Received a rejection from Aberrant Dreams. From
This rejection: Thank you for submitting DEAD LETTER OFFICE, but we’re going to pass on this one. I liked the tension and worldbuilding in this one, but in the end, I didn’t think the story’s protagonist was sufficiently likeable to carry the tale. But please do submit your work to us again soon…you’ve got a professional storeytelling voice and we’d like to see more.
Of course, I can’t disagree. They didn’t like the main character, then, well, they didn’t like the main character. He was, after all, a killer. I guess the point was that even though he was a killer, he still was much like us (the old thing about ‘never being able to go home again’).
But this is a continuing trend — knocking but not quite able to get through that door. Feels like I’m missing something.
When I got back from Banff, I knew I had to work on my writing — not the storytelling, but the actual writing. Sentence composition, word choice, editing, tightness…and I think I’m doing pretty well and it has gotten me to this next stage.
But now it seems like I’m missing something else. Something to get me over that hump. I don’t think it’s the actual stories — I think they’re fairly original, with some fun ideas, and creative (hey, I can find the positive). But I’m missing something.
Somehow, I have to find out what.
Would it help any to write in a completely different genre, one story? Almost the complete opposite to where you find comfort now, to almost defrag how you are constructing the pieces of the story.
You know almost like how George Costanza did everything opposite of what his gut said. But this would be more or less to give you a different perspective of the same components that you are wrestling with now – so that you might see something in a different light?
Just a thought.
Not a bad thought. I think, really, that the problem is I write what I like. If I left that, I don’t know what would happen. But it couldn’t hurt to try.
Usually, when I’m having a really hard time, I return to absurdism (which I started in University to piss off my writing class…which everyone surprisingly liked).
Look at it this way, if you forced yourself to finish it regardless how much it doesn’t feel right, it’s going to give you a fresh start at the next story.
In the same sense when I get stuck in a rut of going to the well, for comfort in design, I try to create something that looks nothing like what I’ve been doing and using all kinds of sparks fly when you compare the two and think about possibilities.