Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Proof that the Publishing World is Slightly Insane

"I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection." ~Billy Joel

If you're a regular blog reader here, you'll remember that a couple of months ago I got a rejection from my (now current) editor at Samhain, for Summer's Song. Here is what she said, in part:

The scene when Summer remembers what happened the night of the accident should be more dramatic and better integrated with the other plot strands. Instead of her memory coming back fully while she's in the shower, I suggest you revise so that the trauma of Dinah's abduction serves as the catalyst for her regaining her memory. Rearranging the order of these events would also prolong the tension surrounding Dinah's fate, too—if you structure it so that Summer confronts Gabe about the past events before she figures out where Dinah is hiding, the tension will really mount when Dinah isn't found as quickly...

Consider having Summer feel more guilt, more deeply, over the realization that her father lost her, his last living family member, in his effort to spare her, as well as guilt over Gabe's selflessness...However you choose to execute it, the novel will have more impact if you can better interweave the strands of Dinah, Damien, Gabe, and her father as you bring the story to a climax.


I took a lot of what she said under consideration and reworked some of the story, for what I thought was a stronger plotline overall. Sent a query letter to Avon, which resulted in a request for the full ms. Yesterday that editor emailed me another rejection on the story, saying this:

While your initial premise is strong— a young woman returning to her hometown to face a past tragedy and discover more of herself—I think some of the additional conflicts detract from the emotion (and romance) of the story. For example, because the two very weighty conflicts advance and come to a head all at once, I didn't feel the impact of Summer's eventual realization as much as I think the story calls for. Because Summer and Damian are so caught up in their own traumatic situations, they just didn't seem to have a chance to develop their chemistry.

So...while editor says/wants/likes one thing, another may feel quite differently. Same with readers, of course, and reviewers. Interesting, right??

Poor Summer's Song. It needs a home. Of course, since I revised it with the Samhain editor in mind, I should probably just send it to her. But watch her reject it again, LOL.

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The good news is that I also got my cover art form for One Night in Napa yesterday -- so apparently it's true: rejection and acceptance in the writing world do go hand in hand!

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Two contests for you to enter:

Manic Readers "Men in Uniform" unpublished novel contest

New England RWA Reader's Choice published authors contest (ebooks welcome too!)

6 comments:

Dru said...

Best of luck on your re-submission to Samhain.

Liz said...

Sorry to hear, but that you for sharing.

Diane Craver said...

Yeah, that seems to happen frequently with editors.

Since you revised it, I'd send it to your Samhain editor again.

Glad you got your cover for One Night in Napa.

Chad Sayban said...

Only 'slightly' insane?

It would be really interesting to find out what Avon would think of the original structure before the rewrite.

I can't wait to see the cover art on 'Napa'.

Yo said...

Sorry to hear Summer's Song is still looking for a home - but I'm sure you'll find one soon! Looking forward to cover art ...

Allie Boniface said...

Chad, I thought about that too. Live and learn, I guess.