Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Book Is Fab -- I Swear! (or Editorial Contradiction Affliction)

Tip of the Day: Bring a cardigan to public buildings during the summer months, even if your manpanion calls it an "old lady shawl;" you'll be happy you have it when the a/c is blasting.

The life of those Subbing for Pubbing is not all the glitz and glam you imagine. Much of it is waiting and revising and thinking and, well, getting rejected. I know that rejection is all part of the process, yet I can't help but scratch my head and wish there was some magic formula to run my ms through that would pop it into just what the editors want.

Example: On one ms that is in Editor World, I got a rejection that said the story "wasn't layered enough." Later, I got another rejection on that same ms stating there was "too much going on."


Aren't those practically opposites?


At this point, those Subbing for Pubbing have to clean up their head explosions.

After the floor is mopped, I re-analyze my manuscript/rejections/comments/choice of nail polish color/feng shui positioning of my laptop in the living room/chocolate supply in the house and think, "OK, there could be a similar problem that both editors are hinting at, but are using different terms to describe."


Maybe "not layered enough" means they want more dimensions to a CHARACTER, but "too much going on" means there are too many "dramatic" SCENES. Maybe?

I don't know! Does anyone have any insight? Or guesses/similar experiences? Or spare Swiffer cloths?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing


Christina Farley said...

Oh dear. You poor thing. It's interesting though. Sometimes I get different opinions on problems in my manuscript with my critique group. So maybe some of it is personal taste too. You just need to find the editor that jives with your same taste. What a task!

DeenaML said...

Thanks, Christina. Yes, it's true -- just like any reader, some eds like tons of action and layers, and others like a more streamlined story. Come on editor who likes a 1950s middle-grade mystery starring an inquisitive girl investigating the insane asylum down the street from her home! :)

Kristina Springer said...

I agree with Christina-- personal tastes! I've had one editor say OMG, this character is horrible and another say OMG, I LOVE this character! So ya never know.

Kate Fall said...

They have to compare your book to the others on their list, too. Hmm, that sort of sounds like I know what I'm talking about, but not really.

But, yeah, how many multilayered books can you work on before you start jonesing for something simple, and vice versa?

DeenaML said...

Kate and Tina -- thanks! I'll try to keep the goo from oozing out my ears. :)

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

(first of all...totally with ya on the tip of the day!)

Holy cracked up, twisted feedback, sister! I know what ya mean. I realize how overloaded so many editors are, especially now that so many houses have been cutting positions and heaping more on those who remain. But...a little clarity would be helpful. Sadly, it's a matter of both time and subjective opinion. And it could be something one editor ate that day, or the fight he/she had with the spouse/significant other before work, or even the last book they worked on.

The best you can do is try to imagine what they are getting at. Do you agree with it? Is it just a matter of waiting until it hits the right person? I know...I'm no help at all.

Suffice it to say, I have had the same thing happen. I think your first guess is probably pretty accurate (character vs. plot). Be true to yourself, babe, and take another look. But don't feel that you have to dismantle the whole thing. Go with your gut.

And love this crazy business!