About one year ago, I submitted a paper to a top journal in my field. After waiting for 4 months, the manuscript is rejected with one positive, one negative, and a neutral (including many revise suggestions) comments. There is one common comment: the manuscript is too long. Nevertheless, the editor kindly suggested that I could revise my paper along all the lines suggested by the referees and resubmit my paper.
I carefully modified the paper according to the comments and replied the questions and suggestions from the three referees point by point, then resubmitted it after about four months form the first rejection. This time, after two months, the editor replied us as following without any further comment from any referee.
"I would like to thank you for taking the time to redraft your manuscript, to be considered as a resubmission to xxx. I have carefully read your new manuscript, and I am sorry to have to inform you that your paper is not suitable for publication in xxx. The manuscript still lacks a clear statement of its aims and motivation. (Two example from the editor's viewpoint). While I appreciate that you have taken significant steps to reduce the manuscript length, I still found it overly long, and the writing still suffers from many grammatical errors. I am sorry not to have more positive news."
There is no any comment for us after the two+ months' review. I guess our paper was not even sent to referees (previous or new ones). In my supervisor's experience, editorial rejection is typically very fast, a couple of weeks at most.
My questions are:
Being forced to wait two months for a desk rejection without any comment, is that normal for a reputable journal? What should I do to acquire a potential comments, if any?
Is it appropriate to send an email to coordinate with the editor for a new resubmission? And how much is my chance?
What is the most probable attitude of the editor: does the editor really not like it?
Thank you very much for sharing your invaluable experience!