Friday, July 11, 2008

Post-a-Rejection Friday

There was an internet skirmish involving someone posting a rejection to the 'net that got picked up for widespread outcry because it contained some objectionable language. This led to the author of said rejection letter complaining about the posting of said letter as poor nettiquette. Most of the SFnal writerly internet quarter took objection to this as the core of the substantive response to the outcry and made an effort to start a theme a la International Pixel-stained Technopeasant Wretch Day.

So, for purposes of solidarity, I post the sole rejection with feedback I have garnered. From Nick Mamatas of Clarkesworld:
Thanks for the story, but not for me. There was a lot of "top of mind" stuff in the early going: what would a politician watching tv drink except for Scotch? What would an engagement entail except for a huge diamond ring that had been passed down for generations? How could we not make out in an ol' Mustang? Where might one buy a bra but Victoria's Secret? As such, these characters don't live as anything other than cardboard cut-outs. Characters need to be individuated by their consumption patterns, their interests, their personalities. These figures are far too generic, and all the signifiers are generic as well.

Yeah, ouch, but not horribly so, not gratuitously so, and no evidence of a ethnic slur in sight. Plus, it got me thinking about the story and why I had used those signifiers. It's taken me about a year, but I finally figured out why I had that story set up the way I did. I hope I have the chops to pull off the revision (next month, after I finish THUMB) because it's a pretty fun thing I'm trying to do.

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