29 March 2006

Rejection Letter

Art work by Gemma Lewis

This was my first rejection letter for my novel. I thought it was rather nice. Since then I have re-worked some things and considered the suggestions the editor offered me. The publisher is Parthian Books, a Welsh small press that has published a wide range of cutting edge fiction including the book Grits that I mentioned in the previous post. Anyway, I might just send my manuscript back soon with the re-workings.

Dear Pete

Thanks for submitting the extract from your novel, which I have read with enjoyment. The synopsis sounded very interesting & I'm a sneaking fan of surfing. I think you have a strong subject and setting here. The opening section, however, needs to get more immediately into the meat. It meanders rather - especially with the film/fanstasy digression so close to the beginning. There needs to be more of a threat, too, to the protagonist's drifting existence - maybe bring his loss of Marina to the forefront. The location is strong - it needs to be more immediately apparent where that is. You might home in the focus on the protagonist earlier; set up some drama and tension straight away. In your descriptions you have a slight tendency to generalise: specific events/details catch the imagination sooner than a general picture (unless it is a novel of ideas or whatever). Bring the dialogue in sooner; maybe divide what you have into dramatic sections and appraise how much further the action has progressed before continuing to the next one.

I hope this doesn't sound hyper-critical - but because you have potential in your story, I think it's worth working on it a bit more. Better than a bland rejection, I hope. Keep in touch as your writing develops.
Yours with best wishes


ps love the email address