My life now is revisions and submissions. But that’s okay! Revision and submission are a fact of the writer’s life. The only thing is I need to be more adamant about it. I’ve admittedly gotten a bit lazy. I’ll revise here a little, submit there a little. More needs to be done though.
Last week, I submitted my fantasy story again and it got rejected again. But once again the rejection held promise. It was rejected with notes, which is always a good thing, regardless if you agree or not. It means they’re reading your work and taking the time to offer ways to improve your story. The editor said they didn’t like the pacing. Pacing — oh okay. When I ran this information by members of my writing group and my colleague/writing support buddy at work, they could not find reasons to agree. That’s a point for me I guess. Regardless, I revisited the manuscript on MLK Day and gave it a good going over once again for its third major revision. I tried my darnedest to find areas where I could ramp up the pacing. Unfortunately, the editor didn’t say if the story’s pacing was too fast or too slow. Fast pace was always my intent, so I tried to increase it. Now if that editor wanted me to slow the pace down, well that sure didn’t happen. Oh well. Also I tightened up some plot points and clarified some sentence intent as well. From the start I wanted to keep my word count under 5000. With this latest revision, word count went from 3700 to 3800. Back into circulation it goes.
Meanwhile on Saturday, I workshopped part five of my sci-fi story with my writing group. I received great feedback from the group, which let me know that for the most part, I’m on the right track with this story. The second draft has begun and is in full swing, but I’ve been dragging my feet with it though. I really need to focus on it. I plan at least two more revisions with it; one where I change the tense from past to present and one where I try to double the word count.
Remember I said reading is also part of the writer’s practice? You gotta work that 80/20! Pretty sure I’m doing that because I read everyday on the subway and in the bathroom. I finished reading a short story over the weekend called The Secrets of Bats by Jess Row. The story is of an American living in Hong Kong who teaches English to high school students. He develops a connection with a quiet girl, named Alice, who has learned how to echo-locate. Echolocation is the sound technique bats use to navigate their way around their environment due to their extremely poor eyesight. Alice has taught herself echolocation despite the fact that she isn’t blind or even nearsighted. The teacher is determined to know how Alice has done this but why. The girl prefers to use echolocation rather than use the perfectly good eyes she has. Themes I found in this story deal with obsession, trust, and letting go. The writing style is devoid of quotation marks though there are many instances of dialogue. Not sure why the author decided to use this technique. My guess is the author did this as a way to convey that the narrator is ‘reporting’ what is happening or is relating this moment in time to someone as if they are having a mere conversation.
I’ve started a new short story read and I’ll write about it soon. For now it’s back to revising and submitting. Hey! Why are you just sitting there reading this post? You’ve got some revising and submitting to do too!