What to do if your story has been rejected

Noveltrove is unique in my experience of writing erotica and submitting it to an erotic story website for publication.  Most will publish about anything they receive and the result is finding a story that is a pleasure to read can be very difficult.  There is just too much trash mixed in with a few real gems.

To maintain the quality of stories on Noveltrove, Arti established writing standards that can be found in the Noveltrove Publishing Guide.  The link is located at the bottom of the main page and most other pages.  If you’re a beginning author, you should read this guide before you submit your story because violating any of these standards will result in rejection of your story.

As I have reviewed stories, I’ve found most are rejected for one of two reasons – violation of the content section of the Publishing Guide and readability.  I’ll explain.

The main violations of the content rules I have seen so far are stories involving non-consensual relationships.  While other sites will publish these and it seems to be a popular subject, Noveltrove will not.  It is important to understand the meaning of “non-consensual” relative to the publishing guide.  “Non-consensual” means one of the parties involved did not agree to participate.   There are no exceptions allowed.  

It would be acceptable if the non-consenting person was slowly talked into agreeing, but the key word here is “agree”.  It is one thing to talk your neighbor into some bedroom activities as long as he or she ultimately does so willingly.  It is quite another to plot how you’re going to rape that neighbor.  Writing in the last paragraph that the neighbor ultimately found the experience to be something he/she enjoyed is not sufficient.  Neither Arti nor I will get that far into the story before rejecting it.

The second reason, readability, is the more common cause for rejection, and there are various reasons.  Stories that have very long paragraphs, stories that have little or no punctuation, and stories that have multiple typos are the biggest offenders.  Stories that have an excessive amount of “white space” - blank lines between paragraphs - are another, as are stories with a lot of the text in all caps.  These stories are difficult to read and making the required corrections would essentially be re-writing the story.  Some erotic story sites will do this, but Noveltrove will not.

There is a third category of story that will cause a story to be rejected.  That’s the story that gives the reader a “teaser” of a few paragraphs and after that teaser has a link to another site.  It doesn’t matter where the link goes.  Noveltrove does not accept stories that link to any other site.  Readers come to Noveltrove to read complete stories, not to be taken to another site to finish the story.  

So, how would you know if your story has been rejected?  The short answer is you won’t.  The only way you will know is if your story is pending for over a long period of time.  It would be safe to say if your story hasn’t been published in a a couple of weeks, it has probably been rejected.

So, if your story has been rejected, what should you do?

First of all, don’t give up.  Most of what Arti and I have rejected does not have bad content.  It’s just very difficult to read.  Read the Noveltrove Publishing Guide and read the tips I’ve written in “The Art of Writing” forum.  Between these, you’ll be able to figure out what you need to change.  

Make the changes, proofread your new version, and resubmit the story with a different title.  The title doesn’t have to be very different, just different in some way.  This is because Noveltrove saves submitted stories by title, and I’m not certain what the site will do with two stories with the same title.

If you need help, ask in “The Art of Writing” forum.  There are a lot of accomplished authors writing for Noveltrove, and most of us will be more than happy to help you.  That’s one of the reasons why this forum exists.

Again, don’t give up.  Even best-selling authors have received multiple rejection notices before they wrote that first novel that got published.