Sounds cocky, I know, but it’s true. Here’s what’s happened:
1) I submitted two short stories to a periodical. They were both rejected; however, I was told by the editor that she might consider one of them, but I had to get rid of all of the typos, and the thing was all telling, no showing.
Oh. That hurt. I was upset…because I knew she was right. I’ve been so tired that I edited the piece and scanned it and thought “Nice”. Then I sent it off, and I wasted her time.
I wanted to cry when I read her email. First out of self-pity, but then out of admiration. She didn’t need to point out my mistakes. She could have just said “nope, sorry”. Instead, she helped me see my errors and I have the chance to rewrite and resubmit.
Now that I have a critique group (crit group, or critters, as I might call them) you can bet your beanie they’ll see it before it leaves my hands again.
2) I’ve been participating in online “courses” through ACFW and learning about how to pitch my novels and who to pitch them to. One novel is done and has received some positive feedback from professionals (two editors, neither accepted it).
I COULD pitch it…but I don’t want to. Not yet. It’s been looked over by family and friends, and I have a freelance editor helping me, too (she’s drawing my attention to a lot of my common mistakes). But my critters haven’t seen it yet, and I’m realizing that they are PRICELESS.
Because they’ve been studying fiction. They catch the little things that other people miss. The challenge me to reevaluate and restructure sentences. They tell me when whole sentences need to just disappear. I need that.
So I’ve realized that I can pitch my novels next month and hope that someone will request an okay manuscript. Or…I can meet some agents/editors and practice on them while fine-tuning my novel so that NEXT year I can pitch a great book.
A few months ago that wouldn’t have happened. I would have run in with all guns firing and shot half of the people dead, wounded the others, and left no one standing who liked me enough to give me a chance.
Don’t know where that analogy came from. Probably the exhaustion.
Seriously…is anyone else feeling this? I’m going to bed…zzzzzz