Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rejection

After submitting my story to a couple of well known magazines, I felt the pang of rejection. Sure, rejection is normal for any artist: singer, musician, actors, painters, illustrators, and even writers. Like I said before, I had never experienced it as a writer. That is, I have never experienced rejection of any of my art, or not that I can remember.


You see, when I grew up I wrote for my own gratification. Well, you can imagine what gratifies a young boy. I also drew in pencil. I had more of a passion for drawing than I did for writing. Part of me wanted to become an artist as a career. When I learned that there was no money in art, I got disillusioned and pursued a technical career. My best works were always in black and white.


In the Air Force, I found out that I was color blind. That made sense to me since I preferred to work in black and white mediums. As I worked and lived life, I realized how art is not just drawing. It can be a lot of things. Then the writer inside of me started to quicken. I was doing a lot of Biblical studies then and wrote down things constantly. Years later, after I found my lovely wife, I started to write fiction just to see if I could. I didn't stop. It’s been 13 years.


In the past year and with the help of the St Louis Writers Guild, I was able to increase the quality of my writing. I still have a ways to go, but it's coming along nicely. Of course the plan is to become a professional writer to one degree or another. For me, that means writing novels and short stories.

So these rejections are a part of the process, the process of growing as a writer. Therefore, I keep on writing.

Monday, January 18, 2016

My First Story Submission

So I wrote a short story for publication. Of course it was science fiction, my chosen genre. I edited it and formatted it as a manuscript. Then I printed it out and handed it out to my beta readers for their comments. Their comments came in, and I rewrote the story. Then I set it aside for a few weeks and looked at it again. I made corrections, then I submitted it to a good science fiction magazine. Now I'm waiting.


I did this whole process to go through the process since I have never done it before. I’d hate to try to go through the process for the first time on a novel. I’ve been advised by other authors to cut my teeth on short stories. I think that’s wise counsel.


There’s something I discovered along the way. You see I had 3 women and 3 men as my beta readers. Though they all had good critical comments, each gender complained about a certain item. Now, the two genders didn't complain about the same item. No, no. They complained about different items. The two items in question were the crescendo and the ending. The men thought the crescendo was too curt, and the women wondered why the ending was the way I made it.


I knew there was a difference in thinking between the sexes, but to me this highlights just how much. Neither gender questioned the other’s misgiving. Why? It was just strictly gender based opinion. Fascinating! I laugh at the very thought. I giggle to no end at the idea that my story gave such a reaction. I never thought it would. The reason is that the crescendo and the ending have nothing to do with gender at all.


My personal conclusion, I could be wrong, is that I've struck a balance among the sexes. Sure, it's not a totally positive balance, but I'll take it.