just was rejected by a second agent,
though this one zinged her a criticism that was polar-opposite to the one the first rejecting agent wrote her.
Even the giants of the writing profession suffered many rejections.
As Helena herself pointed out Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet, was rejected by one publisher
because it was “neither long enough for a serial nor short enough for a single story.”
The secret is perseverance and courage.
Hard things to come by when your heart is bleeding.
Many of us are called upon to critique the works of others.
It occurred to me to write for both sides of that equation:
The best prose leaves us with a new clarity and a sanction for living it out in our own days.
Our hearts tremble with the awakening of a truth that had been lurking deep within it all along. Or the words throb with the truth of life, of what it means to be human.
The story takes on a semblance of life for the actions feel authentic.
A good story can mirror back to us our condition, changing as we change,
clarifying as our vision becomes clearer, until its insights become as familiar and obvious as our own face.
A good story is forever.
We keep our dreams in silk, protecting them from the harshness of the world.
We are vulnerable through our prose as with little else, for our dreams are being laid bare.
To be given a story to critique is no slight matter.
You are being entrusted with something fragile, something precious.
As we struggle to get published, to flourish in our chosen craft, we walk alone in what seems one long, terrifying damnation.
The best criticism speaks of what has been achieved and a vastly enlarged sense of what is possible.
Nothing touches a work of art so little as words of criticism:
they always result in more or less fortunate misunderstandings.
Things aren’t all so tangible and utterable as people would usually have us believe.
Most experiences are unutterable as they happen in a realm where no word has ever been uttered: our minds.
And more unutterable than all other things are works of art,
those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory one.
Writers, you are looking outside and that is what you should avoid right now. No one can advise or help you ...
to be yourself ...
they can only advise you on how they could write your story.
Go into yourself and see if what you have written rings true.