Until last year, no-one had read a word of the fiction I’d written. Not since I was 15 anyway.
Since then I have sent my finished manuscript all over the world in attempts to get it noticed.
Obviously, there was a step in between where I wrote, edited, wrote, edited. And people read it. Critiqued it. Edited it. Beta read it.
I’ve had responses to Twitter pitches, requests for partial, requests for fulls and of course the rejections that go with it. I expect rejections. I didn’t feel like I was a “real” writer until I got one.
This week I have had three different types of rejections that have me wondering.
1. Thanks but no thanks. Keep us in mind for the future. No feedback.
2. Interesting idea, not for us and here are some links to places to help polish your manuscript further.
3. Not interested. And was that bit in the middle really necessary?
My responses were:
1. Another one with no feedback. Of course, the majority will be this. But that’s tough because how do I know what wasn’t right? What was good? Or was any of it?
2. At last! Some pointers in the right direction. The editor who sent me this rejection went above and beyond. She sent me the notes she’d made on my partial. She didn’t have to but she did. Despite the fact this was a rejection and it had a lot of negative comments…it was FANTASTIC! I finally got to see some mistakes I was making I could change. I’m still overawed that somebody did this for me.
3. This has highlighted to me again the problem with where to “fit” my manuscript. I went straight to my beta readers and asked them what they thought. After a day of scratching my head I came to the conclusion that a NA romance doesn’t fit the Adult romance criteria the same. The bit in the middle? Her new adult world. The main focus of her struggle and development towards acceptance that allows her to react differently when the black moment hits. Cut it out and she’s a flat heroine running in circles whinging. My beta readers agree, one of whom is my target audience. TLDR: Not all stories fit all publishers.
And my steps towards learning from these things:
1. Well, keep submitting. If I’m getting asked for fulls something fits. I just need to grow my writing.
2. Found some wonderful, online editing software: Autocrit. I’ve edited some early chapters and sent to my CP who liked the changes so much she’s using it herself now. Throughly recommended to anyone editing their own work before handing it to others.
3. I’m pulling it apart. I’m re-writing. I’m restructuring. I have a better idea of the genres now than I did before I entered the crazy e-publishing social media melee. I know what works for the NA genre and what I need to add/cut to fit it more tightly. Which ironically means that middle part is no longer merely a middle part and becomes a bigger focus.
Not a very succinct post this time but I wanted to share. It’s been an odd week.
But I’m not giving up.