Just had a story accepted, this time over at The Horror Zine. I'd classify the tale, called Skin Deep, as sci-fi horror. I'm pretty pumped to finally find a home for the tale that I've been hacking away at for several years. In fact, it's the first short story I ever wrote. What will be published, in November 2020 indecently, is vastly different from what I initially wrote and then abandoned and then edited and then abandoned and then finally rewrote and massively edited.
The story is just one of the many past failures I've been revisiting during this time of pestilence. It just goes to show, setting a story aside for a spell is one of the best things you can do as a writer. That pearl of wisdom from Matt Bird is still some of the best bits of writing advice I've ever encountered and some of the hardest to follow. I can attest, setting aside your draft to put some space between yourself and your fictive world works. For example, I need only to consider my continued efforts to spit-shine my YA WIP to appreciate the efficacy of this technique. Each time I take a break from working on it (the longer usually the better), I find typos or ways to improve the draft in sections that I previously believed were categorically awesome.
So, back to Skin Deep. I recently rewrote this short story and had it soundly rejected several times. I figured it could be a good fit for The Horror Zine because the submission guidelines state the editor enjoys strange stories reminiscent of the Twilight Zone. Now, I figured my story possesses that Twilight Zone feel, but I did have one problem. The editorial butcher block had cut the story's word count below the zine's 1,900-word minimum. After some thought, I added an additional scene to the story that, if I do say so myself, ups the weirdness and the Twilight Zone feel. Perfecto!
Anyway, remember that persistence and rewriting pays off. Of course, it might not always be worth rewriting something that is truly horrible. I have a few of those, typically longer form. As always during this time of airborne contagion, social distance and mask up while out and about.