A blog about writing . . . and a lot of other things

Friday, May 18, 2012

Rejection and self-doubt

The day of my surgery I received an email rejection for my novel Ravenswood.  It was a lovely email to come home to, let me tell you.  Good thing I was already thoroughly numbed with painkillers.  It's now been rejected six times, which means I only need three more and it'll be just like Harry Potter . . . or something.

I was thinking about Ravenswood last night as I lay awake unable to sleep.  (Note: when people lie awake in movies, they lie on their backs and gaze up at the ceiling, their faces projecting the pain and hopelessness of the scene.  Unfortunately, lying on my back is excruciating right now, even on the painkillers, so my expression of hopelessness was directed into my pillow.  I can't even fail as decorously as I would like.  Okay, sorry.  I'll stop whining now.)

Do you like the stock photos I snagged off the Internet?  Note the white bedding and white jammies?  See my post from last week if you missed the discussion on stock photos.

Anyway, I thought about my characters, especially the supporting roles, and decided that they are all flat as a pancake.  There's no depth, no edge, and I found even thinking about the characters too dull to attempt.  This is not a good sign.  I know at 2 am I am predisposed to feel pessimistic, but now it is nearly 2 pm, and I am still not in the mood to fix the human pinballs I created for my main character to bounce off of.  No wonder it keeps getting rejected.

I'll admit that I love my characters.  I can see them in my head and usually find them amusing as all get out.  However, I don't think I've written them as cool as they are in my head, and I'm afraid to read Ravenswood over again and find out.  I am such a wimp.

Similarly, I still have not started revisions on Blue, the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo last fall.  I know that one is a catastrophe.  I mean, I wrote it in 30 days, so its status as a work in progress is a given.  However, I also missed a week or two in the middle having surgery and had to polish off nearly half of it in the last few days (probably while taking painkillers and not eating).  This is the one for which I actually posted a request on Facebook for ideas on how to get the sucker moving.  Meagan, bless her heart, suggested ninja pirates, and I used them to get my character to stop wandering in a boring - although lovely - meadow.  Quite an accomplishment considering that this is a novel that includes space flight.  By the end of the book I had turned her into a superhero.  It's like one of those awful satires of desperate Hollywood movies, but Jacob says it's my best book yet.

And then there's the one about the accountant that is no longer an embryo, but is still just a fetus (the novel, not the character).  I'm determined to keep her from turning into a superhero or having any kind of special powers.  However, while the story is simmering on the back burner, one of her clients has been taking on an uncanny resemblance to Tony Stark.  He doesn't have a metal flying suit . . . yet.

It's probably a good thing that I'm planning to return to my day job in a few more weeks, although the tax returns moldering on my shelf in my office aren't that much more attractive than my paper-thin characters.


  1. I dunno. I kinda think a novel where the main character was a fetus might be thought provoking. Musings from inside the womb, listening to the conversations around and being unable to see anything... probably wondering something along the lines of, "Do I really HAVE to come out there?"

    It might also be cool if the fetus was out in the world and somehow ambulatory, but about the size of a grape. For some reason I think it would be even funnier if the fetus were a detective... solving the crimes of the giants and somehow managing to avoid getting stepped on.

    But you know what, I'm sleep-deprived, so what do I know? ;)

    1. Now that you mention it, an ambulatory fetal detective is rather funny, but I'm still on painkillers, so my judgment is suspect, too.

  2. Sometimes I feel like the muse from Dogma. Anyone else, I can spit out a bunch of crazy ideas like ninja pirates and ambulatory fetal detectives, but if *I* want to write something... nada. ;)

    1. Perhaps you should subdivide your personality so you can be your own muse. However, that might have other side effects, so perhaps not.