Category Archives: rejection

Writing is Like the NFL

Brace yourselves, this is a long one, but I think you’ll enjoy it 🙂

It should be no surprise by now that I’m a major NFL fan. I wait for football season like some kids wait for Christmas. To be more precise, I wait for the Saints to play.

I’ve been a Saints fan since I was a child. I grew up with this team and while I spent most of my youth with no idea what the team colors were, or what our emblem looked like (you have to realize, our games were ALWAYS blacked out), I knew that this was my team. Bobby Hebert, the Cajun Cannon. Pat Swilling, Dalton Hilliard, Reggie Jackson, Sam Mills. These were names bandied about through my developing years.

So, you’re probably asking yourself ‘Is she ever going to get to the point of this post she tricked me into reading?’. Why, yes. I am 🙂

After all of these years as a football fan, I’m now writing and suffering through all the ups and downs writers go through. There’s the normal hair-pulling-my-characters-are-driving-me-crazy-and-I-can’t-sleep phase of writing the manuscript. This is what I would compare to training camp. This is when all of your players show up and start doing their thing, building a strong team for the upcoming season.

Then there’s the oh-my-God-I-finished-I-finished!-what-do-you-mean-I-have-to-edit-it? phase when the manuscript is complete. This is comparable to preseason. You’re putting your players out there for the world to see and critiquing them on their performance. If they suck, you cut them. The same with editing/critiquing your manuscript. You’re weeding out what doesn’t work and finding replacements for what does.

Followed by the what-the-blue-blazes-do-you-mean-I-have-to-send-it-to-someone? phase which is when your manuscript is ready for submission to an agent/editor. This, of course, is after the I-have-an-agent-pitch-and-I-think-I’m-going-to-puke stage, but that passes relatively quick since most pitches are no more than 15 minutes. To me, these two stages are the regular ups and downs of the NFL season. Your team is out there, they’re doing their best to win and they suffer through growing pains. They’re losing one week, winning the next. Just like the pitches you’re tossing out to the editors and agents you meet with. Then comes the win! Someone wants to read a partial or a full of your manuscript. It’s scary, it’s exhilarating.

After all of these stages of writing, editing, editing some more, pitching, and submitting, then it’s time for the waiting phase. You wait and pray. Wait and pray that those agents or editors will like what you’ve read. Finally, this is followed by one of two outcomes: you get either the we’re-sorry-but-this-doesn’t-fit-our-needs rejection, or you get the holy-hell-you’re-so-getting-published acceptance. I personally haven’t reached the second stage yet, but that’s okay. It’s a process. So this final phase I’m going to compare to the Superbowl. *cracks her knuckles*

On one hand you’ve got your manuscript. On the other, you’ve got your agent/editor. These are the opposing teams. Your manuscript has battled its way through rejection after rejection. It’s bloody from all the editing you’ve done. It’s bruised around the edges from scenes that have been tweaked so many times it really should be on injured reserve. The day is here. The editor/agent is looking over your work. The outcome has you sick with nerves, edgy with anticipation. You want it so badly you can almost taste it. And then-

Well, I don’t know what happens in your own Superbowl. I just know that whatever the outcome, you’ll either feel depressed or jubilant. The point is, the teams who go to the Superbowl play the next season. They can’t give up and neither can you. Writing is a sport. It’s a sport with one person against many and only through diligence, training, and lots of bruises can you get to the top.

So, did I totally lose you, or did the analogy work? I loved it myself, but then I’m sometimes called strange.

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Filed under Football, Inspiration, publishing, rejection, Writing

At the Movies

Going to start this post off with a bit of ‘bad’ news. I just received a rejection from one of the editors who requested a full of my first manuscript back in September. The rejection went something like, ‘While I think your premise is pretty solid, I’m afraid it just doesn’t meet our needs at <name>’. Oh well, hell. Okay I think that’s somewhat good news, right? That the premise is solid? Or is it the premise is solid and the plot is weak? Meh. Okay, enough about that. I’m forging ahead here, peeps.

So while I was brushing my teeth this morning (that’s usually my thinking time), I started thinking back on the movies I love that other people either hate, don’t get, or aren’t interested in and wanted to share them with you. I know you’re all utterly fascinated by my likes and dislikes, so I’m feeding your needs. Worship isn’t necessary, merely your admiration 😉

First on the list: Kung Pow: Enter the Fist

This is a stupid movie. I admit it, but I can’t help myself. It cracks me up like nobody’s business. I frequently find myself (when talking with my equally sick humored nephews) saying, ‘THAT’S A LOTTA NUTS!’ or ‘You may now refer to me as Betty..meh-meh’. Ahem.

Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Not only does this movie have some amazing music (I’m a closet ABBA fan, don’t tell my metal head friends please!), but it’s got awesome lines! ‘Are you telling me this is an ABBA turd?’ and ‘Benice has left her cake out…in the rain!’ Wonderful movie. One of my absolute favs and trust me, I could put all the other wonderful drag queen movies on this list, but I’ll refrain from doing so (Flawless, Kinky Boots, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, etc.)

Drowning Mona

This is another one of those movies with great lines. I LOVE this movie. Let’s see which line I’ll use…’You know, I was always told when life hands you potatoes, you make potato salad’…’Yeah? Well life handed me a big pile of $&it, what am I supposed to make with that?’…’$&it salad?’ Priceless.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I don’t see this movie as much as the others, but it still manages to intrigue me when I do see it. It’s just such an interesting concept. What do you do if you could have selective memory and pick and choose which memories you want to keep or those you don’t? I wouldn’t say there are great lines in this movie, but it’s a great movie as far as I’m concerned though no one else I know agrees with me.

The Meaning of Life

Some people are offended by this movie. I tried watching it a few weeks ago with my brother and his fiance, but um…okay. It didn’t work. I know it isn’t everyone’s cup o’ tea, but I love it. It’s got some of the best lines ever. ‘Shut up, American. You Americans, all you do is talk, and talk, and say, ‘let me tell you something’ and ‘I just wanna say.’ Well, you’re dead now, so shut up!’

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

This is a great, great movie if you’re a Shakespeare fan. It’s…just wonderful. I could watch this movie all the time. You’re viewing Hamlet’s ‘madness’ through the eyes of his friends and while they’re at it, Rosencrantz (played by the awesome Gary Oldman) is discovering the laws of physics! Priceless.

The list could go on and on, but those are my top ‘other-people-leave-the-room-when-I’m-watching-this’ movies. Are there movies you love to watch but everyone scatters when you suggest it? Have you seen any of these movies and hated/loved them?

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It’s Rejection Day!

Me and my melodrama. It hasn’t been a day of rejections, but I’m finally beginning to hear back from most of the agents I queried and the news hasn’t been good. Oh, they’re all very polite saying though my work sounds interesting, it just isn’t what they’re looking for. That’s okay. To quote my mother, “One day, you’re gonna remember this and you’ll be sorry”. Probably not. I know they have to find something they really believe in, which is why I’m not all that torn up about it.

Of course, that doesn’t stop me from pouting about it. Then I get to thinking about what’s wrong with it. Is there something wrong with it? Am I just sending it to the wrong people? Maybe I shouldn’t have included the line ‘you’ll never read anything better than this’ (I didn’t do that, but its true!) 😉 Just kidding.

So now I’m dealing with rejection. This is where I pull out the tissue and sob about how none of the agents ever loved me and didn’t give me a chance. Uh-huh. No, this is really the part where I sit down with my current WIP and write the best story I can. That’s all this industry is about, writing the best story you possibly can and making sure you get it to the right people at the right time.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve commented on other author’s pages about rejections and my fears and I have two comments I’m going to share here (they’re not verbatim, but close enough):

I fear I’ll get a note from an editor/agent saying ‘This MS sucks so much, Hoover might be the only one interested in it.’

The other fear, is that the editors who have my full MS are going to send me an urn filled with the ashes of my manuscript. Attached will be a note that says:

Dear Ms. Avet,

We are sorry to inform you that your manuscript, Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose has passed away. It fought the good fight, but after numerous slashes with the red pen, died from a lack of wit and plot. To save you the despair of burying your manuscript yourself, we decided to cremate it in an intricate ceremony complete with champagne and a weenie roast. The service was attended by all the editors here at (insert publishing house) and a lovely time was had by all. We’re sending copies of the pictures from the service and the after party.

Sincerely,
Editors

Melodramatic? Who, me? 😉

Current score in Ruby’s struggle to publication: Agents/Editors 6, Danica and Ruby: 3

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Filed under rejection, Writing