Sometimes life gets in the way of progress and I've been away from my blog for way too long. My original plan was to blog about creative writing issues and that started off fine. Then I went off the road for a time with work assignments that kept me busy. The assignments are still there, and I'm enjoying them, but it's time to get back on track.
Today I'd like to talk about something that recently happened to me and it was an "I coulda had a V-8" moment. I talk about the importance of having one's work edited and I failed in that respect recently. A while back I had written a novel - while I was creating it I ate, slept, and drank the story. I went to bed thinking about it; I woke up thinking about; I sat at the computer and worked on it. When it was completed, I rigorously went through the self-editing / revising process until I felt it was ready for the next step.
That step was the beta-readers. I found eight who agreed to read it, and the feedback I got was great. Everyone loved the story; I got some good comments and suggestions, which (for the most part) I incorporated into the story. Again revised, and when I finished I felt it was ready for submission to agents.
Well! If you think getting a publisher to look at and accept your book is tough, try getting an agent. Reject after reject after reject. So, I thought - what the heck. Let's try some publishers. I sought out both traditional and independent publishers. Reject after reject after reject. Hmmm, what's the matter here?
I was close to self-publishing the story, when I found a publisher who was accepting new submissions and they looked promising. So, I revised the (dreaded) synopsis and sent it on its way. It should be noted that the publisher (EquinoxBooks) was in the process of making some major changes, including their name and their submissions process, but until that change actually took place, they would continue to accept submissions through their current process. So, I submitted.
This publisher does something that no other publisher or agent that I've encountered has done! They actually inform the submitter on a weekly basis where the submission is in their queue! Can you imagine?
Anyway, I waited, and just recently I received an email from one of their editors. She informed me that mine is a "rewrite and resubmit" if I am so inclined. (Duh!). She gently, but firmly, told me what she felt needed work. Now, we all know, as authors, that our work NEVER needs work. But the word RESUBMIT nagged at me and I took a serious read of her lengthy comments, and she was so right on target that this became that "I coulda had a V-8" moment.
I shared her email with my friend Roy, and he put his thinking cap on. We shared some comments, and he came up with a brilliant way for me to meet her biggest concern - the relationship between two of the main characters.
Our conversation put me back on the main road to "manuscript recovery" and I am now cutting and pasting major parts of the story to better fit the needs pointed out by the editor.
So, my writer friends, if you think an editor is a step you can just by-pass, AND if you are being rejected at every turn...give some more thought to the concept of by-passing that editor. Their information is absolutely invaluable!
Until next time, and I promise not to dally!