Thursday, April 7


 by Margie Senechal

When do you make the decision to keep going or give up?

Yesterday, I read an article about Kathryn Stockett, the writer of The Help in which she was rejected 60 times before finding an agent who not only loved her novel, but was able to sell it within weeks. And she spent over three years writing it, rewriting it, editing it, and rewriting it.

This article made me think about Bix. To be honest, he's always in the back of my mind--because I do believe in him and that there's a story there--if only I can find the right one.

So, this morning as I was trying to figure out what to write about for the blog, I thought of that article and I opened my last Bix rewrite. I'd started it after several rejections of fulls that said the same thing--that it read middle grade in some places and YA in others.

This rewrite consists of only three chapters. But, damn, they're good chapters. When I wrote them--about a year ago--I was so exhausted with rewriting Bix, I couldn't think straight. I'd spent over four years just focused on that book. So, I shut him down and worked on other projects.

Just for the record, I didn't have anything close to 60 rejections. In fact, over all, my submission process went quite well. I sent out directed queries and got request for partials, followed by requests for fulls. Because I didn't pepper the industry with queries, there are still a mess of agents out there who haven't read Bix in any form, so there's still hope.

I haven't decided if I'm going to go back to Bix right away, although I am going to print up that third chapter and see if anything sparks. Because maybe it's time to give into faith.


  1. A big I don't know from me on this one. I don't even remember when I consciously gave up on my first three or four manuscripts. Some of them I don't even have anymore because the floppies are corrupt and I don't seem to have paper copies. However, I admit to having a little ache inside when I think of Micky and Tolly and Cass, whose stories are forever gone, and I wonder if I should have held on and re-wrote one more time. (I never re-wrote very much, though--there weren't all that many publishers around and they didn't suggest it.)

    1. In the past, by the time I received rejections, I was already onto a new project and just filed the old one away--so I'd have to say I rarely did another draft of many of my earlier works. But--that was in the day of it takes months and months to hear back from anyone in the publishing industry.

  2. I don't know, either. What I do know is if you're passionate about a book, the people you talk to about it will be, keep talking!

  3. Sometimes a story or character have to noodle around in your head for a while. I have about five percolating at any given moment. Don't give up, Margie! FYI, your post is the 1500th Word Wrangler post... that's a good sign! *Tosses confetti in the air*