to being able to write a query letter well. It can be, for many people, even more difficult to write than the manuscript it represents. Once you finish your manuscript, spend a fair amount of time and research on writing that killer query letter that will convince an agent that you really know your 'stuff'.

    Good luck
     
  11. Zuneida
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    Zuneida New Member

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    Wow seriously guys when reading your replies I felt a bit silly. I should have known this. Especially the part of them asking for the full manuscript and me telling them I will be done in 8 months.

    I do apologise for the ignorance but now I know better. I am not even close to being able to send this rough draft to a publisher and expecting them to sign me up. Th

    Thank you one and all for the advice. I take it to heart and will work on everything mentioned.
     
  12. Ecksvie
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    Ecksvie Member

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    I dont have much experience with publishers, but I was always told you should be pleased if you get any kind of personal feedback on it, as opposed to just a generic rejection letter.
     
  13. Zuneida
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    Zuneida New Member

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    Thank you for that comment. In South-Africa a lot of publishers give personal feedback so I am not sure at exactly how big the market is here. I guess I should be glad to get any feedback.
     
  14. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    With anything you send out for publication, you should always make sure that it is completed before hand. If you sent out those 3 chapters and they were accepted, the publisher would then say to you, "Send me your entire manuscript' which you would not be able to do and they would never want to hear from you again.

    Also, it is not easy to get published these days. Especially with novels. I suggest that you go back to this piece you submitted 3 chapters from and finish it if you feel that the piece is good. I also suggest that you could try writing a few short stories and try to get them published with a few different places to build you publishing credits. Avoid any market that 'doesn't' pay you. Vanity publication really isn't worth the time.

    If you go to www.duotrope.com you will find quite a large list of publishers you can submit to once you have a completed piece to find a home for. Just do your research on any place you decide to send to.

    Best of luck with your writing :)

    Sherie
     
  15. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    I agree. And don't take it to heart. Sometimes, they may just glance at the first few words and decide, "Aha, lame" and not even get into the story idea.
     

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