Dear Agent 99: I'm not sure what's worse this week, the fact that after stringing me along for an entire calendar year, you are now rejecting me because my novel now seems muddled and always seemed to dark, or the fact that I have to face a painful biopsy for some suspected cancer. You really stink. Best, W,R. Of course, I will let my silence speak instead. Sadly, friends, the part about suspected cancer is true. I'm sure it's going to turn out perfectly fine and not be anything malignant, but then again, for a cynic, I am eternally optimistic. I have a biopsy tomorrow, so may not get online to post until next week. Send some good thoughts my way if you are able. Man...life can be a kick in the teeth, right? What a week!
Here's what Agent 99 had to say:
This is a difficult email for me to write, but after a lot of time and careful reads from me and a few trusted colleagues here, I’m afraid I’m going to have to walk away from [slightly incorrect Title of Book...really? You couldn't get it right?]. I really do admire you personally and as a writer, and I’m sorry it took so long for me to make this decision, but I don’t think we’re seeing eye-to-eye editorially in the way I would like.
I think you’re such a talented writer, and I love your style and your unique sense of prose and voice. That said, ultimately the book still isn’t working in the way I would need it to in order be its very best advocate. I have too many hesitations remaining, and indeed, even though we decided it was best to tie the two parts together (which I do think is crucial to the book) I’m still not seeing the execution I would like.
The redraft has also confused the original intent of the book and muddled some of the elements I loved earlier on. In this incarnation, it seems so obvious to me that [name of character] is the culprit, and the adding in of [detail] and the [different detail] from the start creates so many plot lines, so many characters to focus on, that I lost [main character's name] a bit. I also still find the darkness of the book overbearing, an issue I’ve had throughout the times I’ve read, and worry that you haven’t found a way to alleviate this.
It’s very unusual that I take someone on editorially unless I truly believe in them, and I do believe in you, absolutely. But I also think we’ve come to an impasse. I only hope that giving you my time and advice on the manuscript has helped you in your journey a bit, and I’m sorry to say that my love for the book is not enough to take it forward. You and this novel deserve the passionate representation that I can’t provide, and so I think I should step aside before we go any further. I’m certain that I’ll see your name on shelves someday, and I’ll be cheering from the sidelines.
Yours,p.s. As you can see, she's really not "mine". Yours is just a nice thing people say at the end of a terrible letter. Oh well. Fuck it.