Not that I in the least feel like sharing this but I made a commitment to keep readers of this blog abreast of my writing highs and lows so I'll write today about a low. My Millicent manuscript, the one for middle graders, received a rejection letter this weekend from the editor who had encouraged me to write a middle grade novel in the first place.
The letter itself is extremely helpful. For those of you who have not yet experienced the joy of rejection, most of it comes in the shape of poorly copied form letters which state, "Dear Author, We regret to inform you..." and, if you're very lucky, is unsigned and smudged.
So this was a letter that actually gave advice, which is always great. She felt the characters felt a bit too adult at times and that there were too many competing characters, making it difficult to focus on the main characters. She recommended I look at Lois Lowry's ANASTASIA books (which feature lists as does my ms) for inspiration.
All in all, I'm pleased with the rejection letter. And not surprised. The work I submitted really was close to first draft material. Certainly I went back and edited scenes and rewrote dialogue, but I have yet to do a major overhaul of the book. To have been accepted for publication was a long shot. (But fun to dream about). And really, it's the right call. I'm not giving up on the book, but am focused now on writing my public speaking book so Millicent will be put aside for awhile. I hope for no more than 6 months before I haul her out for a dusting off and serious rewrite.