Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Writers' Rejection Pile

Hello Everyone,

Okay, today's topic has nothing to do with the pile of stories you're currently working on, or even your rejection slips. It has to do with those stories who you started writing at first and then said "This won't work" or "I think I better put this one on hold indefinitely...unless something grabs me."

I'm sure we all have stories like that. Ones we got excited about and then was like "Wait, no I'm not ready to write this, it's not coming together, what was I THINKING???!!"

This is what I'm calling the "Writers' Rejection Pile".

I remember on a computer I used to have (that has long since crashed, poor computer; it was properly mourned, now we're just hoping one day my younger brother will be able to unlock its secrets and pull out some files we had on there, that didn't make their way to disc!) But I remember I had a couple of stories.

One was an anthology of short stories, which included such titles like, "The Madman", and "White Hall's Lady". I only vaguely remember the premis for these stories, but I do remember that I just didn't have enough "vim and vigor" for them. I didn't have a clear enough idea of what I wanted to do with them to pursue them.

Sometimes we have to start writing stories that end up in the Writers' Rejection Pile in order to get to that story that lights up our faces and makes our fingers fly across the keyboard (or the page) with incredible speed and lightning flash after lightning flash of inspiration.

Now, this doesn't mean a writer never revisits his or her Rejection Pile. Some do, and realize that they finally know what they're going to do with that unfinished tale.

Often times a writer has to put aside a story, not because he or she wanted to, but because it's not working out for them. Who knows? Somebody might say or do something that makes them think "Oh! That's what I should do with that one story!"

So, don't worry, the Rejection Pile isn't always the end of a life for a story, sometimes it's the beginning and sometimes the Funeral March is appropriate.

What about your Rejection Pile? What constitutes a story going there or getting out of it?

Have A Thoughtful Thursday!


Bethany Wiggins said...

I wrote four books before I got an agent (for book 5). When I wrote the first four, I thought they were the bomb. Now, reading over them, I blush. Pretty embarrassing that I thought they were so great!!! It took me a long time to "get" writing. Even now, I only get it about 10% of the time! So hang in there. Watch that pile grow and remind yourself that with every rejection--no matter what kind, you are one step closer to acceptance.

bethanyintexas said...


Thank you so much for your input and comment :-)