Well, it’s a landmark that almost all writers experience; the rejection letter. Firstly, it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. I shan’t mention the agency in fear of prejusticing future dealings but they did reply very positively:
“you are undoubtedly a very talented writer and there’s much to enjoy in the chapters. Although I really enjoyed your work, my reaction wasn’t strong enough to represent it”
The agent continues…
“The main concern to me was I got a bit thrown by the structure and jumps in narratives. In the commercial market, it’s really important that the characters don’t overshadow the story”
In short, there were only 3 chapters to judge my entire novel on. Within those 3 chapters, I had two POVs. I feel perhaps that this gave the impression that my novel was too experimental and jerky.
I know it’s not like that but I didn’t give this impresssion. This is how the industry works and there’s no point in complaining about. As a writer, I have to fully understand the industry insofar as knowing exactly who I am sending my manuscript too.
I did my research in that I sent my submission to an agent with many great crime writers on their roster but I should have known that perhaps the mood and tone of my work didn’t fit with the mood and tone of the writing that agency represented.
We all know not to send our crime and noir masterpieces to Mills and Boon but it’s not quite enough to just send your work to any old agent of crime fiction.
Read widely in your genre. Get to know whose writing style closely resembles yours. In doing so, you’ll be able to target your submissions that little bit more smartly.
The agent who rejected me did so because she knows what works in her camp. At the end of they day, she can’t spend time or money on writing which will may not fit into her agency’s brand which in turn may not sit well with the other stable mates.
As I said, work with with the industry and work it to your advantage. There is an agency and publisher out there for you but you have to kiss many frogs!
Good luck and happy hunting