Blog #4 for #10Stories30
Welp! That’s a wrap! (ALMOST) –
All’righty then madame of the short story challenge, in a few days I’m going to have ten shiny new stories. So, what the heck do I do with them?
My answer: Shelve them
Excuse me? – you ask.
Yep. Stick ‘em away somewhere and let them age like fine wine for a couple of weeks. (Don’t look at me like that. Don’t you beasties have other wips to work on? No? Well, you should. Yes? Good. You’ve left it to fend for itself for the last 30 days and it needs you now.)
Ok, fine. You win. Why do I want to shelve them?
Here’s why –
You just spent the last month well almost a month, working on your creative babies and that makes you seriously attached to them. And you need to edit. I do not care of perfect you think they are, you’re wrong. They need edits and revisions, kinda like surgery to repair a missing heart. I promise you there is something missing from these stories. If not, missing then there’s something that needs repairing, like a busted knee needs fixing before you can play ball again.
I know you’re saying – Look lady, I’m staring right now at these fricking things and I see absolutely NOTHING wrong with them.
Sit down and have a nice tall glass of lemonade and hear me out.
That is WHY you need to shelve them. I promise you’ll see things that need replacing or fixing in a couple of weeks. So, you concede to editing – but you still need to wait two weeks. Because right now, you are super attached and even if you see problematic areas – editing them now will be harder than it will be in two weeks. That’s the key, you see. (Oohh, I’m a poet and didn’t know it!)
A two week period gives your brain time to recharge. To disengage from the stories some – in fact, working on something else for these two weeks will be great because it forces your brain to disengage from the old and think along the lines of the new.
When your two weeks are past, get them back out and edit like a nut. Then find yourself a beta reader – trade mss and when you get the notes and critiques back – revise and edit again. Do a last copy edit throughout and then do a query letter. (Psst! Good thing about querying short stories to magazines and such, you don’t generally need a synopsis! I know, right? *happy dances all around*)
Once you’ve got your baby ready to be seen by editors, (scary thought, I know, but they aren’t bad guys – they want to help you as much as you want them to help you – agents are the same way, but I won’t get into them right now.) Check out www.duotropes.com. They have a list of magazines that accept short stories based on genre. Make a few choices. Check out an issue or two of the magazines of your choice, and if your story is a good fit – send it out. But please, please, please — PLEASE follow submission guidelines. Not doing so, is a terrible way to get their attention and it will usually end up as a rejection before they even read it. Do NOT do this to yourself. Really. Don’t.