Saturday, February 27, 2016

Whoops!

There's a belief among fiction writers that any feedback from an editor sent along with a rejection is helpful. I've found that to be true; in fact, I wrote a whole book about that, "Letters From Gardner"

Yesterday I got a very good example of that. In his comments accompanying a rejection, an editor noted a certain implausibility in a scenario I set up regarding a hole 150 feet deep. I realized with a start that I goofed up what I had meant to say. I said 150 feet deep when I meant 150 feet below sea level.

Thanks to his taking the time to read the story, I now see the misfire and I'm going to do a little rewrite to correct the problem.

I've found that even when an editor doesn't "get" a story or doesn't understand something, that can be helpful. For example, if they miss some plot point, it may mean that it is too subtle, and would be missed by the reader also.

In another example, I had an alternate history story that came back with comments indicating it had been read like it was straight space opera or hard s-f (the science had been critiqued), which tipped me off I needed to submit it to someplace that was more fantasy-oriented (which was more appropriate, anyway) and it sold quickly.

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