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Less is more

December 19, 2012
Deep inside the writing

Deep inside the writing

Got a rejection today for a story that may be too subtle for most harried readers. The two main characters are admittedly unlikable. They don’t make you want to like them, but my hope was to paint them and their interaction in such a way as to make you want to, at least, see what trouble they can get their unlikable selves into before the story or your patience for them ends. Anyways, chalk this one up to Lessons from the Universe no. 724-j08—You only thought you wanted individual feedback from editors. What you get beyond the wooden repertoire of reasons and excuses generally boils down to we just didn’t like it or (the hair-band version) “writer, don’t walk away mad, writer, just walk away.” The problem is that specificity is a tea woefully steeped in bias–not enough tension, unclear turning point, no clear thematic message, and now–the latest in a string of actual comments from editors which I shall file under TMI–unlikable protagonist.

My response:

Dear Garrulous Editor,

Thank you for sending us “Your Two Cents”. We appreciate the chance to read it. Unfortunately, the advice is not for us.

Best of luck in placing this advice elsewhere.
Michael Chaney

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