Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

Post SYTYCW rejection update February 1, 2011

One of my critique partners Chelsea  just got a request for a full from Blaze for her So You Think You Can Write entry! Am squeefully dancing around the room for her!

I got over my poutiness pretty fast over the form rejection for mine. A girl’s gotta grieve, but the trick is to feel it deeply and fully, but not let it go on too long.  Truth is, what I sent in wasn’t very good. But I can console myself that I subbed it to the wrong line, and that’s why it got the R. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Well, that and the fact that the story needs to be approached completely differently. I got straight back on the horse, anyway, and if I had to use little mental tricks like that then so be it!

I’ve decided to let that story rest for now,  then come back to it later in the year. I’m currently in chapter 7, and I know some of what I did wrong. I wasn’t letting the story be what it needed to be. I wanted to sub it as a category romance, so I forced events into it that just didn’t fit – like making the hero appear as early as possible in chapter one. The more I write, the more I’m realising this isn’t a romance, it’s women’s fiction with a strong romantic element. It’s the heroine’s journey of self-discovery and emotional growth. Part of this is creating a damn good loving relationship, but she learns a lot of what she needs to allow this to happen from the female friends she makes when she allows herself to stay in one place long enough to be part of a community. Think Fried Green Tomatoes crossed with a hot SuperRomance and that’s kinda the idea! I’m feeling quietly excited about letting that one simmer on the backburner for a while and see what’s cooked up when I come back to it.

For February, I’m going back to the previous story, the one I got the personalised rejection with the two sentence gold nugget from Megan, the editorial assistant with Supers. The story is getting a radical makeover, even the title is new. Oh boy, my heroine has a goal, motivation, and strong stakes now! 95% if not all of my partial goes in the bin. A lot of the first draft of the rest of the book will also need to be scrapped too. It will be a real challenge to write, and the character arcs are still a teensy bit unclear to me, but if I can pull it off, it’s going to be good. I’m doing Shirley Jump’s Revisions can Be Fun workshop this month, so it’s the perfect chance to go back and see what I can do with this story. I’m hoping I’ll have an outline and at least a first draft of the new partial by the end of the month.

How’s everyone else doing in the post-SYTYCW week?

Hopefully there’s more idiot grins and happy dancing going on out there for people who got requests!

For those of us who got the rejection email, some people might be feeling stuck in the inevitable grieving after a rejection. We’re all going to take different lengths of time to process this.  I’ve had some practice this past year! Some things that help- do let yourself feel the anger and sadness. Don’t deny how you feel or pretend it doesn’t hurt- it does! Nurture yourself and be extra gentle with yourself. Remember, it doesn’t mean you suck or your writing sucks, just that there was something that didn’t quite work in your submission. Set yourself a time limit to move on so you don’t get stuck. Be willing to look at what could be changed in your story to strengthen it, or what other publisher it might be a better fit with. Donna Alward did a post on dealing with rejection (even multi-published authors get them) that you might find helpful.

Just don’t let this stop you. Believe in yourself and your writing.


8 Responses to “Post SYTYCW rejection update”

  1. I’m feeling surprisingly undiscouraged about the rejection. Even though only a few weeks have passed, I can see that there were weakness (the synopsis especially) that I’d be able to fix if I did it all over again.

    I’m reworking the plot on this mss and have already started another. I guess that makes me feel like this is a bump in the road instead of a big brick wall.

    And congrats, Chelsea!!!

  2. Linda Cacaci Says:

    I got the rejection last week and I am taking my time in figuring what I am going to do. I will probably take some of the elements of the story and expand. I was working on the second book of the trilogy, which does have a stronger story. I willnow concentrate on that. And on the good side: I got my contributor’s copy of an article plus a contract for another article I submitted. All is not lost! Now I just have to perfect my novel skills as I have perfected my personal essays!

  3. Awesome advice, Jane! And yeah, those Rs suck majorly and allowing yourself to feel angry and disappointed is part of it. Then you hae to put it aside and get on with writing the best damn story evah! 🙂
    Yay for your story being more awesome!

  4. waitingforthecall Says:

    Yay Julia! That’s the way to do it. I have loads of confidence in you!

  5. waitingforthecall Says:

    Hugs onthe rejection, Julia, but maybe there is another good market for the trilogy with an ebook publisher? Fab that you are doing well with the articles. Where are they being published? Essay writing is a real art!

  6. waitingforthecall Says:

    Fingers crossed the rewrite makes it more awesome, Jackie! Having the month to workshop it has got to help even eejit me to get it right. Fingers and toes crossed that you get a full request tomorrow. The wait must be so frustrating.

  7. eileen Says:

    Way to get back on the horse!

  8. Romy Sommer Says:

    Hugs on the R, Jane. If it’s any consolation, your story sounds awesome. I for one will line up to read it once this book finds its home.

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