Rejection, Yet Again

I think that Gemini Magazine gave me the nicest rejection letter yet:

Hi Charlotte.

Thanks so much for submitting to Gemini. Though we’re going to pass this time, I enjoyed reading “Soon” and appreciate the opportunity to consider it.
Tight writing and nice cloak of suspense kept me reading.
Thanks again.
David Bright, Editor
Gemini Magazine
ISN’T THAT SWEET? A note to all you magazine and journal editors out there, THIS IS THE WAY TO WRITE A REJECTION LETTER! Unless the story was crap, and then you should probably not say that you like it, but if you like a story and still can’t accept it in your magazine for whatever reason, this is DEFINITELY the way to encourage the author, politely reject, and show them what’s the best thing about their story so when they write more they’re keeping it in mind. It’s the kind of rejection letter that tells them what makes them good, and helps them in the future without being rude.
Even if all you get is a rejection like mine, Gemini Magazine is absolutely worth submitting to!
In further news, “Soon” has now been submitted to Pithead Chapel, so we’ll see if we get a better response from them!

Gemini Magazine

I mentioned previously how I submitted “Soon” to these guys and hadn’t heard back after 30 days. So I emailed them.

To my surprise, in less than 24 hours they got back to me, not with either an acceptance or rejection letter, but rather to let me know that I would be hearing back about my story soon, which is good. Prompt is definitely good.

So far I’ve heard nothing more from them, but I’ll keep you posted, and if you want responsive, quick answers from a literary magazine, I think this is it!



What’s Going on in my Trilogy

As you might know, I’m in the middle of writing the trilogy. It’s a dystopian trilogy with a military/espionage focus. This is an update on how that’s going in general.

The first installment, To the Death, is currently in edits, in the capable hands of the wonderful Natalie Cannon for the second round of edits. Novels take a while to edit, of course, so it’s been in this stage for a while, but I have hopes that it’ll be ready before too long.

The second installment, To the End of the Earth, is in the writing process right now, which puts all the pressure on me. It’s very nearly done, less than two chapters left to write, and then I’ll be going over it with a fine-toothed comb (well, a comb at any rate) before I send it off to Natalie.

The third installment, A Brave New World, is all ready to go for when I send part two off. I’ve got it all outlined. The tricky bit about this part is that there’s less action. Everything’s going to be more drawn out. The fast paces of books one and two have set book three up for a massive battle scene stretching several chapters, and then some post-war chapters, and a really long epilogue. My chapters are usually J.K. Rowling sized, but this one’s going to be more of a George R.R. Martin sized chapter. Hopefully. It’s going to have to be if the books are going to be of a similar length.

When I started writing this last fall, when the concept popped into my head for the first time, it was a single book and I never thought I’d finish it because I’d never written a novel before. Somehow I realized I had way too much material for a single book and it became a trilogy. One Camp NaNo later and I realized I CAN write a novel, and three is not so scary as I thought it would be. And here I am, over half done writing, and little over a year later. I hope that I can get it published so that you can all enjoy this project I’ve worked so hard on.



Know How You Work In Groups

In my experience there are three types of people when it comes to group work who actually are worth having in a group (so if you don’t fit in these categories I beg you for the sake of your group members, DON’T JOIN A GROUP). I will describe each of these types of people and where they belong in the group in order for things to go well, using people in my life as examples. 😀 Hopefully I don’t offend anyone.

The first type of person is the PUSHER. This is the person who makes lists, keeps notes, makes up a schedule, and writes themselves reminders, and when all their work is done, they sit down and look at the progress of the other people in the group and (hopefully politely) prod their group members into the right direction. This is much like myself, and often times like my good friend and co-author, E. M. McBride. When we worked together this was great, because when one of us lost track the other would be there to kick them into gear. In our four-person project, we’re the ones in charge still, having dreamed up the project. I’ve finished all my chapters and she’s done most of hers and that gives us the clout to tell other people as politely as possible that they need to get into gear.

The second type of person is the QUIET ONE. This is the person who does their work, usually without prodding unless they’re at a busy time of life, and does it to the best of their ability. They don’t do too much more than they sign on for initially, maybe even no more than they have to, and they certainly aren’t pushing other people unless someone else is holding up their own contribution. They are a valuable contribution and take a lot of stress off a pusher. This is much like my darling Natalie Cannon, who is this exact type in everything we do together, completely holding her own weight but letting my frenzied passion lead the project because I’ve sort of got an abundance of frenzied passion that does a lot of our work for us. She kicks me into gear when I’ve fallen behind because I’ve taken on too much, but otherwise she lets me run wild.

The third type of person is the BRILLIANT SLEEPER. All right, this person is completely lazy and/or busy and either biting off way more than they can chew by being a part of your project or just really unable to keep themselves on a schedule. BUT they do what they do better than anyone else and that makes up for it constantly. It takes many kicks from pushers and maybe even a prod from the quiet ones, but brilliant sleepers will come through in the end. Just be really aggressive if you’re on a strict timeline because otherwise they’re brilliance isn’t worth the cost. My dear friend Little is one of these, and while she’s so perfect at what she does and brings exactly the right element to our little co-authoring group, she’s busy, she’s a tad lazy at times, and she says she’ll have things done in a few days and you’ll get it a week later if you’re lucky. The key is to be politely encouraging and know what to expect. Every brilliant sleeper has their tendencies, and if you’re working with one you’ve got to learn theirs and figure out how to properly compensate for them. If you ARE a brilliant sleeper, you need to not make promises you can’t keep, but say you’ll TRY FOR this, or you need to finish X amount and you project that the worst case scenario is…. and give yourself a healthy amount of time. If you can’t do it, say so. I’ve been in this spot a few times myself, and the shame of not living up to my own expectations for myself transformed me into a bit of a super-pusher. The most important thing a brilliant sleeper needs to do is not take the pushing and prodding personally, because it’s not personal. It’s just business, and you’ve got a contract. You uphold your end as best you can and remember that other people are depending on you.

AND that is how you parse up group work types.

Which one are you? Know someone who’s a pusher gone mad? Know a brilliant sleeper not at ALL worth their risk? Share your stories!



More Fan Fiction from Charlotte

I mention when describing the importance of writing to your audience as a fiction writer, a story I have been working on for the past nine years of my life. This six-part story has certain bits of it already available for reading on, and I’m taking this opportunity to tell you about about my personal favorite bit thus far, part three, readable under the title “It’s For You”.

This particular story has an interesting history in it’s writing life. It’s where I started the planning nine years ago, and the rest of the parts have grown out from it. Initially I was thinking about a girl who is now called Eva in the story, although now the story is focused around her cousin, Olivia Cromwell.

“It’s For You” is structured with a few chapters of Olivia’s school days, starting in September of 1971, followed a chapter of her post-school days, beginning the summer after she graduates in 1978. It then goes back for a few more school chapters, and back and forth like that with the month and year at the top of each chapter for reference. This is because the action happens when she’s out of school (mostly), but it doesn’t make any sense if you don’t have the background of her school years, and there’s some action there as well.

Olivia is the oldest daughter of a very important wizard and part of a long-lasting line of wizards. If you read all of my stories you’ll find that she’s descended from Godric Gryffindor himself (as is Harry in this series), and there are many strange gifts she knows nothing about when she starts school. She finds out fairly early that whatever is the reason behind them is the reason why Lord Voldemort has been hunting her down since she was eleven years old, but as to what the prophecy truly says about her and the daughter she’s prophesied to have, I have yet to reveal. You’ll have to read for more information!

“It’s For You” is a work in progress, but it’s a Sirius Black/OC (the OC being Olivia), and it is the third in my series. Part one is a nearly finished story called “Man’s Greatest Treasure”, so if you want to start at the beginning that’s where you should go. This story is up for a genre award in both Romance and Hurt/Comfort genres. The results of that will be announced in February. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Read up!



An Update on “Soon”

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, “Soon” has already gotten two rejection letters to its name. I’m proud of those letters, but the quest to get it published in a literary journal or magazine continues.

If you recall, about a month ago I submitted “Soon” to Gemini Magazine, and on their submission site they say that after 30 days a person can contact about the status of the work. As it has been 30 days, I took the liberty for the first time to actually contact a literary magazine on the status of my story.

I’ll keep you all posted on how they respond. I think it was a sufficiently polite and explanatory email. We’ll find out, I guess.



A Fan Fiction Update

I want to take a moment to talk a bit about a great story I’m working on for the Harry Potter fandom. I’ve got twenty-two chapters up on already, and I’m well into the next one.

It’s called “All I Wanted Was You” and it’s a Fred Weasley/Original Character pairing starting at the beginning of the fifth book. Emma Norwick is a Ravenclaw, good friends with Alicia Spinnet, Angelina Johnson, Lee Jordan, and Fred and George Weasley. She’s quiet, bookish, and not entirely socially aware, as her other best friend is Tien Vo, the most socially unacceptable Ravenclaw ever, who spends her time thinking up monologues in which she makes fun of the flaws of all her classmates.

She has had a crush on Fred Weasley for a long time, but is convinced that he could never see her as anything but a friend. Their friends, however decide to take matters into their own hands. What will ensue? Read and find out!

The story has already gotten into the beginning of the sixth book, so you’ll have plenty of time to get hooked!