For my sci fi trilogy, Left Luggage, I had a reject e-mail from Leslie at Artellus. I’d sent the pitch letter with 3 sample chapters and synopsis in October 2006. I was pleased she sent a personal rather than form reject and yet it is so odd – to me.
Her words are
Perhaps you have already lined up an agent for yourself, [me - waiting other responses, Leslie but thanks for the thought] but I don’t find this material possible for me – it is sort of overly deliberate in its setting out; I don’t think the dialogue is doing enough – you have to spell it out all the time. But reaction to fiction is very subjective. Best of luck, Leslie
I’ve no real idea what is meant by those comments, but I guess the dialogue that appeals to some didn’t in this case.
Any clues what ‘overly deliberate’ means? Janet at BeWrite.net says it might mean I’ve used too much tell, but I’m acutely aware of this problem in others. Of course that doesn’t mean I am immune from error. It is so easy to see flaws in other writers and be blind to one’s own. The sample chapters are, as normally requested, consecutive from the beginning of the book – exactly the area where exposition and scene setting, character descriptions, etc might overwhelm action and dialogue. But, I thought I’d balanced it correctly. I’ve asked for clarification in a thank-you letter. It is interesting that when I refer to this rejection in some writers’ forums, I do so to elicit interpretations rather than sympathy. I’ve had too many rejections to hit the bottle or the wall – it merely means finding another address to send my ouevre off too!
Any help with literary-agent-speak into English would be handy!
There is an anthology of new short stories and poetry about the North of England, compiled by Gladys Hobson of Magpies Nest Publishing. The lovely Gladys has urged me to write a short story sequel to my humour-thriller novel, Escaping Reality. In that, Gerry escapes from prison and after a dangerous winter trek across the Northumberland Moors breaks into house in Maryport and uses it as a squat. He rents out part of the house to a motorbike enthusiast but Gerry ends up not only borrowing the bike but selling it in Amsterdam! So the short story is the post-retrial return – the need to make ammends and restitution to those innocents who befriended him. But does it go smoothly? Hah!