Request Denied

So far, only one agent has asked to read my full MS. Today they declined. They didn't give any reasons for the rejection, just said they didn't fall in love with it. They did say there was a lot to like, but the whole thing could just be a nice form letter.

The rejection wasn't heart-breaking. In fact, it wasn't even surprising. But what does that mean? That I've gotten used to rejection, or that I didn't really want this agent to make an offer? I have no conscious reason to not like them. Last time I queried, I began to feel relief when I got rejections because I realized as time passed that I didn't really love my own novel. I had begun to write Safira by then and realized how much better it was, and I knew I didn't want Mina to be my debut. However, I don't think that's what's happening this time.

I really do love this story. Today I found a print of a painting on Etsy that reminded me of my MC. I ordered copies of it for some of my beta readers. With a few changes - eye color, adjustment of another feature - the girl in the painting could actually BE Safira, and I thought of how cool it would be if I could commission such a painting from this artist someday. I didn't feel nearly this much attachment to my previous story or its characters.

I've heard authors talk before about how happy they are when they realize readers care about their characters as much as they do. I never knew how that felt until now. I may have even raised an eyebrow at said authors for caring about fictional people. But the thing is, while writing this story, I lived with these people in my head. They were there all day, all night, all the time. I made up conversations between them in the shower. I had revelations about their motives while I walked my dog. I dreamed about these people. And when I finished my first draft and took a break from the MS for a few days, I felt grief. I really missed them.

The most surprising thing is that when I told my mom about these feelings, she understood. I expected her to tell me I was nuts. Yesterday I read a tweet by an author who just submitted copy edits for the final novel in her trilogy. She said that grief set in within minutes and I sympathized. At least she knows she'll get to talk about her characters again, though. She'll get to see fans draw pictures of her characters on DeviantArt. What's going to happen if I fail to find an agent, fail to get a publishing deal, and my characters for all intents and purposes DIE? It'll be worse than death. They'll be forgotten.

Unfortunately, there's little I can do other than wait for another opportunity to present itself. The MS needs a little more copy-editing. But in the face of disappointment, I frankly don't feel like working on a book that nobody wants to read. Maybe tomorrow. Until then, I'm going to watch episodes of Star Trek and regret posting news of that full request on facebook.