The Rebound Submission

Yes, that’s exactly what my rejected sub was. I had the rejection on the revised full and then, so desperate to submit again was I, that I quickly fiddled with a new story and sent it away without thinking it through properly. Or rather, I over-thought it. I was trying so hard to get it right that in the end I got nothing right, even the stuff I normally do well.

So it’s back to the drawing board. Somehow I’ve now managed to overboard with internal conflict and have to bring it back to the middle ground. Hard? You betcha. But I have been slowly learning even more. Especially about the dangers of too much sex in Modern Heat! Is that even possible? Oh yeah! I tried to do a one night stand story but even as I was writing it, I found myself inventing ways to get my heroine to go through with it. And that should have been my first indication that all was not right in the world of my characters. Again I was trying to make my heroine do something she actually wouldn’t by adding all this stuff to make her to do it! Argh! In the end it wasn’t convincing and to add insult to injury, the driving force behind the one night stand was only sexual tension. There was not enough conflict! Apparently the sex arises from the emotional conflict, NOT the other way round!

So many things to keep in mind. But this time I am going to make sure I get it right. I am not going to panic-sub. I am going to spend time really thinking through my new synopsis. And hey, I’m already doing better with that on the sex front – so busy working out the emotional conflict between my h&h, that I forgot to put in a love scene!

16 thoughts on “The Rebound Submission”

  1. Now you mention it, I think my stories may have too much sex and not enough conflict…as you say, back to the drawing board. Trouble is, I like my characters (don’t know if anyone else will, mind) and I don’t like to see them suffer.

    You WILL get there, Jackie – we all have faith in you.


  2. I love your posts about creating stories. I learn so much from them

    “I found myself inventing ways to get my heroine to go through with it. And that should have been my first indication that all was not right in the world of my characters.”

    I think this is a problem i’m having with my characters.

    Had you created the wrong character-type for the story? Was the h not the type to have ONS, so you had to find a way to motivate her–and it came over as contrived?

    (Donald Maass suggests getting our characters to do something they’d never ever do– but I’m not sure this works for the M&B editors.! (Or I’m not sure how to do it without ending up with inconsistent characters.)

  3. It’s not that I’ve only this very minute noticed how tough it is to crack the Mod Heat market. I noticed that a long time ago. But what I have noticed is that the rejections being gathered along the way are ALWAYS conistent. It’s conflict. And it’s characters. Simple as. Or not so because without the proper character the conflict won’t work and without the proper conflict the character has nowhere to go. You say you subbed on the rebound and I think that’s marvellous. It shows determination, it lets the ed’s know that you weren’t prepared to lie down and die with that ‘r’. Good on you Jackie. Trouble with rebounds is that they rarely work because they’re really just the cheaper version of the real thing. I once wanted a pair of 200euro boots but couldn’t justify paying that much money when my kids were running around with holes in their sneakers! So I bought a similar pair and they only cost me 40euro. Great bargain or what? I’ll go with the what because less than a month later I was minus one heel and the seams had started to tear. Now I know you’re probably wondering what the crap is Aideen waffling on about this time but there is a moral in there for us writers. Just because we decide to NOT give up doesn’t mean we have to submit the ‘cheaper’ version of our stories. Take your time with it, don’t panic that the more time you wait to submit is time poorly spent because it isn’t. It could mean the reward of that wait is all the sweeter. If I’d paid out the big money for the boots I can guarantee that I’d still have them today. And they were class, olive green cowgirl style with the cutest heels ever.

    Mod Heat is a tough one, no doubt about it. But very worth it I imagine when a lovely lady with a British accent decides to give you a call. Oh, and I’m thrilled to share any fabulous-ness that I can!!! Thank you for that lovely comment, it made me feel like I actually know what I’m talking about (scary thought!!).

    BTW, Suzanne, if you truly love your characters then you gotta torture them to hell and back because the more they suffer the better the HEA. And they’ll thank you for it, honest.


  4. Torture them, Suzanne. You have to! It’s for their own good!

    Thanks Janet. No, I wanted my heroine to be safe but to do an out of character thing as a way of breaking out. The problem is that I made her choose to do this AFTER the story started. What I should have done is got to her have already made the decision BEFORE the story opened so she starts off strong and aspirational. Not weak. Because I didn’t, yes, I had to give her motivation and that, given my set up, came off as unbelievable. Grrrr.

    You’re so right, Aideen. Don’t know why I subbed something so below-par. A panick sub. But it IS a good learning experience for me. And I have picked up even more new information which can only be valuable.
    Yep, I’d love that call but when I get it, I hope it’ll be because I knew that sub would be right. And knowing that means I can do it again! πŸ™‚
    Oh, your comment on Rach’s blog was spot on. You DO know what you’re doing. Trust yourself!

  5. On behalf of those who struggle with “not enough internal conflict” I’m sending you some serious jealousy vibes πŸ˜‰

    I bet you’re not the first to fall prey to the rebound submission phenomenon!

    Aideen I’ll arm wrestle you for those boots πŸ˜› There’s nothing more depressing than your shoes falling apart!

  6. I hear ya on the rebound sub! It’s what I’m desperately trying NOT to do but now I think I’m suffering from over-thinking things!! lol!!

    I agree Aideen is fab in fact, I think she should start a Dear Aideen blog so we can ask of her wisdom ALL the time. Never mind she wants to write books as well πŸ™‚

  7. Lacey, I’m hoping it’s a goer! And no, I hope i’m not the only one! πŸ™‚

    Rach, over-thinking is what got me into trouble, don’t make the same mistake. Go with your gut. Like the idea of a Dear Aideen blog. What do you say Aideen?? πŸ˜‰

  8. One night stands seem to be the topic of the week and since I’m writing one right now, “bring it on!”

    I love your point about the ONS coming out of the emotional conflict, not the sexual tension. I’m definitely going to re-read what I’ve already written to see if I got that balance right.

  9. Yep – you’re making total sense and now I’m totally confused about my sub…might have too much sex.

    Agree – overthinking sometimes is more hindrance than help… You strive to get the things you think need fixing right that in the end even the normally good stuff suffers too.

    You’re taking the right approach here – and the fact that you’re aware of all this can only mean one thing – a very strong sub.

  10. A Dear Aideen Blog? Oh my God, that’s actually quite funny. I mean, all I’ve got is my opinion. The truth, the absolute truth is that I’m a coward. Sometimes you’ll catch me on a good day and I’ll offer advice that might actually make sense. But can I apply said advice to my own writing efforts? NO. All of you ladies frequenting this blog have taken that all important step and submitted. I have yet to submit. I have yet to submit anything. After the FTH competition last year I got an email from the lovely Joanne Grant asking for the full ms, should I wish to have her look it over.

    I was thrilled beyond words.
    That ms is still stuck on my hard drive.

    I kid you not. So as for a blog full of Aideen wisdom? I think I’ll just keep reading you guys, retaining the wonderful tips and advice on offer. But I do know where to find ye if I go mad and change my mind.

    All the best from a very wet Ireland,

  11. Romy, if you need a second opinion on the balance, I’m your woman! πŸ™‚

    Janette – I hope you’re right. Considering I have to rewrite it AGAIN!

    Aideen – m’dear, I am exactly the same. I can dish out the advice but do I apply it to myself? Nope! If I did maybe I would have had a better sub! As to your ms still being on the hard-drive, one day it will be right for you to submit it. And we’ll be shouting encouragement when that day comes. πŸ™‚

  12. Phew – I was panicking about you panic subbing so now I can relax πŸ™‚

    So much to think about, how does anyone ever get published???

  13. Hey Jackie

    I wanted to let you know your blog is wonderful. I’m a newbie and reading various writers process is so interesting. I wish you all the luck. Sounds like you’re almost there. I submitted July 08 and rec’d an encouraging rejection 2/09. It was a loooooong, lonely wait. I had no idea the community existed until this summer. Then I discovered so many other people are in the same boat who completely understand the hope, fear, anxiety that I do.

    Keep up the awesome job.

  14. Hey Gibb, thanks for the comment and for the lovely compliment! Yep, I find that it makes the waiting and knock-backs that much easier to take knowing there are others who around are supportive and know where you’re coming from. It’s definitely not easy this writing stuff.
    Good on you with the encouraging R. On with the next one eh?

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