The musing said to the aspiring novelist, who was getting no younger: Hope the younger ones do for the traditional publishers that are still going, depending on what they would write for them. Nothing short than…May just find something else. Something better. So, for you, I will keep the possibility of ‘afresh’ avenues open, as should the younger ones. But keep knocking on the door, from time to time.
In storytelling class, the lecturer may discuss the concept of compelling choice. For these lecturers, compelling choice is the pivot on which the plot turns in the classical story structure. The main character faces dilemmas at various points and has a choice between two or, even better, more choices of action, but the character chooses one way because the choice compels more than the other possibilities. Real life is faced with such challenges as well at all sorts of levels. I wish that in real life we would always make the best choices, but in stories a character is a character with its own personality, beliefs and ways of doing things. It’s just that some choices compel the protagonist more than others. This is good material for the writer. The character can make authentic choices because one choice was more compelling that the other possibilities. In real life this can be as difficult as choosing the most unselfish course of action.
If I was an editor, I wouldn’t want to explain my decision to a writer if I rejected their work. Somehow, I get why editors generally do this. A decision may fit the editor’s criteria for rejecting a piece, but a decision can also be quite subtle and lucid rather than fully defined. There’s just this sense that a piece is not quite right. So, the editor passes on it after due consideration and an explanation should not be forthcoming from a subtle sense of uncertainty over a piece. How could you define it? So, writers should be assured that sometimes there are not explanations for rejecting a piece — the feeling just wasn’t right. Anyone should be able to ascertain this through their own decisions over selecting or rejecting things where, sometimes, the feeling is the basis for the decision and it just didn’t feel right. I know I do.
Improve! Speak for yourself, someone says! Yes, I aim to, maybe you will, too. We’re all trying…Take the opportunity to improve your work by looking at your old articles, stories, and seeing if anything could do with a tweak or major revision. Any things you learn in your revising will spill into your current work and only improve it–and at a quicker speed.
Reading some of the romantic poems and literature that comes out of India, I saw a lot of heart brokenness in the stories, when one’s sweetheart leaves. It then occurred to me that these stories reveal much tender feeling towards love and romance. They way that the love wasn’t tossed into the dirt to be trampled over or thrown into the ocean with a million fishes eager to eat it up. I found the sensibility, the sense that love is treated tenderly, better than many romances that get produced in the English language.