Scare Street!

Yes, I’m getting a story published through Scare Street.  It’s a short horror story called Serenade and I’ll let you know when it becomes available.  I could cut and paste what they’re all about, but instead, go check them out at this link:

I truly appreciate every press who says “Yes!” to one of my stories and Scare Street has been great to work with so far.  For Serenade, they asked me to revisit a couple of sections and I was happy to take another look at my story.  In going through it again, I realized they were correct in asking for a revision.  There were a couple of spots where I assumed I’d given the reader all of the details  (because, you know–it was there in my head as plain as can be), when in fact I alluded but didn’t add as much to the horror and the haunt as I could of.

Which leads me into editing and editors.

Sure, everyone likes to think their story is perfect when they submit.  After all, you cranked out the story, and edited it half a dozen times before hand.  You even had a  couple of people read it who thought it read just fine. It’s all there.  What could possibly need changing? 

My experience with every editor I’ve worked with to date has been extremely positive.  I quickly found that editors love stories. In fact, they want to make it the best story it can be.  It’s in your best interests and theirs to bring readers stories which pop, flow and throw a punch.  So, when an editor suggests a revision, treat it as the chance to improve it. We as writers give it our best shot, but we’re too invested to look at our own stories with a completely objective eye.

At least for my own self, I look at a paragraph of a story I’ve written and always have a bit of short hand going on inside my brain. I was there–I wrote the thing.  I see pictures of the scenes in my head even after it’s written.  I may assume something key is on the page when it’s not.  That’s where my editor comes in and because they can’t see inside my head, they read what they’re given.  And yep, sometimes what I thought I conveyed to the reader isn’t there; or detailed enough to put them in the scene.

I have another story where the good guys escaped peril and were breathing the big sigh of relief, but my editor came back and told me they shouldn’t get off that easy.  There needed to be one more little coup-de-grace.  I ended up only adding three more sentences, but it added the punctuation mark to the end of the story letting the reader and the heroes know they got out because they were allowed to.

Now, does that mean I never question or fight for lines or words? Of course not.  Sometimes a certain phrase just sounds right.  However, first I ask questions about what I’m sticking up for.  Does it further the story?  Does it belong there? Is there a better way to say it?  

Bottom line is–trust your editors. They’re not suggesting edits to mess with you and chances are they care as much about delivering a great story as you do.  And if an editor actually wants you to add to the word count . . . grin and go for it!

Thanks–and thanks again to Scare Street and their editors!