Challenge,  On Writing

Editing and Reading Observations… Part 11…

What Do You Do With All These Suggestions?

To answer the question bluntly… You write the next story.

None of these 20 or so observations are meant in the slightest to get you to take a story and rewrite it. Wow! What a horrid waste of time.

These observations are for your creative voice, so that on your next story and the one after that you might not make the same mistake, or at least not make it in the same way.

Also, these observations are to maybe help you spot where you need more craft learning and practice. (Practice is called writing the next story.)

And thirdly, to help you understand where one editor (me) comes from. In the anthology workshop we have four or five editors and you can sure see the differences in what editors read for and what they look to buy.

Also, remember, I have been reading manuscripts as an editor since the late 1980s. I have pretty much seen it all, which is why I get so excited when I actually find a story that fits the high standards and weirdness of Pulphouse.

But most editors are young, have not looked at or read millions of stories over forty years. What I turn away for one of the 20 or so reasons I have written about in this series, a younger editor might snap up. Does not mean they are less an editor or have lower standards, it simply means they are looking for something different than I am. Nothing less and nothing more.

That’s why you send stories to lots of markets, one right after another.

So when a story gets returned, immediately put it back in circulation to another market. And after a few years and you run out of markets, publish it wide, both stand alone and in collections. Or maybe use it for the first few chapters of a new novel.

Once a story is done, never waste your time rewriting it. Just keep it in circulation or publish it and write more stories.

And the entire time you are writing, keep learning to be a better storyteller. You do that and you write enough and eventually you will be selling everywhere. And trust me, when that starts to happen, it is great fun.