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Why Stories Don't Get Rejected
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In Why Did my Story Get Rejected? Marion Zimmer Bradley said, "The first sad truth about marketing fiction of any kind is this, and you are just going to have to deal with it: EDITORS DO NOT BUY STORIES BECAUSE THEY ARE WELL WRITTEN."

I can vouch for this statement. If it weren't true, Mary and I would never have sold anything. We aren't the worst prose stylists in the world but there are many who are better. Every time we hand in a manuscript, our editor at Poisoned Pen Press finds unsightly adverbs and passive passages. We work to improve, and have managed to polish our sentences some, but I expect they'd still give your average writing instructor splinters. I doubt we would get an "A" in a creative writing course. And if fiction were purchased on the basis of style alone we'd be looking at rejection slips rather than heavily blue-pencilled manuscripts.

The reason we've made a few sales over the years and "better" writers haven't is because we've managed occasionally to fulfill what Ms Bradley points out is the main requirement for selling: " give an editor what her readers want." In our case, we've told some stories that readers have apparently found interesting.

Over the years I've run into aspiring writers to whom this seems unfair, unjust, an offense against nature. But none of these writers have ever explained to me why anyone would pay money to admire their impeccable grammar.

Well, I felt like saying that because the manuscript for our next novel is on the way back and I'll now have to turn my attention to correcting my grammar.

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