I always thought I was a glass half empty kind of person. But just over the past couple of days, I’ve realised that in fact, I’m not. I’m not even a glass half full kind of person. I’m actually a glass overflowing with the sparkling Waters of Immortality kind of person. I am, deep down, an over the top, complete and utter instinctive optimist. Except the problem with my optimism is that I’m terrified of it. Why?
Because I’ve always been a person who has very high expectations and the problem with high expectations is that you are inevitably destined for disappointment. And I’ve had a lot of disappointments. So to help cope with my over the top optimism, I have developed the Voice of Doom (hmmm, could be a good conflict here. I could put this in a story. Can’t switch the writer off eh?). So when I send off a sub, the over the top, incurable optimist inside me is going ‘what if they like this so much, they ring me tomorrow and offer to buy it??’. But this is bad because this will never happen, so up pops the Voice of Doom with, ‘Idiot. Don’t even think that. You’ll be lucky if they don’t reject it.’. And experience has backed up the Voice of Doom so I listen to it. I’m afraid of thinking good things about my submissions in case I’ll be disappointed. Because if you expect the worst, then when it comes it won’t hurt, right?
Which is why, when my CPs happen to tell me my latest chapter is great or that my idea for a new story is good, I go ‘Thanks. I kind of like it. But I don’t know whether the eds will like it or not’. That’s the Voice of Doom talking down my OTT optimist who is bouncing around going, ‘Yeah! I love it too! It’s instant sale time!’. The VoD also fits in quite nicely with the Kiwi way of talking ourselves down all the time, so really, I can’t win. The VoD wins every time.
Anyway, long way of saying the VoD was not helpful on Friday night when I received an email update from the ed about my partial. It wasn’t a bad email but it wasn’t a good email either. It was a ‘something’s not quite working with your partial and I’m getting a second opinion’ email. The VoD immediately told me it was a rejection because the last time a second opinion was had, it was a rejection. And this time the OTT optimist is in the corner, lip wobbling, going ‘what? How can something so brilliant not be working?’
Yeah, well, I don’t know either. I thought I had done better than that but clearly not. Of course, since I subbed the partial, I’ve realised that there are pacing issues that need to be addressed and probably a bit more layering in needs to be done, but surely it’s not that bad that it’s another rejection? Does it have to be absolutely perfect and revision free in order to get a request for a full? And what about the synopsis? The last time I was asked for the full, I had a crap synopsis and a story with no internal conflict so does this mean my current sub is worse than that? Why is the ed being so hard on me?? Wahhh!!
*small violin plays tragic music*
You can hear the VoD assuming it’s an R can’t you? Fact is, it’s an update, nothing more. It could mean an eventual R or it may be revisions. I won’t know until I hear back. But I know I shouldn’t compare this ms with ones that I’ve subbed before, or what happens with other people, but human nature being what it is, I do. And I wonder if I’ve really got what it takes after all.
I should probably stop before the VoD takes over completely but you should know that the OTT optimist hasn’t been squashed utterly. As I went to the conference on Saturday morning wondering what on earth I was doing there since I clearly didn’t have what it takes to be a proper author, a little voice inside of me was going ‘oh well, better polish up Three Days in case it’s an R. That has got to be the one’.
PS: in terms of the Very Soon Sweepstake, does this mean I’ve ‘heard’? Or should it be in the final decision, whatever that may be?