Part of the waiting is over. One editor has come back to me with a negative response for my novel. Actually two this week, but I really wasn't expecting anything from the first.
I'm usually not bothered, I get lots of rejections. For my poems, my novel, but I allowed myself to hope a bit with this one. I researched the company and really liked the sound of their editing procedure. The editor was really nice and personable in her emails and requested to see the first 50 pages, then the whole thing very quickly. It seemed all positive.
The rejection, though half-expected because I'm not 100% sure of my fiction, hit me hard at first. I was literally numb for a few minutes looking at the email.
Her comments were brief, but to the point. One problem she mentioned can be fixed with some work. A few of the others I've known in the back of my mind since completing the novel, but I'm not sure how to rework it, rewrite it to fix them. Some surprised me. I can't tell how far she really read, it seems like maybe only the first 50 pages from her email. Maybe it improves after that point. It might be a matter of rejigging things to move some of the scenes around, but it might require a whole rewrite. It could mean changing my idea behind the novel.
It might be the fatal flaw and need changing, I can't decide right now. And I won't. For now, I'm fixing the fixable and scribbling notes of what I could do to approach the other bigger problems.
Rejection this big is heart-breaking, but it doesn't signal the end. There might be an editor who can see what I see, it's still at a few other places. I might find a way to rework it without losing my original vision. I have scrapped 30,000 words of this novel and started from scratch before. It didn't stop me from writing then, it won't now.
I will give myself time to recover, I will continue on with this novel and with my second. With my poetry. With writing.