Monday, March 31, 2008

Subjectivity

There comes a point, once you've honed your craft, where it all becomes subjective.  I give you 3 examples from my illustrious rejection collection:

1.  The two finaling manuscripts I entered in this year's GH, did not final last year.  This year I just happened to get lucky and my entries appealed to the judges.  Last year, eh, not so much.

2.  In the past, I've had two editors write to me on why they were passing on an ms. I'd submitted.  One said there was too much backstory in the beginning.  The other wrote that she didn't feel as though I put enough backstory in the beginning and therefore felt lost.  

3. In the span of one week, I had an agent reply that my main character was "dull and lacked originality", and then another who wrote, "loved your heroine . . .  fresh and compelling . . ."

I kid you not.  Once you get to a point where your writing is strong and the material you submit is competitive, it's a crap shoot.  But if you keep writing, keep getting better with each book, keep submitting and keep trying that crap shoot will eventually turn into a sure thing.  But it sure as hell won't if you stop trying.   (This from a person who has considered throwing in the towel a number of times and then gets an idea for a book . . . )  

My long-winded point is this -- you can't please everybody; not everyone is going to like your work, but somewhere out there (if you keep at it) you might just come across a few who do.  

3 comments:

Mike said...

Kelly,

Write On!

You gotta write because it's in your DNA and you gotta write to please yourself.

If you do that, the rest takes care of itself.

Keep Writing.
Mike

Yolanda Sfetsos said...

Lovely post. I found it very inspirational. :)

Pamela said...

Hi Kelly, (big Pixie wave) Love your blog. I just wanted to add to anyone who cares to read this comment that subjectivity comes at all levels of your career. My Golden Heart winner of 2008 landed second from the bottom of a chapter contest (that shall remain nameless) and the judge -who was also the contest coordinator- had circled every instance of "was" in the first two paragraphs, citing it as Passive Writing. There really is no pleasing everyone all the time.

But that just shows you should never give up, and never lose the faith in your work.