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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Well, Now, That's Nice

This just in about my rewrite from the enthusiastic big-time agent after the encouraging communication with his assistant.

Dear [My Real Name]:
    Well I just finished reading your manuscript. Brilliant, devastating, and ultimately hopeful – it’s one of the best pieces of fiction to cross my desk in quite some time…but I just don’t think I’d be the best agent for it. While I loved the writing ([“nice quote from my novel.”] My God) and the squalor of it all, I had trouble seeing the entire story outside of the close, limited scope of [aspect of novel]. In the end, despite myself, I just don’t think I’d be this novel’s best advocate, and instead of wrestling with my decision I wanted to get back to you promptly so you can shop it elsewhere. If you’ll allow it, I would like to share it with another agent here, [Name], because I think she might just have the perfect sensibility for [Title of Novel]. Please let me know if this would be alright, and if there’s an updated version of the MS you would like her to see, send that at your earliest convenience.
    Again, thank you for sharing and know how seriously I took this. Please excuse this note’s brevity, and know that I wish you only the best with this project and all else.
    [Name I will reveal at some point]

I wrote to say, yes, of course, please send it to your perfect colleague; also to ask what his comment meant; maybe it's something I can use to sharpen the book even more.  So, hold your breath a little longer, anonymice.  We're on this road together now.


Michael Waskom said...

Very cool.

Karen Denise said...

Wow, outside of that being an offer, it's a pretty good letter. I hope the other agent will enjoy your novel as much as this one did and go a step further and ask to represent you. Good luck and keep us posted!

Matt Rowan said...

How am I suppose to live vicariously through you when this, albeit promising, setback has occured? All I know is setbacks [hyperbole]! I want someone to have results, so that I can believe in hope again! Not all these damn dreams deferred exploding like loads and suchlike.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who would feel a little desperate and upset over this? I mean, yeah, it's super nice, and hopefully the other agent will take it on as he/she suspects, but still. One of the best pieces of fiction to cross his/her desk recently and still a no? I mean, what the hell does it take? I know fiction is so tough and that agents often need to feel like the stars have aligned to take something on, but come on.

Anonymous said...

fingers crossed!

Greg Loselle said...

I'm with 'anonymous,' above--if the agent found this so wonderfully good, then she should take it, not worry about whether she's 'the one.' This is a business, not a high school prom, for God's sake! So this sounds insincere to me.

But, of course, I could be wrong--all good wishes for finding someone who's 'the one' for you!

Anonymous said...

Let me know when we can breathe.

Chazz said...

I agree with posters above who are saying, "C'mon! What does it take?"
And I wonder, this is a popular blog. Do they know who you are WR? Would exposure (finally?) put you over the top?

I'm not saying you should come out from behind the curtain and monetize all this popularity and pain. But I'd consider it.

To repeat, "C'mon! What does it take?" If the letter is sincere--and since she's passing it on to another agent it appears to be--then this seems...well, crazy. No other business works like this. Businesses fail like this. No wonder book publishing is as successful as book publishing. (Couldn't think of a lower paradigm besides the buggie whip cliche.)

Best of Luck WR. You know I love you.

Nick Kocz said...

Actually, this note sounds especially promising! Somewhere (was it here or another blog?) someone said that the reasons agents pass on projects that they otherwise love love love is because they don't have a firm idea about which editor(s) they'd like to pitch it to.

The fact that this agent is referring you to another agent means that s/he thinks that other agent might have better ideas & contacts which would enable s/he to pitch it better-- which bodes well for your chances!

We're pulling for you, W,R!

Katia Raina said...

The agent loved it, but was afraid he couldn't sell it, that's my explanation. I think it's the loveliest rejection EVER. Look at it as the glass being half full and good things will come your way before you know it!


The Oceanside Animals said...

Hmm, I'm not sure what that comment means either, but it's still a pretty good letter. Best of luck with the agent behind Door Number Two.

Anonymous said...

How can I root for you when I've never seen a bit of your fiction? Why don't you supply at least a snippet for us? Something you have in a drawer (but something you think is good).

Anonymous said...

You can root for W,R by reading this blog and recognizing that she (he?) is a hard-working writer trying to make it like the rest of us. Because she's faced countless rejections yet still keeps going. Because it appears she has some past successes and frankly, I believe the agents/editors who like her stuff -- even without reading it myself. Even if she was writing in a genre that totally and completely disinterests me, I'd still be rooting for her.

W,R owes us nothing. If I were in her shoes, I certainly wouldn't post any of my writing. First, she's anonymous (and who wants to post stuff they've put in the drawer?) and secondly, many of the people asking to see her stuff seem like they can't wait to tear it apart. Just saying.

rmellis said...

Closer and closer.

Frankly, at this point, I want you to sell your novel more than I want to sell mine. I mean, if I had one.

The Rejection Queen said...

What just happened to you is going to happen to me soon. Two agents requested fulls after partials...and I'm sure it will turn out just as it has for you. Life sucks.

anonymous said...

Sounds like Clegg. Sounds an awful lot like Clegg.