Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It happened again!

So, I submitted a story (one of my older ones that has gone through about 50 re-writes as is. What can I say, I like the story.) The editor, bless their soul, asked me for a re-write in one of the oddest letters I have ever received from an editor. (Mind you this is a new one, different from the post earlier this week) It read:

Dear Jamie—

You absolute !ӣ$!

I was totally charmed and loving it and then you botched the ending.

Would you care to revise? The opening 2½ pages are wonderful.

Kind regards

I won't say who the editor or the magazine are but I was a little flabbergasted. The entire story is only 4 pages in length and now I am torn. Do I rework a piece that looks nothing like my original story and pull it even further down a different road and risk it getting published, or do I sub it off to someone else and risk further rejection (or possible publication somewhere down the road)?


Aaron Polson said...

Did an editor actually write: "You absolute [bad word]"?

Did that same editor actually say you "botched the ending"?


I'd read the story if you want, and give you my 2 cents.

Wow. Then he/she follows up with Kind regards?

Jeremy D Brooks said...

...or split it into two stories? One that may suit the revis requester, and another dissimilar enough to pass as a unique story but on your original story line? Or maybe tell two stories with the same characters? (a la Desperation/The Regulators)

BT said...

I'm in agreement with Jeremy. Write a new version with the editors comments in mind. By the end you may or may not think it improves the story anyway. If the editor still rejects the rewrite, you can go back to subbing the current version.

Send it my way if you like - I'd be happy to give it the once over and put in my own 2 cents...

Jamie Eyberg said...

Aaron- I actually copied that directly from my email. I made no changes to it at all. Sending it your way.

Jeremy- I like you idea. That might work.

BT- Sending it your way. Look forward to your thoughts on it.

Fox Lee said...

Good question. An editor recently wanted me to make huge changes to a story that had (at the time) been rejected seven times. My gut said no, and it's now pending rejection number nine. Would I do things differently? No. The story didn't work the way the editor wanted, give my voice, and so I had to decline.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Nat- I am inclined that way. This is a story I wrote while still in college (that was a long time ago) and it actually got a personalized rejection, at the time, from Gordon VanGelder at SF&F. It was the closest thing I had to being published at the time.

K.C. Shaw said...

Dude, you moved an editor to cuss at you. Obviously they felt pretty strong about it. I'd rewrite it with a completely different ending and see what the editor thinks.

Every single one of my rewrite requests has been a request to fix the ending. Every time I've done so, the rewritten story has been way, way stronger even if it wasn't always what I originally had in mind.

Danielle Birch said...

Far out!

I think it depends on how strongly you feel about the story as to whether you're willing to do pretty much a complete re-write. And if that's the case maybe it could become another story.

Cate Gardner said...

LOL! I love that letter.

Carrie Harris said...

Give the rewrite a try. Set it aside for a little bit, and then read them both. I went through something similar (although was never called a $^*%), and I ultimately ended up liking the suggestions. Admittedly, it took a long time, and I may have called someone a $&*( at some point during the process.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Thank you for all of your input. Will keep everyone posted on this one.