12:05am, 30th October 2015
New Story: Elm & Sorrow
It wouldn't be much of a writer's website without some writing on it, would it?
Although I've been writing seriously for around three years now, I've not really submitted all that much--only around 40-something rejections in that time. Why? Because I really, really wanted to get out to Hollywood for the Writers of the Future workshop, which meant placing in the contest, which meant being able to enter the contest, which means not selling more than three stories. Once the fourth story is sold for a pro-rate, you're invalid. You're out. You're a pro, and the contest ain't for you no more.
So for three years, I've written stories, sent them out for critiquing, and then... I've sat on them. As time has gone on, I've submitted less and less, because I didn't want to invalidate myself. Which is ludicrously arrogant of me, to think I was in any danger of getting four publications when I've got none so far--but then you wouldn't be a writer if you didn't vacillate wildly between utter, arrogant confidence and crippling bouts of insecurity.
Anyway, point is that now I'm already invalid for WoTFC by virtue of winning the thing (again: yay!), I can start flooding the slush piles with my submissions. So most of my trunk is still out under submission, and can't be published here. It might be a while before another story joins this one here.
Why this one? Well, it's one of my earlier ones, so it's done the rounds in one form or another. It was rejected ten times, which is fair enough--it's from the time where I was writing words to sound good, not to tell a good story. I like to think I've learnt a lot about plotting and structure and character since I first wrote this, but for better or for worse, once a story has been written down and revised a couple of times, it's kind of stuck that way. It's like cement; you can make big changes easy enough early on, while it's still wet, but leave it long enough and it starts to harden and all you can do are little cosmetic changes around the edges. I may have learnt a lot about storytelling since first writing Elm & Sorrow, but it's too late for this story. Onwards and upwards!
All that said, I still kind of like it--else I wouldn't publish it here, after all. It's only a couple of thousand words, and it might entertain you for fifteen minutes or so. It gets better from here on out, I promise. (I hope.)
TAGS: new story