Monday, September 29, 2008

Adding the Pearls

I love to shop. But I don’t shop for just anything—I love to shop for the best deal I can find—that perfect article of clothing that when I put it on and step in front of the mirror—I say, “Yes, this works!”

When I write a story, I shop in much the same way for the perfect market. I pull out my Writer’s Market guide and study the list of publications. I check the required word count, the method of submitting, the publisher’s current needs and when I find the one that I think is the perfect fit—I submit.

But sometimes my clothing, after I bring it home and wash it and put it on, doesn’t suit me as well as I thought it did in the store. The length is a little long and the color washes me out in my bedroom lighting. So I toss it to the back of my closet hoping maybe I’ll use it someday. And usually I do, when I have another occasion or I find an accessory that matches it.

Quite often, I want to toss my stories away when they aren’t accepted by what I thought was the perfect publication. I read the polite form letter thanking me for my time and telling me unfortunately my story doesn’t meet their current needs. So I dump it to the back of my files like I did my clothes in my closet.

What I’m not taking into consideration is maybe I only need to add another accessory to enhance my story to make it a perfect fit. Maybe a stronger opening would make the difference. Perhaps a better ending or a grammar check to polish it. Or it just might need to be sent to an entirely different place—but tossing it away or hiding it on my computer won’t get it published.

Do you have a good story that needs a little more accessorizing today? Can you tweak it a little more—have a writing partner take a quick look? Can you revamp a few paragraphs and give it another twist? You might just end up with another clip under your belt and the chance to say, “Yes, that worked!”

Have fun recycling today!


Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Wonderful blog! You need to be a professional blog writer! You're so good at it! Always gives me something helpful and enjoyable. Off to search my closet for the right outfit and accessories. Thanks!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Sometimes the "outfit" you've put together IS perfect, but just not the right timing for the targeted publication.

A noted poet and editor of a lovely journal once said, and I'm paraphrasing, "Sometimes a submission -- say, about tuna -- is perfectly wonderful and just right for our publication, but we may have just published another poem/short story about tuna in one of our previous issues."

So, "Remember the tuna," and send that submission around. Ya never know who's hungry for some. ;)

Joanne said...

I'm on a submission hiatus while revising. But soon I'll be changing my wardrobe from summer to fall, bringing out fresh new pieces to try out!

AnooCre8ion said...

You are good Terri!! I love how you put that together. I agree with Donna,you need to be a professional blog writer :)

Just yesterday, when I thought we would be at the hospital another day/night, I searched my computer and found a story I had started a while ago. I thought it had a pretty unique angle when I first started but just got stuck. Yesterday after reading it over a couple times I was able to add some more to it. I even got really excited and 'was on a roll', but then my daughter arrived at the hospital and I had to put it aside. I have to get back to it.

You really put this over nicely.

Ps. Thanks for checking in on my son. God is so good, now that he's home my patient (I'm a caregiver) is on holiday for a few days so I will be home with him until the end of the week.

Have a great day,

Lyzbeth said...

That makes so much sense! I tend to be very critical of anything I write- even though it's more often music than something I would send to a publisher. Thanks for the FaithWriters resource, it really looks like something I can use!

Janna Qualman said...

Terri, I love how you so often, so flawlessly, tie your writing in with other aspects of life. Well done!

Blessed One said...

Thank you for more great writing tips! I am so grateful for the encouragement and help you offer. Blessings!