I think 'no' is a perfect word. One vowel, one consonant. Two letters. Two consecutive letters. However, I don't usually like being told 'no,' especially in the form of a rejection letter.

I haven't received enough of them to temper my enthusiasm, but I noticed that the couple that I have received are pretty vague. In fact, they remind me very much of the old adage, "It's not you... it's me." So I find myself laughing a little (when I should be crying).

The typical letter thanks you for submitting your work, and then politely tells you that they're passing on the opportunity to represent you. Then it usually says that opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one, and they're all different, so keep submitting your work, because someone else may be just the one to champion it. P.S.  Keep writing.

I suspect that I know the reasons behind the formula:
--  If you give specifics, you invite questions
--  If you say that you don't like it, it's personal
--  If you say that you don't like it, because it's personal, people may attempt to argue with you (because some people truly believe that's going to change things)
--  If you tell someone to keep writing, it a) keeps them occupied and b) gives them the impression that their writing doesn't suck, that maybe it is just a preference thing (which is probably pretty true).

Aside from all of that, this is a complete stranger who doesn't owe it to you to be specific, and they get tons of query letters. I'm not really dissing the agents, just poking fun at the rejection letter. And do I have a better idea? No. I don't.

The one thing that I don't appreciate are the websites that say, 'you won't hear back from us unless we're interested.' That's the kind of thing I did when I was in high school; if a guy was interested, and I wasn't, I ignored him and figured he'd eventually get the point. I'm sure on the other side of that equation it was pretty rude (so, my sincere apologes... I've grown a little since then). In the world of querying, it makes me wonder if my email ever arrived at its intended destination, because emails have been known to disappear. It would be nicer to send a form letter... and how much effort does it take... really...

All in all, it's the 'why's in life that eat at me. If something wasn't working, I want to know why. I can't help it. I'm a fixer if things can be fixed (to a point), I like to learn from the situation so that I don't repeat my mistakes. In Kristy's World I get answers to all of my questions, but in the real world I don't (Kristy's World is a really, really cool place--I have this giant cartoon hammer that I bonk people over the head with when they're being idiots AND all the freeways are clear AND I don't have to work for a living).

All this because I ran across a cool blog called The Rejector... the subheading was "I don't hate you. I just hate your query letter." Zzzzt. Reeled in. So, no rejection letters today (yea!), just ramblings based on someone else's (really cool) website.

Final thought (question) for the day: Why do they call them carpenter ants when they don't actually build anything?...

 

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