Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Decisions, Decisions


I have a drawer full of copies of manuscripts and their associated rejection letters. I’ve seen lots of ideas about what to do with the letters but what about the manuscripts that remain unpublished? The options I’ve come up with are:

1. Toss them. With all the work that’s gone into them, that’s hard. Even when I know that for some, their main purpose was to improve my writing. I’ve just recently managed to let go of some rough drafts that were causing a paper jam in my file cabinet.

2. Make books for the kids. I did that with some of my early stories, giving them to my nieces and daughters as special Christmas gifts, complete with my incredibly bad artwork. At least they had an audience.

3. Put some examples on your website. A writer friend, Jody Kihara, decided to provide online access to two of her much laboured over manuscripts, after receiving positive responses from readers but no bites from agents or publishers. A brave choice!

Any other ideas? How long do you keep rejected manuscripts?

– Andrea

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina 09.12.09 at 1:51 am

This is a really interesting question and I actually haven’t thought much about it all. I guess there’s still the hope in me my first manuscript might see print once I have time to rewrite it. And my other two manuscripts I’m still working on and haven’t subbed.

I guess, if none made it into print, then I’d have them printed professionally and make enough copies for those closest to me who would actually read them. And put them on my bookshelf.

Kate Fall 09.15.09 at 11:44 am

If I like the story idea and the characters, I hold out hope that I can rewrite the manuscript someday. But I always wanted to have a symbolic burning party: a big bonfire to show my growth as a writer. Burn, baby, burn!

Mignon 09.21.09 at 9:35 am

Don’t throw them away! My mother wrote a novel when she was 18 and eventually threw out the manuscript. Even if it was the worst thing ever written (as she said it was), I would have treasured it.

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