Tag Archives: submissions

Goals

I’m at a point in my writing where I think I need to establish a more specific set of goals. I feel like I’ve stagnated a bit where I am, so it’s time to raise the bar a little. In no particular order:

  1. Submit one short story a month. The only way to get published is to send those stories out. I’m somewhat limited due to budget contraints, since ideally I should purchase at least one copy from each magazine I’m interested in, but I’ll deal with that obstacle as I can. For now, I simply need to write something and send it out to the one of the magazines that I _am_ familiar with right now.
  2. POV. While I can paint very vivid scenes, my point-of-view writing continues to suffer. I’ve always had a hard time getting inside the heads of my own characters and bringing them to life. It’s time to write less narrative and focus more on developing the human side of each story. It might mean less robust scenery for a while until I start to get a grip on POV, but the end result should be worth it.
  3. Tying up the loose ends. This may be more of a problem with flash fiction, where there simply isn’t enough time or room for full development, but I need to work on tying up the loose ends in my stories. If I name an attribute of a character, group, or location, I need to be prepared to provide some sort of explanation for that attribute’s existence and relevance to the story. As much as _I_ may enjoy a few loose ends, I’m finding that a lot of readers don’t.
  4. Critique. I need to work on my critique, both of my own works and of the works of others. This will likely develop as my own writing skill grows, as I begin to understand all the elements that go into a full, robust story. I still tend to focus too much on the mechanics and not enough on the artistry itself, so it’s time to start paying more attention to the gestalt view of the story.

Those are my primary focus points for now, all of which have come to my attention as a result of this my first flash challenge at Liberty Hall.

Nerve-wracking

It’s kind of weird – I thought I was immune. I’ve heard about other writers who, when they complete a story, discover they have trouble submitting it anywhere. The fear of rejection makes them nervous, thus making it difficult to send the story out in the first place. Some writers, I’m told, never get past that obstacle. I always scoffed, thinking to myself that if you never take the risk and submit the story, you’ll never really get started. I figured that I would probably never have trouble submitting stories of my own, once the time came.

I’m discovering, though, that the fear is, indeed, there. Granted, I’ve already submitted my first story and been rejected. Of course, this doesn’t really make it any easier to submit again, despite the fact that I knew it would have to be extraordinarily stellar writing in order for my first work to get accepted anywhere. Now, I have these visions in my head of the editors laughing as they read my story, mocking it and making fun of it, shaking their heads with tears of laughter streaming down their faces as they wonder why any writer as pathetically bad as me would ever imagine I might be able to get published. I picture them sending that rejection letter back to me with glee as they pronounce my story doomed, having fed it to some firy hellbeast, such being the horror of the work I produced.

Then again, I’ve always had an active imagination – both my greatest ally and my greatest adversary. The very thing that provides me my story ideas is the thing that makes it so easy for me to visualize my failure.

I’m actually very eager to submit another story somewhere, but I’m also nervous about the proposal of doing so. Story #2 is in its first draft form, and I still face the daunting task of figuring out where I should send it, once the final draft is complete. I’d love to submit it to the same place that Story #1 went – it’s a fantastic magazine – but fear says that the editors will see my name on it and trash it out of hand, without ever reading it, because they might remember how bad the first was. In actuality, they will probably be lucky to remember my name, given the number of stories in the slush pile they must read each month. Still, the prospect of submitting is a bit frightful, and there are lots of places out there that might be willing to give a new writer a fair chance. Guess I’ll just have to try a few out.

As Expected

I just received notice this morning that my first short story submission has been rejected. I’m not disappointed at all. I fully expected it. I think I might actually have been embarrassed if it had gotten accepted. I think it will need some revisions before it will be ready for a resubmission.

I’ve got one in the hopper, probably very close to being ready to submit. I just need to find a good home for it.

Time to turn out some more stories, I think.