1. Matters of Personal Taste— You just can't win these battles. And they are not necessarily wrong or twisted or evil. They are simply opinions. So I file these away in the "Ah, that's what this editor likes/doesn't like" file.
2. Repeat Offenders — These are those annoying little points the seem to crop up in several rejection letters so you can't ignore them. Now these can fall into 2 sub-categories: things I can fix and things I don't want to fix because they have little or nothing to do with my goals for this book.
- Things I can fix: These will not change the story. They are little quirks in my writing or basic structural or characterization issues that require more tweaking than full-on re-writing. Quirks can be good, but sometimes they are distracting, so I weigh the comments and decide how to proceed.
- Things I don't want to fix: These are things that involve completely altering the direction of the book or trying to make it something it will never be. Sorry guys, but I won't add sex or romance or addiction just to spice things up or appeal to a broader market. Uh-uh.
But how do I overcome this breathless sense of failure? I revise my vision of success. I want to write the best story I can write and I want kids to read it and enjoy it. That part hasn't changed. Refocusing this piece won't change that either. I'm just starting this part of my career in a slightly different place than I thought.
So here I stand contemplating yet another revision. Thanks to my dear BB buddy Mindy for talking me off the ledge and to my fabulous agent for hashing over all of it and coming up with a good plan for the next round. And as Ernest Hemingway once said:
Optimism can keep a fool from accepting failure.
I guess I'll just be a happy fool and dive right back into what will surely be an awesome MG book.