Lying awake in the wee hours, thinking about yesterday. So embarrassing when I let myself get worked up on a forum that doesn't allow one to delete one's comments.
Flogging does hurt. This time more than I expected, because I really thought I had something good. Not great, but good enough to keep the readers interested. Obviously, I was wrong. My response was to cry literary. "Well, maybe this is just a literary fantasy."
That's cowardice. If something doesn't work, it doesn't work, no matter what you call it.
The honest evaluation of the reviewer (who was kind enough to donate his time to do this in the first place) is that nothing happens in the first chapter.
"But it's literary!"
I thought that rather a lot had happened, actually. My protagonist has a bad day at work that represents a major shift in how he's going to have to approach his job in the future and nearly gets killed. Then he goes to a party, tries to relax, and finds himself making out with the last girl in the world with whom he wants to get involved. That's what I thought I wrote. But obviously, the gap between what I intended and what I wrote was rather huge. Eight months of tinkering has made no difference.
The reviewer said that he suspected that there was a story on the verge of being told. Unfortunately, there isn't. The rest is 75,000 words of more of the same. Literary, or just bad writing?
Strip away the window-dressing (like, uh, killer lions) and I've got nothing. I think all the good stuff happened at Come In Character.
I stopped writing in my twenties because I realized that I was creating interesting settings in which absolutely nothing happened. Nothing really has changed since then. Interesting setting, nothing happening. Killer lions notwithstanding.