Query about Rejected Submissions

Hello, Not sure if this is the right place, but I'd like to ask about a submission of mine that was rejected. I've been extremely busy recently, but I have been checking on the status of my submission. I'm assuming that it was for a good and valid reason, but I'm also wondering if I can resubmit it, and more importantly, if there's a way I can find out the reason for it's rejection so I can try my best to fix the issues. Thanks in advance!

Hi Kraken,

My recollection is I gave some details in the rejection note. That said, I've been through about 40 submissions with Leigh (the person who will be taking over the submissions queue) in the last week, so, I may not be remembering it right. If it's the one I think it is, the writing was really loose and I thought it needed a lot of work before it would be ready for an audience.

Feel free to post the link here and ask for some help with it, if you want.


Thanks Chris! Kay, here's the link to the serial then, hopefully I can get some insights:


Thanks again!

Okay so I looked at your front page and read the first chapter until my brain got bored and refused to continue. My impression of your writing is that it needs a lot of tightening up and focus, as well as cleaning up of your grammar and punctuation. Your About The Story is not a particularly enticing paragraph. Story blurbs should lay out your world, introduce your main character, and detail the main conflict in a way that sparks people's imagination without giving away the ending. The parentheses telling people you started writing in 2018 are completely unnecessary, given that the cultural context for this futuristic story probably wouldn't shift much if you started writing a decade in either direction. The "many consequences" line is far to vague to incite interest. I found a similar vagueness in the opening of your first chapter. No idea who Malcolm is, no idea why there are weird-looking hands on the emblem of the organization he works for. This may be a deliberate move on your part to create an air of mystery or not give everything away, but you need to create a much, MUCH stronger ambience with immersive imagery and/or the emotional life of your MC for this to be interesting rather than boring.

The grammar and punctuation definitely need work. You consistently use the wrong "it's" when you mean "its" and it's highly irritating. The rules regarding the capitalization/punctuation around dialogue are not consistently enforced, making it difficult to stay immersed. You also have sentence fragments floating around that I do not believe are deliberate.

Another thing to watch out for is redundancy in your writing. For example, "The emblem of the Consortium was first; the earth, held gently by 3 hands circling around it."

You definitely don't need both "circling" and "around" in that sentence. Arguably, given that you used the verb "held", you don't need either of them. If you condensed that phrase to "the earth, cradled by three hands", it would lose none of its meaning and deliver its message more directly.

(As an extra note, that semicolon should be a regular colon. )

Hope that helps!

Here's my impressions, such as my opinion is worth :)

First, your first chapter is over 10,000 words! To a new reader to your serial, that alone is pretty daunting. While the debate for word count / chapter length will likely rage on through the ages, I can say that a 10,000 word chapter would be tough to 'sink my teeth into' when just starting out.

Which leads me into point B...I suffer from the same condition...you're using too many words to describe the same thing. For example, "he thought, sighing to himself'. Well, everyone thinks to themselves (don't worry, I even caught myself writing "she thought silently to herself"). But the point is, as Unice pointed out, you can say the same thing with a lot fewer, stronger words.

Lastly, I think you may be too direct in your exposition. We get a LARGE dose of background information worked into the first several paragraphs with very little actually happening. I think maybe you could spread some of that out as the story unfolds so we don't feel like we're getting so much background info all at once.

All in all, it wasn't bad. I understand where you're going with it, I just think maybe you need to take a shorter path to get there?

Hope some of this helps...stick with it!

Hmmm, I understand the points being made here, though addressing them will be tricky. On the point of grammar and punctuation, I'm going to try to review my writing for all of that sometime in the near future, when I'm not so very busy. In terms of the chapter length vs. content, and repetitive and vague writing...I think I'll have to tackle that when Volume 1 is finished, which should be 2 to 3 months from now.

I knew the type of story I was going for would be problematic for me, but I wanted to give myself a challenge rather than writing one of the simpler story ideas I have. Maybe I bit off more than I could chew and screwed myself in the process, but I'm not completely sure how I'll fix some of the deeper issues without causing even more issues.

Oh well, I don't intend to give up. If I can fix everything, then I'll resubmit. If I can't, I'll just chalk it up as a good learning experience, and continue trotting along. This HAS been some very good insight for me however, and I feel I can easily do better with my other stories, and perhaps even with this one once I fix stuff up.

Thanks for the feedback @smatthews65, @unice5656! I'll try my best to put it to good use.

I kind of hope the reasons why KA's work was rejected were a bit more enlightening than some of the stuff pointed out. Repetitive redundancies and vague writing? That's a looooot of serials.

Honestly, I was a bit confused to see where this thread was going this afternoon. I saw that Kraken had concerns and Chris replied to them via email and mentioned so here. Wouldn't that make the situation resolved?

I can see the validity within some of the content-critique that was mentioned here, but I don't remember Kraken asking for a review or critique of their work (at least not here). This was a post to get in contact with Chris and the editorial staff concerning a submission rejection to the listings. Maybe this thread was misunderstood under it's placement as it is in 'Feedback' (contact with the editorial staff) and not under 'Site Reviews' or 'Review Discussion' which would make it open for everyone else to come in and provide critique. I mention this as it can look like 'dog-piling' on someone who just got some bad news. That is, until they specifically ask for ways to improve for re-submission.

The critique provided thus far is fine. Kraken, I'm sure you might not be in a good mood with the current rejection status, but at least you got some free criticism from some fellow talented writers to help, lol.

I have to agree with Rhodeworks above though, to put all of this in context. Those who provided critique above, were you part of the editorial staff to provide a rejection to Kraken's submission? If you were, and these are the reasons why, I admit my mistaken-ness and will bow out. If not, and if the status of acceptance and rejection falls to Chris and Leigh, then... I'm really confused.

If memory serves, we had a relatively recent thread about submission guidelines and such a few months ago. There was some talk about the increased number of RRL-hosted fictions, the current SCP Wiki status, and reiterations on the submission guidelines already posted here on WFG. Have those changed at all? Was there some kind of ultimate consensus made as to the new submission rules? Will we be able to see those new rules posted if they exist?

Until that time, I have to conclude that the primary criteria for submissions is posted under the 'Submissions' tab here on WFG. It sets a fairly straight-forward standard that can be easily applied to new submissions without staff having to provide long critiques of relative quality. Provided a web fiction is still active, provides proper links to the first chapter, is properly tagged, has proper navigation, provides readers with the ability to get to the next chapter at the end of the current chapter, and doesn't have objectionable material, things should be good-to-go.

There is the important clause of the editorial staff having the final say on whether a fiction makes the cut or not and for their own reasons to be provided, which I must presume Chris provided to Kraken in the hopes that such things can be fixed for re-submission. Chris did mention his reasons above and doesn't it fall to him and Kraken to sort this all out?

The submission queue is -severely- backed up right now. If staff are expected to provide a comprehensive review of every last fiction being submitted, that backlog is just going to grow and a lot of writers are going to get surly as time goes on.

Rhodeworks said it the best above, but I must reiterate a bit... If the criteria to get on WFG is having a 4.5 out of 5.0 star fiction with decent grammar, few redundancies, and a set first chapter size... Not only are we going to see 99% of submissions getting the rejection notice, we'll also soon become aware that most of the fictions already listed shouldn't have been listed at all.

Hey @Rhodeworks and @SovereignofAshes, I understand what Chris means about the whole "loose" writing thing. I'm less concerned about whether or not other stories might fit the same mold, and more concerned about the fact that mine currently does, and the fact that I kinda wrote myself into a corner where that's concerned, as I described above.

If there was any confusion, it was on my part. Looked at my listing in the submission queue and saw that it was rejected, but I didn't realise that I could find the critique on the WFG submission page. I was still a bit confused, since I wasn't sure what needed fixing, so I took Chris's offer to ask for some quick critiques. The critiques given here gave some insight into the editor's note on the submission page, and thus I now better understand the editor's critique. That's about it, sorry if I caused confusion with my bumbling.

Yeah @Sovereign, Chris wrote "Feel free to post the link here and ask for some help with it, if you want." and then Kraken posted a link, so I deduced that he wanted some feedback and went for it.

I have no idea why the story was rejected, and I certainly wasn't "dog-piling".

@Kraken, @unice5656, & @smatthews65,

Eep, my bad. My apologies for jumping headlong into this.

Kraken, the best of luck on your revisions and re-application. Sorry to hear about your temporary set-back. Your work is good and will be all the stronger in the future. Keep at it.

unice5656 & smatthews65, your critiques are really good. I wasn't implying in the least any kind of negativity in your directions. I was just confused about this whole thing.

Well this took an interesting turn :)

But hey, good news Kraken...you probably got a lot more exposure to your serial because of the confusion! Hahaha