thelizbrownshow

Posts Tagged ‘novels’

Rejection Project Month 1 Report: 2 Down, 48 to Go

In My Life and Shit, Project Rejection on January 31, 2016 at 8:21 pm

thumbs down

 

I’m going to have to start working a lot harder at getting rejected. I am way behind.

At the beginning of 2016, I set a goal to acquire no less than 50 rejection letters for my writing over the course of this year. See the post here

I estimated I’d have to make at least 100 submissions to successfully rake in my required number of rebuffs. It turns out that was DUMB.  Fifteen times this month I’ve submitted articles, pilot scripts, comedy videos, sketches and novel queries this month and eagerly awaited a flood of email smackdowns. I’ve received a paltry TWO rejection letters.

One of them was from a fairly impressive website that rejected an extremely personal article I’ve been trying to get published for months. It wasn’t a total blow-off. The editor suggested some rewrite notes with her rejection and said I could send it back to her later on. And I did. Still waiting for another rejection on that one.

The second one was special. For the past three and a half months I’ve been pitching sketches for an industry showcase through CBS. By the end of the pitch process, ALL of my sketches were rejected, but my clever co-writers decided to put together a showcase of the rejected sketches, so I submitted one. And?

Yeah. It got rejected. From the rejected sketch showcase.

reject do not use

It feels like that should count for extra credit, right? But I’m not cheating. I want 50 REAL straight up rejections. I know I can do this.

It’s true I’m due to have a baby in less than two weeks, but I’m not going to let the creation of human life interfere with my rejection goals. I’m going to need to pull in at 4-5 rejection letters a month for the rest of the year if I want to reach my quota which means at this rate I’m going to need to do at least 30 submissions a month–about one a day. Maybe two a day so I can take off that day I’m actually squeezing out a baby.

giving birth rachel

Bring it on February,….

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Slow going: a rewriter’s lament

In Uncategorized on January 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I love having a big project to work on piece by piece, day by day–except when I hate it.

I started rewriting the first draft of my novel about a week ago. I”ve turned 35 single-spaced first draft pages into 25 double-spaced second draft pages, which means I threw out a whole lot of stuff in my first 35. I guess that was to be expected. The beginning of my first draft is sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. There are at least four alternate story lines going on, so I chucked the pages from the three I’m not using and a few more pages of mortifyingly cheesy dialogue between the main character and a character that totally doesn’t exist anymore.

The whole beginning of the book was feeling pretty sluggish to me. Besides this novel, the majority of my writing experience has come in the form of blog posts and sketch comedy–two places where you need to get your point across immediately or risk having your audience tune out. In the first draft of my novel, nothing happened for the first thirty pages. Now, in the second draft, I’m making the opening line of the whole book an explanation of the premise.

There are a lot of great classic novelists who took their sweet time getting to “the point” in their books, giving fifty pages of historical context and their characters’ personal genealogy before revealing a single piece of action to their readers.

I don’t think I want to do that. I think I want to try to suck people in right away. I guess that will make my piece more pop culture-y than classic novel-y, but I guess that’s okay. I just want it to be good and for people to like it.

DEADLINE FOR SECOND DRAFT: FEBRUARY 29, 2012
FIRST DRAFT (SINGLE-SPACED) PAGES REWRITTEN: 35/250
SECOND DRAFT (DOUBLE-SPACED) PAGES COMPLETE: 25
DAYS LEFT:  51
PAGES LEFT TO REWRITE: 215 (Ouch. It hurts to even write that.)