Acceptances and beyond….

My latest story, “The Wages of Sin”, is just undergoing a final tweak as I write this – it’s been a particularly hard, but ultimately gratifying, tale to write. So far, it’s had roughly six or seven rewrites, along with a lot of fine-tuning – and, if nothing else, it’s taught me a lot about consistency and suspension of disbelief. Every little thing that occurs has to be justified and made believable. It would be too easy to just think ‘that’ll do’, in which case you can’t seriously expect readers to take you seriously as a writer. If there’s one thing that I am, it’s that I am very serious about my writing. So, I am carefully going through the story, bolstering certain sections, taking bits out here and there, and just generally making it read and flow better.

Sometime in the next few days, then, I’ll submit it somewhere – where that’ll be I have no idea as of yet. Some in-depth research is needed over the weekend, for sure. Even if I do get the story accepted, it might not, indeed, probably won’t, stop there. It’s quite likely that the publisher will request edits – it’s very rare that a story will make it into print without them. Even top authors get asked to make edits. That’s why there are such people as editors.

So, if you have submitted something and have had it accepted, but they’ve asked you to make some edits, what do you do? You discuss it with the editor and make the necessary edits, of course. The last thing they want to deal with is an arsey writer demanding that they leave his ‘art untouched’. The editor can just come back with ‘okay, if you’re going to be difficult then I’m choosing another story by another author. matey…’. It’s their book – they don’t have to include what you’ve sent them if they don’t want to. Besides, you really don’t want to give yourself the reputation of being a difficult person to deal with right from the very word go, do you?

Discussions with the editor will help to resolve any issues before they get to any potential impasse. Your editor, hopefully, will have sufficient experience to judge whether a submission is suitable or not, plus whether it needs further refinement. On top of that, a good editor should know his audience and their expectations very well – if he/she likes your story but needs you to make slight adjustments in order to make it fit the requirements of the publication, then do so. After all, your first priority is to get some exposure, and to get your name out there. (Remember, the internet is a powerful communications tool – if you gain a reputation as one those prima donna writers who wants everything their own way, others will get to hear about it very soon.)

What any writer wants is for people to read their material – helping to smooth the journey from author to final publication can only be a good thing. So take note…

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