What it's like when your manuscript is 'with' an agent ...

It won't get there. It will arrive all torn up with pages missing. I left a line out of the address. I addressed it to the wrong person. The counter person got the postage wrong and it will take three months to arrive. I shouldn't have sent it first class - it looks too eager.

Then the acknowledgement of receipt arrives

I should have taken a week to read it again. I shouldn't have sent it in the first place, because it doesn't match my pitch letter and they are going to think I don't know what I'm doing. It's too long. It's too short. I should have put back in the two chapters I took out. I should have taken out another 4,000 words.

The first Harry Potter book is reported to have been rejected by fourteen publishers

My central character is simply me, thinly disguised, and the agent's reader will laugh at me. My central character is unrealistic because she's not based on anybody real. My antagonists are made of cardboard. My antagonists are my family and friends and they will hate me. My dialogue is terrible. My central premise stinks.

Stephen King's novel Carrie was rejected thirty times before being published

It's definitely too long. Although I should have had the courage of my convictions and stuck to the original length, which was even longer. It's just like another book somebody told me about so they won't publish it. It's nothing like anything I've read recently so it's unmarketable. It's set in the wrong place. The ending is weak. The ending is histrionic. The ending sucks.

After 743 rejection slips, John Creasey went on to have over 500 mystery novels published

My opening chapter is horrible. My final chapter is feeble. The whole narrative sags in the middle. Nobody wants to read that kind of thing. I should have sent it out under my initials like JK Rowling. I shouldn't have sent it out at all.

Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingstone Seagull garnered over 140 rejections before publication

I want to die.

And then you go and get on with your day, like everybody else, and nobody would know you're a writer whose novel is 'with' an agent.

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