Until You Get It “Right”

I have been heavily editing two manuscripts over the last several weeks with some direction from my agent. It surprises me how much a story can change, even if it’s 300 words. It also surprises me how a story can go from amazing to wait…no…now that’s amazing.

For me I find it refreshing to have support and guidance when I run into a dead-end. I have stacks of rejections that say “thanks, no thanks” and I have, against industry standards, shot back a reply a few times saying, well what was wrong. How can a writer improve without direction??? I need to know what works, and what doesn’t work. I need someone to say, that ending doesn’t work change it. I don’t need the ideas…I have plenty of those, I just need a big red circle around what is wrong.

Yet, what is wrong is clearly what is right also. WHAT?

Just because we like our story doesn’t mean it’s right. Just because our agent likes our story doesn’t mean it’s right. Just because one publishing house doesn’t like it, doesn’t mean they are right. Outside of poor grammar and lackluster story arcs, stories can be right for some and not for others. It all depends on who is reading it at the time. (Don’t tell me you have never picked up a book, for any age, read it and said…HOW DID THIS GET PUBLISHED!?!?) Or (Why was this rejected so many times!?!? – Winn Dixie)

Make your manuscripts right for you, study your craft, step away from it, come back to it, send it out, revise it, rewrite it, cut paragraphs, add paragraphs. Just make it right for you, the rest will follow.


  1. I know exactly what you mean, and thank you for expressing the submission/rejection process so well. Out of curiosity, did you get any responses when you replied to a rejection with a “what was wrong?”

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