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.