You may have heard that I and my manuscript were recently dropped by my agent. I discovered that my book had been roundly rejected by a slew of editors. My grand dreams of publication did not come true. I was crushed and forlorn, angry, confused, and hurt. It sucked.
I have since had some time to assess the situation, and I have come to the conclusion that this may actually have been the best thing that could have happened. I know, how could that possibly be true?
Well, here's how. I realized that if twelve professional editors at some of the most prestigious publishing houses in the world didn't want the book, then it WAS NOT READY for publication...YET! (That magic word is really working for me right now.)
I realized that if I looked at the manuscript really hard, ruthlessly examined it, like in an autopsy, I might be able to see a way to "fix" what wasn't working. And I did indeed see a way forward, one that I had contemplated back when it was in a much earlier and less finished form. I would need to make a radical change to my Main Character (hence forth referred to as my "MC"). "He" would become a "she", and this change would make all the difference.
You see, my MC was already a very "feminized" male - gentle, and emotional, and intuitive. I know, "watch the stereotyping buddy!" But it is true. "He" was more like a girl from the start, and so when I made the leap to revisioning the MC's gender, the story suddenly came to life and the MC seemed less like a cardboard cutout.
She is much more transgressive in a female body, her very gender is an insult to her uncle, and her intuitive abilities with spiritual communion seem more threatening to the male-dominated world in which she lives.
In a way, she is a twin, or Jungian "other" to the animal who is her "guide" or "teacher" in these psychic arts. The two are both outsiders and marginalized, both transgressive in their behaviors vis a vis their kind and are truly like sisters, almost two parts of a whole that have yet to join together.
Anyway, I am having fun playing in my invented world once again, and have some new ideas to follow as I revise and revisit what I had thought was done. It is a relief NOT to be waiting any longer. No more obsessive email checking, no more nervous thoughts of "what if" this or "what if" that. The submission process will never be so hard IF I ever get lucky enough to get that far again.
All I have right now is hope and an inkling of a story yet to be written. It is a bit like starting over again, except this time, I know what may lie ahead. "Careful what you wish for" is a very true truism. But I am still wishing, and writing, and editing, and life is more livable without all that stress and worry, and the boredom of waiting. Here's to a better novel, and to a future submission!
Wish me luck!