Posts Tagged ‘revision’


Uncle Joe’s Activism to Appear in Eric’s Hysterics

I had a lot of fun with this one. I wrote it several weeks ago as a very short piece of prose.  I thought it was weird and funny. After a couple of rejections, I opted to revise it into what I hoped would be a darkly comic poem. It’ll appear at Eric’s Hysterics at some as-of-yet undetermined date. This marks the 16th accepted piece I’ve written this year, and the 25th acceptance for the year overall.

I’ve actually used the character of Uncle Joe once before in a Twitter-length micro-story that appeared in Trapeze Magazine in April. That might make you think Uncle Joe is  likable guy that’s fun to have around and that I might wish I had an uncle just like. You’d be wrong. 🙂

This week I resubbed a couple of stories, after revising one a little more, and worked on a very old story that I’m not having much luck with. I saw some places where I could tweak it and make the theme more coherent from beginning to end. I didn’t do a very good job of that, I see now. I also revamped the opening a bit and did a little cutting, ever amazed at how unnecessary things can still pop out after having read it as many times as I have. I still have high hopes for it.

An idea came to me last week for a story, so I started on it as my story for the month. A few days ago, another idea slammed me hard enough that I did some research for it. Neither of these ideas are the most original things ever, so I have to find an angle that raises them above the ordinary if they’re going to be anything but the same old, same old. Fortunately for me, that usually happens at some point after I start writing.

I know which “in revision” stories I want to look at this week and try to wrench into shape, too. I’m having better luck with that now that instead of looking at the list and thinking about them all, which is overwhelming, I decide which one or two I’m definitely going to work on. Then I can go right for those and get much more accomplished.


Writing/Rejection/Acceptance Statistics

When I created this website last year, it was with the intention of motivating myself to have something more than old publications to actually put on it. I’ve achieved that. Now I hope that someone on the cusp, wanting to submit but unsure, might be prompted to give it a go. That’s really the purpose for chronicling everything. It’s not so much for me–though it is nice to look over things when I feel a bit glum–but for others to see the process.

Given that, here are some statistics from my W1S1 experimenting so far this year.

  • As of today, August 6th, 86 submissions this year, 23 acceptances (one a contest win, not a publication, so 22 publication acceptances) with 15 of those written this year. I currently have 10 things out to 10 different markets.  I’ve had 7 withdrawals for various reasons, and 45 rejections.
  • Of 22 acceptances, 12 of those were accepted by the first market I sent them to.
  • Of 86 submissions, submissions I made without reading at least something from the publication I was submitting to: 2, only because those were new markets with nothing yet published.
  • The first 4 things I submitted this year were accepted by the first markets I submitted them to.
  • Of the first 7 things I submitted, 6 were accepted by the first market. My 5th submission was rejected, but #6 and #7 were accepted first time out. Those were submitted in February.
  • That was the last time that two things sent consecutively were accepted at those markets until the two recent submissions from July 28th and 29th, which were both accepted about a week later.
  • My first 7 acceptances of the year were to the first markets the pieces were sent to. Getting those 7 acceptances on pieces submitted in Jan and Feb took until the end of May. Acceptance number 8 broke that streak.
  • I have yet to have a story accepted on its 4th time out. I’ve had 12 accepted the first time out, 6 accepted the 2nd time out, 2 accepted the third time out and 2 accepted the 5th time out. Smoke and Drum and When They Come were both rejected 4 times before being picked up. They’re my most rejected published pieces.
  • My most rejected piece so far (ever, not just this year) is Sounds on Blacktop. It’s been rejected 5 times, and is currently at market #6.
  • There are 4 pieces that were rejected that I haven’t resubmitted for various reasons. Every other rejected piece has been submitted at least twice.
  • 12 of the rejections were personal rejections, that had comments about the story inside. The rest were form, or probably form.
  • The longest time a story has been out before acceptance is 100 days. The longest one has been out before rejection is 69 days.
  • Smallest number of submissions in a month: 4
  • Month with the most submissions: March, with 37
  • The longest streak of acceptances received in a row: 4 between April11th and 24th
  • The longest streak of rejections received ina row: 19 between March 2nd and March 31st. I then got 2 acceptance on the 31st, or the entire month of March would have been a wash.
  • Month with the most rejections: March 21 (two came in after an acceptance on the last day)
  • Month with the most acceptances:  April, with 6
  • Months with no acceptances: 0
  • New stories written this year that haven’t been edited and submitted yet? 13
  • Old stories that are close but haven’t been final edited/submitted yet: 5
  • Of the 45 rejections, how many really, really bothered me: 1. I still resubmitted within the hour.


What does all that mean? Not much, really, except that the more you have out there, the better your chances of publication, and the less you’ll focus on individual rejections. And it certainly can’t hurt to actually read the kind of stuff you’re writing, from the publications in which you’d like your stuff to appear. That is all. Go submit something!


My Editor is Constipated

And by my editor, I mean me, or that neurotic, picky me that’s in here somewhere. Lately, I edit for all of 15-20 minutes before I can’t even stand to look at the page anymore. What I do during that time works out pretty well. But damn! I’ve got stuff to do, let’s go! Normally I can do this stuff at quite a stretch. Not lately.

I think part of my resistance to editing is that I’m officially stressed out. Being stressed and nervous about a number of non-writing things doesn’t create the greatest environment in which to work. Kind of sucks all the air out of the room, really. I can sit and think about submitting to several publications I want to, and imagine which stories in revision will be best for which markets. When it’s time to revise, though, nah. Just a funk. Incidentally, while staring at the wall earlier I discovered that if you say funk loud enough and with enough intensity and a really hard ending ‘k,’ it’s almost as satisfying.

If my editor is a bit constipated, then my writer must have been eating her fiber. After deciding to scale back to the monthly Write 1 Sub 1 in which I’ll only commit to writing one story per month instead of one per week, I wrote 4 stories in 2 weeks. Two were just under 1,000 words, but the other two are about 3,500 and 6,500 words. Funny how that burst happened once I decided to take the pressure off. Two of them made up both stories I wrote in June (one on the 29th and one on the 30th, no less). The other two were in July. Technically, I’m done for the month as far as new writing, and had promised myself I’d be editing recent stories. Interestingly, I have a brand new crop of story ideas that won’t leave me alone and I keep thinking how I should be writing, instead.

I only have 8 submissions out right now, 5 stories and 3 poems, but I have heard from 3 editors. They each let me know that my submission was in the “maybe” pile, with varying levels of enthusiasm about the writing and likeliness that it would be accepted. One poem that’s being held started out as super-short, darkly odd flash fiction. I rewrote it as a poem, and took it from darkly odd to darkly odd and funny (I think). I’ll be extra tickled if that one runs, because it’s gone through so many changes and was submitted to one of my favorite places. It’s nice to hear from editors when they know they’re going to hold something for a while. Those editors are much better than mine. (Yes, that was a whinge.)





Success! At Least for Today

Yesterday: I added over 5,000 words to a story that had stalled out at less than 1,500 words. In doing so, I finished the first draft. It’s in pretty good shape, only needs some tweaks and a solid one-pass edit, and I think it’s ready to go. That’s tomorrow.

Today: I wrote a story this morning. This afternoon I edited it. And this evening, I submitted it. I feel accomplished. Jury will be out, of course, about whether that’s justified, until the response comes back.

When the stories have been pinballing around in my skull for a while, and I have bits written, notes, dialogue, snippets, they can come out fast and it feels pretty good. I just wish I would learn to get them out fast before the day before a deadline.

I’ve developed a very unfortunate feedback loop, I think. I ponder the story for a long time, until the 11th hour. Then I write it fast, smack it around a little and pound it into shape, submit it and get this incredible little rush from beating the clock. Fun, satisfying, but tiring as heck.

Those  two stories are the only two I wrote this month, far short of the 5 I had hoped for, so it’s the first month I haven’t hit my W1S1 goals. I knew the month would be crazy, however, and so I’m not surprised. I’m not even bothered. Because those two stories make me happy. 😀


Prose Might Suck

Probably Murderous State. Potentially Mindbogglingly Suckalicious. Psychotic Meltdown Soon. Yeah. The first few seconds of this creates just the right atmosphere for my outlook on life today, and yesterday and most likely, damn it, tomorrow.

In more stable news, I revised the story I’d meant to finish to send to Enchanted Conversation back in February. Their window for submissions was 4 days, Mon-Thu. I wrote the story the week before, and meant to have another look at it Thursday night so I could submit it Friday, because I mistakenly thought I had all week. I didn’t get to it Thursday night, and on that Friday when I went to revise I realized I’d missed the window. I let it sit until yesterday. I finally tinkered and sent it out, as well as found a few potential markets. The title changed and the word count dropped, and I think it’s better overall.

I have a very strong feeling this will end up trunked in the end, but here’s hoping. *air conducts O Fortuna* I also do feel like going back and polishing the rest. I have a few that haven’t been submitted yet, and I’m feeling like I need to get them revised and out there. I think I’ll manage that this weekend.

I’m writing two stories this week, bouncing back and forth between them, after only managing to finish a 150-word-flash and some micro pieces last week. “The Challenger Deep,” which was a story I intended to finish last week, has been put on the back burner for now. I honestly wanted to get it down, get it revised and submit it by the end of the month to the Triangulation anthology. But while I like the storyline I have in my head, I don’t think it’s right for their theme–at least, it’s a stretch–and it’s got more of a horror element than anything. Despite their guidelines accepting sci-fi, fantasy and horror, at least one reader has commented that horror kind of counts against a story. So I’m thinking I’ll just stew on that idea a while longer and develop it later.

But of course, I’m not entirely sure. The two stories this week are stories that I have markets in mind for. One is a story I got really excited about last week, and one is an old idea that just sort of came back and keeps tapping on my shoulder. This was a story I was going to write a number of years ago, but thought would never work. Now I can see why it might. I see no reason why I won’t have both stories finished this week.

Also, donate to help Japan, if you can. I’ve had to stop watching videos online and even reading articles for a while. The Japanese are an amazingly respectful and industrious people, and I’m impressed with how they endure. Looting would have broken out here in record time, it seems. I hope they can minimize the nuclear threat and start healing from this devastation as soon as possible. I cannot imagine.