I don’t know what to do. My editor HATES my new manuscript. He does not want to work on it. I am heartbroken. I really believe in this character. But I want to work with him on another book. That is what would be best for my career. Should I abandon this character and write something else? Or should I (gulp) send it to someone new?
Not feeling the love
Dear Not Feeling the love:
I’m so sorry this happened to you. I have heard from a lot of people with similar complaints at all stages of the process. Either your editor or agent doesn’t like the work…or your critique partner thinks it’s “not your best.” Someone recently said to me, “There is nothing nice I can say about this chapter.” I am not joking. I felt like I was going to throw up.
But this is the beauty and heartbreak of “appetite.” What one editor/agent/reader despises, another will LOVE!!!!!
(As readers, I’m always amazed at how differently we respond to story!)
The BEST feeling in the world is finding a reader who loves your work. Who gets your character and knows what to do with your story.
The worst…well…we’ve all been there.
Think back: Remember how exciting it was when you first started submitting? How every good rejection motivated you? That may sound a bit “pollyana” but sometimes, especially after some success, we forget that determination is a very important part of this process.
So what to do.
Listen to your editor/friend/agent. Hear him out. Maybe something will resonate…something that will make the text better. Ask him if there was ANYTHING he liked about the ms. I bet there was. Take that feedback and see if it inspires you. See if you need to take a break and dig in.
Send it to someone else. I know that sounds hard, but be strong. If you have an agent, ask her opinion. Ask your friends, your readers. If you believe in the manuscript, chances are, someone else will, too. In this market, we must advocate for ourselves. Read a success story...about a writer who sent out her novel ten, twelve, fifteen times. Especially when you are not agented, it can be hard to keep sending out your work. But this is part of the process. There is no way around it.
And don't forget: Change is Inevitable. As much as we may fantasize about a career in one house with one editor for fifty years, that may not be possible. Editors don’t stay in one house. They get laid off. They retire. We switch genres. We grow. As writers, we must be willing to work with more than one person. We can do it! Different editors have different and wonderful advice to offer. Think of it as a chance to grow.
And hey--while you’re shopping that manuscript, work on something new for your wonderful editor. That relationship is still good. He respects you. That's why he gave you honest feedback.
This wasn’t going to be your last story….right? Go back and WRITE!
Do you have more advice for "Not feeling the love?" Write in!
- Current Mood:busy