Hot Off the Press…

playin' with fire


       Well, here I am, knocking at the door, and so I thought you might enjoy seeing what a return note on a submission reads like, at least reads like if you submitted Highway Home. It is a little obtuse, a little code like, I’ll explain…


Thanks so much for sharing HIGHWAY HOME with me. I’m afraid I think it still needs work. The opening is much too long and slow.And only Cicero can get away with page long paragraphs. The story begins with paragraph two of the synopsis. Start in media res, hook the reader, and anything that needs to be known as background can be filled in later.
You definitely have talent, Dana, so I’d be glad to see either a spiffy revision OR BANKRUPT HEART. Don’t give up!
Name and Agency Withheld by Author (That’s me…)
    I’m not sure what “media res” means, and I do appreciate knowing in the pecking order Cicero remains stationed somewhere above me, another dissappointing news bulletin for my ego, dang.
    I’ll give you a puzzle and question. If you were about to begin writing a second novel while submitting the first, and after having revised and edited the first novel for the last six months, after having spent some 62 weeks composing and rewriting prior to editing, what would you do? I’m inclined to believe it is baked and served.
    I remember a long time ago when I set out with this plot and began to write that I had decided to write for very different reasons that this agent might have for acquiring a book. This decision to be mindful of what the market wants is only now kind of dawning on me.
    Here is a reality. I’m plotting much more intensely in the second novel. Lesson from the first novel. I am structuring the center of the second novel to bite my central characters ass much more intensely in the second novel. Lesson learned from the first novel. I am working in my novel plot structure with much more suspense and surprise points in the storyline.
     And so to a much great extent the second novel will come out of the box with a deeper blueprint, a more woven design, a greater attention to the mechanics.
     I’m hopeful I’ll have the creative juice to play within this tightness, this restrictiveness, this equation I am creating.
     Anyway, another few readers have now finished Highway Home and one in particular expressed a special pleasure with the read.
     One of these days…………….

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julia sheridan
julia sheridan
13 years ago

well, god love the internet. You stayed at my house when you were with Nick in the circus. it was Christmas time and I think you were sick. It was Phoenix, early to mid 70s. I have an old photo of you with a monkey on your lap! The Sheridans? My sister Anne told me you were still performing and just wanted to say hi and if you ever come through Portland Oregon please say hi. 503-449-4655. I work for the opera company in Portland.
Julia Sheridan

13 years ago
Reply to  julia sheridan

Hi Julia

I had not looked at my comments box until now!!!!! That’s a long time to lapse, but I of course do remember all of that, somewhat garbled inside my mind all these years later, and indeed promise to call. Many, many warm thanks for giving your time and making the effort to reach out. It is a thrill.