So it's happened again. A harmless tweet was misconstrued and someone's panties got knotted.
Mind you, it was a worthy panty-knot. The gal thought I was complaining about agents. And that's certainly something that should be called out. Public belly-aching about agents is on the NO-NO list for aspiring and published authors alike.
So, yes. By all means.
Except, I wasn't complaining about agents. I was expressing my preference for a short, blunt rejection over a flowery, trying-not-to-hurt-the-writer's-feelings form rejection that doesn't really say anything, anyway.
1. My favorite form rejection format: "This isn't for me, but thanks for the look." Really, it's all I need! Not "While your writing has merit"
2. or "I'm sure another agent will feel differently" (you can't be sure of that!). Just "no, but thanks." Absolutely. (k, I'm done now :D)
That's it. That's me, appreciating the "This isn't for me, but thanks for the look" rejection I'd received moments earlier. It struck me that I almost always skim the long, well-thought-out form rejections, despite their well-meant intentions. No is no. Don't tell me how full your list is or that my work was "intriguing" (you obviously weren't intrigued enough to read more) or that you're sure another agent will snap me up. Just acknowledge the receipt of my query and--wow--thank me.
I love that part. For a busy agent with LOTS more to do than to read slush, a "thanks for the look" is a humble and respectful way to acknowledge the time and, well, human-ness, of the author who queried. I don't expect it and I don't feel slighted without it. But when it's there, outside the context of a long-ish form rejection, I notice. And I appreciate it.
So really, that's all I was saying, in my usual, let's-be-lighthearted-whenever-we-can approach. And someone took it wrong.
It happens. Especially online! But I'm so transparent and consistent in what I say and how I say it, both here and on Twitter, that it always catches me off guard when someone misunderstands me to such a large degree. I may have my real name well concealed, but I'm as "me" as I could possibly be under the circumstances. And--correct me if I'm wrong--anyone who has read me for some time should know that I'm not in favor of griping about agents.
Griping about non-response to queries, yes. But that's a pet peeve I have no trouble being vocal about. (What, you noticed?)
In the end, I don't really care what the rejection says, so long as I RECEIVE a rejection. And since that's becoming less common, each one that arrives is appreciated even more. But short and sweet with a little thank you? Definitely my favorite.
Even better? When the agent takes the time to address me by name. Something else I certainly don't expect or demand, but appreciate all the same.
It's nice to feel human. Particularly in the midst of being rejected. *grin*
That's it, really. Though as a result I think I'll keep my in-the-moment responses to agent-related communiques to a minimum on Twitter. Not that I do it a lot, anyway. I'm not in favor of aspiring authors' walking the internets-at-large through their entire query process. Not professional. Not remotely interesting, either. Sharing the journey in general is great, but a play-by-play? No. That's never been my style and I don't like reading others who have that style.
So, to debunk any myth that may creep in: I appreciate ALL responses from agents. And I'm allowed to prefer one method over others because, well, we're all allowed to have our preferences.
I'll just keep my mouth shut about them from now on.