@N J Sturgess
- Maybe rubber isn't quite the right word (more than one connotation in an int'l audience); I rather prefer the idea of a puny wretch attempting to tear a phone book in half. My early mss were about that weight (do people remember phone books? or is that an anachronism now?) ... some people may prefer the hulk and the actual ripping of flesh --- um, paper, that is --- but I like the act to be an almost impossible task, a few tears (including the type that burn from ducts in the eye), and then toss it all up into the air and ... the frustration is released from an act that's a physical representation of letting it all go. How long does it take to go back in there, get down on hands and knees, pick it all up, pack it all up, slip it into a box that hides under the stairs, and wait for the characters to scream into the dreams?
In the screenwriting business, they use the words 'page-one rewrite' to mean that although the idea is good, the execution isn't up to par. Toss it, they say, and bring in new writers. As a book-writer, I prefer to think of it as bringing a new mindset to the original idea (or getting one or two of the characters to tell me how it really is, and giving in to what they want).
- I agree; I think we get more than a fair go here, and as an ex-slush pile reader, I've seen how mss are treated when they don't fit the criteria (whatever it is at the time). However, I've also seen so many people give up on writing after the first smack down/critical feedback. I hate it when people give up. A good storyteller can come from anywhere, but only if they keep writing and learning and getting feedback. It's a long, hard road, with many obstacles and no signage, so one little ray of hope may be all it takes to keep a storyteller's dream alive.