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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » How to deal with the waiting?

   
Author Topic: How to deal with the waiting?
Calligrapher
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After you submit a story, does the waiting for the response from the editor just kill you? After re-reading my submission I can see places where I want to change and/or improve the story. I held back the urge and wrote a new story instead of revising the old one. Now, I've started a third story; but the first one keeps pulling me back to improve it. But I still haven't heard from the editor. Does anyone make revisions after a story has been submitted, or do you wait for the official response first? Thanks.
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Spaceman
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Once something is submitted I add it to my spreadsheet and move on. I can edit the story when it's rejected, and I'll probably be asked to edit the story when it's accepted. Move on. I have 9 stories on the market right now. Which one should I worry about today? Or should I worry about the new one that's in the critique loop right now?
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Jeraliey
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Once it's sent out, put it AWAY and work on something else! You're perfectly capable of driving yourself crazy, and going over and over a submitted piece is a really good way to do it. Use your nervous energy to put out a new piece!!!
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pixydust
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I agree. I've spent many a waisted hour editing a story when I should have been moving on. Just keep writing until one gets sent back. Then go back over it. Your eyes will be fresh and maybe you'll have a clearer idea of what you'd like to change.
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Silver3
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Yeah, same thing here. Forget about it (which is why I'll never again make the mistake of subbing the story to critters AFTER sending it out. I went 'ouch' with each valid point the critters made). Move on to something else.
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Liadan
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I agree with Spaceman and move on. If the story gets rejected then rewrite it. If the rejection is positive (i.e. liked your story but hated the POV, etc) ask the editor if you may submit your rewrite.

Liadan


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ChrisOwens
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Calligrapher,

I know how you feel.

It's even invaded my dreams. I dreamed I recieved a rejection with a critique, but the rejection was from Asimov's, and I didn't even send it there. And the title was somebody elses title, but from the content of the critique, I could tell it was refering to characters in my story.

During revision, I got sick of rereading it.
So I reread it the other day and was shocked that I even sent it out.


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Christine
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Never read a story that's floating out at a market someplace! Never ever ever ever!

Meanwhile, work on something new and send it off too. Get focused on new and better things to keep from thinking about the original.


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tchernabyelo
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I recently sent out my first ever submission.

To my surprise, I've been able to just put it aside and get on with other things. In the back of my mind, I know the rejection will come eventually, but I find I'm not remotely worrying about it. I've written something; I've sent it out; it's out of my hands, and my job is now to write something else. It's been a surprisingly painless experience.

Of course, when the rejection DOES finally arrive, I may feel rather differently. But the waiting? Not a problem.


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Robert Nowall
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In the days when I was prolific (and also between college and career), I used to turn out one or two stories while waiting to hear about others. I'd keep a lot of them out and around. (Of course, they were all rejected---most deservedly so, I realize now.)

In these present less prolific days, once I've submitted, I do have a tendency to hang back, to rethink this and that. But I usually don't do anything about it once it comes back. And I'm usually thinking about three or four stories in the meantime. (Got a handle on an angle on one I was working on awhile ago...maybe I should start it up again...)

The way I've heard it, F. Scott Fitzgerald used to write a story and send it out, and when it came back he'd rewrite it, send it out again, write a new one and send that one out...then get drunk. I wouldn't recommend the latter.

I'd say your best bet is to just move on to the next story. There's usually something around the next turn just waiting to be written. Why not work on that?


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Robyn_Hood
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Ditto to everyone who said leave it alone while it's out for consideration.

I manage to things out of my mind for the most part until after about 60 days. Then I begin to wonder why they've had it so long. Why haven't they just read the first page and rejected it already?!!

Once I get a rejection, I might look at the story again, but often times I just send to the next market on my list.

Doing anything other than that would make me crazier than I already am.


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Calligrapher
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It's great hearing how everyone just moves on and doesn't look back. I really appreciate the outporing of help. This forum is great!

I wish publishers had standards for reading and returning manuscripts. A simple thing like marking a line where they stopped reading would be a great help to see where your story went wrong.

[This message has been edited by Calligrapher (edited November 14, 2005).]


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Robert Nowall
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Oh, and one other thing...after a certain point, be it six months or a year---author's call---one should query the market as to its whereabouts. I never worry unless it's been longer than a year. One of these days I really should write the Village Voice about that article I sent them in 1996...
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Spaceman
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Case in point. I received a personal rejection from Stanley Schmidt at Analog in the mail today. He included the first page of my disposable manuscript, and sure enough, a sentence has no period at the end. I'll fix that before it goes out again.
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Totty472
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Im incredibly sad when i send things off, i mean in the pathetic sense. I write the date in my diary, write a mark of four, six and eight weeks as when i think it might be due back. I feel sick the whole time and the resultant rejection makes me wonder why i'm bothering, obviously i'm not good enough. Then, a month or two later i start planning who i'm going to send the next ones too.
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