Got my no-go email today after six-ish weeks of maybe-land and feeling kind of down about it. Sorry if there’s a rejection thread somewhere I missed. Wondering if there’s anyone out there who similarly passed the resume and sample phases but got vetted in the pitch phase who is willing to share how they got up and moved on. Did you write a HG? If so, how did that go? Did you explore other options? I’ve sold writing for years now, but “no” never gets any easier for me.
They can reject stories? Lovely, something to look forward to come the day I’m trying to publish…
I know, based off your prompt, I can’t really comment because I’ve never gotten to that stage. However, I have faced rejection of… similar circumstance before. In my experience, yeah, I moved on. What else was I gonna do? It hurt like hell at first, and I cried, it stung, and I asked myself what I did wrong. Then I figured “eh, they’re missing out, not me”. Rejection never gets easy. How you deal with it does, however. You’ll hear from professional authors a lot how rejection still hurts, even if they’re seasoned or considered veterans in their field. But you can tell yourself what I did, you’re allowed to feel the sting of it, but you can’t let it stop you. Publish it however you can, see if you can make it a visual novel if you’re feeling adventurous. There are other coding systems for interactive fiction out there that you can learn and publish it that way if you’re worried about having it CG’s/HG’s format.
Turn it into a standard novel to publish online by following your ideal path to the end, save other scenes for patreon or as little goodies for your readers. Or just… try again. Make another HG, make a smaller one if your last project was large. Rejection will never be easy or pain free, but there is ALWAYS another way.
Rejection sucks, but sometimes its the push you need to get somewhere even better. There are more options to getting your story published.
Quite a few interactive fiction writers use Twine, from what I understand it is a little more complicated to code but offers you a lot more control and ownership over your work:
Scout: An Apocalypse Story by Anya (itch.io)
Superstition S1 by 13Leagues (itch.io)
Idrelle Games has quite a few posts about their adventures with TWINE on their Tumblr: WAYFARER (tumblr.com)
Did you ever post a beta or anything? I don’t know if I’ve seen you before. I think a beta is required
Don’t sweat it, just do your story as a HG. Less promotion, but just like Burger King, you can have it your way.
Just because a few people upthread seemed confused, I’d say that the author was saying they submitted their resume to Choice of Games and they said no after the pitches, not they submitted a final game to Hosted Games.
I’d just like to say that publishing a game first through Hosted Games is not only easier, but would probably make your ‘real’ Choice of Games game much better, if your game does well and you reapply. I was given a Choice of Games contract based off my work in other types of interactive fiction, but I found writing a 100K+ word Choicescript novel daunting and difficult. If I had made a smaller Hosted Game first, I would have learned a ton and done better. I’m proud of my game, but I definitely wish I had known more about Choicescript, branching, and long-form fiction writing first!
I think that a good deal of this ultimately depends on what you’re submitting. In publishing (and life!) I have been rejected for awful, unfair reasons before- I’ve also been rejected for obvious and fair reasons. Without knowing what the exact standards at COG are and without knowing what you submitted, I can’t really make a judgement. With that being said, though, don’t give up. I’d highly recommend working on another story for a hosted game (hint: post on the Interest Check thread and make a wip), then coming back to COG once you’ve learned the ropes and improved.
Rejection sucks. I’m sorry. I know hearing that isn’t very helpful, and I don’t have any solid advice to give, just that you shouldn’t take it personally. You got past the resume and sample phases which means you’re a talented a writer. You’ve sold writing for years now which means you’re also a devoted and dedicated writer.
Perhaps your story idea was just too similar to something else they’re working on, or doesn’t fit their market, or just isn’t right for one of a million other reasons. That’s fine. It says nothing bad about the idea, or even you as a writer. If you still like the story you can dust it off and try it somewhere else, or publish as a HG. Or, you can write something else.
I guess what I’m trying to say is… it’s okay to feel a bit shit when you get rejected. I think that’s natural. Let yourself feel that… but also don’t lose sight of the fact that you are, obviously, an awesome writer. This doesn’t change that.
Honestly, take it as a good thing. I pitched to CoG and got as far as the writing sample and still got rejected. It was a good indication of how much work I needed to do as a writer before I could start getting offers like that.
I pitched to CoG and got rejected, but I wrote for HG instead and never regretted it. Honestly, I think it was better for me in the long run, this way I could work out the kinks at my own pace and not feel the stress of oversight or having to run decisions by people. In the end, there’s been no monetary difference, and I’ve got lovely support from HG, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out.
Looking back with what I know know, I can see that I wasn’t a very good fit for CoG, too far into the process for them to have much input, very set in what I wanted to achieve. And, not always within their guidelines
Being rejected is sadly a writers lot in life, if you’re excited about your idea, do it as a hosted game!
I’ll add that if you’re still interested in writing for CoG, you can submit another pitch to them in 12 months.
If like to echo what @malinryden said (though I never applied to CoG and wrote directly for HG).
Yes, rejection sucks… But I’m sure it’s a blessing in disguise, and you can now start writing for HG, which is where the cool stuff is!!!
Jokes aside, to reiterate the point, HG means you are closer to this wonderful community, and if your game is successful means no difference to your long term income.
Thanks, everyone, for your words of support and encouragement. I deeply appreciate them. It’s been easy to get down, times being what they are, so I’m grateful for such a positive community.
After giving it some thought, I’m going to move forward with my story as a HG. So, be on the watch for WiP from me! Cheers, all.
We’re glad to hear that, @dwsnee! I look forward to seeing your WIP on here.
If you ever have any questions or need any help, don’t hesitate to contact any of our wonderful mods, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Good luck on your story!