One of the things I love in this great wide web of ours is connecting with new writers, or writers who may be new to me.
I’ve seen writers who only want to focus on one thing – be it sci fi in all its myriad forms, high fantasy, steamy romance, or post apocalyptic dystopian trilogies.
Personally, I like a combination of all of the above, sometimes together.
But, it gets kind of hard to find a place willing to take it. I recently wrote story that was rejected by a lit mag, and then another, and then I ended up in discussion with an editor at another zine, and we talked for a bit, and I took her suggestions, and tweaked the story to make it fit itself.
It was a matter of finding the true essence of the story, and following it, however it leads.
That story ended up being published at the first lit mag that originally rejected it. (You can check it out here.)
I kept working at the story, and made some changes to make the story tell itself. A POV shift added complexity and depth, and honestly that wasn’t happening before.
But I kept at it because I liked the story, and wanted to share it.
Which brings me to sharing your work. Because writers, no matter how secretive they may seem, want to share their stories with others. Its what keeps writing alive.
Sometimes, that story might only be shared with yourself, read months or years after writing it, and you shake your head in amazement or laugh. Or both. It is your story after all.
Sometimes that story might be shared only with someone you already share your bed with, or other aspects of your life. A close friend, or relative perhaps. And then that story lives between you.
But sharing your story with the world (or readers of whatever journal) is a whole other issue.
In querying different journals, the advice seems to be to read the publication, and submit work that is similar to what they’ve already published. This has a certain amount of sense to it, the guys over at Near to the Knuckle don’t want your Twilight-esque chick flick fiction, but the folks over at Twisted Sister might.
It’s all about finding a place for yourself.
And for me, with an inside view of the lit mag world, that’s where the magic really happens. Pulling together stories and writers of different styles, and somehow, when they’re together, they just work.
And a lit mag is born.