Srsly. I submitted a story to Warrior Wisewoman. Naturally, I thought it was perfect. I ran it by some beta readers, and they had some critiques, which I fixed, and THEN I was SURE it was perfect.
Roby James, editor of Warrior Wisewoman, didn’t think so. But here’s the thing: She didn’t just send it back, she sent it back and told me what she didn’t like. When an editor just sends something back, you can tell yourself it was just the wrong editor at the wrong time. When an editor says, “This story isn’t good enough, and here’s why,” there’s nothing to do but go, “OUCH!”
So I grumped for a while and whined for a while and grumped a little more, and now I’m all excited about opening up the story and giving it more. It was a great gift Ms. James gave me. Even if the story ends up being rejected again, or if I don’t make the deadline on the rewrite, I learned something about writing from her critique and I’ll learn something from reworking the story. I also learned something about the kind of stories she wants for her anthology–more than one can learn from just reading the stories that made the cut last year.
Here’s to editors, especially the ones who give critiques and second chances!
writing prompt: Take a story that didn’t sell and either expand it by 2,000 words or cut it by 2,000 words. Sure, you can!