Rejected! What a terrible word. For some, it's a death knell. For others, it's a call to arms.
One of my crit partners received a rejection yesterday, so we spent a good part of last evening talking about how we were going to help her handle it. Let me say right up front - she was one of the lucky ones. Lucky? (I can hear you all gasping in horror.) But, yes, lucky. Because her rejection came with explanations and suggestions. In other words, it was a helpful rejection. Not many people get those.
No one likes to be rejected. Especially, no one likes those pesky form rejections. Unfortunately, in the publishing business there's a place for form rejections because not every story is publishable - no matter how well constructed. But, if you have a story that an editor sees something in, but your writing isn't up to snuff, or there are some tweakable holes, then take a rejection with suggestions as a good sign. Without those suggestions, you wouldn't know what the editor thought was good and what needed work.
So, we will put our heads together next Monday for a brainstorming session and see what we can come up with. But, in the end, regardless of what we come up with, it will be my friend's writing that will sell the book or not. Well, that and the addressing the holes suggested by the editor.
Rejections are not always bad. Sometimes there's hope to be found, if you know how to look.