"The Dante Prophecy" Rejection Letter

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A letter of rejection in response to my recently completed thriller, "The Dante Prophecy."

Submitted: November 09, 2010

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Submitted: November 09, 2010

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Elizabeth Schaeffer
Submissions Editor
Anchor Books
A Division of Random House, Inc.
January 10th, 2009
 
Dear Mr. McClure:
 
Thank you for allowing us to read your manuscript, The Dante Prophecy. Unfortunately, your work does not meet our needs at this time. In fact, the manuscript appears to be a completely transparent attempt to capitalize upon the success of the international bestseller The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, despite your claim in the foreword to the novel that you “have never read anything by Dan Brown and hope to God not to.” Also, my merely discussing your manuscript with you may be actionable under existing copyright laws. That said, I will offer you the following criticisms in the hopes of assisting you in the revision process and in later stages of your career.
 
Stylistically, the novel was sound. In the area of content, though, I found several major problems, not the least of which is the aforementioned transparent attempt to incorporate ideas from Dan Brown’s work. The DaVinci Code has the semblance of a logical plot, which is sorely lacking in your manuscript. The central premise of your novel is absurd. The notion that a two thousand year-old secret society would be founded solely to conceal the “fact that Jesus never had a beard…was incapable of growing a beard, and at the most, had a little chin thing going on” is absolutely preposterous. How would this information be relevant or of historical significance in any way?
 
Secondly, your main character, Edward Stanton, is a blatant imitation of The DaVinci Code’s Robert Langdon. Dan Brown’s protagonist is a Harvard symbologist, yours is described as a “Princeton sign-figurer-outer.” Also, at one point you describe him as “a man in his mid forties who looks like Tom Hanks with bad hair.” In addition your lead female character, Marie Francais, bears a striking resemblance to Brown’s Sophie Neveau. In addition to being a carbon copy of The DaVinci Code character, I find her depiction problematic in several ways. 
 
First, your stereotyping of her national identity is rather crude. French people do not walk around saying “Sacre bleu!” and chanting “Long live Saddam Hussein!” Secondly, as a woman, I object to the fact that she faints on seven separate occasions and that, although a significant portion of the action takes place in Moscow in February and one character suffers from frostbite, you constantly refer to the fact that she is wearing a “tube top, flip-flops, and a pair of running shorts ‘that clung to her silky thighs as if holding on for dear life.’ ” Returning to the question of legality, I am also fairly certain that portions of the novel featuring Indiana Jones will have to be excised, as Random House does not own the rights to the character.
 
In addition to these choices of plot and character, I found the manuscript to be riddled with inaccuracies. New Delhi is not a three hour drive from Paris. The Mona Lisa is not, in fact, a magic eye poster. Jesus Christ Superstar is not considered “the fifth Gospel.” Men and women do have different reproductive organs. Such errors abound and could have been prevented with more research and attentiveness to detail. 
 
I hope you find these comments helpful and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
 
Elizabeth Schaeffer
 
 
 


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