I’ve submitted this for the Writer’s Digest series called Reject A Hit. The idea is to pretend to be an editor who rejects a famous book, which sadly, happens all the time! Don’t let it discourage you if you dream of publishing. All of the best writers have received dozens of these.
I chose the play Much Ado Bout Nothing by Shakespeare. If you know the story, you’ll recognize lots of puns here.
Dear Mr. Shakespeare (if that really is who you are),
We’ve heard the rumors about your cast of characters in Much Ado About Nothing. This is all just smoke and mirrors and surely no one would have a ball to read it. Beatrice is far too brazen. Don’t you know a woman of her time should be seen and not heard? How fitting that her love interest is Benedick, who has really been a dick. Don John is a jerk. You have a dingleberry for a cop. And how presumptuous to name one of your main characters Hero! We’re all aware of the Hero’s Journey, but this is arrogance at its finest.
Marry, Sir, you have committed falsehood; moreover, you have written untruths; secondarily, you are fabricating lies; sixth and lastly, you have belied the scoop, and to conclude you are an ass.
We were ready to dump this rotten orange of a manuscript in the trash, and truly we wish it had never been written. The garbage can is the only fair covering for this drivel, but on the suggestion of our lawyer, we would like to keep it in the rejection pile for just a short while, and if it can be proven virtuous, we would be willing to consider it again. Otherwise, there really is nothing here at all for us to publish.
Funky Cold Messina