Breathing Fresh Life into my Characters

Last Friday, a Children’s Publisher emailed the most Positive Rejection letter possible for my Kids Sci-Fi chapter novel, Josh and the It.
So good I want to frame it.

Words like … ‘Your plot is strong and moves along at a good pace. Like your addition of humour … its child centred. You have successfully created a strong first novel in an action packed adventure series … It does have commercial potential.’

The Publisher’s feedback was a writer’s dream, offering suggestions on how to improve my manuscript … Now I’m working on how to strengthen the characterization, constructing each character to be more distinct and identifiable.

How do I do that?

•    Interview each character and complete a comprehensive character profile …  Is he a night owl or an early riser? … What’s his favourite game?
•    Check each character has quirky traits/ mannerisms (Tags) to make them stand out.
•    Assign each character his own catch-phrase/ buzz words.
•    Visualise and play-act actions and reactions between the characters to make them authentic and believable.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be rewriting Josh and the It then I’ll send it off to the next Publisher. She even suggested which Publishers which would be a ‘Good Fit’ … I’m in eternal gratitude!

So when I’ve breathed Fresh Life into the characters from Josh and the It, I’ll compose a query letter, a book proposal and a resume in preparation for its next journey.

When is a rejection letter NOT a rejection letter?

When it inspires you to Enhance your story and send it off to its future home.

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24 comments to Breathing Fresh Life into my Characters

  • Congratulations Karen! I know you won’t think it strange that I am congratulating you on a rejection because it is SUCH a positive one. Go Girl!

  • Every rejection is another step closer to publication, Karen 🙂

  • Thanks Lyn, I accept your congratulations with gusto. I’m so pleased with this Rejection Letter. It points me towards the right path I must follow. Cheers, Karen :))

  • Yes that’s right Carol. This is my First Reject Letter for Josh and the It and I’m now more determined than ever to getting it Published. I feel like I’m almost there. Karen :))

  • Michael

    If a publisher takes the time and effort to do that Karen you SHOULD be feeling happy!

  • Elaine

    That is a very positive rejection letter. Most don’t tell you what the problems are. Now you know what will make it stronger you really are one step closer to publication. Well done!

  • Hi Michael,
    I really feel happy with the Feedback letter … and five minutes ago the Publisher emailed me after reading this BLOG to tell me “I’ve got Talent”. So I’m grinning again. Woohoo!

  • Hi Elaine, Yes One step closer … Makes it feel all worthwhile and possible :))

  • Joanna Gaudry

    Wonderful feedback, Karen. That’s very encouraging news. Great to know that this publisher thinks you’ve got a strong novel in ‘Josh and the It’. Wow. The effort it takes to get published! As you said, you’re one step closer to getting it accepted by a publisher. Have you approached literary agents? Joanna :))

  • Hi Joanna, it’s very encouraging, isn’t it? Josh and the It and my Memoir are still under consideration by a Top Agent. I’m awaiting their decision. Hope this convinces them to sign with me. Karen :))

  • Joanna Gaudry

    I can’t believe you haven’t already been signed up by a literary agent, Karen. What do you have to do these days to be taken up by an agent or publisher?! If any ‘new’ writer has a chance of being published, it’s you. You’re an inspiration. All the best, Joanna :))

  • What wonderful feedback Karen and I’m so pleased for you that it has inspired you to keep going with your manuscript and make it even better. A wise friend once told me that there’s just a fine line between rejection and acceptance, you just have to find a way to cross it…and it sounds like you are definitely on the right track.

    Congratulations and hope that the rewrites lead to an even more positive outcome for you soon.


  • Hi Joanna, They say its harder to find an Agent than a Publisher. Perhaps when I’m offered a Publishing Deal, I’ll find an agent too. Karen :))

  • Hi Dee, I do believe I’m close to Publishing now. I really want to put that extra effort into pushing my Manuscript(s) over the line. Thanks for your support Karen :))

  • I have to agree Karen, that’s not a ‘bad’ rejection letter. I’m sure you’re very close to getting published. Hang in there.

  • Hi Rebecca, I’m not rushing this Rewrite. I’m going to be as thorough as I need to. Getting a contract in 2011 is my Goal … Karen :))

  • That does sound positive Karen. Best of luck with the re-write.


  • Hi Jeff, Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving your comment of support. Many Thanks. Karen :))

  • Debbie Johansson

    That’s the BEST ‘rejection’ letter I’ve ever heard of. I don’t blame you for wanting to frame it. What great encouragement. You’re obviously getting closer, Karen.

    I’m at a similar stage with the characters for one of my own novels I’m re-working. I was told that my protagonist was ‘almost there’ as a fully formed character, so I’ll be interviewing them all and compiling bios. Have fun with it Karen, and congratulations. Your almost there!

  • Hi Debbie, Its a good feeling to be almost there, isn’t it? Interviews and bios are fun aren’t they? My off-sider has just developed a stutter and a passion for AC/DC. LOL.
    Thanks for your encouragement … Karen :))

  • Graham Clements

    It sounds like you are close. AC/DC are a pretty good choice as they are known world-wide.


  • Thanks Graham, Today I amped up those characters another notch. Really loving my characters and the story now…Karen :))

  • Faith

    …it’s like going to a manuscript assessment agency only better! It’s wonderful, Karen, and i love your attitude to it as well!
    GOod luck with all the changes xo

  • Hi Faith, The best part about the “assessment” was that it was free. I’m going to use the Publisher’s words to “sell” my book to the next Publisher….I’m having Fun with the changes, using different techniques to improve the characters …Karen :))

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