Friday, 10 May 2013

So I had just started writing a new book...


... (which would be Book 4) when I received the next in the line of rejections for Book 3. Except this one came with feedback. I'd been wanting one of these for a long time after receiving many generic rejections but, I have to tell you, it stung.

How could they not love my book? How could they find fault with it?

Ok, I'm not that much of an ego maniac but it was quite tough to read a criticism of my work but I knew, once I'd stopeed wanting to weep into my beloved manuscript, it would be useful to me. So I gave it a couple of hours and read it again.

How could they not love my book? How could they find fault with it?

Only kidding. I could see where they were coming from (though it had never occured to me to question this part of my story before) so I decided to leave it for a while and have a good think. Could I change this part of my story, which is pretty important being the whole driving force of my main character? Did I want to change it?

The answer ended up being yes to both. To begin with, I didn't want to touch my precious manuscript but I had to give it serious thought - an agent had read my work and flagged a major problem with it. I'd be a fool to simply ignore it (even if I decided not to change it in the end).

So I thought about it. A lot. Could I do away with that aspect of the story? Probably but it would change the motivation of the MC and an important chunk of who she was. It had to stay.

Could I tweak it? Yes, I could. I could change the aspect the agent didn't believe in while still having the same outcome. And, putting my bruised ego aside, I like the changes I'm going to make. It fits better and makes more sense.

So that's what I'm going to do. Book 4 is going on hold for a short while so I can go back to Book 3 for another draft and hopefully improve it.


16 comments:

  1. It does hurt doesn't it? It's very personal, like someone saying they don't like a piece of you. Well done though, you've made the move to change it. I'm still a bit stubborn, and stick to my guns - and get rejected! Treat yourself - that helps : ))

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    1. A treat you say... Yep, I like that idea very much.

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  2. Oh! Agree with the lady above - so personal. I'm in the exact same predicament - had to abandon my work-in-progress to rewrite an old one (which actually, I'd given up for dead). I'm about half-way through the rewrite, and good golly, Agent X was right. Happily, he's giving me feedback as I go, so hopefully I won't go too far off-piste, and he'll be happy to sell it at the end of everything.

    Anyway, hope you get stuck in to yours, and it all works out brilliantly.

    Best of luck,

    Carlie

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    1. Thank you and best of luck with the second half of your rewrite :-)

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  3. It hurts yes but sounds like you did the right thing and thought about what they said. Any feedback from an agent is a positive so best of luck and keep going.

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    1. Thank you. Feeling quite positive with the changes so far.

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  4. Congrats on getting personalized feedback from an agent - that's an accomplishment! :) And that's how I handle crits, too - read and react in private, take time to think on it, then approach it in a more objective mindset.

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    1. I definitely needed a little while for the sting to go before I could think objectively!

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  5. Just getting acknowledgement is such a boon! It does sting! I always seem to be amazed at the parts people find problems with yet once they explain and my ego recovers I can usually see they are right. I am still in a revision from just such an experience.

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    1. My ego took a bit of a battering but I couldn't ignore the advice and it turns out it was good advice.

      Good luck with your revisions.

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  6. I once had some really unexpected comments on a novel from an editor that totally threw me for a loop - an angry loop for a while, but it ended up a productive one. I'm still happy after the revision and the story is stronger for it.

    Good luck with Book 3 and hopefully you'll be back to book 4 in no time.

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    1. I hope mine will be stronger too.

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  7. Good luck with the revision! I had a 'good' rejection, and it spurred me forward. Although heartbreaking, they can be very useful.

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    1. This one has proved to be very useful. It's good to get an outsider's objective.

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  8. Rejection is horrible and the thought of making major changes (which small changes seem to end up being) is a pain, but they usually mean that the book is much improved by the end of the edits. Says me, who is still editing and probably takes suggestions too literally and changing the book a little too much.

    Best of luck.x

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    1. Thanks, Debs.

      Best of luck with your editing x

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