Finding the Sweet: Dealing with Rejection

Finding the Sweet

Write what you want to write,
say the editors.
Write what you love,
say the editors.

I write.
I love this!
Well, say the editors, it lacks a plot.

I write what I love and
make sure it has a plot.
A good ‘un.
(Hey, I’ve studied Hunger Games,
and the Edgar winning mysteries;
I know a good plot
when I read it.)
I love this!
Well, say the editors, the voice doesn’t grab me.

OK. I write what I love and
make sure it has a plot and
make sure the voice is unique, compelling.
A good ‘un.
(Hey, I’ve studied the Newberys,
the Caldecotts, the Alexes,
the Sieberts,
the Edgars, and so on.
I know voice when I hear it;
and I know how to create it.)
I love this!
Well, say the editors, the plot
is great;
the voice
is great;
but I don’t really connect with the characters enough.

OK. I write what I love and
make sure it has a plot and
make sure the voice is unique and
make sure that the characters are connectable.
A really good ‘un.
(Hey, by now, I’ve read all the New York Time’s
Bestsellers, the National Book Award winners,
plus any other @#$#$@ novel
that anyone ever recommends.
I know a good book when I read it–
or write it.)
Hey, I really love this!
Well, says the editor, you got everything right:
plot, characters, voice–
but it’s too quiet.

Where, oh where is that sweet spot?
And how can I write something else
that I love,
knowing that
no one else will love it?
Where is that sweet editor?

A Sweet Spot.

4 thoughts on “0

  1. Wow, did I need this today. I’m on the rejection wagon for a story I just ADORED. I mean, I shouldn’t complain, because it was one of those rejections that basically said, “this isn’t what we’re looking for for this anthology, but we would love it if you expanded the story to X length and resubmitted as a standalone…”

    It sounds so simple — add a few scenes, tweak a few others, viola! But I was just so satisfied with the way the story was, I’m really struggling with re-writing. Sometimes it gets so discouraging! Thank you for sharing your poem. It reminds me that I’m not alone!

  2. I’m with you sister! When you find that sweet spot, please draw a map for the rest of us wandering souls. It would be worth more that a bestseller.

  3. Sometimes you wonder if editors love anything except what already published authors write. I recently got a rejection on a PB I sent out that I, my writing group and even my husband loved. Of course, I know that doesn’t mean a thing. But, I really thought this one was the ONE! But, there are other publishers and who knows one of them just might love it as much as I do.

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