Forever and a Day


Novels (Photo credit: sbluerock)

There is  finally news about the novel I submitted to Tor(TM):  My book was rejected, but it was also critiqued and I am lucky enough to say I received feedback.  Much to my relief, the feedback has been exceptionally useful.  I am writing the re-write of the book now and can tell a big difference than I could before.

What was the main piece of feedback?  Tighten up the beginning.  After setting my mind to this task I began paying even more attention to the action in the beginning of the story and can honestly say the beginning is much better now than it was, although I did like the original beginning, but as for crafting the beginning part of the novel, it is now much better.

Receiving a rejection is something you try not to expect but somehow try to prepare for.  It isn’t easy.  There is always great excitement and hope when you send out a submission while at the back of your mind you know it might not make it through.  The editor might have a toothache;  a child might have gotten bad grades or skipped school the day before your piece gets there; or they may have recently been in an argument with their spouse/significant-other and a character of mine may resemble or remind them of said significant-other/spouse and make them mad all over again.

It is quite easy to think “editor” and immediately think “out to get me” – which I have heard from fellow writers before.  The main thing I try to remember is that an editor is a human being, and even on the heels of a rejection it isn’t easy to remember they’re human.

For the past little while an idea has been tickling the back of my head:  Don’t worry about finishing this novel, start something else.  Oh how tempting this idea is!  I have had my mind on this novel for over a year now and I would love to think about something new for a little while!  I want to finish Book I, but at the same time I need a “change of scenery” in so many ways!

My question is this:  How many people go through this during re-writes?

Have you ever wondered that?  I mean, novels are wonderful things, usually, and writing them is one of the greatest joys I have ever had, but what do you do when the novel needs a re-write and you on the the edge of being bored with it?  This is actually a very dangerous thought because, what if you stop to take a break from it and then never pick it up again?  We do it with books and therefore I am sure we can do it with novels we are working on, too.

Should I really take a break for, say, a couple of months and then pick it up again?  Should I just begin a new piece and continue to work on the novel?  Not writing at all doesn’t really feel like a solid option to me.


About Henrietta Handy

I have returned home to the mountains. No more am I "a mountain-girl far from home." Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 2 1/2, I understand pain, fatigue, laughter, joy, and love all while on crutches and in wheelchairs. This blog is just about me, mostly the writing side, but there are forays into so many different topics. I am married to a wonderful husband who puts up with my writing, knitting, yarn, with the love of a saint. We have fur babies, and one cat who rules us all.
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3 Responses to Forever and a Day

  1. Pingback: Excellent Critique at an Excellent Price: Red Circle Ink « M. Q. Allen

  2. First of all – thanks for linking to my “52 Weeks of Feedback.” With this post you have provided me with an opportunity to fulfill my commitment for this week, so thank you!

    Kudos to you for having the courage to submit your novel and for being open to the feedback you received. As a writer, I am very glad to hear that you did in fact receive some feedback and that someone took the time to provide that. I know exactly how you feel about not wanting to expect rejection but also being ready for it. I was a Drama Major in university and went through many rejections in theatre productions. I have since carried that into my writing life and my relationship with editors. I also edit a magazine, so I have the chance to be on the flip side of the equation and really strive to provide readers with feedback and constructive advice on their pieces (taking the time to explain the ‘why’ behind my decisions).

    Now, onto the rewrite. I am facing a very difficult one right now – or at least the prospect of one. I am concerned that when I receive the article back from the editor that I won’t have the stamina or desire to return to this piece (that has taken me longer than any other piece thus far to produce). I’m still on the fence about what to do. So, yes, I can also relate to this feeling when it comes to revisions.

    Distance does provide us with an excellent opportunity to gain some objectivity, so perhaps a brief hiatus from your novel will do you some good, even if it’s just for a few weeks. Have a notebook handy to record new ideas so they don’t pass you by, but otherwise step away from the piece to help you find new inspiration. If you’re afraid you’ll never get back into the project again, have a few people hold you accountable. Give yourself a deadline for ‘time away’ with a commitment to return to it.

    One more thing: recently I read this post, which also really helped me gain some perspective: I highly recommend it as it might provide additional inspiration.

    All the best!


    • Thank you so much for the encouragement – it came at the perfect time. I will step away from this for a couple of weeks and start work on another novel/story idea I have in mind. It will do me good to write something else for a while. Hopefully this break will encourage me to finish and re-submit the novel! Hope your issue works out well!


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