After a week of waiting… Rejected.
Wow. That stung. I read the email. Well, that’s not true. After the words “Not ready for publication at this time.” I pretty much skimmed it.
Two things stuck with me off the bat. George was an unnecessary character, and the opening was confusing. What?????????? George is the catalyst! Deep breath… don’t scream.
Being a good little camper, I shut down my computer, and walked away.
I stewed over it for a while. What were they talking about? How could they say these things?
Then I took my own advice. It was a nice day. I got on my bicycle, and just rode. I thought over those two comments, and cleared my head for an hour or so. Once I was able to deal with it, I went back to my computer to read it again.
It’s very hard to take your own advice when something happens to you. I have walked a few people through this very thing, but never myself. I’ve sent out work before, but they all saved me this heartache by not answering my queries at all. This time, I got the definitive “No”.
But was it really a no? I read it again. It wasn’t a yes, but it wasn’t completely a rejection either. They gave me a full-page type-written list of areas they thought were lacking in the story. Someone thought it through, and let me know everything they thought was a problem.
In my own advice to others: “If someone took that much time, they must have seen something in it that they liked.”
I printed out the page, went to my room, closed the door, and read it over and over. I realized that if I took their advice about the character George, that the characterization inconsistencies that they pointed out with three other characters would just naturally fall in line.
The last line of the email stated: If you would like to make changes and resubmit before the deadline date, please send the rewrite directly to “********”
Wait a minute… Go past the normal submission channels? Hop over the other entries right into a special mailbox?
Not quite so much a rejection anymore, is it? Thank God I submitted two weeks early!
Seven days for a rewrite, taking out a major plot element.
Gotta go…. Got something to do.