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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition by Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

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Chapter Fifty

Straw into Gold

Transform Rejection into a Plan of Action

Wendy Burt-Thomas

As much as you’d probably like to burn your rejection letters or mold them into little voodoo dolls of the editors who sent them, don’t. There’s a lot to be learned from the responses (yes, even those that arrive with nothing more than a standard check box of reasons the piece wasn’t accepted).

Think of your rejections as reactions from first dates: Some will be very general (“Sorry, I’m just not that into you”), some will offer minimal feedback (“You talked nonstop about your ex; I don’t think you’re ready for a new relationship”), and some will offer detailed information to help you improve for your next attempt (“You were charming and attractive, and ...

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