Sunday, August 14, 2011

What I Can I Learn From Yet Another Rejection

Well shucks another rejection. This time for my partial that was with Harlequin Desire.  I know! I know! I hear what you're saying. Every writer has rejections.  But does that mean they don't suck?   No way Jose!

So what can I learn from this latest rejection.  And that's something else every writer also has to do. After I came down from the boughs and stopped stomping around the house and sat down and analysed  the rejection it did make sense.

"While I found much to like about this project...it's not suitable for Desire...."  Well that was pretty well stating the obvious....why else would I be receiving a rejection letter?
It was the second comment that really got me thinking.... "The initial premise that was so intriguing....isn't really what's delivered...."
 And the third comment reinforced the second.... "added to that there are a number of problematic plot elements that are ultimately too distracting from the main romance and conflict...."

Now this third comment did make immediate sense. Desire is a simple straight forward plot to the HEA. And I don't and never have written simple....so it was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

As luck would have it on the same day this letter came so did an email from RWNZ with an attachment with  the notes for Bob Mayer's workshop to give us  time to study them prior to the workshop.  This is a superb idea...it allows us to take in more without information overload.  And there on page one of these notes was the answers to the questions raised by the comments in the rejection letter.


The importance of your original idea.   Can you write this original idea in 25 words or less? Now for anyone who had never tried to do this....believe me it is hard!   It is probably the hardest task a writer is asked to do.  Distill the essence of a book into 25 words or less. It's not impossible. It can be done.

The next gem on the work sheet:  Remembering this original idea keeps you focused.


And this was why my Desire submission  bombed....I hadn't kept focused on my original idea.
So for my next submission...which is already sent by the way... I've done just that....and as I revise the manuscript in expectation of being asked for a partial.... One never gives up hope in this business...you keep plodding on hoping that one day and editor will punch the air and say.....YES.

I've kept that 25 word original premise front and foremost  in my mind. Every scene has to build on this premise in some way. If it doesn't it gets the chop.

So thank you  Bob Mayer your workshop notes have already helped me and I'm so looking forward to the workshop.   And I've been very brave....I've put my latest query letter up for Bob to pull apart in his workshop....

Now I'm in fear and trembling.... Should I have waited until he'd dissected it before I sent it.....

No.  I have faith in my own judgement..... I just hope this very experienced novelist's judgement concurs with mine..... Check back after the conference and I will reveal all.

Warts and all.



Post a Comment