I don’t have much in the way of an update. I’ve been limping along since I returned from the funeral. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get back into the groove of things, but I’ll manage. I have been working on THE PROPHET here and there, ironing out some more minor plot issues I’ve found. I hope to have actually written something for the Sunday update.
But I did want to share an amazing rejection I recently received for INTO THE DARK. Yes, I said amazing. An editor really loved the book, but it didn’t have enough romance for her line. Normally, she finds ways to add romance, but she stated INTO THE DARK was “perfect the way it is.” She went on to talk about how much she liked it and how it would have been a great book to edit.
Needless to say, I was both floored and disappointed. Since she and I had been communicating, I was really hoping to work with her and the publisher. But hearing an experience editor give such great feedback (and she did go into more detail, I’m just going to keep it to myself) was incredibly validating. And it brings me to something my best friend has been telling me since I started this writing journey: “write the book you want to.”
Of course there are rules to follow–structure, strong characters, believable plot, etc. But if you don’t love the story you’ve created, if you’re not completely invested in the characters, if you don’t think the plot would hold your interest, fix it. And conversely, if you love the characters and plot, even though it may be a little out there for some or might not be genre specific, write it anyway.
I’m not saying ignore critique partners when they say something’s not working. Listening to them is vital. I’m saying that writing – and the success that comes with it – is just as dependent on personal satisfaction as it is being picked up by an agent or publisher and selling thousands of books. Bottom line: if you don’t love your book, no one else will.
All right, enough preaching for today. How are everyone else’s Row80 goals coming along?
Stacy, that is a great rejection, and it means it’s only time before that book gets picked up!
Thank you. Disappointing as it was, it really made my day. And I hope to have some better news soon:)
Stacy, that’s terrific news! And it means that you may, indeed, get to work with this editor. I’ve actually had that happen. Editors move around, and who knows? she may end up at another publishing house and reach out to you for your book! Or offer insight into the NEXT book so that it’s perfect for her.
I may, indeed. I will keep you guys posted. She really liked the book, and that’s what matters. It just validated my entire process. Thanks so much for the encouragement!
Stacy, that is such amazing feedback! And a testament that you were true to yourself and wrote what you wanted to write – and not to some trend or what a publisher is looking for. I believe 100% in writing the story that YOU want to write..I did, and it was a hard sell as its a mix of genres and doesnt fit a certain category but I loved it so much so wrote it (you know, one of those “visions” that come to yo!) and finally found a publisher who didnt want to change it!
Good for you and you WIIL find the right fit publisher very soon – I know it! You have a wonderful story to share.
Thanks. I was shocked at her sincerity, and the fact that she didn’t want to chop it up and change it. That in itself really impressed me as far as her professional ability. It took me a while to accept – and maybe I really just did – that it was okay to write what I wanted. And yes, that’s so true about A Human Element. It’s a genre-crosser but works on many levels. Thanks, as always!
What an encouraging rejection! Best wishes finding the perfect avenue for your book.
It was! Gave me the motivation to push forward. Thanks:)
Stacy, that’s wonderful! If one agent liked it, another will also. Keep researching those agents and sending it out there. 🙂
Thanks. This was actually an editor, but yes, I agree. It was definitely validation that I wrote something worth reading.
I’m going to echo everyone else. Great rejection letter!
I think we caught the same boat of not being able to write as much as we want. I’m working on a mutiny to bring it to shore, though. You in?
Thank you. I’m still feeling good about it. And yes. Real life has been in my way for a while now. Definitely in on the mutiny!
That’s an awesome story, Stacy! Even though it didn’t work out, that’s still great!
Thanks so much. Hopefully one day she and I will get to work together.
While an acceptance letter would be the best news of all, a rejection letter like that comes in a close second. Good for you, Stacy – and save an autographed copy of INTO THE DARK for me, because I *know* it’s going to find a good home.
Yes, it was pretty great news, despite the end result. And thank you! I will, lol:)
Such a valuable and important lesson to know and learn Stacy – thank you for the reminder!
Congrats on receiving such FAB feedback. Shame that the professional connection didn’t work out but it must have ROCKED to hear such distinctive comments back. Maybe someday….
Take care of you….
You’re welcome. I don’t think it was something I really understood until I got that rejection. And yes, it did rock to hear something so positive, and to encounter an editor that wanted to do the right thing by the book.
Julie Jordan Scott (@juliejordanscot)
What a great post, Stacy! Powerful stuff… and wow, what a testimony – for an editor to take the time to encourage you like that! Woot Woot Woot and a bunch of word~love to you!
Thanks:) I’m glad it inspired you. I didn’t have much to report this week, but I wanted to share what I think is a valuable lesson. You, too!
How awesome to receive such a nice rejection letter. It’s very validating. I agree you have to write what you want to write but it’s nice to keep in mind what readers want too.
Yeah, it was validating. There are certain elements every book has to have of course, but it was good to know that sticking to my gut on this one was the right thing to do.
S. Cunningham Ortiz
You’re just awesome, Stacy! Just make sure you’re ready, you’re time will come!
LOL. I hope so. And soon. And thanks so much!
TeacherWriter Suzanne Lilly
Stacy, congratulations on that amazing note from the editor. That’s so rare. You have a huge reason to celebrate! I’m happy for you!
Thank you! I’m still feeling pretty good over it:) It was definitely a motivator.
That’s great news Stacy about the positive feedback on your novel. Its so exciting just cheering you on from the sidelines! Go team #ROW80. Like everyone else said, its only a matter of time until you find the right editor/agent for your book. 🙂 YAY.
Thank you. It was news I really needed to hear. And yes, team #Row80 has always been a big support. Thanks so much!