The soft, feathery pages in one’s hands that crinkle with every movement, the pages filled with a seemingly endless amount of words—picking up a newspaper can be overwhelming.
For the past year, part of my writing life has been focused on reading slush—sorting through the wobbly digital stack of your work. While I was reading slush, I was submitting my work to slush piles, so I’ve been on both sides of the table. And I have some good news for you, which I also tell myself after every rejection letter:
Good work is easy to recognize, and there isn’t as much good work as you think.
Whenever I tell my family a joke that doesn’t land, I get blank looks and silence. In a rush to fill the void, I clarify: “See, sloths are slow, so they can’t interrupt.” This is met with, “If you have to explain the joke, it isn’t funny.” It might be that I need to learn patience, though it’s also possible (however remotely) that interrupting sloth jokes just aren’t funny.
How do you reject an editor’s suggestions?
What happens when an author and an editor cannot see eye to eye on a certain subject?
How often do authors lose their chance of publication because they refuse to make changes to their work?
First of all, I want to iterate that an author of a piece should keep in mind that they should be the final say on anything as the creator.
As someone who has written critiques of sorts and run into some really terrible stuff, I’d wonder if you’ve ever run into something that needs so much work you might as well just recommend the person start over, and if you have, how do you not lose your mind while editing it? Or do you not edit it and just send it back?
When you’re working as an editor for a publishing firm, there’s definitely an efficiency/time element that comes into play, so it’s best practice to simply reject a story that isn’t worth the effort. I can usually tell just from the first page whether the author has a good command of language and scene.