Saturday, December 6, 2008

Crazy Writers

Update: Yesterday I only wrote 1200 words, but better than nothing! Hopefully I can keep this up until I've got the entire first half re-written.
I know I've posted about it before, but there's been some discussion at agent blogs and other places on the net about rejection letters and the way some people respond to them. Unfortunately many agencies now have the policy of no response means no. This really annoys me. I mean seriously, how do I know my email just didn't end up in the spam filter? Ok, I'm sure a lot of agents wish a majority of query letters would go to the spam filter, but for all the unprepared, ill-researched, egotistical query letters, there are those of us who have done our homework, are perfectly serious, and possibly have something worth reading.
It's certainly not getting any easier to attract an agent's attention, and those who feel the need to write abusive emails back to a rejection are just making it harder. Even a generic response is enough to elicit venom from writers these days. Partly, I can understand. I've felt the frustration, I've contemplated throwing my computer out the window. I've had the urge to scream "WHY? WHY? WHY?" I've even had to fight the temptation of emailing an agent and asking to please elaborate on why if they liked the idea, what was wrong with the actual manuscript.
I just keep reminding myself that this is how the industry works. It's my choice to pursue this career path and as a result I need to follow the rules. I keep being told by published writers that persistence is the key. Well, I've got all the persistence in the world. It could probably be redefined as stubbornness (as I mentioned the other day).
It's just unfortunate that the few who feel the need to tell an agent what an idiot they are for rejecting the next New York Times best-seller are having such an impact on the rest of us.
Song: Better by the Screaming Jets

4 comments:

Justus M. Bowman said...

"It's certainly not getting any easier to attract an agent's attention..."

Yesterday I thought about how aspiring authors are in a terrible/incredible position. The economy has taken something difficult (getting published) and made it much more difficult. Do you agree with that?

I think a writer who gets published during this crisis is part of a small crowd; a writer who writes a bestseller is part of an even smaller crowd. We're probably talking a tiny fraction of 1% of aspiring authors. I don't know for sure. Just throwing it out there.

Justus M. Bowman said...

I've heard similar statements about The Twilight Saga. People seem to enjoy the 1st book, yet they dislike the others.

Fortunately I'm not the kind of person to read a worthless series simply because the first book impressed me.

Kathleen Peacock said...

Do any of the agents you're querying accept queries by regular mail? That way, you could at least include a postcard.

I can see the appeal in querying by email but I'd have the same fears about being flagged as spam. It would be interesting to know how many check their spam folders.

Jess Anastasi said...

Unfortunately about 80% of the agents I've dealt with these days only want things done by email. And more are heading in that direction as it makes thing easier for them. Dealing with a couple of hundred emails a week would be much easier than dealing with a couple of hundred packages of paper. Can you imagine how many thousands of pages they must recieve every week?