Fiction for Hire–Second Try Is the Charm

Almost a year ago, I posted about my first fiction for hire book, which ended up getting accepted by the editors but rejected by the set creators/reviewers (that only happens to about 2 in 100 books in this line, so it was kind of crushing). I decided to give it another try. I submitted a bunch of ideas and a few proposals to the editors over a couple of months. They really liked a superhero-related idea I proposed in September. So I was off–again–to write an adventurous very short novel for 6th-grade reluctant readers. There followed two months of encouragement and guidance from the editors while I wrote and rewrote my superhero story. I have only written a few short stories for this age range, when it comes to fiction. And though this is a set of readers for schools to buy, the editors want top-notch, trade-quality writing and plotting. And the set reviewers want very specific qualities to allow reluctant readers to get the entire story. It was humbling to need SO much guidance. The editors gave me almost a course in this kind of writing, for which I was very grateful. Then email glitches and holiday breaks slowed down the process, so that getting approval/rejection took much longer than normal. But finally, early this month: “The reviewers approved Stanley today and didn’t ask for one single word change.” Yay! I’m swamped and don’t know whether I’ll be able to write anything else for this set, which is ending very soon. But I’m glad I stuck with it, despite how time-consuming and at times embarrassing it was. I’ve expanded my repertoire a bit and learned a few new things about writing. We all fail. It’s embarrassing. But, despite how hokey this sounds, the real failure would have been to quit after that first rejection. If the second book, Stanley, had also been rejected, then I would have been disappointed, of course. But I would have known I had really given it my best shot, and that perhaps this type/length/age of writing just wasn’t for me. As it is, I know it’s a reach for me, but that with enough work and feedback, I can do it.      

20 Responses

    1. Thanks, Tanita! I’d definitely try to do more of these, though the project is ending pretty quickly here. But I’ll have a clip I like for this age range, so maybe there will be future opportunities…

    1. Thanks, Tanita! I’d definitely try to do more of these, though the project is ending pretty quickly here. But I’ll have a clip I like for this age range, so maybe there will be future opportunities…

  1. I’m so glad for you! An example of working out of the comfort zone that paid off. Hurray! Hurray!

  2. I’m so glad for you! An example of working out of the comfort zone that paid off. Hurray! Hurray!

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