Monday, April 16, 2012

Inspiration . . . Frustration, Chapter IV

Chapter summary:
2011 - Chapter I. PB truck story finally gets written. (Aug. 11th post)
Chapter II. PB truck story goes to a conference. PB truck story appeals to an editor and she takes it with her. (Sept. 28th post)
Chapter III - PB truck story is revised twice (based on editorial suggestions) and resubmitted in November. Email from editor saying "looking forward to reading it over the long weekend." (Thanksgiving)
2012 - Chapter III, con't. Email from editor on 1/20, "looking over it now . . . more thorough response soon." (Feb. 16th post)

Last Thursday, tired of waiting for a response, I called the editor and left a message. Two hours later, I received an email

REJECTION . . "most likely not going to work . . . the plot has become too complex . . . the sweetness and charm of the first draft has been obscured. One thing I regret about our earlier revision talks is that I think I may have been too forthcoming with my own ideas. I would be happy to see another draft, but you know what my hesitations are so it's up to you whether you want to put in more work." She wrote a long and thoughtful rejection letter and I agree with some of her comments.

For months I felt disassociated from this story. It belonged to the editor and she controlled its fate. The worst part about a rejection? Now the story's mine again. I'm forced to face the fact that my first draft needed work, but the changes I made last November damaged the tone of the story.

Revision is a tricky! But that won't stop me.


  1. Constance LombardoApril 16, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    How frustrating. I recently read a blurb where an agent described the pace of publishing as 'glacial.' And to be rejected after all that time. I can relate to what you're going through- so many maybes - and so much waiting for a maybe to turn into a yes. (somebody wave her magic wand already!)I hope you find a way back to making this pb your own and finding a great publisher for it.

  2. Oh, Gale! I was so hoping for a "happy ending" when I reached your "Read More!" link. I hope you can get your piece back to feeling like your own again and have fun polishing it up till it shines. Then it can find the super home it's meant to have!

  3. Gale
    I too was hoping for a happy ending for your great story. But you do have it back and you now go back to your original feel and plot. Good luck with it.

  4. Gale,
    I'm sorry this has been a long wait and that the outcome didn't result in a "Yes." My question is, would you be able to revise once again and resubmit to this editor? It sounds like the door is still open to me. I realize I didn't read the entire letter and of course the decision is yours.

  5. Constance, Brianna, Eileen and Linda,

    Thanks for commenting. The day or two of bitter frustration and sadness have passed and I'm beginning to work on revisions (again!)
    Don't think I will submit to the same editor again. Her offer, I think, was just a polite gesture. But we'll see.

  6. Sounds like it will be a hit when you find the right target. :)

  7. Ah Gale,
    I've been shaking my head all day about this -- what a frustrating situation. Glad to hear your back at it again. As the editor said, it is a 'sweet and charming' ms, so take it from there, and we're all rooting for you to help it find the right home.

  8. Gah!!!!!!!

    Bummer, Gale.

    But at least you see value in the editor's comments. I am totally confident that all will come together and we'll read a brand new Chapter 5 sometime soon!

  9. Oh, rats. (Please insert much stronger word not appropriate for a family blog) Was hoping for a happy ending too, but hey, maybe this is just the "dark moment" of Inspiration, Frustration!! Keep at it, Gale!! It sounds as though you've found some new inspiration and you know what they door closes...Hope this finds the right home soon!!

  10. Thanks everyone for sending good karma my way.
    I'm revising and revising again - irritating how one four line stanza can keep your mind racing at 3AM!