I was at a writer’s conference this past weekend (Chuck Sambuchino was the speaker, and as expected, he was terrific) in Seattle. (Great excuse for a getaway weekend.)
There was one thing that stood out, how very subjective literary agents are. There was a panel of five, all respected professionals who had the pleasure (displeasure?) of listening to first pages of novels being read aloud and then commenting.
I think, once, just once, they all agreed that the page read was something they would be interested in, (and no, it wasn’t mine). There was one page they simply wouldn’t read because of how it was formatted but that is another story. The other 89 or so pages, no one seemed to be able to agree on at all…Some liked this and some liked that, and I don’t know why I found it surprising. Why should five people agree on anything? When five people go out to dinner do they all order the same thing? I would hope not, and if they did, well wouldn’t that be rather odd?
I guess I just thought since they’re all agents they would all be looking for the same thing…But, they all had their own personal likes and dislikes, even within the same genre. There were a few times when one would hate a page and one would love it; polar opposites. But then, my husband loves anchovies and anchovies make me sick.
When I was an actress and I wouldn’t get a part, I was forever being told it wasn’t that they were rejecting me, they were just looking for something else…And once when I did get a Pepsi commercial and out of curiosity asked the director why he’d cast me, he said he had liked the headband I was wearing…
I guess the moral of my thoughts, is to take rejection and know that it subjective. The trick is to find someone who likes what you have to offer, and always, always offer your best.