Mindflights is open to subs again! I'm so pleased with the number of submissions we have received. It's got me thinking about the difference in mindset that I have toward rejection when I'm reading subs as opposed to when I'm submitting my own work somewhere. Obviously, I'm a lot more detached when doling out rejection than I am when receiving it. I thought I'd give some advice on what I look for in the stories that I want to accept.
1. Solid Prose. You know what I'm talking about. Watch the adverbs, show don't tell, etc., etc. I like to read a story written well enough that I don't even think about the prose. I just get lost in the story.
2. Believable characters. It's usually the characters that sell me. I want people I can connect with and care about. People who feel real.
3. Conflict. Yeah, it's got to be there. I don't like stories that don't have any real tension or where everything is solved too easily.
4. Emotional Resonance. I really want to feel something about the story. I want it to move me in some way, even if it's just for a few minutes of fun.
Now, a story might have all those things and still get rejected. Maybe it's not a good fit for the magazine. Maybe they just can't afford it right now. Maybe the editor is having a bad day. Or maybe your story doesn't resonate with me, but it might with someone else. Maybe I can relate to your characters where someone else wouldn't.
The sad truth is that once you've submitted something, the rest is out of your control. And really, there is no way to avoid rejection. We're all going to face it, probably many times. The trick is to remember that it's OKAY to get rejected. It really is. It doesn't mean your a bad writer or that you'll never make it. It just means that this particular story/novel/query/article isn't right for that particular editor/magazine/agent/publisher. Yes, rejection stings. I hurt every time I get one. But it's not a reason to give up.
Never, ever give up!