Once you’ve come up with a great opening and an ending that will leave most readers satisfied—you need to remember the middle of the story.
I wrote about visiting a beach—not just any beach—but Rehobeth Beach in Delaware. I wrote about standing in line for my plane—but not any plane—Southwest airline.
Your best story is in the details. It becomes even more believable when your description is great.
Example: Your mother buys you some toys in the store. Better: Your mother buys you Play-Doh in Toys R Us.
When we write in details –we tell a much clearer and vivid picture.
Example: My three-year-old daughter pulled on her T-shirt and bib-overalls all by herself. (Instead of saying she put on her clothes.) Be specific as you can. The reader is pulled into the story through the details.
My final thoughts on writing a story for an anthology: Write and submit to a ton of them! Increase your odds.
With Chicken Soup, if they are interested in your story, you’ll first get an e-mail. Then as it gets closer to the publication, you’ll get a hard copy edit in the mail. After you send that back, you wait again for another e-mail either saying Congratulations, you made it in or you get a thank you but you made the top 150 but not in the book. The entire process could take more than a year.
Thanks for hanging in there while I shared what I’ve personally learned in writing for anthologies. As I first said, I’m in no way an expert, but if someone wants me to look over a story before you submit, ask!