That is the sound of me gripping me hair in frustration and having one hell of a primal scream and the frustrating nature of the so-called reasons these idiots give me for rejecting my novels/comics/screenplays etc.
This one is an all new high believe me.... I got a rejection because in one scene a character is HOLDING A PLASTIC BAG and in the next he HAS HIS HANDS IN HIS POCKETS. Oh my frickin' lord! Could he not have disposed of the frickin' bag in between shots? Or perish the thought... you can actually put your hands in your pockets while still holding a plastic bag securely by putting your wrist through the handle. Wow! Thank you Mr. Agent for trying to tell me it is impossible for a character to do something I DO EVERY FRICKIN' DAY!!!!
Even if it was a mistake, which it was not... how many movies have you seen where a character was holding an object in one shot, only to have it disappear in another. BTW this happens in almost every movie, it's called a continuity error, and it is almost always imperceptible to the audience because the audience is focused on the characters and the plot, not all this other BS!
Also I wrote that a character was a "23 years old man" instead of a "23 year old man." That is one frickin' typo of a single letter in a script of 117 pages!!!!!!! Yes, and I'm sure when Dickens wrote Great Expectations there wasn't a single spelling mistake before he sent it to printers... And it's not even a typo a spellchecker would pick up on because its not a misspelling!
They read a single f-ing page and rejected it from that. See this is what drives me insane about sending my stuff to agents, producers, publishers, etc. I can spend years of my bloody life working on something beautiful that has something important and profound to say about the society we live in, with well rounded 2-dimensional characters and a suspenseful plot only to get some punk-ass d*ckwad whom I could write rings around, somebody with half my education and a sixteenth of my talent (possibly less) spend all of a minute reading the first page of just one of my screenplays only to toss it away based on that! I don't think they'd know a well structured character piece if it bit them in the ass and face at the same time!!!!!
The ironic thing is... this letter is what I consider a GOOD rejection letter. The writers, actually recognized me by using my first name. It was prompt, coming only a few days after I sent the manuscript by e-mail. Also, it mentioned specifice points that made the manuscript unappealing in their eyes.
This is what my usual rejection letter looks like: Company letter head, Dear sir or madam, we are sorry but your manuscript does not meet our needs at this time. Sincerely yours, Mr. or Ms. Blah-Blah. There's never even an actual signature by a HUMAN HAND.
Not to mention this normal rejection letter will come months after the original manuscript is sent.
Even that is better than what I get 50% of the time. Absolutely nothing. No confirmation that my manuscript was received. No rejection. You look on the website and the publisher says "we will only contact those authors who we are interested in, do not send SASE or call to request information about your manuscript." I mean WTF? And these same publishers also say, "we do not accept simultaneous submissions." This begs the question-- how do you even know if you are giving a simultaneous submission if you don't know if your story was rejected by the publisher or not? How long should you wait until you submit to another publishing house, three years? Screw that!
And what's worse is that there are hardly any small publishing houses now a days. It looks like there are lots of publishers if you look on the book backs at a bookstore, but this is all a ruse. Seriously, all the small publishing houses have been gobbled up by the large ones. For children's publishing, it's like every small publisher is actually under the umbrella (i.e. owned by) Scholastic, Random House, Bloomsbury or Penguin. (There are two or three more, I think but that's it). And once a publisher is owned by one of the big publishing houses, their rules about unsolicited submissions change to the rules of the big publishing houses, which are NO UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPTS.
Now what about other markets you say? How about magazines. Well in case you haven't looked in a magazine section lately, you'll see the numbers of fiction magazines have dwindled. Even when I was in junior high and first started reading science fiction magazines, I remember there were so many more titles publishing fiction in existence than there are now. There used to be OMNI and Science Fiction Age which have now folded. There were even more magazines ten years before that.
So what about the literary fiction market? Literary fiction magazines rarely publish any fiction longer than 2,000 words these days. I don' write 2,000 word stories. A story that short is well suited to experiments in form or something that points out a theme or an intellectual puzzle. It is almost impossible to write an indepth character piece that introduceds an entirely new alien civilization on that word count. I'm afraid I happen to be long winded, however if it's not ultra short or long enough for a novel, there is little room for it in literary fiction markets.
So what about the web? Isn't the internet the greatest boon to unpublished writers there ever was. Everyone can publish on the internet. Well, that's the problem. EVERYONE can publish on the internet and EVERYONE does. There is no quality control. And if everyone and their mother can publish and everyone and their mother does, that means there's millions upon millions of stuff out there on the net. How is anyone supposed to find your one little story in that big sea of cyberspace? There isn't even a book cover to entice anyone. If you have the money to pay to come first on yahoo or google, it's okay, but what if you don't? The internet is also more suited to short forms because the eye quickly grows tired reading from a screen. A book on the internet can't be thrown in a beach bag to take by the seaside or cracked open on the bus as you ride to work. I don't know anyone who has ever actually read an entire novel on the computer for entertainment purposes.
I've done some self-publishing, but no matter what anyone else says it's a bit of a dead end. The product never looks the way you want it to look, unless I guess you happen to be a whiz at formatting stuff for the computer for printing. Even if it is formatting properly the covers and interiors never quite look like normal books. And good luck getting your local WHSmith to carry it. Not to mention it is hugely expensive and you are guaranteed to lose money on each book unless you print out a massive amount of copies, which you can't sell anyway.
I am so frustrated at the situation that it grows hard for me to write. Every time I look at my stories I get so mad about the whole situation I nearly see red. I mean I saw this month's issue of Asimov's. Except for the Bruce McAllister story "The Woman who waited forever" it was all pretty much dreck. They rejected my stuff for this? Honestly. The writers weren't even people with famous names who might have a chance at drawing an audience. Yet suspiciously, many seemed to be graduates of the "Clarion West" writers workshop. Uh-huh. Would the publishing world, the film industry or the magazine sector or comic book world fold if they just let one of my little stories sneak in there with their daily dose of crap? No, I don't think so. They have nothing to lose in giving me a chance and everything to gain.
What do they have to gain?
1. My gratitude for absolutely forever, and that's nothing to be sneezed at.
2. Having a truly awesome and unbelievably imaginative and creative writer on their roster.
3. Making money off people buying my books ad selling the TV, movie, toy rights and whatever off my creations.
All I honestly want in return is that people get a real chance to see and experience my creations and judge for themselves. That I get to travel to schools and do writing workshops with kids and readings at different locations. That I can make enough money so I didn't have to depend on my parents for handouts any more and that I could afford a nice apartment for me and whatever one or two friends/ one boyfriend, eventual kids etc. want to live with me and to get a cleaning person in once a month to do a serious vacuum. I also want to donate lots of money to Wingfield school so they can get a proper library with really good books and tons of new computers for all the kids and that all the kids will get their own set of free books from me, whatever books they want. I don't think that's totally unfeasable. I think Jaqueline Wilson has done something like that for her old primary school in Lewisham. One of the nursery teachers (okay, Emma) told me that Jude Law once went to Wingfield, and I think it's downright sad that he hasn't come back to the school at all (assuming he really did go there) to give them some things, especially when many of the kids there come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and might really like that.
I mean what the heck would be so bad about that?