Friday, 24 April 2009

Rejections, questions and robots

Would you like to hear about the rejections I've had this week? I've had four. Three have gone to god this time, no more outings for them, but the fourth is currently undergoing a massive rewrite. I can see why it didn't sell. It simply wasn't any good. Funny how a few weeks of not seeing something can knock the scales from your eyes.

A good argument there for putting something aside and rereading it after a couple of weeks before sending it off. I know that's what I should do, but I don't. Normally I know something is ready if I stop thinking about it. If I keep thinking about something after it's gone, then I know deep down that it isn't finished.

Enough of that depressing stuff.

An interesting question for you. I was speaking with a fellow writer today and found that the same thing happens to her as happens to me. I was reading a published story of mine and parts of it seemed unfamiliar.

I didn't write that, I thought. I certainly did not use that name for one of the characters. The editor must have added those unfamiliar bits and I have to admit, I thought it sounded better for it and was kicking myself for not thinking of it myself. So being a bit of a nit-picker, I opened up my original word document and there it all was. It's rather weird and quite bewildering. I mentioned it to my friend Jan and she said the same thing happens to her. Oh the relief!

It's another of those Writer Things. Tell me if I'm wrong! We are all away with the fairies half the time - aren't we?

On Thursday I had to carry home a big silver robot made out of a cereal packet and other kitcheny bits. It was beautiful . . . and my 4 year old grandson was justly proud. But while his back was turned his little sister grabbed it and hugged it and knocked two of the arms loose. Thank god for sellotape that's all I can say.

We walked down to the marshes today. He walked across the field singing "I like em BIG, I like em CHUNKEEEE." Sometimes I don't know what I'd do without him to make me laugh.


  1. I know exactly what you mean about reading published stories and thinking you didn't write various bits, Teresa.
    It's weird, isn't it? I can only think that writers go into a sort of trance when their writing is going well and words pour on to the page without them even having to think about them. Then months later, it all comes as a bit of a surprise. Very odd, but I'm so glad I'm not the only one who 'suffers' from this.

  2. You're right, Susan - it is just like going into a trance! Very glad to meet another fellow sufferer!

  3. Same thing happens to me, Teresa. I've also opened the original document just to check. Mad isnt it?

  4. I'm amazed how many people have told me they do this, glad you do too Sue!

    Mad? Everyone thinks I'm bonkers anyway!!!

  5. I think all writers have to be partly bonkers to do what they do. If I see someone with a glazed expression and they dont smell of alcohol (altho that's not necessarily a good rule of thumb!)I think 'There goes a writer.'Off with the fairies half the time.

  6. It happens to me too. I like to think it's because the good bits come so naturally that we forget having written them. ;-)

  7. It happens with bad bits too - "Eeek - I didn't write it like that that?!" Oh yes I did . . . argh!

  8. You too? Usually I'm to blame for the bad bits in my work, but once an editor added five cliches into one story (they weren't even in the dialogue)

  9. I remember once having an editor change a boxer to a bassett hound in a story - at the time I didn't realise why, but with hindsight it was probably just that they had a nice illustration of a bassett to use up!