Today I got another rejection- my 15th (eeek!). But actually, today's rejection wasn't so disheartening. Instead of receiving a form, thank you for submitting to me but unfortunately it's not what I'm looking for right now, best of luck, blah blah blah... This agent seems to have actually read the few pages I sent her. And, she gave me some rare advice. She said that she thought my idea was "charming and salable" but that she wasn't swept away by the narrative voice.
Now, you'd think that criticism hurts. But actually, all I could think was, finally, something I can work on. So my query letter isn't totally bad, my word count and title- ditto, but the voice wasn't there- at least for her. It's almost a relief to know that there's something I can fix instead of having to just keep on plugging without any clue as to why I'm getting rejected.
Of course I realize that maybe, somewhere, another agent won't agree and WILL be swept away by the voice. But chances are, if one agent sees that as a problem, others will as well.
Let me just say that I'm glad to have something to work on, something to improve, even if it drives me crazy. Because that kind of crazy is a lot better than the not-knowing-what-the-heck-is-wrong kind of crazy.
So thank you to that agent (who will remane nameless) for a rejection that actually gives me hope, instead of crushing it flat for all time.