I write lots and lots of stories. And I send many of them out. Some get bought and published. But if they do get ‘overlooked’ by an editor I’m not too good at re-jigging and re-sending. They certainly don’t fall through my letterbox and get whisked out in a brand, spanking new envelope in the next post. They may wait, say, about a year. Or more.
So, what’s stopping me trying them elsewhere? Sometimes it’s simply the dreaded need for a bit of an edit to suit a slightly different word count.
Sometimes it’s more drastic than that. It’s having the confidence in a story that’s been overlooked. Thinking it will sell elsewhere. It’s the knowledge that it needs a little bit more of a tweak to suit the editor’s requirments (I do shy away from the editing process somewhat).
But, often it’s worth it. I’ve sold several stories that have done the rounds in, say, the UK and then get snapped up in South Africa, or Australia.
One recent malingering ‘naughty’ one has been toned down – very toned down – for publication in the spring.
So I guess I shouldn’t open up the laptop each morning and start typing something new and fresh. Sometimes I should reach into the cobweb encrusted nether regions of mylaptop’s memory, pull back the white sheeting and get to work on the dried parchment that lies beneath. I may need to skim off 100 words, I may need to sanitize it or spice it up. I may merely need to re-address the covering letter (important this – forgot to do once – strangely editors appear to be addressed by their correct name, and the for the name of the mag to be right too….).
And I might uncove a hidden treasure. A story that will sell.