Rejection letter number one

Well, I got my first rejection letter.

You know, I didn’t realize how much of my ego was tied up in that story.

The funny thing is that someone I ask for advice said it was the sweetest rejection letter she’d ever read. It turns out that she keeps all hers in a file. That way she can go through and reread them so she knows what each publisher wants. -Obviously she’s a lot more confident than I am.

In addition to the form letter, I received a list of things I had done wrong.

  • My character was so self-isolated that if he died nobody would notice. –What can I say? He has trust issues.
  • He lacked a sidekick. –Like I said, trust issues.
  • His girlfriend was a cute little horn-dog with nice tits, but no real backstory. Was she a hooker or a waitress? How did they meet?
  • His fence was one dimensional. There was no mention of how they met, and beyond growling about paying too much for things of questionable origin, he has all the personality of the drunk passed out in the bathroom.
  • And so on.

My manuscript was returned covered in red. –The only good to come from this is I can now read an editors’ markup without have to look it up.

It’s funny, I thought I had fixed everything they wanted, I was wrong. When I sent off a copy of the rejection letter to Celeste, she promised she wouldn’t laugh. She lied.

She did say my story has potential, because she likes both the main character and his girlfriend. She says if I fix it she’ll forgive me for starting it with a flashback. She also agrees with the publisher who said that even “that masked man” interacts with people. So I should “give the poor guy some friends.”

My guys a thief, he’s the anti-Robin hood. He lives out of a suitcase and doesn’t give a rats’ ass about the poor, or much of anybody else. He steals from the rich because they’re the ones with things worth stealing. He also moves around a lot. Something about not wanting to explain where his money comes from. I think he’s more afraid of the tax man than the police.

So now, as I try to fix a nearly impossible to-do list, I’m wondering who to submit it to next.

At her suggestion I’m going to break it up into at least two shorts, so the characters can develop actual personalities.

I think I’ll make him an American jew so I can use some of the Yiddish I know. Maybe I’ll make her a hooker with a drug habit. Yeah, I know. Way too cliche. But, she’ll end up a hooker, an ambitious drug dealer, a hit-man, or an agent with the IRS.