Friday, August 11, 2006

Thou has rejected the word

I write fiction. That's my idea of fun, sitting at a keyboard for hours and coming up with ideas and characters.

Rejection is part of being a writer. In fact, rejection is a big part of being a writer. If you can't handle rejection, you should not consider writing as a career or even as a serious hobby. Honestly, you will fail much more often than you will succeed. I would guess I receive about 15-20 rejection letters from publishers, editors and agents for every short story I have managed to get accepted at a magazine.
I've been writing off and on since 1989. In that time I've sent out approximately 150 short stories. I've had about a dozen short stories accepted at small-circulation magazines, all of which no longer exist. Anyone remember Starblade? Merlana's Magickal Messages? Hor-Tasy? I didn't think so.
For the last two years, I've been working on my trilogy. The few years before that I spent learning screenwriting, and I finished two screenplays (though I doubt either is good enough for Hollywood; at least it was a learning period). Before that, I went through several years of writer's block, or, at least, a complete lack of confidence in my writing. Screenwriting really helped me kick the block, mainly because early on in screenwriting you are so busy learning the formatting structure that it keeps your mind off the creative aspects.
So, in the last 5 to 6 years, I've written very few short stories, maybe three, and one of those I wrote just a month ago.

The reason I began writing this post: I received a form rejection letter today from agent Richard Henshaw. Mr. Henshaw, thanks for considering my material. I'll keep sending it out until someone purchases it or an agent agrees to handle it.

Right now, my novel "City of Rogues" is working its way through the slush pile at Baen publishing. Before that, it went to Wizards of the Coast and Tor. Wizards wasn't interested. Tor, however, had some promising words, saying the manuscript wasn't right for them at the moment, but they thought I had a good product and they wished me luck. A handwritten note at the bottom of a rejection letter might not mean much to many writers, but this one was from Tor, the publishing company I've always wanted to work for.

Ah well, good reader, I've rattled on long enough. I will say good night for now.

And if you're curious, the title of this post comes from 1 Samuel 15:26.
No, I'm not a religious nut or guru or whatever (I have my beliefs and ideas, but I generally keep them to myself -- though I'll always debate for fun). I'll likely take some of my titles from the Bible, or Shakespear. Why? Because there's some good quotes and writing in the Bible, and from ole Willy Shaxbeard.

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