Taking Rejection Like a Man – Andy Peloquin

Andy Peloquin

I am an artist – words are my palette

Taking Rejection Like a Man

Today I got my first rejection letter–of sorts.

I had sent a message to an admired member of a forum I frequent, asking her to review my book. Of course, I did it with the hope that she’d honestly like it and have good things to say about my maiden effort. With her “stamp of approval”, the other members on the site might say, “Ah, that looks interesting. If she likes it, it’s probably pretty decent.”

Huzzah me, right?

Unfortunately, this is what she sent me:

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I can’t give it a good review.

There is a lot wrong with it still and a bad review would hurt your blossoming career. I do not want to do that to you. I know how hard you’ve worked.

Might I suggest getting a really good editor to give it a go over? The bones are there they are just buried under some issues that someone with an eye for literary detail can sort out fairly easily.

I’m more than happy to reread it after it has been re-edited either by you or someone with a little more experience in that department. At which point I’d be happy to give an honest review.

Ouch!

I have no idea what mistakes are in my book–whether grammar, punctuation, style, or plot–but I thought I went over it pretty well and did all the editing? Does that mean that my writing itself is the mistake, or did I miss something?

Pretty stinging for the first rejection. Hard to hear from someone like that that my first attempt at being a novelist fell a bit flat.

So how did I handle it? Surprisingly, I handled it pretty well.

Thanks for being honest and telling me that it needs work. I totally understand that it may not be your thing, and that there are parts of it that aren’t as good as they could be.

I’d have to say that I handled this rejection better than I handled the last one–someone telling me that the entire prologue was written in a style that so annoyed them that they couldn’t even read past the first half.

That doesn’t make the rejection any less tough, but I think I’m getting thicker skin. It’s always hard to get that first “No”, but now I have, and I’m ready to move on to the next ones. Here’s hoping that they’re few and far between!

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3 Comments

  1. The first cut is the deepest 😛 Sorry that song just popped into my head. I totally hear you though! Rejection sucks, but it’s bound to happen. Did you edit this yourself? It is my experience (which is limited mind you) that as the writer of the piece of work, your opinion is always biased. I could be a pretty great writer but I am not sure I have all the skills necessary right now to be an excellent editor and even if I was a great editor, my own work would be tough.
    I think the only thing you should be considering right now is whether or not you want your work to go through the chopping block again in order to get better (everything can always get better) or for you to improve as a writer. It shouldn’t be so that you can have someone do a review.

    **hugs**
    I am enjoying the book so far, I do find it a bit clunky at times. Some paragraphs aren’t as smooth (especially in the prologue) and it can be a bit wordy at times. The plot, story telling and detail are great though.

    Take care <3

  2. Sorry, Andy, that does indeed hurt. As far as grammar, punctuation, and typos, it’s not too bad. In fact, it’s very good compared to many self-published books I’ve seen. But the typos and other grammatical problems are present. It’s often very difficult for authors to spot such things in their own work.

    As far as the plot and characters, there were some problems as well. Did you have beta readers, or did you contact Beth about some developmental editing? It would have profited from either or both of those. Those things take time and sometimes they cost money, but they’re worth it in the long run.

    Anyway, you’re off to a good start and I’m sure future works will just keep getting better. Good luck.

    • Thanks Frank!
      Which plot and characters were problematic? I’d be interested to know. I did have both a beta reader and a developmental editor.

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