Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Handling Rejection

What do you do when you spend many hours on a story, shaping and polishing it into something special, only to have it rejected? After the wailing and gnashing of teeth, I try to pick out the errors that the editor has (hopefully) pointed out, show it to a couple of beta-readers, and send it back out there.

Only, this one keeps coming back.

"Trail of the Brujo" has come back (again) from a market not to be named here with a very blunt rejection letter. The letter says that I need to become "a much more careful writer". After wailing and gnashing a bit I looked at it and say that there were two (2) big errors on the first page. I'd changed a line I didn't like and had missed deleting the original. The effect was that I had the same idea twice in the first paragraph. I'd also removed my contact information when I workshopped the story and had forgotten to put it back in befure submitting the story.

My bad, and it's easy to see a rejection for those two things alone.

The other comment was more cryptic.

...having a witch not believe in shapeshifting shows that you do not know the
subject you are writing about.

I can see how this could be a valid point. I'm puzzled by the fict that the witch/brujo character in the story, never says he disbelieves in shapeshifting. In fact, there's no discussion of shapeshifting anywhere in the story.

Color me puzzled.

Still, O best beloved, it is not wise to argue with an editor. I have made the corrections I could and sent the story on to a new market.

I may be getting better at this rejection business. There was on;y a days-worth of wailing and gnashing of teeth this time. (That will probably help with the dental bills too.)


Bobbie Metevier said...

Don't even worry about it, Matthew. I've had a story rejected eight times. That story is now sold.

Win Scott Eckert said...

Matthew, take what you think is useful and discard the rest. One story I had was rejected by a market we're both familiar with, along with some feedback that end with "I'm sure you would agree." I didn't, and placed the story elsewhere. Your story will find the right home. :-)

Matthew Baugh said...

Thanks guys!