Received a rejection from Aberrant Dreams. From Duotrope ‘s Digest they are listed as one of the ‘Top 25 Most Challenging Markets’ (out of 2200 listed markets).

This rejection: Thank you for submitting DEAD LETTER OFFICE, but we’re going to pass on this one. I liked the tension and worldbuilding in this one, but in the end, I didn’t think the story’s protagonist was sufficiently likeable to carry the tale. But please do submit your work to us again soon…you’ve got a professional storeytelling voice and we’d like to see more.

Of course, I can’t disagree. They didn’t like the main character, then, well, they didn’t like the main character. He was, after all, a killer. I guess the point was that even though he was a killer, he still was much like us (the old thing about ‘never being able to go home again’).

But this is a continuing trend — knocking but not quite able to get through that door. Feels like I’m missing something.

When I got back from Banff, I knew I had to work on my writing — not the storytelling, but the actual writing. Sentence composition, word choice, editing, tightness…and I think I’m doing pretty well and it has gotten me to this next stage.

But now it seems like I’m missing something else. Something to get me over that hump. I don’t think it’s the actual stories — I think they’re fairly original, with some fun ideas, and creative (hey, I can find the positive). But I’m missing something.

Somehow, I have to find out what.