Let me begin this post by saying that I am trying to be a published writer, not just a writer. Whether I self-publish or I am somehow recruited by traditional publisher; that is my goal. I found a literary agent, who was taking queries from unrepresented writers, and my manuscript seemed to fit the agent’s genre of interest, so I thought, what the hell, and I submitted a query.
Fast forward, one month later. Granted, I was expecting it to take three to six months so imagine my surprise when the response popped up in my email. And yes, it was a rejection, but the agent took the time to say that they really enjoyed it and saw the potential in my writing. And despite liking it, they weren’t sure how to place the project, so they opted not to pursue it any further…. Here is where I take issue.
This is not a love story or some poetic gesture. So the adage that if you love something let it go and if it returns, it’s yours; that shit don’t work in this case. If the agent plain out just didn’t like it, then cool, I get that. But I don’t get ‘I really enjoyed it, but don’t see a place for it’. That don’t sit right with me.
Since I was given no additional information, it can be deduced that because it doesn’t fit into a particular pre-made box, then it isn’t acceptable. But who gives a damn about pre-made boxes? Those don’t do you any good unless its moving day. If you like something, why not throw the entire weight of your convictions behind it? Don’t treat it like a crush. Say you like it and then linger on without any kind of action at all until it’s too late and the object of your desire has moved on to someone who actually said something.
This post/rant spills over into submission guidelines, too. I will admit I like to put sex in my writing. Not sex for sex’ sake; I’m not writing porn, but often times sexual contact can drive the story. And I like to use that. People are animals and one of the primary ways in which they communicate is sexually. That is the truth and don’t let the family values nut jobs make you think differently. But I digress. Anyway, when you read the guidelines for romance or erotica submissions, they want happily ever afters or plots where the eventual love interests hate each other at first before falling desperately in love. All I would need now is to plaster the latest incarnation of Fabio on the cover and I’d be in business, right? Wrong. What happened to wanting to read a great story? A story where unconventional characters find themselves in less than traditional situations. I don’t write in such a way where the entire story is dominated by an on again/off again love hate relationship that grows against all odds. If people want that, they can just look up any of the hundreds of romance novels or romantic comedies that have been released over the years. But real life is about strife and pain; overcoming it and sometimes succumbing to it. Is it too unheard of that people may want to be engaged in a story that invokes the entire gambit of human emotions? Not only love and arousal, but hate, disdain, sorrow, pain, remorse, revenge; all those basic guttural emotions that make us, as people, who we are.
Despite my dismay, my resolve has not been shaken in the slightest. I will continue to write and I will continue to seek the best ways to share my stories with the world. I’m not looking for a happily-ever-after, I want a life-goes-on ending to this tale, because life continuing is what makes life worth living. At least, I think so.
-If you have enjoyed my commentary or my short stories, then please check out my youtube channel, The Wicked Orchard; where you can listen to me read my short stories.