Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh dear...

Hmmm. I just presented my re-worked draft, the one that I carved out of a story that was completely different over the last couple of weeks by getting to the simple emotional core message, I thought. It didn't go down so well because someone else wrote pretty much the same story before, for the same publisher. And illustrated it. Very nicely, too. They had a copy to hand, I leafed through it and couldn't believe it.
"So... lets go back to the original idea then, huh" I said. Ungh.
So, lovely simple story of caring for your pet out. Giant robots back in. New meeting scheduled in two weeks' time. Giant robots are better anyway. Fuh.

On the way back home the tube got stuck and I walked through the City in the rain - I mean the part of London that is basically made out of banks, by Bank station, where everyone either wears a suit or is lost. When I found London Bridge station in the dark I couldn't find the fork to eat my salad dinner with, even though I emptied all my bags twice over, so I ate it with my hands, bean by bean, which I had ample time for because the train was standing in the station for almost half an hour.

Sooo... I think I'll just put on my pyjamas and watch a stupid movie.


Eric Orchard said...

But you retained your dignity right? You can't make London in the rain sound unromantic( I always start singing " it was cold and it rained and I felt like an actor...etc..." when it rains here like I imagine it does in London.)
Well, the great part is the publisher is along for the ride and know a great book will come out of it. I've put aside Josephine Pebbles for now. I gave it to an editor friend and she tore it apart. I can't even look at it right now.All the frustratation has made me miss painting anyway. At least it's not snowing.

Viviane Schwarz said...

Yes actually I was thinking that to myself while walking in the rain: "At last it's London!" and I made sure to walk over London Bridge.

My dignity felt a bit dented - it wasn't just that my story wasn't original (I wouldn't have believed myself that I hadn't seen it and ripped it off), the other person's version was, well, better... And I had made a right speech before, saying "This is what interests me in this story! This is what needs saying! Someone should say this! And I think I said it in a funny way, it's really almost there!" and then they got it out and I just kept talking, "Ah... and here it is! This doesn't need saying any more now! It's been said! Ok! Uhm! Yes! Jolly well done!"
Ah well, they said "Well I didn't really feel like this was your style anyway, it got a bit... straight, didn't it?" and that was sort of nice. But I noticed I was making funny sour faces on the way home.

Argwhwh, that's such a bad feeling when your story just gets shredded by someone... but honestly, don't take just one editor opinion for the truth - you wouldn't believe how often I've heard an editor rip into a published picture book, some of them my own and some big bestsellers.

Pleeeeease keep Josephine in your portfolio and take her along when you go see publishers! If you feel dreadful about the story now don't send it out, but keep it in your back-catalogue for when someone asks "Have you any other ideas?" I believe Josephine Pebbles will be your friend one day in some meeting, she's a great girl I say!

Eric Orchard said...

I guess a dented dignity is part of the job description.
I will hold on to JP, there's enough I really like about it to know I could do it.