Tuesday, 8 May 2012
Dear Jane - A Rejection Letter
I wrote a shortened version of this for GB2 about a year ago, so some members of the group may remember it, but I'll offer the newly rewritten version and hope you enjoy it.
Thank you for submitting your novel. I enjoyed your depiction of manners, morality and marriage among the landed gentry. Your writing is assured and capable, and your character development is strong. However the romance between the hero and heroine was very slow to develop. I would venture to say, too, that your hero is somewhat unlikeable, being a proud and disdainful character for much of the novel. His first proposal to the heroine is so laden with insults as to her lowly status, compared with his, that our readers will not find him an attractive hero at all.
Another problem is that other issues, subplots and secondary characters received more attention than the romance, and this is not what we are looking for right now. You devote far more time to the heroine's sisters (and, indeed, her friends, cousins and other relatives) than is appropriate in a romance novel.
I would also like to make the point that your first sentence 'It is a truth universally acknowledged' etc etc is not a very memorable opening for a novel. This is you, the author, making a vague statement, whereas your opening paragraph should take us straight to the thoughts or actions of one of the main protagonists.
One final point: if you wish to submit this story elsewhere, may I suggest that ‘First Impressions’ is not the best title, and that you might consider the hero’s pride and the heroine’s prejudice instead?
I wish you every success with your work. Unfortunately, it does not meet our current requirements.
Yours faithfully (etc, etc)