Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rejection Machine

Like the Doomsday Machine in Star Trek, I am continuing through the submissions to Rage of the Behemoth. This morning's rejection started out with great potential. (Hint for all submitters: Blood in the first line is a winner!) There was death and carnage quickly. There was a sympathetic protagonist with a clear goal of survival ahead of him. But then things veered off track and it became apparent that the author did not have the experience necessary to craft the tale, i.e. the writing felt shallow and undeveloped. Maybe I'm saying this because I turned 40 last month but an author needs to have some worldly experience to be a successful writer. Take this Paolini kid who wrote Eragon. It is clear from the writing that he didn't know much about how real people think and interact with each other. I understand that the other books are better but his debut read exactly like what it was, a big novel written by a fifteen year old. This is why I say that there must be some emotional connection with the protagonist. Unless it's there you have nothing more than a collection of happenings strung together. You might follow all the conventional structures of storytelling but you'd still end up with something unsatisfying. So while this morning's story showed some promise and I'm sure the author will improve over time, it just wasn't there yet.

1 comment:

michael said...

I sent my sub in to Jason yesterday, hope it will serve. I certainly was fun to write!
You know, I would say that the main difference between ordinary and extrodinary fiction is the idea of consequences --that everything comes at a cost. REH knew this, his stories were filled with the results of the actions and choices of his characters. I think as we get older most of us tend to see more and more of the complexity that binds us together as human beings.