Friday, March 21, 2008

A Pet Peeve of Mine

Nicola's pet peeves are all valid ones that I agree with. One that I've had on more than one occasion that is starting to make me clench my teeth is after reviewing, critiquing, and rejecting a project sent to me, the author replies that she kind of figured it would be rejected because she wrote it a long time ago when she first started out writing.

Which tells me, they never looked it over and reworked it before sending it to be consider for publication. That's laziness in it's highest form. When they tell me that I'm glad I rejected it, because they should have took the time to make it the best it could be, not send it off and hope the editor will rewrite it for them.

I know this sounds like I'm the b-word. But I can't believe the audacity to send anything but your best work.

This is my biggest Pet Peeve.

Patricia Tanner
Senior Editor
Cactus Rose Line

3 comments:

NicDarienzo said...

LOL A little frustrated today, Paty??? It really gets to you when you see it happen every day, I know.

The only other one that comes to mind for me, and I'm sure it was discussed in our chat is The Eager Beaver. The author who is so eager to show you how efficient she can be that even after you've rejected her MS, and given her advice and suggestions on what needs work and advised her to take these new things and apply them to the entire MS ---the MS is back in your inbox in 48 hours.

I also see this with contracted authors when I send out edits. Usually it's minor stuff, but sometimes, for an established author I know can do the work, I'll contract her and then send some revisions.

We know you're all eager and excited, but honest, when we say "take thirty days and go over it carefully" we MEAN take thirty days, LOL. Our schedules are usually full enough that we won't get to it again before then anyway. Sometimes we need a little break from the story before we can look at it with fresh eyes again.

Moira Rogers said...

I don't know if this applies, but my standard of what my "best work" is certainly changes with time. The story I sent out in December was my best work then, but since its acceptance I've been through editing, critiquing and advice with four other stories. Now I'm looking at that original story and wincing a little.

It's not that it wasn't my best story when I sent it in! It's just that I can do so much better now because this really is a learning process. I think a new author who can look at the same story two or three months later and not think that it is no longer representative of their best work might not be learning enough. :)

I know I have a whole checklist of things I've learned to be careful of in the last few months thanks to editors and critique partners who are willing to point out my flaws.

Patrica said...

I agree completely with your peeve. Serious authors who take the time to work on a manuscript have the ambition and drive to succeed. I mean, this is a business, it needs to be treated as such.

I just finished a project and subbed it after 18 months. I didn't spend all that time writing, part of it was in the research but I went over it, had someone else go over it, polished it, reworked it, and then subbed it.

I look at it this way - that story is my baby - I don't let my son go out in public looking like some dirty little urchin, why would I allow my mss to be rejected because I couldn't be bothered to take the time to reread it over!

I've finished my rant and will disappear back into the shadows! Thanks so much for posting this. Its nice to know what publishers and editors are looking for.