Today’s slush

Posted: 16th May 2011 by onyxhawke in Uncategorized
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This is the probably not in order list of reasons for rejections of slush today. No indicators of the number for each since its mostly irrelevant. Reasons listed here may or may not be worded exactly as listed in rejection letters.

No ability to suspend disbelief.
Curious application of language
Lack of topical authority
Didactic language.
Wrong market
Voice/style
Unsupportable structure/pace mix.

Responses to rejection today:
1 dead email
1 signed elsewhere (that was the wrong market)
1 "thanks for considering it"

In about an hour I’ll be calling someone about the novel I mentioned Friday.

  • Didactic ok that works. I kept calling the words polemics.

    • No, no, polemics are fine and often good stories. Didactic writing is just monotone preaching…

      • I don't see a difference then. I'd have to have examples.

        • Ayn Rand I'd put as Didactic rather than Polemic. Heinlein (e.g. Moon is a Harsh Mistress) is more polemic – though I'm sure there are better examples that I'm blanking on right now

          • I found Atlas Shrugged to be fine. I found The Fountain head to be incomprehensible mush.
            Is there a bad Heinlein novel that wasn't handwaved out of a DNA sample?

        • Um, no.
          Take Professor Binns (the ghost history teacher from Harry Potter) as an example of didactic speech. He's so boring and monotone even Hermione has trouble staying awake in his class.
          A polemic like say, F451 is unmistakeably about AN ISSUE, but takes (short) breaks for other things, like for example the scene where the girl says she's 17 and crazy. Not needed for the plot, but a fun scene and it varies the tone of the story instead of droning on, and on, and on…

          • Ok that's clearer. I'd say in 99.9 percent of the time the ones I have a visceral rage at are ones that promote a political/spiritual that for various reasons I find evil.
            In many cases it's told as a didactic that is written in a condescending style mixed in with a story about how wonderful it is or that it's beneficial in some way. Some others present a world driven by this idea and give a Utopian view of it.
            In very few cases and done by what I can only call fine craftsmanship have I not dumped the author over such things.

  • Mind if I ask what sort of things might constitute "curious application of language" or "voice/style" issues?

    • Curious application of language tends to be someone something along the lines of "a period piece" with non period, but otherwise reasonable language use.
      Voice/style generally means the voice at best eludes my ability to grasp.

      • Ah, I can certainly see where those might be a problem–and I've seen examples of both as well.
        I just thought I'd ask, since I tend to do some curious things with language, and I wanted to know if I'd be raising red flags if I should happen to send you a manuscript later this year. But this doesn't sound like my particular idiosyncrasies. Thanks.