Posts Tagged ‘rejection’
The Boston Marathon bombing was a horrendous tragedy, and plenty of folks more eloquent than I am have expressed their thoughts much better than I ever could.
Why’s that? I write romantic comedy. I don’t do well with dark moments, tears and a heavy heart. My whole family’s like that. There’s a reason we sat around cracking jokes before and after my dad’s funeral.
My predisposition to avoiding sadness is why, after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, I stopped writing. Months — maybe even a year — passed before I shook the funk and continued with the story I’d been working on (“Blind Date Bride”). I didn’t feel like being funny when the world as we knew it had changed forever.
But that was more than a decade ago, and if I’m going to be published before I’m too old to enjoy the victory, I don’t have the luxury of taking another six months to a year off. Besides, I signed up for the NaRoNoWriMo (National Romance Novel Writing Month) challenge to write 40K in April. I’m woefully behind — and was even before Monday’s attack. A couple of new rejections have waylaid me more than I’d like to admit. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but my skin apparently isn’t as tough as it needs to be.
In keeping with the spirit of trying to get back in the swing of things, I made myself a note:
The sentiment is from my fellow NARWAns, Karen and Anne Marie. We were gathered for some writing time at Starbucks Thursday, and when I confessed I was struggling, they gave me a gentle shove in the right direction.
I will write — not only for myself, but also for anyone who needs to boost their mood … who wants a good laugh … who, like me, uses humor to cope with their deepest, darkest doubts.
I will write because if we stop doing what we want — if we don’t continue to follow our dreams — the terrorists win.
Uh-uh. Not on my watch.
Now I remember why I’m so glad to be off the dating scene. Rejection hurts. A lot.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to equate the search for an agent to the search for Mr. Right — but it’s an apt comparison.
You try to make a good impression on your dream man/agent. If — against all odds — a connection is made, you hope he feels the same spark you do. If not? The big “R.”
Rejection. You might feel worthless. You probably question your appeal … your talents as a writer.
I ought to know, having just received two agent rejections in two days. (Being a Golden Heart ® finalist makes for much speedier replies.)
At least they weren’t all negative: Each one featured good with the bad. They both had an element of “I like you but …”
The bottom line? “Beauty and the Ballplayer” wasn’t quite right for either of them. The hero and heroine didn’t speak to them. (Whether that’s an inherent flaw in the MS is up for debate. I might have some revising to do.)
In the meantime, I’ll continue the search for Dream Agent. Somewhere, out there, is my perfect match … the agent who believes in my work as much as I do.
An e-mail arrived in my inbox today with the subject line: “Your Submission: …”
Since I was at work at the time, I had an argument with myself.
“You can’t open that! You’re supposed to be working,” the me with the Midwestern work ethic said. (It’s the same me that never calls in sick because I don’t want to leave my coworkers in the lurch. I have something like 140 sick hours built up because never feel like I can take it.)
“Open it. It won’t take long — and it might be good news.”
“No, really. Good news or not, you can wait until you get home,” the angel me insisted.
My impatient side snorted. “Yeah, right.”
No need to guess which side won. I clicked on that e-mail faster than a hungry dog scarfs down its dinner. I’m not even sure I took time to carry on that conversation in my head before I opened it. (I should have!)
Unfortunately, the news was not good. Another rejection — the second on the partial MS for “Blind Date Bride” … well, the third. Two agents and one publisher have taken a pass.
I still have hope, though. At least it was an encouraging rejection, complete with a “hang in there and stick with it.”
The agent’s complaint? Worry that the voice isn’t unique enough to stand out in the market.
Now that’s a little worrisome, because I don’t have any other voice to write in. And confusing, because in the Beacon Contest judges’ comments, they loved my voice.
Then again, the judges’ comments are on “Beauty and the Ballplayer,” not “Blind Date Bride.” Maybe BDB still isn’t ready for prime time.
And maybe I just need to continue my agent search. Somewhere, out there, is the agent who will fall as in love with my story as I am. I just need to find her (or him).
Lucky for me, my friends at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood wrote a blog post about just that topic today: the agent hunt.
It’s funny how wildly my mood has swung. I was euphoric about my contest final two weeks ago, especially after reading the judges’ feedback. I had a feeling it was the start of something big. I imagined myself on the verge of signing with an agent, selling a novel or both.
Now, I’m down in the dumps, questioning my story … my voice … even my writing talent. Yes, even a “good” rejection stings. (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that.) 😉
I know rejection is a — huge — part of writing. We all get them. Even the bestselling authors got them at one time.
Even so, I can say it definitively: I don’t like the downslope of the writer’s roller coaster.
It’s time to make something good happen so I can crest another hill. 😉
After reading agent Nathan Bransford’s blog post on the importance of having one-sentence, one-paragraph and two-paragraph pitches ready for your novel (you never know when you’ll run into your Dream Agent in an elevator, after all), I decided to take a stab at crafting some of my own.
One sentence: As the reluctant winners of a cable TV network contest, a painfully shy woman and an outgoing man — neither of whom are seeking a spouse — must marry and live together for 90 days, learning true love — not cold, hard cash — is the real prize.
One paragraph: Thanks to her meddling best friend, Kari Parker earns the dubious distinction of becoming the “Blind Date Bride” — sentenced by the judges in Romance TV’s “Get a Love Life” contest to meet and marry a complete stranger for 90 days. Unable to pass up the cash prize that she wants to help her parents’ failing restaurant, she finds herself saddled with a too-big, too-strong and too-friendly husband who reminds her way too much of the ex she’s been running from for years. Then Kari moves from the spare room to Damien’s bedroom to accommodate a camera crew filming a reality show of their “marriage” and realizes she doesn’t have a chance of making it through the 90 days with her heart intact.
Two paragraphs: Thanks to her meddling best friend, Kari Parker earns the dubious distinction of becoming the “Blind Date Bride” — sentenced by the judges in Romance TV’s “Get a Love Life” contest to meet and marry a complete stranger for 90 days. She agrees to do it because the prize money will save her parents’ foundering restaurant. Damien Walker didn’t enter the “Get a Love Life” contest, either — his buddy was hoping he’d win second prize, a trip for two to Club Med. But when a panel of romance experts says he has the worst love life in America, he realizes he has become too wrapped up in his veterinary practice. He sees his beautiful, bogus bride both as a lifeline to pull him out of his dull existence and a puzzle to solve.
The real fun begins when Kari moves from the spare room to his bedroom to accommodate the camera crew they agree to let film a reality show of their “marriage.” As Damien tries to figure out why Kari bolts every time they touch, she quickly realizes she’ll never make it through the 90 days without succumbing to his advances. Worse yet, she finds herself wanting to trust Damien and see if they can make their sham marriage real in every sense of the word.
I was pretty pleased with my efforts, especially when I had a chance today to use my longest pitch on an editor taking pitches on someone’s blog today.
Well, either I did a poor job communicating what I wanted to convey or “Blind Date Bride” isn’t as ready for querying as I thought, because the editor didn’t have a kind word to say. She said my plot was too far-fetched.
What, I ask you, is so far-fetched about a TV network coming up with a crazy, intrusive premise for a show and changing people’s lives? 😉
Maybe I just need to explain their motivations a little better … but this is the short version — even shorter than my one-page query. Hmm. What to do, what to do?