I am on my first round of editor submission and a few rejections have hit the inbox. Unlike my query rejections, I am finding that editors give substantial and thought-provoking reasons for passing on your manuscript. There is no blanket rejection language such as "I did not connect with the voice" or the rather vague "it is simply not right for us."
Now, being obsessed with spread sheets and anything else organizational-based, I have taken these few rejections and outlined the reasons, seeking a common thread with which to re-evaluate my ms. There in lies my problem – there is not common thread.
The right side of my brain fully understands that the decision to take on a manuscript is completely, 100% a subjective decision – either the book resonates with you or it does not. But the left side wants to hack it up and piece it back together in an attempt to address the issues above. Besides the fact that I am pretty sure my agent would kill me, I am not sure it can be done.
Each editor had a wholly different reason for saying no. What one editor saw as a major flaw the other had no problem with. Can you address all the issues in one sweeping edit or do you end up with three different versions of the same book each trying to address the very subjective opinion of one editor? At what point are you writing your story to please one person? And then do you run the risk of contaminating the underlying theme of the book an a futile attempt to add-in scenes, dialogue, and content to rectify an issue that only one editor sees as a problem?
Arghhhhhh . . . I haven’t felt this confused about my MS since my days in Query Hell!