I have not yet completed my novel. I’m up to about 20,000 words but haven’t done a lot with it in almost a year. I’ve made notes about it and tried to cook some more ideas but things just haven’t worked out thus far. I don’t have a lot of excuses – apart from my illness and my inability to work without a deadline.
When I’ve known about competitions coming up, I’ve felt fired up and inspired. I’ve submitted parts of the novel to two competitions and I’ve also been inspired to write some pieces of flash fiction too.
Today, I got my first “thanks but no thanks” email. It didn’t hurt as much as I expected. The feedback said the judges found the plot good, pace strong and the characters well-drawn. They also encouraged me to keep working on the manuscript with a view to resubmitting it another time. I hope this was a genuine comment and not one they’ve trotted out on all of their rejection letters. My writer pals have been quick to commiserate with me, telling me they’ve all been there.
In my Masters class, we had classes by authors, agents and publishers. They all told us not to get disheartened by rejection – just because it’s not one person’s taste, doesn’t mean it’s no good. Look at JK Rowling, look at The Beatles – they didn’t all get snapped up on the first offering. Not that I think I’m JK or Paul, John, Ringo or George.
There are other competitions – some require a full novel so I guess I’d better get typing….