I apologize if this comes off as whiny. I'm going to do my best to have it not do so.
I absolutely, completely, 100% regret submitting to PitchWars. I wish I hadn't done it. It's not because I didn't get picked--there was roughly a 10% chance of getting picked, so I was hopeful, but not delusional. I don't think my book is so fantastic that anyone who read it would jump at the chance to pick me. But I also didn't think it was so horrible that everyone would hate it.
Here's what they don't tell you: after the choices are announced, some mentors send out rejection emails explaining WHY they didn't pick you. Depending on the reasons, obviously, this could actually be useful, but it also depends on how the mentor goes about it. I've come to realize that some of the mentors understand that everything is subjective, that maybe a certain book just wasn't for them. Others, though, I honestly believe are way too full of themselves and frankly, just plain mean. (Judging by a lot of Twitter nonsense, the whole full of themselves thing goes for potential mentees as well--but that's a whole other rant in itself.)
I don't want to get too much into it because what I really want to talk about is the realizations about my own book this process has led me to, but I'll tell you this: I got two personalized rejection emails, one of which was slightly constructive, the other I couldn't get past the first two seconds before I burst into tears. I never read the whole thing and I'm not going to. It's already deleted and long gone. I could honestly tell by the first two sentences that there wasn't anything useful in there, and reading the whole thing was just going to put me in a worse place than I already was.
But anyway, the general consensus was that nobody liked my book, hated it even. They didn't like my narrator. Yes, that's right. Nobody likes Jordan. He doesn't care, of course, but I do! I was more confused than anything else. People always seem to like him when I have him write on my blog, and when I first sent out my chapters for people to read, I got some positive feedback. But one of the mentors I sent to said he was "shallow and unlikable," and that made her not care about what was going to happen to him for the rest of the book.
Now, obviously everything IS subjective. Not everyone is going to like every book, or every character. Maybe my writing style just didn't appeal to this particular mentor (she did actually talk about the subjective thing, so it's understandable). But I honestly felt like I was missing something. Was I completely delusional in thinking my book was any good at all? Do I have to start from scratch or should I just scrap the whole thing?
After several days of "woe is me" thinking, and a good discussion with a fellow writer (who has also read my book), I know I don't want to scrap it. Yes, not everyone is going to like my book. Honestly, that would be a little weird. But I feel like it can be very frustrating for a writer when the world is telling you your only options are to completely change your book or give up on it altogether. And I've worked way too hard on this book to do either of those things.
I think what I really need to do is turn this book into the book I want it to be, the one I've always dreamed it would be. And then I'll hopefully find an agent who gets it--who isn't turned off by the narrator or the subject matter. And I just need to not worry about everyone who says no in between.
Look at that, I've rambled and rambled and didn't even tell you half of what I wanted to. Well, I guess I'll be back on Friday to wrap things up--and I'll actually tell you some of the changes I'm planning on making.