“Never throw up on an editor.” —Ellen Datlow
Behind the Scenes
I felt Beth’s pain when the editor returned the article for a rewrite. This article was beginning to feel like “Groundhog Day.” She did not want to see the article again—and neither did I!
Our unanimous cheer was, “Just accept this article and leave us alone!”
While analyzing it, Beth and our critique group struggled to make sure the chronology of her story was clear. After turning it into the group a number of times, I knew the story so well that I lost a fresh perspective.
I laughed when the editor wrote, “We’re almost there…I’m so glad you like rewriting.”
Beth was burned out. I was burned out trying to critique it. I did not think I could possibly add one more insightful comment. Thankfully, the editor rearranged some paragraphs to clear up confusion. God Bless her sweet editor’s soul. When she returned the article to Beth, she brought it to the group—again.
None of us could open the article. Finally we did. However, by this point, we were not sure if any comment would help. It only needed a bit of tweaking.
Use your critique group as the place to “throw up.” The synergy of a critique group
* keeps you up when you're down
* encourages you to keep going when you want to stop.
* And stays with you until that blasted article finds a publishing home.