21 August 2004
Well, I have a story that’s been out in the ring five times and received five rejections. In each case, it wasn’t a form rejection, so I know the story is being read. However, three of the rejections contradict each other.
You’ve got an intriguing set-up and a nicely metaphorical ending but….
While that editor got (at least in part) what I was attempting to do, part of it resonated with a Twilight Zone episode. I edited it to be a little different, then sent it out again (not really changing very much, just making clear that it wasn’t a rewrite of an old TZ episode).
I have misplaced the next rejection slip, but one of the comments went something like, “nice story, but the tacked-on horror show ending didn’t work for me.” Hrm. OK. The editor knows what he or she wishes to buy.
So, today I get one that says:
Alas, we really didn’t get it. Too subtle?
Well, I figured that market was a long shot, but they do publish things with kind of the same feel. Admittedly, this was a more literary story, so I’m not surprised at the response.
But it does seem directly contradictory to the second rejection, doesn’t it? And yet, it wasn’t edited between those two submissions.
Now I just need to figure out where to send it next.