Friday, May 6, 2011

Frontier Jump... Boring!

I received a fresh rejection this week for one of my novels, Frontier Jump. It wasn't your typical form letter, which is a big plus, though it sought to cast doubt on the work as a whole. They start out by saying the writing is good, but then spend half a page complaining about how boring the story is, how meaningless the futuristic setting is, how emotionless the characters are, and that the pacing is too even (that's a curious contrast to a reviewer's complaint that pacing was too sporadic in The Guns of Mars). If I didn't know any better, I'd say the reader in question was having a particularly bad day, and wanted to play Simon Cowell.

hates me!
I'm glad someone actually took the time to read the first few chapters of the book, though I am left wondering if they are indicative of broader editorial opinion regarding this work. Is this story just too dang boring, or is it just this single editor? They made a point of saying how well-written it was, before tearing it down, so there's hope!

Frontier Jump was a new type of novel for me.  For starters, I wrote it in the First Person, which isn't my standard format (most of my other works are 3rd person omniscient).  It was also done as a Young Adult novel, an attempt to broaden my fan-base and cash in on the ever popular teen market (though, I generally write things in a PG-13 format, so any teen could enjoy my other published works, hint, hint).  These two items make it unique among my portfolio, and if I continue to get this sort of response, it will most certainly remain unique, and shelved.

By now, you may be asking, "What's this book about?" Here's part of a query pitch I've used, which has gotten a couple of editors interested in partials:

The future is a heartless place, where people are bred en-masse in laboratories, genetically designed for their specific niches in society. Peter Furyk is a "Nature Born," condemned because of his natural conception. Mia Uesugi is a reject, shunned because her genome did not meet manufacturer's specifications. These young lovers have only one chance of living a decent life; escape to a distant colony world where the oppressive hand of the Central Authority cannot find them. Illegally booking passage aboard a ship of smugglers, they seek to make their frontier jump, only to learn firsthand how harsh a place the galaxy can be.

That's the story in a nutshell. Maybe the pitch is more exciting than the book itself? Then again, it could all be personal preference. I may have simply run into editors with different tastes. We'll have to wait and see.

1 comment:

  1. It's all in the details, I think. Switching up a few adjectives here and there; placing a little more dialogue, it all makes a difference. Plus who really only accounts for one person's opinion anyway? :) Maybe you should have a YA read it and see what their response is to it. Might give a little perspective to the target audience.