Rejection. Last update I said I’d applied to a few different agents and, whoop, they said “no thanks.”
BUT GOOD NEWS.
In a burst of despair and a need for closure, I sent an email to Suresh, my prospective but AWOL agent, basically saying, “Are you still working with me on my novel, or do I need to look elsewhere, because crippling self-doubt is eating me alive.”
Feeling emboldened, I contacted the previous managing editor of BigWorldNetwork, Amanda Meuwissen, a very nice lady who I worked under for four years as an associate editor, asking if she would edit my manuscript. I was so touched by her emphatic reply that, yes, she would love to, and that she’d do it for free because I’d edited one of her books for free during my time at BWN. So that put me in a real good mood.
Suresh replied within an hour, apologising for the delay and no update. He said he would read my revised manuscript THAT WEEK and call me for a review. By this point I was just stunned. I’d been so prepared to be turned away. Like, so utterly convinced of rejection that I was a bit out-of-it and deranged for the rest of the night. Two great things within the hour? Inconceivable.
The phone call
Self-doubt chews me up alive when it comes to waiting for a verdict on my writing, because I think it’s great, therefore it must be bad. Logic. Anyway, I built myself into an anxious knot waiting for Suresh’s scheduled call.
It was fine. Everything was fine. He said, “I’ve read it twice, actually. When I read the first draft, I would have said we were 80% close to it being a finished product. Now, I’d say we’re about 90% there.”
Thank frak for that.
This time, we focused on the ending. I was so relieved he didn’t ask me to go back to the beginning and rewrite that again. It seemed I’d resolved all the issues he brought up last time (although I’ve yet to get the manuscript back and read his comments).
He’s given me another ‘write down three scenarios’ task and we’ll discuss the options. He asked me to consider subverting expectations a lot more. To consider flipping everything on its head, like a Philip K. Dick reveal, or that moment at the end of Planet of the Apes [spoiler warning] when the audience realises they’ve been on Earth the whole time.
I like that. And so I shall think on it. And we will call next week to pick apart what I come up with.
I’m just so relieved things seem to be going okay and that I am STILL IN THE GAME. Let’s get published, baby.