Tag Archives: Freeze Frame Fiction

Writing Wins and Woes: One step Forward Three steps Back

My Dinosaur Story I once read a book about the Christian life by Chuck Swindoll called Three Steps Forwards, Two Steps Back but anyone who is a writer knows that the writing life is One step Forward Three steps Back.  That summarizes the case perfectly for this month with me. I had a story published in Guardian Angel Kids, although it was changed a bit and retitled, still it was a publication. Hence the link if you want to read it.

But I also had three steps back. I had three rejections. One was from The Kids’ Ark that told me “Wow, what a great story. Too bad there wasn’t room in our magazine for it”.  That’s not too bad, right?  Another was from Freeze Frame Fiction. They gave me some useful advice, too, like:

“I absolutely loved the idea, but the story felt undercooked and rushed.”

“An interesting idea, but there just wasn’t enough at stake here to make me care.”

“It’s an ok idea, but I think it could be investigated further. For me, the part presented here is not the most interesting part of the story or the idea. The beginning was also a little confusing.”

“Interesting idea, but this felt skeletal. I needed more motivation, more interest.”

Apparently, I’m a great idea man, but I can’t carry through with a great story.

Another was from a science fiction anthology with 720 entries. No surprise I wasn’t picked there.

Despite all this, I’m strangely unaffected. If you read my last blog, you might have a clue as to why. My priorities have been reset. Writing and publishing isn’t the be all and the end all for me. I’ve had a shift in perspective. In fact I’d trade all my publications to turn back the hands of time to regain the blessing I had in my life.

Okay, I’ll be a little less mysterious. My youngest child moved 1000 miles away from me a little more than two weeks ago, and my heart is breaking for her. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t miss her, but I had to let her go. It was the hardest decision my husband and I ever made; to release her so she could pursue her dream.  I placed her in God’s hands. I know He can take care of her far better than I can.

No, I won’t give up writing. Slowly, I’ll begin the trek back. I actually wrote an article last week and I’m still writing through the pain. You may argue that One Step Forward, Three steps back is not progress. I guess that depends on where you’re going.

Autumn in Iowa on fence

Writer’s Wins and Woes: Whine Box Edition

Hershey and vacation 2014 065

Well, this has been an eventful writing week, but not in a good sense. Because I am submitting more again, I am also receiving more rejections. So I am introducing a new feature to my blog. It’s actually just a refining of an old feature, but who’s to argue with me about my blog? As I have always been painfully honest about my rejections, I am instituting the Writer’s Whine Box, where I will post my rejections in the week I receive them. On more fortunate weeks, I will post Writer’s Brag Box, with links to my stories, if applicable. Anyway, without further ado: I present Writer’s Whine Box:
Writer’s Whine Box
Personal Rejection from SQ Magazine:Verdict: interesting Premise but needs rewrite to connect the reader
Personal Rejection fromFreeze Frame Fiction: Verdict: interesting but needs polishing. More unraveling of MC’s character
Rejection from Saturday night reader: over word limit
Rejection from T. Gene Davis Spec. Blog: no comment
I’m sensing a pattern here. I need to connect the reader more to my main character. I need my main character to be more personable. etc. etc.

So, yeah, you got it. Four rejections in one week. It does sting, but I’m learning as I go how to make little improvements to my stories. I’m making some dumb mistakes which I need to correct, and I’m seeing where my work tends to mediocrity. I need to step up my game. Polish, Polish, Polish. Too often I submit the raw materials that haven’t been cooked thoroughly. Rare is not always good with writing.
Anyway, I press on. If you’re smart, you will, too, fellow writers.