Why am I never satisfied (part II)?

So on June 22, I wrote this post about a story that has had rotten luck being accepted.  I try to be philosophical about the whole submission-rejection process (in the hopes that it will be replaced more often with the whole submission-acceptance process) and tell myself its more about volume than percentage, but hey, rejection always stinks–even when it’s complimentary.

And days on which I receive complimentary rejections are good days.  (Heck, days when I get responses of any kind aren’t half-bad, considering I have about 30 submissions out to publishers at any given time.) I like to cut up those complimentary responses into quotes like you see on movie posters, the kind where you take out all the criticism and are left with a short but glowing review:

  • “The concept for the story was great, and we loved the ending.”
  • “An original idea, and overall, well-told.”
  • “It has a nice Ray Bradbury feel.”
  • “I really like the writing here.  It’s unpretentious and effective at conveying scene and character.”
  • “The writing is very strong, and the story is well crafted and tight.”
  • “The story’s funny and matter-of-fact disturbing.”
  • “I enjoyed the story, and the writing was very good.”
  • “You explored the emotional ramifications of it well.”
  • “A fun—and truly creepy—ghost story!”
  • “It’s good writing and has a weird, surprising ending.”
  • “The ending was a real twist!”

And these were the places that said no to stories that (for the most part) are still without a home.  Generally, I look on these responses as good things.  But today I got a response about that story that just cannot find a home despite almost getting one, and it was a form rejection.  Boilerplate. If it wasn’t this story, I think I’d feel better about at least hearing from an editor.  But.  Geez.  Maybe its too hot today.

UPDATE: It was form rejected yet again (7/16/2011). Lots of stories go through stuff like this, but this one just seems to have gone through a particular saga of rejection, all things considered.

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2 Responses to “Why am I never satisfied (part II)?”

  1. Chris Hivner Says:

    You have to love the “form” rejection. I have a story that’s gotten nothing but form rejections. So a year into the process I still have no idea what editors don’t like about it. Good luck with yours.

  2. There’s a publisher that keeps sending me (and presumably everyone else) a form rejection that praises the story–I ask you: what’s the point of THAT? (And good luck placing yours, too!)

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