So, it’s time to tell you about what happened last Sunday when I chose the next story. It happened in the middle of one of the most fun days I’ve had for ages – some writing friends and I got together and wrote an 8k children’s book in 12 hours for charity. That included editing, layout, illustration – the works. Writing by committee was an interesting experience, but well worth it.
Anyway, I got my part of the writing done fast – as I always do – and so I started reading the submissions.
The first story blew my mind. I fell dramatically in love and I wanted it. Oh yes, I wanted that story. Except… I wasn’t sure how much I could offer the author because it didn’t require much editing.
The author is, like everyone who submits to In fabula-divinos, still new to the game and so from a mentoring perspective, there could well be a lot I have to offer. But this is also about editing for me, teaching the authors and myself about strong writing, and I didn’t need to do that with this story.
But oh, how I wanted to publish it.
I kept reading and none of the other stories were grabbing me, but then I started to read Franklin’s Rainbow by Joseph W. Patterson and by the end of it, this quiet little story had grabbed me. Not the vicious love of the first, but I wanted to see this story live. And it was a rougher draft, so I felt I could offer more in terms of editing it.
So the choice was made – Franklin’s Rainbow is the next In fabula-divinos story. Yet another poignant, spooky idea with a dark edge – WHAT IS WITH YOU PEOPLE? I know, dark times tend to drum up dark stories – it’s been ages since I’ve written something bright and fluffy myself. With bunnies. And unicorns. Yeah…
Joseph and I have started the process of polishing Franklin’s Rainbow until it shines, but always with the understanding of not losing that soft special spark that drew me in the first place.
That other story? Well, I had to sadly let it go out into the world and hope that it finds safe harbour. I don’t doubt that it will – it’s a cracker of a story.
So next time you get a rejection, consider this – sometimes a story can be good, but it’s not the right story. Don’t let rejection make you think your story sucks. If it really hurts, put the story aside and give it a few weeks, then look at if with new eyes and decide for yourself it’s sucktitude. Happy with it? Send it back out again. Realise it wasn’t quite ready? Get that polishing cloth out.