Early Work: A Novel by Andrew Martin:
Him him told her that a short story she’d written was “a really nice first effort” and that she should come back to it once she’d read some of the books he thought she’d find useful. (She had not, at this point, made it very far in Mason & Dixon.) She got drunk for courage and emailed the story anyway to a friend who worked at an important magazine, asking him only to tell her she wasn’t crazy for thinking it wasn’t bad. In response, she got a note from the fiction editor a week later, saying that the story was “brilliantly conceived, if not entirely emotionally coherent,” and that while they couldn’t take it, they’d be interested to see more work in the future. It shook her so deeply that she didn’t write a word of fiction for over a year. She didn’t tell Todd about any of it.