I’ve decided that one of the things that makes the writing game tricky is lack of good, solid data points.  It would be handy, for example, if agents and editors would respond to queries and stories with when in a story, exactly, they decided to reject something, even if they were sending a form reject.  After a few responses like that, an author might have some idea whether they have a bad query letter, a bad opening, a bad middle, bad luck, etc.  Of course, many writers would be driven to incandescent rage by that sort of feedback (“How dare she reject my book at page 12?  Page 13 is where it gets good!”), so I understand why “does not meet our present needs” is a bit safer when one doesn’t have something fairly pleasant to say.  Unfortunately, this leads to crazed over-interpretation of a few lines of a form letter (I recall reading a satirical writeup of how to interpret a form letter once, and I tried to find a link to it, but a quick search overwhelmed me with people publicly agonizing over how to interpret form rejection letters with great sincerity).  This is all very annoying to those of us who weren’t English majors, though, and prefer more objective analysis.  Hang on, I think I may have just realized why they do it.

~ by smwilliams on June 28, 2011.