My new story “Future Virtual Love” is now live at the Four Star Stories website. Click here to read it in full!
For all of my fellow writers, I wanted to give some background info on the evolution of the story.
The first version was written sometime in late 2012. I later revised it and added more (about 1500 or so more words). I then workshopped it twice. The first time in summer 2013 and then later in fall 2013. During summer 2013, my professor encouraged me to submit. I had held off submitting, because I wanted to focus just on craft while in grad school, but she said that the story was strong, and I should try. So off it went into the cycle of submissions and rejections.
During my thesis in Spring 2015, my advisor said that I should try submitting it with a significant portion cut. It wasn’t that the story was bad, in fact the whole story was part of my thesis and accepted. Honestly, her advice came from the feedback the story was getting from editors. “The story is good,” they would say, “but not quite for us.” It got quite a few personal rejections and, yes, that spurred me on, but also made me take second, or even third looks at my work. Then, my advisor suggested that I submit the shorter version instead.
3.5 years after that first workshop… 1 year after thesis… 18 rejections later… I submitted to Four Star Stories in July 2016. In September 2017, I got the acceptance e-mail.
Now in February 2018, the story is published.
This experience taught me a lot, but there are TWO big lessons:
- Believe in your work. If you think your work is worth publishing, eventually others will as well. It may take time, but it will happen.
- Don’t be afraid to take a hard look at your writing and change it if YOU want to. (Don’t let anyone talk you into changing something you think is right and true.) No story is perfect, and don’t revise until the story is a mere shell, but do take a look at it and see if there is anything that can get better. As an artist, we should strive to be better at our craft then we were the day before.
Don’t stop learning.
Don’t stop growing.