Thursday, November 6, 2008

Great Expectations

Back in the days when using a Brother Word Processor was the latest thing in writing tools, I decided to get serious about my writing. So I wrote a novel for teens. It's original title was Being a Hero Isn't All Its Cracked Up to Be .

I sent the manuscript (hard copy) to several well known publishers, most sent it back very quickly. But every one of those editors sent an actual handwritten note either telling me why it didn’t fit their catalog or suggesting another publishing house. That was pretty rare for a manuscript they found in their slush pile.

One kept it for almost 3 months and then told me they loved it but it was just a bit to mature for their readers as it could be a crossover into adult fiction. The editor told me in a two page letter that the several people who had read it thought it had potential to be an after school movie too. She also asked if I had anything for the younger set and encouraged me to send it to her if I did. (I didn’t at the time)

So I decided that I needed an agent. I sent a check and three chapters to one who advertised in a well known writers’ magazine. She enthusiastically agreed to take me on based on the “well written page turner” I‘d sent her. As quickly as I could write another check, I sent her the remaining chapters .

She told me the title was too long and I had to change it to Hero. I didn’t think that was in keeping with what my story was about but she was the expert. Then she said to completely change my opening. Another few weeks; I sent her the final draft that she “couldn’t wait to see.” I also sent the final check, confident that now that the book had been almost completely rewritten it would soon be published.

One day about two months later, I got the manuscript back with a printed form letter stating my manuscript did not meet her standards and that I should take writing classes. It happened to be the day my mother passed away. I took the envelope with the now totally scribbled over manuscript and threw it in a drawer. I never sent that book out again .

It was pretty darned good if I do say so myself. ( I have to since you can't read it.) And my sons all liked it.

I think I’ll dig it out and read it again one of these days.

See ya down the road,


1 comment:

Karen said...

Why not take it out, and resubmit it in is's orignial version, and see what happens? Something that good just has to have another chance.