The way I write is terribly inefficient from a business standpoint. Published novelists typically submit proposals to their editors, usually in the form of a synopsis and the first three chapters of a story. The editor then tells them to run with the idea (offers a contract) or says she's not interested. Under this system the writer never wastes time writing an entire novel that might not sell. If a proposal is shot down (and they very often are), the author moves on. She keeps submitting proposals until she makes another sale. And then she writes a complete novel.
I don't want to write that way. For one thing, I don't know quite where a story's going until I get there, so the synopsis is the very last thing I write before mailing off a manuscript to my editor. But even if I were a more organized writer, I'd be deeply disturbed by the rejection of a proposal because I'd have trouble disengaging from my characters and leaving their story unfinished. If my project is going to be rejected, I'd much rather it be a complete manuscript that gets turned down.
Rejection is a fact of the writing life. But publication, while exciting, has never overshadowed the satisfaction I derive from sitting alone in my home office happily pounding out a story I love. If my completed manuscript is rejected (as has just happened with my latest offering to my editor), I've still had the pleasurable experience of writing the entire story. And I might still have a chance to sell the book.
When my editor "passed" on the manuscript that was to become A Family Forever, she sent a two-page letter detailing what troubled her about my story. I then made some changes that resulted in the sale.
Maybe it will happen that way with this manuscript. I have my editor's revision letter right here on my desk, so now there's a choice to be made. Shall I forget this story and move on to another project? I've done that before.
No, I believe I will go back to work on this one and attempt to hammer it into a shape my editor likes. That will be no great hardship; I love this story and will enjoy spending more time with these characters.
Maybe this isn't an efficient way for an author to work if her primary aims are publication and making a good living. But friends, I am having a wonderful time.