Recently, I got a rejection letter that actually had feedback. FEEDBACK. Which, while it’s still the bitter arrow to heart called rejection, I could not be more thrilled for my subsequent wound. Because, feedback means my work was actually read and I could actually improve.
As it happened, I took out an entire prologue and immediately started with action.
Yes, that makes so much sense. But, as all writers know, it is like losing a limb when you cut out a chapter, a plot line, or a character. And, then you have phantom limb syndrome in which you can’t stop thinking about that chapter/plotline/character and raising a glass with a tear in your eye, toasting “I’ll miss you, Prologue.”
And, I will. I have it saved away in a document (because I couldn’t bear to part with it entirely) so I can reminisce on the wonderful memories we shared together. Crafting each sentence with loving care, choosing every word with precision and detail. Yet, with just one rejection letter, I cut it out of my life.
Because, in the end, it is more important for me to present the best work possible than it is to refuse criticism or editing. Because, I want to see this novel accepted by a literary agent and eventual publisher. Because, one day I want to walk into a Barnes & Noble and head over to the fantasy section and pick up a copy of Ren Kolozak’s “The Midnight Tide.”
Such a thing is worth a cutting out a few prologues.