SYTYCW – The Aftermath

Things to do with your form R:

1. Print it out then burn it.
2. Print it out, pull it to pieces very, very slowly. Then burn it piece by piece.
3. Print it out, frame it, stick it on your wall and stare at it every day, brooding on your revenge.
4. Print it out, put it on the ground and stamp all over it in sharp stilettos.
5. Print it out, wave your recent contest win certificate in its face screaming ‘in your face, form rejection!’
6. Hit the delete key and send it to your Recycle bin, then take out the trash, baby.
7. Do nothing with it. Leave it in your inbox and never think of it again.

Okay, we can safely say that I did not do number 7.

First up, big heaping thanks, gratitude and endless supplies of your favourite tipple to all you lovely people for the hugs and suppportive comments. You guys are – honest to god – the reason I am still here, still writing, still waiting in Unpublished Author Waiting Limbo (UAWL). Without you and the CPs I would have given up and gone home.

Still, I won’t lie. Getting a form R for SYTYCW has made me a stupid, blubbery, hopeless mess. It’s made me feel like I haven’t learned a thing. that I’m going backwards. Now, I know this isn’t true. I know there are a hundred and one different reasons for forms, that they can have nothing to do with your writing or your story. That you can’t let them get you down, that you need to get over it. I do know all those things. But those are all intellectual responses. It’s the feelings that are the tough part to deal with because I am an emotional drama-queen kind of person.

With Rs, I know I have to get to the bottom before I can climb back up the other side. I have to wallow in the sense of failure, the doubt, and, yeah, the jealousy that others are doing better than I am. If I’m lucky my CPs will bear with me while I vent a little bit – because I have to do this as well otherwise it’ll eat me up inside. But it’s only once I’ve done all this that I can let it go and start feeling better about it. No, it’s not an easy process but it’s the way I am and I just have to go with it. Most of the time I come out the other side feeling positive and ready to tackle things again but sometimes the process goes on for longer than a couple of days and it takes me a while to let go of it.

Anyway, it’s taken a while for me to let go of this. And I probably still haven’t quite yet. It’s thrown me into a huge spiral of doubt about my other submissions too. Because how can it not? If you don’t get a reason for why something was rejected, then how do you know you haven’t repeated it in your other submissions? But that aside, I’ve had lots of great advice from very wise people about what I should do with this particular sub. I’m still not quite sure where I’m going to take it just yet. I’ve heard that it’s wise to change it if you’re going to resub but as I don’t know what’s wrong with it in the first place, I’m not sure what to change. The writing I’m assuming is not the issue since (yes, I shall blow my own trumpet) the writing has netted several contest placings and a revisions on a full. So I can only assume it was the conflict/characters. Which means changing everything. And I don’t know that I want to do that.

I guess I shouldn’t pout too much about it though. The sub was me trying a new line, always a bit of a gamble. And it probably didn’t help that I was trying to do things a bit differently. It’s something I always try and think of when I’m writing a new story – how can I make my story different? The problem with doing different is that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the time it hasn’t but I guess the fact that I’ve still got an ed willing to work with me means that somewhere along the track, doing things differently has been a good thing.

In the meantime I have finished the rough draft of another partial, my chess player. Yes, that’s something a bit different again, which will either work or it won’t. But I guess that’s my way of challenging myself. Anyway, that brings the grand total of rough partials to five. How’s that for not giving up?

As for that form R, which of those options do you think I did? 😉

19 thoughts on “SYTYCW – The Aftermath”

  1. Once upon a lifetime ago I had a book called 101 Things To Do With An Ex-Husband. I think you could write 101 Ways To Get Over A Form Rejection and Maisey could do the illustrations! I’d buy it for sure.

    I’m going to guess you did number 6 but only after contemplating all the others. Me? I would have definitely done number 4 while listening to Peppermint Twist. I may have even done it in a few different pairs of shoes and then promised that one of them would be worn to my first book signing so we could “show that rejection what we really think of it”.

    But I’m the sort of loony who talks to my shoes so what would I know!?

    Hope you’re out of the doldrums soon sweety.

  2. Elissa – what a useful book! And yes, Maisey could definitely do the illustrations. Lol! Number 6 eh? Hmmmm….interesting….;-) I can see a lot of fun could be had out of number 4 though… I’m of the opinion you can never talk too much to your shoes. 😉

  3. Jackie, I have an alternative. If you want an instant boost, send something to another publisher. Like you, I want to sell to you know who. But Catch Me A Catch wasn’t right for them (and they told me so), yet a week later, WR bought it and loved it. I wrote BTL with ykw in mind, but realised before I sent it, that it didn’t fit the guidelines, and wouldn’t. Its Romantic suspense, and yet wouldn’t fit M&B romantic suspense guidelines. I didn’t ‘fix it’ to fit M&B, just sent it elsewhere.
    At the moment you’re not so much ‘unpubbed’ as ‘unpubbed with your dream publisher’. If you send any of your stuff elsewhere, you’ll be pubbed, but not by your favorite publisher ‘yet’. I know I would have got an R if I’d sent BTL to M&B. I would have been upset, depressed and angsty. I sent it elsewhere, and its in the top 100 romance on Amazon. You write better than I do, so if you feel like a boost, send something elsewhere while you’re getting on with your next supersub to ykw. I would!

  4. Sally – I do NOT write better than you do! But you do speak sense. This particular story I’ve only got three chapters of anyway and I don’t know that I want to write the rest. I know it looks like I’m being funny about epubs, but I’m not. My other Rs have been for character/plot things rather than not being right for the line and I don’t want stuff I’m not happy with out there no matter who publishes it.
    However, I do have one R that I could work into a story I could send to an epub. I am considering working on it after I finish the chess partial.
    Thanks for the advice – I really appreciate it.

    Suzanne – thanks!

    Julia – I’m very tempted. I just did number 6. Boring huh?

  5. You are such a good writer, Jackie that you will make it, and make it big, I have no doubt about that. And just for the record, I think it stinks that they kept you waiting past the deadline with such a rotten R… I like all your methods of dealing with it – I think I’d have chopped it up small and flushed it (but probably caused a problem with my sewage system as a result!) xx

  6. Sally – awww thanks, m’dear, that’s so lovely of you to say. Not sure about making it big but I do want to make it somewhere that’ll earn me some decent cash! 🙂 We just got to be persistent huh?

    Kerrin – yay for number 6! I couldn’t be bothered wasting the energy on it. 🙂

  7. Number 6 is as good as any 🙂

    But I’ve marked all my R’s with little golden stars along the way… and they’re all shiny and available in a single click 😉 Google helps u star them, btw…

    That’s to remind myself that I have written, I am writing and I will write 🙂 We cannot afford to lose track of the goal, thereby making whatever effort we put in so far as meaningless…

    This post is a reminder for even myself to get that damn WIP’s out of the closest and complete those.. It’s been 4 mths since I typed “The End” on any of my stories (novellas, mind you) and I am realizing how foolish my actions are.

    If I don’t write, I am the only one one else.. In a way I am harming myself, in the name of my silent battle with Rs and lack of positive response to keep me going.

    So, my suggestion is..Don’t ever let anything stop your writing and your learning!

  8. Hi,

    Same old story, same old heartache! Nothing has changed since I last checked out your blog (and others), and I really felt sure I’d stop by to see you’d had a virtual champagne party ages ago. What a bummer: form R.

    Like Sally Clements pointed out. You’re a good writer. No, you’re better than good! And, as you must know by now I’m not one for brown-nosing any publisher or published writers. Been there done all that years ago, and as I see it from having read “Talking Dirty to The CEO”, this latest M&B form R is their loss, not your failure to please!

    Be honest now, M&B novels are written “easy-read” – short sentence structure, short paras – the kind of books young teen wannabe princesses and WAGs progress to from girly comics. Harry Potter novels are more literary in content, and at least J.K.Rowling tests teen reading ability, though not on the same level as that of Lord of The Rings.

    Is it really so “special” to be a HM&B writer, when far better contemporary romances with more indepth storylines are published elsewhere?

    The more I read HM&B novels, and the more I joined in with HM&B contests the more I realised I didn’t like the way it was forcing me to conform to strict editorial guidelines, which in turn made me look more closely at other publisher guidelines. There’s no comparison, HM&B is much like a tight corset of torture. Whereas other good romance publishers I likened to a sensual beeded basque and free-flowing chiffon gown. 😉

    You mention ebook publishers! Don’t knock them all, some are turning out much better books than HM&B and a few (award winners)have been doing paperbacks of their bestsellers for quite some time. Believe it, Jane’s “Embrace” books will be superior in quality to that of M&B romances: she’s a good editor!

    And, pushing out the boat it was said only the other day on a blog -by well-known bestselling author – quote: “HM&B historicals seem little better than romances in fancy dress, English and European historical facts woefully inaccurate with stereotypal characters”. 😮

    Broaden your horizons, step on the wild side and you’ll surely wish you’d done it ages ago!


  9. Ju – I really like that re your Rs. I have mine all saved – at least the ones where I have feedback. And no, I am not stopping learning, that’s for sure!

    Francine – thanks for your kind thoughts on my NV chapter. 🙂

  10. Sorry to be so late, Jackie! Currently I’m caught up in the “day” job – which has turned out to be eight days of hellacious work.

    Anyway, I’d go with the stilettos, cuz destroying a form R should always be done in style!

    More hugs/cyber chocolate being heaped in your direction. As a matter of fact, consider yourself hugged every hour on the hour until you feel you don’t need them anymore!

  11. I’m late with my hugs, but they are still heartfelt. I think you’re right to kick and scream and sob for a few days. Rs are nasty stinkers.

    But then you pick yourself up and carry on writing because that’s the only option you have. Which is what you’re doing so big yays for you!!

    I *know* you’ll get there 🙂

Comments are closed.