It may be bad form to talk openly about rejections, but really, fuck that, it’s such a part of this writing lark. If one submits stories to good quality magazines there are bound to be some rejections. We all know that no writer has a ‘hit’ rate of a hundred percent. I vowed to send work out, and in my own small (fairly timid) way I am. It’s kinda new to me though, so I am still learning markets.
I have had a really encouraging rejection from an excellent magazine. The editor said he felt I’d have no problem placing the story elsewhere, but that it was more mainstream than the type of work he favours. He praised parts, suggested a change even and made the whole rejection blow an easy one.
I had a couple of flat form rejects.
I have had a couple of nothings…HOW RUDE!
And I have had a reject that said the work was ‘bitterly clever’ ‘dry, witty, realistic’ ‘nicely crafted’ but concluded that whilst ‘someone who appreciates fine fiction may read on, the average reader might not’.
I keep mulling that over. Fine writing is an insult suggesting purple prose, pretension, florid language etc. I am certain that my writing is not flouncy in that way at all. I was converted by reading Bukowski long ago, I don’t do flowery bollocks, and if I did, how would that then be ‘dry, witty and realistic’?
Ach! I don’t want to sound all sour grapes, but I don’t think I’ll sub to them again as I don’t ‘get’ what they mean. I am more bothered by their rejection than any other I have had, because I can’t make sense of it. It’s not that I thought my piece was ace, it’s that that their message confuses me.
Anyway I am not going to write for some ‘market’, I’m going to carry on writing my words, for me, and then see if they’ll fit anywhere. I can’t possibly tailor work to anyones individual preferences except my own.
In fact, right now, I’ll borrow a line from a Barenaked Ladies song “I can’t hear a thing, cause I’ve stopped listening, ‘ and I’ll quietly get on.