In a rejection letter dating from March 1950 from Woman and Beauty to the stories “The Rich Man and His Castle” and “The Day the Music Came” Anita Christophersen writes
“We like your writing very much and you handle the situations most delicately, but in both cases they are only ‘situations’ – not plots.” However she adds :“When we choose our fiction we are rather thinking about pleasing our readers as well as our selves, and many of them are young romantics, anxious to be caught up in the life of the stories”. . . . I think therefore that you are just a shade too objective, too watchful. . I hesitate rather in saying this because it would be a pity to alter your style in any way, but could you perhaps strengthen the plots a little, give us something with more movement and action? It might help you too, if you submitted us a synopsis of a story before writing it?”
In her reply Pym truthfully acknowledges:
“I am afraid that all my stories tend to be of the ‘situation’ rather than the ‘movement and action’ type- it is just the way one sees things, which is very difficult, probably impossible, to alter very much. If I sent you a synopsis of a plot, it might sound just the kind of thing you would like, but my treatment of it would probably not please you at all.”
This last statement is revealing, a synopsis of the plot cannot be more different than the work itself, and it is especially true in Pym’s treatment of romance.