I’m sitting here, staring at a rejection letter one of my writing partners received. “Not quite ready for publication at this time.” Bummer.
Rejection letters stink, but this one comes with an offer to resubmit through alternate channels if she decides to revise. Hmmmm. Sounds positive.
I open up the PDF file of the full manuscript, and find it redlined to heck and back. HOLY COW! Wait a minute, one thing they said is never use capital letters. Excuse me… quick correction… Holy Cow! Wow, it even looks better.
So, yes, this is a rejection, but I cannot help but be extremely positive. It took me three hours to read and take notes on all their comments. Did you get that? THREE HOURS Oops… Three hours! I can’t help but think, “Wow… if they put that much work into it, they must have thought it was worth something.”
Yes, they are gently suggesting a few pretty major changes, but most of them are minor, and they are really dumb mistakes that I realized my own manuscript is riddled with. Funny thing is, I didn’t even realize that these things were mistakes. I looked at my own pages, found three of the same mistakes in a single chapter I was editing, and fixed them with about ten seconds thought. It was so simple, and it flows so much better now.
So, was this just another rejection? Nope! No Way! This is a stinking gold mine!
I have my writing partner’s permission (keeping it anonymous) to post what I’m learning from this experience here on my blog. As I really digest everything, one topic at a time, I will send up a blurb about it. At the end, I think I will post all of the entries up as a permanent page.
This is stuff every writer should know, because it came right from a publisher. I know I’ve heard some of these things from other writers, but didn’t really understand the concepts completely, or just blew them off, but here is a manuscript (that I personally thought was awesome) that was rejected because of it.
I’ll be shooting up a new topic every few days, so stop by to be baffled by the simplicity of the mistakes that we are all making.
For now go back and look for capitalization in your manuscript. Yes, some pretty major published authors are out there getting away with it, but we don’t have the clout to argue yet, do we?
I hope you get as much out of this as I have!
- Beta Reading Challenge (susansheehey.wordpress.com)
- Dealing with rejection/ turnaround time (barnsleywriters.wordpress.com)
- The Art of the Query (writeami.wordpress.com)
- http://writeami.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/molten-fire-of-refinement/ Molten Fire of Refinement (writeami.wordpress.com)