Enough already! At least that’s how I feel sometimes. I’ve been through my book more times than I can count. In my own defense, no one taught me how to write. I had a great story idea and decided to give it a whirl.
I thought it was ready, and then real life happened. My wonderful work was rejected by the five agents I sent it to. One of them must have seen something promising. She took it upon herself to provide me feedback about what I was doing wrong (there was a long list), and what I needed to do to improve my work.
I was totally humiliated. Grammatical and Structural errors are kindergarten stuff and completely unacceptable. Even I should have gotten those right. I could understand my issues with head-hopping and on-the-nose-writing. Those terms were totally foreign to me. I wasn’t a professional novelist. I thought all you had to do was put words on paper and create a wonderful story that everyone wanted to read. How was I to know there were rules?
And what was the deal with dragging dialogue? My people were talking. How was I suppose to know dialogue moved the story forward or had to have some significance? I couldn’t believe I sent an agent such inferior work!
When you’re a newbie, you don’t know how bad your work is because you lack the knowledge and skills necessary to produce publishable work. While there may be a few prodigies out there, chances are, you aren’t one of them. Sorry!
Like myself and many others, you’re going to have to pay your dues and learn the craft. Then you will be ready to write that New York Times bestseller.
One of my favorite sayings is, you don’t know what you don’t know. I’m not sure where I picked that up from, but it’s true. I wasn’t intentionally sending out bad work. I just didn’t know.