Rejected Worlds

Get outta there. You don’t want those.

Come up here. Look, kid. New, shiny worlds. Fresh for the taking. Don’t you want one of these? Think of the possibilities. Take one blank world, and what will you create?

Those? Those’re rejected worlds. Some writer came in, bought the world, populated it with her best people and plots, poured ink and pixels into an empty landscape to manufacture a wonder.

And look what happened.

She trots it out to meet the world, the real world, not one she created… and no one’s buyin’. I see a lotta them in the shop. They come back, toss away the little earth they spent so long creatin’, and try to leave in a huff. Most of them want a different world, and yeah, if they can pay, I sell them another world.

See, they don’t tell you this, and it’s bad for business for me to share with you, but these worlds are a little addictive. Always another world to create. Another story to tell. Once you start with one, most people can’t stop ‘less they get hit over the head with a shovel.

Not that I’ve ever done that.

Don’t look at me like that. You want violence, go talk to the carney. You know, the showman on the Midway. He’s the one who started this blog. I’m sure he’ll be coming back eventually. I’m just a lowly shopkeeper tryin’ to make a buck.

What? Oh, yeah. Those’re the rejected stories. See how they’re all broken? That’s what happens when some publisher throws away a story.

Lots of reasons. I find most publishers are lookin’ for somethin’ specific, and maybe the world’s a good one, but it’s not the one they’re lookin’ for. Everyone’s lookin’ for a new world, but sometimes they can get pretty specific in what they’re lookin’ for. World’s fine. No reason to throw it out. Maybe shine it up again, see if someone else wants to live there for a little bit. Publishers are fine people, most of them. At least the ones I run into.

Or maybe the world’s honestly pretty crap. A lot of writers will put worlds together with all these holes. Fine as long as you don’t look too close, but you know those publishers. They look pretty close at those things. Sniff out the cracks in the plaster like nothin’ else. Good thing, too. Publishers bring in all these tourists that check out the world, too, and that can be pretty dangerous. Don’t want anyone fallin’ down holes.

Look, there’s lots of reasons. But worlds get rejected, and then they get tossed aside.

I see that look in your eye.

Look, let me tell you somethin’. You can buy a world that their creator rejected. You can put in the time to shine it all up. But let me give you a piece of advice, free for the taking.

Get your own world. Shine it up real nice. And if you want, see if you can sell it to a publisher. And when you get rejected – don’t kid yourself, kid, you’re gonna get rejected at least a few times – when you get rejected, don’t reject your world yourself. Shine it up again. Send it out again.

Because when it’s a world you’ve bled for, a world you’ve poured out your time and tears and maybe some money for, even if one person rejects it, it’s worth it to send it out again. And again. And again.

And when someone finally buys your world after years and years? You want it to be all yours.

So yeah. Your world’ll be rejected. Keep pluggin’ away. It’s worth it.

Oh, those rejected worlds? You know, you’d be surprised how many writers will pick them back up and revisit them. They come in here, all sheepish-like, and ask if they can take it back. And  you know the rule: If you’re willin’ to pay, go. Take it. Clean it up.

Honest, kid, it’s one reason I won’t sell one of those to you. Those other dreamers of worlds, and the worlds they create… they need each other more than you need them. Create your own thing. Don’t reject it. Clean it up. Send it out again.

And if you ever do reject it for a little bit… you can always come back.

Trust me.

Published by Jon

Jon lives in Kentucky with his wife and an insanity of children. (A group of children is called an insanity. Trust me.)

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