Dear Miss Snark,
After one year or so of editing my manuscript, testing it at two different school's and having it critiqued by reading groups I felt it was ready to submit to agents. Two form rejection letters left me thinking, 'okay, not for them'. I didn't read into what the letters said. One agent wrote back with a personal, 'please send something else', which my other stories are not ready at this stage. That agent didn't represent what I sent her, even though her website listed the genre I submitted it as, as one she represented.
More rejections left me feeling neither upset or confused about my ability to write until I received one in particular:
"this one is a bit old-fashioned for me," she wrote and has passed.
I have moved on from all the rejections but this one has me confused. Is my writing worse than I thought? Since I have never heard an agent use this phrase before, I was hoping you might shed some insight.
Without seeing the actual text, it's hard to know what might have engendered this comment.
I don't think I've ever said something is old fashioned but I've seen it. It's usually what I call "same old same old" in that the characters and plot are things I've seen seven gazillion times before. "Fresh and original voice" means "don't send me anything I've seen before". Of course, coupled with "send me the next DaVinci Code", it makes authors crazy...as well it should. I buy pharmaceutical stocks for just that reason.
Get past this. Button up your union suit and go kick up your plimsolls in a rousing jitterbug. Put the kibosh on those "old fashioneds" and we'll have ourselves a pail of gin.