WorldCon 2013 Report: Day Three — But Why Can’t You See My Genius?

logo_72x72Panel: Beth Meacham (M), Michael Underwood, Eleanor Wood, Mary Robinette Kowal, Joshua Bilmes

My Notes

  • Everybody gets rejected
  • It’s just a part of being in the business
  • Check the web sites to better understand what the publishers and editors are looking for
  • Sometimes you get a rejection just because it’s not a good match
  • Sometimes it’s because you need to write better
  • Rejectomancy
  • Trying to over analyze rejections is probably one of the worst mistakes writers make
  • The more you send out, the easier it should become
  • If you’re an unpublished author and you receive a rejection, your state had not changed
  • In your query, don’t say "I’ve already written four books in the series"
  • Fight the instinct to rewrite the novel after each rejection
  • Books sometimes get rejected just because of existing inventory in the publishing pipeline
  • Reading slush is good way to learn about how stories work
  • Every time you pick up something, you want it to be "the one"
  • Read your own book and note where you start skimming; these are the points that bore you
  • Also, note the points where you stop reading and why
  • Learn by writing other things in the meantime
  • Submit something and then start another book (not the sequel!)
  • Focus on upping your game and your accomplishments
  • #1: they don’t finish
  • #2: they don’t submit
  • #3: (sorry, didn’t catch this one – someone came in late and distracted me)
  • People have an internal heckler *and* an internal editor
  • If you have a good editor, they make your work better
  • Every writer goes through the stage where they hate the work
  • The metaphorical red line of death (when the editor) stops reading entirely
  • Overexplaining, stopping the story, and too much detail
  • When the POV character looks in a mirror to describe themselves
  • The POV character being dazed, confused, and don’t know where they are
  • A great writer can break all the rules, but they know which rules they’re breaking
  • If I don’t care about the character, I don’t want to read it
  • Ender’s Game is a good example
  • Maybe 1 in 1000 submissions will get more than the standard rejection letter

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