Lesson 5: Why most writers never get published
If you’re continually being rejected, it’s time for ruthless self-analysis. These are the most common reasons that fiction manuscripts are rejected:
- The writer simply can’t write – or, just as commonly, hasn’t taken the trouble to learn how to write;
- The writer has written a first draft and submitted it without bothering to edit it. No professional would submit a first draft;
- The storyline and characters are directly recycled from well known novels, TV shows, movies or computer games;
- It’s not a story, just a series of unrelated events; or it’s a polemic or rant, or a poorly disguised religious tract
- It’s grossly violent, libellous, pornographic, depraved or offensive, or off-the-planet weird;
- It’s not appropriate for the publisher you sent it to, or their publishing schedule is already full; or
- The public simply aren’t buying that kind of stuff at the moment.
Listen to what people are telling you about your work. If you do have talent, take the advice of professionals and you’ll immediately have an edge over most of your competitors, because few unpublished writers are really willing or able to act on criticism.
For more details on all of the above points, see my post What Publishers Hate, http://ianirvine.blogspot.com/2011/09/what-publishers-hate.html.
My next post deals with what to do when you are offered a contract.