Friday, August 20, 2010

There's Gold in Them There Rejections

Hello Writers!

Small bottle of gold flakes panned from gravel in Northern British Columbia, Canada. Placer gold means gold that is in the form of loose individual grains which has eroded out of the host rock in mountains and hills freeing it so they can be recovered without further crushing of the host rock. This includes things such as gold flakes and nuggets. This is the type of gold which is of the greatest interest to individual prospectors.


Nobody likes rejection, but like mosquitos on hot summer evenings, they're unavoidable. Agents rarely have the time to offer constructive criticism, so even though it stings, these nuggets can be valuable.

For example, one agent told me they liked the idea in the query (high five!), but the prologue didn't grab them (bummer). After pouting for a few moments, I took action. The prologue features a kidnapping and I made it too easy on the kidnapper. Oops. Stealing a child should be difficult. Readers, do NOT try this at home (or anywhere else.)

Before criticism:

Without protest, Melody let the stranger carry her out of her bedroom and down the stairs. A middle stair fired off a loud CRACK and the stranger froze. Upstairs the child’s mother stirred uneasily in her sleep, registering the sound. A minute passed. By all rights, the child should have complained, or at least fussed a bit. Then the mother fell back into a deeper sleep and the stranger continued. They descended the last few stairs in silence.

After criticism:

Melody let the stranger carry her out of the bedroom. Before they reached the stairs, a floorboard fired off a loud CRACK.

Behind the stranger’s back, the master bedroom door lay open. Bedsprings creaked and squealed as Melody’s mother sat up. The stranger remained still as the woman pushed her legs over the end of her bed. If Melody’s mother turned even slightly to her right, she would see them.

Seconds passed. The stranger fought the impulse to turn around, the silence far worse than bedsprings. The child grew heavy and hot in the fleece blanket. She began to struggle.

A whimper arose beneath the black folds just as the mother hoisted her body off the bed and walked into the master bathroom. When the mother turned on the bathroom light, it clicked.

Gripping Melody tighter, the stranger hurried down the stairs.

What golden nuggets have agents left you?

6 comments:

  1. I have not yet had the pleasure of rejection. I can't wait though. I plan on framing it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those first five pages are crucial. I'm glad you found lemonade from the lemon.

    Good luck! :)

    ReplyDelete

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