I have a question for you and your readers, do you think that the rejection process for unsolicited manuscripts could be standardised? I guess I am thinking about some sort of standard questionnaire form that is filled out and returned to the budding author. It may help to clear up some of the mystery with things like; am I being rejected because of the material or because I am a terrible writer - would they be interested in seeing the same story if I changed it a bit? and so on.If writers and publishers put their heads together then I'm sure they could come up with a sensible set of items that would satisfy both parties, it could be boiled down to just ticking a handful of boxes. Or am I missing something?
Well... it's never tough to let people know that you're open to a revision if they change the manuscript as suggested. And then there's the problem that there are a lot of different problems.
If there were to be a checklist... what would the choices be?
- this is not a story; it's an anecdote.
- this is not a story, it's a photo album of your stuffed animals. They seem to get out more than you do.
- this subject material is inappropriate for the age group.
- this subject material is inappropriate for children.
- this subject material is inappropriate for farm animals.
- a spoonful of sugar does not help nuclear winter go down.
- your main character's reaction to the prostitute was interesting. I've passed your submission to another 'editor' at the FBI.
- this is gobbledygook. I didn't understand a word.
- god, how I wish I hadn't understood a word.
- this has no hook.
- this has no voice.
- this has no grammar, and it's a blessing that punctuation has no feelings.
- there are several books on this already, and you're not doing a better job.
- there are no books on this, and they're all doing a better job.
Anyone else have suggestions?