Monday, January 5, 2009

Dealing with Rejection

I know we’ve discussed this before, but I recently received my first Rejection and so it’s been on my mind lately. It was very difficult to receive the comments. I didn’t take it as a personal attack or want to get back at the editor. I know it was nothing personal. But, that doesn’t make it any easier to take.

I received a lot of feedback, so much so, that the editor really didn’t have anything nice to say about my story. I think if they would have said something nice, it would have made the rejection a little easier to take, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. At any rate, the editor found plenty wrong with the story. There is a lot of work ahead of me if I want to fix it and resend it out. I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do, but that’s a lot of work to just let go to waste. Many months have gone into writing and revising the book.

I did share the comments with my critique partners and they did not agree with the assessment given by the editor. That made me feel a little better. But, I’m still questioning my writing abilities. I’m sure that happens a lot with writers when they receive negative feedback. I have to admit that I didn’t agree with everything she said either, but I do know that she was right about some of it.

All we can really do is keep plugging along and try to improve our craft as much as possible to decrease the amount of R’s we receive. I’ve been considering taking some online classes to help me improve my writing abilities. I’ve heard good things about some of the classes online and they can be relatively inexpensive. Of course, in this economy, it doesn’t take much to be too expensive. Anyway, that is my plan for the first part of the year. I will keep writing as well, but I do want to work on my writing at the same time.

I’ve heard many times to just read to improve your craft, but I’m afraid that method doesn’t work well for me. I’ve tried it numerous times and although I have to be absorbing some of it subconsciously, I’m not getting the full effect that many people get from it. I know my problem is that I get too involved in the story and forget to notice the writing. Maybe I should reread something I’ve already read, that way I already know what happens and then I can pay more attention to the writing itself. I’ll have to try that next.

Have you taken any online classes that you recommend or don’t recommend? Let me know your experiences with them, I’d love to find out more. If you haven’t taken any online writing classes, how do you feel you learned best? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

5 deadly screams:

Pheebles said...

I took one writing course, via correspondence from "The Writing School" which was pretty good, but it cost a mint, and since then I would say I have learned more from a good critique group than I would have from all the classes out there online.

Reading with attention (even if you have to reread) is also a great way to learn, and also buying some books on story craft and fiction writing. "The Story Structure Architect" is one that I highly recommend.

Rejections suck, but I think it is fortunate when you get an editor to actually explain why/what she didn't like. Even if you disagree, it is interesting to have another take on what works or doesn't.

Molly Daniels said...

Ditto.

A fellow author recommended Revision and Self-Editing by James???(Sorry...drawing a blank here!) It's on Amazon and due to arrive on my doorstep sometime this week. I'll keep you posted on the helpfullness factor!

Chin up; things will get better!

Margay said...

I feel for you. Rejections are never easy. But this one was thorough, huh? To give you such a detailed run-through - at least you know they actually read it. I'm still getting the "your work isn't right for us" rejections.

As for classes, I have taken several college writing classes and several online, as well. Barnes and Noble used to have online writing classes that were wonderful. Leigh Michaels taught one of them - she's good. She also has some books on writing out, too.

Sierra Wolfe said...

Thanks for the comments and recommendations! I'll check out all those suggestions.

Tierney said...

Sierra,

Sorry about the "R". My first one made me question my abilities as a writer. I even thought about forgetting my dream about becoming a published author. But after hanging out at RD and saw that even those who were already pubbed at HQ, Samhain, EC, etc were not immune to Rs I turned around.
Since then I treated the Rs as my own personal challenge. I used the editor's comments as my guidelines.

For me, "R" is not about me, my weakness or what is lacking. It's about how to improve my skills, to make my story shine, to make me try even harder.

The only writing course I took was...during my college days.
But I've been borrowing books from the library about writing. Someone recommended this book: The first five pages : a writer's guide to staying out of the rejection pile / Noah Lukeman.
It's pretty good.

Miss talking to you Sierra.

Take care,

T