Making shit up

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Features and opinion, Fiction, Journalism

Over the last few days, I’ve had the opportunity to add more of my work to this site – reviews and the like mainly, but also an opinion piece on writing I penned for Death Ray a few years ago. Pertinent, because this is supposed to be a writer’s blog, but especially so because when ‘The Write Stuff’ was originally published,  I’d just had a book rejected, nay, demolished, by a certain well-known publisher who’s given me much great advice over the years. They hated it a great deal, and that left me a little shaky. But a much revised version is the story that’s just been picked up by Solaris.

What does this teach us? That publishers are all individuals with their own tastes and opinions (as they freely admit), so if someone doesn’t like your book, someone else might; that if you listen to the criticisms of publishers it’s possible to salvage an idea – even if they, as in this particular case, think it unsalvageable; and that ideas, whether they be scenes, characters, plots, or settings, should never be wasted, but recycled. If found wanting, chuck them on the mental compost heap. You never know, they might bear fruit eventually.

You can check out my slightly embittered advice for would-be writers right here.


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