Alright, first of all, I would like to say that Checkmated used to be the best R/Hr fanfiction site on the web. I sincerely thought it had the best plots, the best depth, and it was an all-around well managed site. Took forever to get beta-read, but that's okay, I can understand things taking a while sometimes. But under the new management I'm just incredibly pissed, especially when they reject a story that I wrote specifically for their guidelines.
Granted, they made me angry the first time, so I was pretty angry back, but I'm going to copy/paste what I got the first time:
While we did not object to the general concept behind this submission, we feel such subject matter requires a high degree of sophistication and sensitivity to be believable. Likewise, since this is a Ron/Hermione site, we'd like to be assured of how a divorce story would be handled and still meet the submission guidelines for the pairing.
The characters didn't seem like themselves and the overall feel to the story was rather modern, not seeming to take into account the values or atmosphere of JK Rowling's old-fashioned wizarding world.
I wish I knew when I resubmitted it because then I could go back and see what I sent to Dena, since I sent this all to her. But basically, in my comments when I resubmitted, I bashed at everything they told me. If you've read any of Divorce: Weasley Style I would hope you'd disagree too. Granted, the characterizations are a little AU, but let's talk about what they told me. "A high degree of sophistication and sensitivity." Well, that would be true if the focus of the story was the divorce. The focus of the story is their reunion and their making up with each other and Ron making up with his kids. That requires sopistication? And the title is a play on an old COMEDY. I TOLD them that; the title is a play on the comedy film Divorce: American Style. Sorry if they don't know their 60s films very well, but that title wasn't meant to make the subject matter seem dark. We'll skip that next line for a minute. Let's discuss the characters not seeming like themselves. Well, duh! They're married and have a set of twins. Last time I knew they weren't married and they didn't have two children; how are they to tell me what is real characterization, and for that matter, what is out of character? Hermione being upset with Ron? Hermione caring for her babies? Ron knowing that he's in trouble? Hermione yelling at Ron? Ron being silent? Hermione storming out in a huff? Would someone please point out what is out of character about that? As for the "modern" feel and the "values"....I never mentioned anything electric, Hermione QUIT WORK to raise her children (last I knew that was NOT modern), the husband is bringing home the bacon, they got married BEFORE they had children (that's not very modern and seems to fit in the values of JKR's world), they're both loving parents, oh yes, and they have a Weasley clock complete with Post-War possible locations. I fail to see how it's modern or how it lacks the values.
And now my favorite: "since this is a Ron/Hermione site, we'd like to be assured of how a divorce story would be handled and still meet the submission guidelines." Dear Checkmated, yes, as an author on your website and as a huge R/Hr shipper, I will of course post a story on your site that is anti-R/Hr. Although I have a question for you:
HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK I AM?
So, in about twice as many words including an entire plot summary, I explained it to them. No, I wasn't very nice because I think they took one look at the title, read the first chapter, and doubted me completely. Yes, it makes me angry because I explain EVERYTHING later, and their reasons were not good enough for me.
So I wait...3 weeks for a reply. Yeah, 3 weeks, so I figured I'd pissed them off. That was part of my goal, but I didn't cuss, I didn't tell them they were wrong, I just presented my case and I thought I do well for as angry as I was. I really like this story, I really do, so then I get a reply this morning:
At present, this story...
~ is not something we are interested in hosting at Checkmated.
~ does not meet standard of quality.
Does not meet standard of quality? I've read that blasted chapter so many times and you don't think it's up to the standard of the quality? I've never been rejected for quality before I really doubt that very much.
Poor characterization? I think I just justified that above, didn't I?
And the killer: "is not something we are interested in hosting at Checkmated" BOOM! REJECTED! Although I love how the e-mail contradicts itself:
If you wish to resubmit this fic at a later date after making sure that it meets the guidelines in our submission guide, we will be happy to look at it again. However, if we feel that the fic still does not meet site standards and the beta assigned will not be able to work with you to improve it, we must reject it again.
Stories that are rejected for unacceptable content or that are not something we are interested in archiving at Checkmated may not be resubmitted.
Yeah, good work, guys.
So, what do I say to that? I'm angry, but it's pretty funny, too, because they didn't listen to me at all. I want specifics, I want to know what is out of character, what is poor quality, and why they don't want to host a reunion story. Because there's a death? Is that their problem?
Well, if I'm linked to Checkmated beta, I'm kinda sorry, but not very, because I don't think I was given a very good chance and I don't care anymore. I try and write a dark plot in a comedy fic and it gets rejected, fine, I don't care.