Tag: pitfalls


How Much Rejection Is Too Much

We’ve all heard the stories of writers who had their debut novels rejected dozens of times before they ultimately became best sellers. Or, more often these days, novels that were rejected only to achieve rousing success after being self-published. I love these stories! But a downside to them is that they often urge writers–and have encouraged me–to keep spending money shopping work that should be put in a drawer.  Every writer has trunk junk, those novels that served as course work in our own, free, MFA programs. If you have a book, you know what I’m talking about. That coming-of-age book filled with exposition or stilted dialogue. The thriller where, maybe, there was a giant backstory dump for the first five chapters before the action started. The mystery where we couldn’t get the plot right or kept forcing characters into situations that didn’t grow naturally from their personality profiles and back stories. The “great story” that had, basically, no real genre and didn’t qualify as literary.  Sometimes, trunk junk is resurrected. But, more often than not, it stays in a drawer, an embarrassment to the writer who has since learned better. In the worst cases, it never goes into the trunk and the writer keeps […]

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