I posted a couple months ago that I had sent something out on proposal. A week or so ago, I got the response. You can probably guess by the title of this blog that it wasn't the response I'd been hoping for. Yep. It was rejected. But this isn't downer post. It isn't a ranting or venting post. It's a post to let the world know that rejection isn't the death of a story. Yes, I wanted the story to be accepted. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. That's the whole reason I sent it to that publisher. But there are some positives to the story not being accepted and there are reasons a story is rejected that actually have nothing to do with the story itself.
The first positive is that, because this was sent out on proposal, I had to send a synopsis. I'm a pantser. I'm not used to writing with a synopsis. Knowing where I'm going and trying to force the story to get there felt weird to me. Now, I can throw that synopsis out (or, at least, not worry about following it so closely) and go where the story takes me. Suddenly a m/f is looking more like a m/m/f. Not because of some plan but just how my characters are interacting.
Another good thing about the story not being accepted is I have more time to write and polish the story. I'm sure I would've sent out a fantastic story if it'd been accepted. I never put out work I feel is subpar. But, let's be realistic, if I'm working under a deadline I feel more pressure to send the story out and I might overlook some of the minor points. A possible twist or nuance might go unnoticed and I might have lost the chance to deepen the story.
Yes, being rejected isn't all sunshine and roses. But just because a story is rejected doesn't mean the story sucks. This is something I remind my writer friends whenever they get a rejection and it's something I reminded myself of when I got my rejection. Publishing houses reject stories for any number of reasons. They might have just signed a similar story. They might have been looking for more m/m and I gave them a m/f. They might have been looking for more humor and mine was political intrigue. They might have met me in person in the past and didn't like me (yes, it's more comforting to think I'm the problem than to think my story is the problem). They might have looked my social media and noticed I've been a little quiet lately, something I realize I need to fix.
The bottom line is I think this is a great story. I have tremendous faith in it. The house I sent it to wasn't a good fit for any number of possible reasons. So it's time to pick myself up and continued writing it. I know when the story is done, I'll find a great home for it.