Sometimes, You Have to Laugh

I received a few rejections recently which made me sort of giggle.

One story was called “Friends, Lovers, and Liars” and it’s about all of the above. I originally submitted it to a journal who had a call for “Deception of all types.”

In the response I received, it seemed I’d offended the editor. “This isn’t about Deception. I don’t know how you think it was. It doesn’t fit our call at all….”  And he went on for a few more lines.

giggleThe story, later published in Pilcrow and Dagger, follows a main character who lies to the husband who is cheating on her, she helps a friend get a job by fudging some truths as reference, and discovers her sister can’t keep her stories straight. It’s all about deception. But something in it struck a nerve with the editor and it was rejected.

The next story is “Mirrors” and is about two sisters and their family; however, it does carry a supernatural element.

It was suggested that I make it more terrifying because it wasn’t frightening enough. Fair enough critique if I indeed was attempting to write horror, but I wasn’t.

I do appreciate the more personalized responses, but when we read others’ works we should make certain not to put our own issues or agendas into their work. That is what makes us good readers, good critique partners, and good editors.

stay-present-and-enjoy-the-journey-1068x712.jpgThe story belongs to the author, and while we can offer suggestions for improvement it should be to better the story they want to accomplish – not change it to suit our own preferences.

Rejections need to be appreciated. Sometimes they offer valuable information and tell us we need to do more work, and sometimes they miss the mark and we thank the editors – appreciating the time they took to respond at all! – then sit back and enjoy this crazy writing journal we’ve chosen.

 

Published by

Noreen Lace

Originally from the Midwest, Noreen Lace received an MFA from California State University where she now teaches. She believes in the beauty of language to express the darkness in life. She is the author of two novellas, West End and Life of Clouds, as well as a book of short stories. Here in the Silence. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in national as well as international journals, including The Chicago Tribune's Printers Row Journal, The Oleander Review, Vine Leaves Press (Australia), Silver Stream Journal (Ireland), Pilcrow and Dagger, Fishfood, and others. "Memorial Day Death Watch," a memoir of her father's passing, placed as a finalist in Writer Advice, while her poem, "All at Once," was published as a finalist in Medusa's Laugh Contest issue. More work is always in progress.

2 thoughts on “Sometimes, You Have to Laugh”

  1. Love your attitude!

    When I was reading this post, I wondered about my own writing. I scour through online publishing sites, looking at their submission requests, etc.. and then I think up a story which might fit. But, I think I’m doing this backwards. I write much better when writing from the ‘heart’, a story that was already in my mind, and then search for a publication who is looking for what I have written.

    I think that’s my new approach, especially after re-writing a story multiple times to fit a publisher’s request, and the story ends up being nothing like what I wanted to write.

    Constructive criticism can be a great tool, key word being, ‘constructive’.

    Great post!

    Like

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