The Opposite of Rejection

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Last week I shared several posts about rejection. The first was why we don’t often do personalized rejections and the second was ten common reasons for rejection. In the spirit of giving insight into the submissions process, I’m going to talk about the opposite of rejection. Acquisition. Since I shared clips from the editors’ rejection reports, I thought it only fair to balance the process out and also show you what worked for them. One thing to keep in mind, is with each report there were still editorial concerns, things that would be addressed in edits. But those concerns were overshadowed by the positive things that made the book work for the editor (and eventually the acquisition team members who also read the book).

What made the editor say yes?

1. Original story concept

“…a well-crafted blend of science fiction and romance.  SF readers as well as romance fans will enjoy the skillfully plotted tale.  Set in a far future, it presents a pair of original concepts—one involving SF and the other romance.”

“…has a unique angle and is well-written…”

2. Characters they can relate to, fall in love with, want to read about

“The story is interesting, there’s a strong romance, but mostly there’s a great heroine at the center of it all. ”

“The characters of both the hero and heroine are well developed and vivid.”

“The characters are interesting, flawed, realistic, and compelling to read.”

3. Pacing that keeps them turning the pages

“The suspense in this story builds… even though I knew nothing too horrible would happen to the heroine, my heart was pounding during the last chapters.”

“The writing is clever and clean, and the story starts quickly and maintains momentum throughout.”

“The story starts quickly, which I love…”

4. Developed world building

“This book has surprising depth to be so short, and I was immediately drawn in to the world the author created…”

“…wonderfully written with a rich, engaging world.”

5. Skillfully told story that intersperses backstory

“It’s well-plotted and well-balanced, succeeding as both romance and mystery…”

“… I love how the backstory is interwoven into the current mystery, both of them [the protagonists] having baggage and backgrounds that play a role in the development of their relationship as well as in revealing the murderers.”

“…world-building and backstories are developed/revealed naturally as events unfold…”

6. Sustainable conflict

“The obstacles to the happily ever after are psychological: complex and believable.”

“The conflict sucks me in and the ending has some nice plot twists. ”

“The tension [...] is strong and compelling…”

7. Any and all of the above

“…good conflict, character development, and descriptions, a readable voice and a compelling love story. ”

“The world building is such that I actually felt transported into the world the author has created, and the story is well-paced, action-packed, and has laugh-out-loud funny moments.”

“…a lovely, sweet romance with two fully-developed likable characters that struggle with issues as well as with each other to work out the mysteries life has thrown at them. The story is satisfying, and there is a curve ball thrown in (at least I was surprised) that took the story in a different direction than I expected. ”

“The writing is solid, the pacing tight, and the vivid descriptions [...] will appeal… ”

“…dialogue is smooth and funny, and the action is gripping…”

“…what makes this story work for me is the execution. I love this author’s voice, her descriptions, and her ability to draw me in to her world and these characters’ inner lives.”

Comments

  1. “…a well-crafted blend of science fiction and romance. SF readers as well as romance fans will enjoy the skillfully plotted tale. Set in a far future, it presents a pair of original concepts—one involving SF and the other romance.”

    Um. I want to read that. And also this:

    “It’s well-plotted and well-balanced, succeeding as both romance and mystery…”

    Will they be in the first round of publications?

  2. This information confirms the craft elements that most hopeful writers have learned and hope to master. A useful check list for writing and revision. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for providing this information, Angela. It helps to really know what the editors consider important.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to blog on all these different topics. I’ve learned something from each one!

  5. Thank you for this Angela, it’s great to have a balanced viewpoint. And thanks Joanne for prompting us to visit this great blog!

    Christine

  6. Hello. Not certain if anyone told you this but your blog seems to be kinda unusual in my browser.. maybe some code in your design is incorrect. . I think it might be an isolated problem … i.e its just me who is seeing this peculiar error. Opera might just be messed up.. btw Opera is the name of the browser I’m using in case you didnt know… Im certain its truly nothing but thought you ought know about this just in case.. And thank you for all the awesome blog posts, I loved what I read!

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