18 August 2007

Positive Rejection

I’ve received a great rejection letter, for Marauders, from a senior editor at a well known publishing house. How can a rejection letter be ‘great’ you ask, surely only an acceptance is great? Actually, this one was pure gold and I went off to celebrate – let me explain:

This was a personalised letter stating she had read and enjoyed the sample chapters – this is absolute proof my submission made it out of the slush pile. And if I can get out of one slush pile I can get out of others. This puts Marauders in the top 10% of submissions – confirmation I’m doing something right and not completely wasting my time.

Amazingly, this editor took time out from her busy schedule to write a short critique of my sample chapters: what she thought was good and what she thought needed improving. The whole letter was only a few short paragraphs, but how often have you longed for feedback from a professional editor, and a senior one at that? She even took time to read this blog.

What the editor suggested for improvement I had already half suspected before I sent out the submissions, which is great, because it confirms my gut instinct was right and gives me a focus for the next edit/re-write. In this lonely writing business it is so easy to get led astray by all the hype and distrust your own instincts. Now I know my story telling instincts were right all along I will listen to them more intently.

Now I’m off to revisit my sample chapters and edit, edit, edit.

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