I got another rejection for the query I sent to the “Yes, I can handle the truth” contest. And, as promised, I got an explanation why:
“If this is middle grade, your main character should be between the ages of 11 and 13. I personally am over fairytale esque stories or fairytale retellings. I've just read too many of them and they're all starting to sound the same. What makes this one different?”
I claimed I can handle the truth, but I actually feel pretty bummed. This is my baby, my creation we are talking about. It is not a retelling of a fairy tale! I worked very hard on that query! I even got my wonderful cousin Iris (who is a writing genius) to help.
Okay, I’m done whining, but I’m not handling anything yet!
Handling the truth is overrated. Just imagine if Dr. Seuss handled the truth and stopped writing after eight rejections! No Green Eggs and Ham! No Cat in the Hat! What would our lives be like???
Another argument I could make (I’m warming to my subject here), is that truth for agent one is not necessarily truth for agent two (or fifty two), and even better, might not be true for my audience!
By the way, last time I presented my novel as a young adult (YA) story and received an answer from an agent, she said my novel was too sweet and happy for YA. She said I need to bring in some more teenaged angst, sex, and anger. So I have a great idea how to revise my novel.
A fifteen year old girl lives in a dystopia where the government spies on everyone using a technological gadget too sophisticated for me to understand. She gets kidnapped by a super-engineer (and I’m too innocent to imagine what he does to her).
By now, the girl is having a really bad day. She is rescued by a not-so-nice guy (I’m thinking Marquis de Sade here), and only barely manages to escape from him only to fall into the hands of rebels. The rebels wish to cut her open so they can gain possession of their fifteenth super-techie gadget, after which they could topple the government and have their own dystopia. At this point, the sun goes dark in frustration over the evilness of mankind, and the girl needs to fight everyone all at once by herself in the darkness.
The story will end with the girl returning home only to discover that the government has decided she aided and abetted the evil people. She is put away forever in an empty windowless room where she spends the rest of her days spinning straw into gold.
That made me feel a little better. As long as I have my creativity, I can never be sad.