Rejecting the Bible...An IWSG Post

12:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 40 Comments

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I'm suffering severe insecurities. 

It's bathing suit season and yesterday was the day to face the three way mirror...you know the one...the one that works like a  magnifying glass when paired with the glare of the florescent lights. I keep suggesting skinny mirrors to store managers, but none see the genius of my proposal!

So, we deal with the fat mirrors.

Sigh. See? Not a happy day. 


BUTT!! 

We will not despair...I bring you a funny.

I found this a long time ago on QueryShark. Readers were asked to take a stab at writing queries and the subsequent rejections. This gem was in the comments. It has become one of my favorite pick-me-ups. It's hilarious. I wish  knew what author to credit, but alas, I do not. 

Enjoy...

Dear Agent,

When God created the world, He knew the people He made would eventually get themselves into trouble - and His own son would end up paying the price.

In THE BIBLE, a 775,000-word historical fiction/religious memoir, God is the Creator – He from whom all things flow. His creations are uppity things: some of them turn His name into a curse word, some set up false idols in His place, and some eat food He specifically told them was His. One thing’s for sure, God isn’t letting these ungrateful bastards into Heaven until they're redeemed in His eyes.

That’s where His son comes in. J.C. was created to die for the sins of man and open the gates to Heaven, but nobody asked him first. Thrust into existence with doom hanging over his head, he’s just trying to live his life: hanging with religious rebels, The Apostles; doing stand-up in the temple; mixing it up with moneylenders; chatting up feisty “former” prostitute Mary Magdalene. 


J.C. knows his buddy is about to turn him in to the authorities on a trumped-up charge, and pretty soon he’s going to end up nailed to a tree – but first he’s going to party.

I am that I am.Thanks be to Me for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

The Lord


(Best Response posted by Philangelus posing as an editor)




Dear Lord God:

Thank you for your submission. The editorial board was very much intrigued with your concept for The Bible and would be interested in seeing the complete manuscript.

We ordinarily do not publish anthologies, but we may make an exception if you can get signed releases from the authors of all the books. As we do not publish poetry at all, we will not be including any of the psalms, but some of them certainly showed promise. You may feel free to submit those elsewhere.

Your working title isn't "sexy" enough to sell, so we've retitled it "Assassination: A Murdered God Speaks." We feel this will draw the eye among bookshelves crowded with competing sacred scriptures.

Some of the material in your sample chapters appears inflammatory and exclusivist, and those parts would doubtless offend our readers who worship Ashera and Zeus. This material would have to be removed or reworked before we would consider publishing your book. Although doubtless the negative publicity would generate sales, we have to protect our global reputation. A boycott of our entire nonfiction line by Zoroastrians would cause some agitation among our shareholders.

The editorial board was concerned about the length of your manuscript. Its marketability would be enhanced by trimming approximately 200,000 words and dividing it into a trilogy. Much of the material appears redundant, so you will have to remove Chronicles and three of the Gospel accounts. The concluding chapter, Revelation, seems to have no relation to the rest of the manuscript. We would prefer you to rewrite a conclusion that is more within of the spirit of the piece.

The scenes of violence were rather disturbing, and we would urge you to tone them down before resubmitting.

One of the editors appreciated the strong female characters but felt that because most sacred scriptures involve male deities, perhaps changing Jesus into God's Daughter would help your work stand out from the crowd. We also lamented that God does not have any peers with whom to interact, as this builds character. It worked rather well for the Greeks and the Romans, so you should consider expanding your pantheon.

Jesus needs a love interest.

Your marketing plan concerns us, as you only intend to advertise by word of mouth. We regard your claim to speak every earthly language as far-fetched. Writing the different books in different languages makes it difficult for readers, although it does add to the air of verisimilitude. Please submit a revised marketing strategy along with any credentials you may have and lists of future speaking engagements. Perhaps you could work a sign such as a free fish giveaway with each copy sold, or a water-into-wine tour.

Our marketing director believes there are franchise opportunities if your work catches fire with readers. She outlined the possibilities of calendars with quotations, mugs, children's book spin-offs, plush figures, and Happy Meal toys.

Please send us any thoughts you may have as to a sequel. Does God have any other Sons? Would Jesus consider returning and dying again in a small Midwestern town?

We look forward to receiving your revised manuscript. Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

The Editor

See? rejections happen to everyone!

                                                                             

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photo credit: DUCKMARX via photopin cc

40 comments:

  1. Oh dear, Liz! Laughing! Too funny!

    :D

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    1. Glad you enjoyed! And glad you stopped by...I've missed your sweet self!

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  2. Lol! Fantastic. God's Daughter??? Although a water-into-wine tour sounds promising, don't you think?

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    1. A water into wine book tour would be a crowd gatherer for sure! I know I'd go.

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  3. So hilarious! I truly believe an editor today would respond like that. Thanks for sharing Liz.

    June 2013 IWSG Co-host

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    1. I think they would too. Though I think they'd say...more sex and more violence.

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  4. Jesus needs a love interest - hilarious!!

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    1. That was one of my favorites too...that and the removal of Psalms.

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  5. I loved the title of your post-- provocative. And the accompanying letters were funny. Sigh-- sadly true. Good thing the Bible didn't have today's publishers to account to!

    And blech-- I feel your bathing suit pain.

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    1. Thank God for that! LOL.

      I'm glad someone feels my pain! That sounds bad...but oh well, safety in numbers!

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  6. Replies
    1. I had it cut and pasted forever in my "fun stuff" file.

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  7. Oh my gosh! That rejection is hilarious!! I LOVE it!

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  8. And to think they could have had a best seller...

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    Replies
    1. They would have missed an epic...for reals!

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  9. LOL...funny stuff! I've never seen that before :)

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  10. That was one of my favorite QS posts! I'm surprised the response didn't also mention how the Bible has sections in all major POVS—first, second, and third—and telling the author to pick just one.

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    1. You read it too?! How cool.

      Yes, they did miss the POVs...but then so did I. :)

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  11. Janet Reid has some of the funniest followers! I loved that query letter when it came in. It made me laugh so hard. And I love the title suggestion!

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    1. She has some of the most clever people too. This was totally hilarious!!! I wanted to link it at her site, but could never find it. Glad I cut and pasted when I had the chance.

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  12. Elizabeth, I smiled all the way through your post. I imagine that's exactly what one of today's editors would say to the length and scope of the Bible.

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  13. Love the new title! Funny piece, Liz. :)

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  14. OMGosh that is hilarious!!! And tastefully done. Only writers could appreciate. Jesus needs a love interest. This post just tickled me silly. What clever writers.
    Thanks for sharing!!

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  15. What a fun answer to the query! Thanks for sharing!

    Nas

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  16. That is a gem. And it probably would be rejected these days. Clever.

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  17. Thanks for the smile, and for sharing. :)

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  18. Rejection is an important part of life. Point made!

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  19. OMG that is HILARIOUS. I'm going to be laughing at that for days! DAYS!!!!!

    Oh and you know, if retailers were smart, they'd get dressing rooms with more smoky lighting and mirrors that make you look BETTER instead of horrid--they'd sell a lot more clothes that way!

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  20. Elizabeth!

    First of all, I would like extra points for commenting on this clever and rather jovial posting. It's almost three in the morning and I've not done a posting to entertain my zillions of adoring fans just so I could comment on your posting and the zillions of others who are doing the "IWSG", yes the "I Was Seeking Gary" blog hop or blogfest or whatever this is! So thank you, kindly.

    Jesus in a small Midwestern town? Not a Mideastern town. Okay, I'm tired. Probably obvious by my comment.

    See you,

    Gary :)

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  21. Love this! I read it once on Query Shark, too. I'm not 100% sure, but I think Janet Reid wrote this. I think Jesus even had a good laugh over it. :D

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  22. WOW I never saw this before, although I follow Query Shark. Too funny and a pretty accurate way books are judged.

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  23. Very nicely done. :) Oh, my wife is very interested in your mirror idea. Perhaps it's time to embark upon self-employment and satisfy the summer masses?

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  24. Hi! Visiting via Jeff's link :)
    With you all the way on those dastardly mirrors - invention of a skinny mini no doubt LOL
    Love the Bible story, will have to share that :)
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe

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  25. awesome thru and thru!
    i remember reading that query & reject, so good!

    i hate swimsuit season... ah well, it happens to everyone!

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