I’ve spent the last two nights re-writing one of my favorite stories from 2000. It’s the strongest thing I wrote, thematically and characteristically, from that year, and yet it hasn’t found a home even though two others of my stories from that year, weaker ones in my opinion, have. It has received several encouraging and in one case glowing personal rejections from good, professional markets, but it’s always been passed over.
It’s at a market currently which I expect to reject it in a matter of days (deadline for final decisions looms). So I took it out, dusted off my re-writer’s hat, and took a good hard look at it.
I ended up culling nearly one thousand words and giving it a major shake-up from beginning to end. The story, theme, and characters are still the same, but I polished up the prose and really streamlined it. Hurray and ouch. On the one hand, I’m pleased because I’ve really come a long way with my writing in a couple years, but on the other I wish I’d done this earlier, before I’d sent it to so many markets. Would those markets that rejected it buy it in the shape it’s in now? Maybe, maybe not. But I think it’s much better.
I really like this story. I hope I can find a good home for it.