So what happened?
Well, this time was the same a the first time. It didn't really sting. "No" is never what you want to hear, but admittedly I aimed pretty high. I fired off a story that I wrote in a couple days to a pretty well-known sci-fi publication. Once again, it was a polite "didn't work for me, but try it out elsewhere" which is a nice sentiment if it isn't a template. I didn't really expect to make it, but it felt like everything clicked with this one and I thought, why not go for it? I'm glad to have gotten some encouragement even in rejection. In my head though, I imagine that some people can be pretty psychotic when they get rejected.
I used to watch American Idol as a guilty pleasure, more so for the freak show that is the first several episodes. I couldn't believe that some of those people could be so deluded that they come completely unglued at being told 'no'. I have since found out that reality shows aren't as real as they pretend to be, (I know, right!?) and they hand-pick the crazies to get them on the air for ratings. I almost feel dirty for having contributed in any capacity. I never did call in to vote though.
No, William. She does not "bang".
Anyway, I imagined the insane response letters that the poor fellow must have gotten over the years. The arguing, the indignation, the (I hesitate to use the term) butthurt. I hate to think it, but I feel like he has to be as diplomatic as possible. Even if he hated my story, (there's no way he would though because it is a work of genius inspired by the Gods themselves) he can't just write a rejection that says, "your story arranged words in such a fashion that caused cancer in myself and everyone here. Please stop writing for the good of yourself and those around you." I'm sure he would have loved to write something like that on at least one occasion, but you can't be like that. It just invites more hate mail.
This is part of why I don't like sending my stuff to friends for beta reading. With the exception of one or two folks, I know that most of what I'm going to hear is positive, no matter what. "I loved it!" and "Great job!!!!1" are nice to hear, and there's nothing wrong with cheerleading. The problem is that I am looking for what doesn't work. I need to hear the bad or I can't fix it. Now, this man is not an editor. It's not his job to critique my work, just to see if it's right for his magazine (which it totally is, he's just too blind to my genius to realize what a gem he had on his hands). So I don't expect criticism from submitting.
I guess what I'm trying to say is I need a critique partner. Any takers?
I'm totally open to criticism, I swear.