Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Thursday, August 26, 2004

A Brief Flurry Of Activity

There were two rejections in my mailbox this morning.

Pudding House said thanks but no thanks and wished me luck for Robots and Clouds. It was a standard rejection; short and sweet. I thought they might have been interested in Robots as it was a recommendation, but never mind. I know these poems are good - two of my best in fact - and am determined to find them a loving home. I see people being rejected everyday on my forum, (for novels not just poems), and my heart goes out to them. It is probably easier to have a poem rejected by an e-Zine than a novel by an agent/publisher after years of hard work. This will be me one day though - so I had better get used to it.

Gorlan Publications have intitially rejected Bill McCarthy but said they would be happy for me to resubmit if it was rewritten. With the rejection came a four paragraph critique from one of their editors. Now, I am not what you might call an experienced writer, particularly in the way of the submit/reject process, but I think a rejection letter of this length is quite out of the ordinary. There are plenty of suggestions within the critique for - what I thought was one of my best pieces of work, and some of them were quite cutting. It turns out there is a lot more I can do with it so I shall rewrite Bill and resubmit.

In fact, the comments while aimed directly at the submitted story, also confirm the broader feeling I have had over my last few stories. The editor said, "this ending has been done before" before suggesting ways of altering it - but I hit this problem a lot. While I get some good ideas now and then, tying them up can sometimes be a problem. I seem to be able to set a scene and draw a reader in easier that I am able to release them back into reality. I know some of my writing can be quite tense and dramatic - it is intended that way, but finding a suitable, rounded ending sometimes gets my mind into a fankle, and the editor of Gorlan has brought this to the forefront of my mind.

Come to think of it, the planned ending for my novel is going to have to be examined after this too. This is all good though - it's the only way to learn and better my writing so I am happy with this. Through self-analysis and critquing from experienced writers, I can and will get better.

On another broader theme, I was out getting some fresh air over lunch and did some thinking. I think I am going about it all wrong (short story writing that is). Going back to what I said earlier, I constantly get caught in the frame of mind that I feel as if I have to surprise the reader or perform a twist; that there should be a point or moral to every story I write. Im not opening up enough is what I'm trying to say. I need to really let my mind go and start spilling out any old idea - no matter how absurd - onto paper and then maybe I will be able to see the goal line easier.

Oh - and I had my first machine-made espresso at work today - not bad, not bad at all!
Colin 10:40 pm


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