Saturday, January 29, 2011

The 3 D's of an Official Wannabe Romance Writer: Defeat, Despair and Deflation

It all began when I was introduced to my first romance novel at the tender age of thirteen. Forever seared in my brain where passionate kisses and bodice ripping. From that moment I resigned myself that I could write romance that good.

Over the years  I've tried my hand at it only to be rejected not once but several times. It's always the same song and dance routine from a generic editor.

Actual email I recently got from a Harlequin editor:

"Dear Ms Elliott:

Thanks so much for submitting the first chapter and synopsis of your story. Our editors reviewed the submission with care. Unfortunately your story was not strong enough for us to consider further.

You’ve done a nice job balancing the romance with the faith elements, which suggests a solid understanding of the requirements of our Love Inspired programs. While you’ve created two sympathetic characters in Becky Gail and Rick, we’d suggest fine-tuning the romantic conflict between them. Because they are clearly drawn to each other from the beginning and spend time working toward a common goal, it’s difficult to pinpoint what stands in the way of their relationship. Why are they unable to commit to each other until the end of the story? Once this aspect is strengthened, the story will likely be more compelling and more engaging for the reader.

Good luck with your future writing endeavors and thanks for entering our challenge!

We hope you enjoyed the week long So You Think You Can Write event—a call to new writers and a celebration of romance fiction. We plan to hold another 24/7 online conference in the fall of 2011. Visit for more information throughout the year and make plans to join us! Sincerely,

The Harlequin Editors"

Now, I know I can write because my work has been accepted in several different venue's, maybe romance writing isn't my forte.

Faced with the possibility I will never be a romance author has garnered  defeat, despair and deflation.

Do I admit defeat my work isn't good enough for any romance editor or do I suck it up and tweak what I have written?

Do I drown in despair because I can't cut it as a romance author or do I forge through the tidal wave of rejection?

Do I wallow in deflation or pick myself up by my boot straps and prove  I am a writer?

I will suck it up, forge onward and pick myself up, continue toward my goal to become  the author of a romance novel (only if it's one).

As Scarlett O'Hara quoted so famously in 'Gone With the Wind', "After all... tomorrow is another day."


Lorelei said...

Debra, if you think you enjoy this type of writing most, then go for it. Possibly the "why" this didn't grab the editors may be something you haven't seen, as yet as a writer, and eventually when you write on and on, you may see it.

A writer writes because they can't NOT write. Don't let the rejections make you quit!!!

30 years of writing, and getting rejections, I forged on and on, got my share of rejections (I may have to post this on my own blog, Lorelei's Muse), but once I hit 50 and had not managed to get traditionally published, I self-published. I may never become rich, but I've got a vampire book out now that I constantly can find people who want to buy it--so far!

Come visit, if you want
I promise I won't bite {;

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Thanks Lorelei for the great words of wisdom.

Anne Gallagher said...

Well, for what's worth, I don't think that letter is ALL bad. At least you got some feedback that tells you what you have to do to make it better. Most agents won't do that.

I think tweaking the plot line is easier than giving up. And finding a hurdle to surmount between the MCs is a lot easier than coming up with a new one.

Go for it. I know you can do it.

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Thank you Anne. Actually, another door has been opened and I am going in that direction for now.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read my first romance until after I was twenty. But I swore I would name my first born Christopher Seaton. To this day it is still one of my favorite books.

Write and rewrite, if you believe your book is worth publishing, then you can only make it better.


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