Your Novel Uses The Word “The” Too Many Times

Over at Literary Rejections on Display, there’s a list of reasons why agents/publishers rejected a particular author’s last two manuscripts. It’s hilarious, as long as you don’t get depressed easily. And couldn’t you see this in one of the sidebars of Harper’s Magazine?

we find this book too complicated for our readers
we think there are too many “fucks” in this book
we wouldn’t be able to sell more than 12 copies of this book
we cannot take a risk with such a postmodern novel
we could face a law suit with this book
we find this book totally unreadable
we find this book too narrow in scope
we think the characters need fleshing out
we think this book could use a good rewriting — it’s too short
we are tired of publishing books about the Holocaust
we are looking for books that teach people how to improve their lives
we think your book would make the readers suffer
we think your book needs a happy ending
we think nobody gives a shit about the lives of farmers in Southern France
we love the subject of the book, but at the present time the relations between England and France, being what they are, your book would not receive favorable attention from British readers

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2 thoughts on “Your Novel Uses The Word “The” Too Many Times

  1. Armand says:

    I always thought is would be fun to create a song about rejection to the tune of the old schoolhouse rock song, ” Conjunction Junction- What’s Your Function ?”
    ” Rejection Rejection, what’s your ________ ?” Unfortunately nothing great rhymes with rejection (which is probably the way it should be since it is, after all, rejection) Convection ? Erection ? Indigestion ?
    I have to admit that most of my rejections are rather generic. The most common specific rejection note I get is that my protagonists are not compelling enough.
    I did once get a rejection that compared my story to “an episode of TJ Hooker.” (That was a bad thing)
    Armand

  2. An Episode of TJ Hooker — that is gold, man! Will you come by and post it at LROD?
    Book Fox: I love the title of your post! Very funny!

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