Another sub…and the realization that not all revisions are improvements

Sub#74 – to Weird Tales (my first sub there)

I’ve been struggling with this story, revising it and revising it, and I looked at the most recent version this morning and it was pretty terrible. Basically, in trying to fix this problem or that problem (over a series of drafts), I’d shredded the story into an incoherent mess. So instead of starting with the most recent version, I went backwards (not to the original draft, but to the first revision), and from there made a few changes, and suddenly the story worked.

* * *

This puts me at TEN (10!!) stories out in circulation, if I count my non-placing finalist story from Q2 of WOTF (which is technically still out, since they occasionally pick out a story or two from the non-placers to include in the book).


  1. There’s no downside to waiting, guys. You’ll get distance from the story in any case, and then you can revise and sell later if it doesn’t get in. Otherwise, it’s like ripping up a lottery ticket before you check the bonus numbers.

    • Yeah, I’ve reversed my initial thinking on the matter (that shopping the story around was a good idea), and am now attempting to be patient.

    • No, I get that, but I’m not much of a gambler. It means taking one of my best stories out of circulation for a year, and I’m an impatient sort. I also tend not to revise a story that I think is ready for publication (ie. one I’ve been submitting) unless I receive very specific and applicable feedback. I’m done working on this story.

      But yeah, thanks for the advice… :)

  2. Thanks :)

    And on the odds for WOTF, I could have sworn I saw a post somewhere where someone had counted up the number of published non-placing finalists over the years. It ranged from zero to 6, with most years having one or two. (Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the post now, and I don’t know how accurate that information is.) There are 20 non-placing finalists, so I’d guesstimate the odds at 5-10%.

    • Your odds actually improve this year, because some non-placing finalists in 2007 have been finalists more than one quarter; that means that you’re really competing with fewer people.

      But it’s a gamble, anyway :)

    • Those don’t sound like bad odds, considering the contest draws thousands of people each quarter.

  3. Woah!

    I am completely in awe of your productivity and sending-out-of-stories. Also, thank you for the tip about the canal cleanup charge. I think I may be able to carry it, though, if the carnival is as good as its reputation…or maybe I can find some cheap local labor to do the cleanup instead.

    • Re: Woah!

      Sending-out-of-stories is a key element in selling-of-stories (which I’d like to be doing more of), so I’ve been making an effort to get more stories into circulation.

      Glad to see you enjoyed the carnival :)

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