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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Rough Drafts and Magazines

   
Author Topic: Rough Drafts and Magazines
mythopoetic
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So I've written this story, and its the first time I've ever actually gotten to the complete rough draft stage of a short story I intend to submit somewhere. Now I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on editing. I mean, I can go through it and smooth out parts and fix grammar and that sort of thing, but are there any tips or secret tricks that anyone has that might help me? Also, the story is a fantasy. Well, sort of a fantasy, I was going for magical-realism but it leans towards fantasy I believe. What magazines would be good places to submit to? Thanks a bunch.
Posts: 62 | Registered: Jun 2005  | Report this post to a Moderator
Beth
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Polish it up as much as you can, and then solicit opinions from other people. Then polish it again. Then polish it again. Then polish it again. I recommend the book "self-editing for fiction writers"; read that, follow the advice, and polish it again.

Once you're convinced it's as brilliant as you can make it, find markets. www.ralan.com, www.storypilot.com, writer's market all list thousands. If this is your very first story, odds are it's not quite of the quality that the very top markets are looking for.

Writing stories is the easy part.


Posts: 1750 | Registered: Oct 2004  | Report this post to a Moderator
rickfisher
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Also, put it away for a month. Don't even think about it. Write other stuff. Then pull it out and read it with a (semi-)fresh eye. You'll be amazed at the things that will jump out at you.

And post it on F&F.


Posts: 932 | Registered: Jul 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator
Spaceman
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The hardest part is patience. You know you can't sell anything if there's nothing in the mail, yet if you rush it out, it's just going to come back. After so many years, I still have a terrible problem with impatience. It'll kill you.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Aug 2010  | Report this post to a Moderator
mythopoetic
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Well, this isn't really my first story, just the first one I actually think might be decent enough to send off at some point. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it won't sell, but I have to start my collection of rejection notices right?
Part of my problem is that I started going over it and editing and got about 3 pages in and then I haven't been able to pick it up again since. I just don't have the motivation at the moment.

Any advice on how to tell if something should be edited or not? I don't mean the story, but the different parts of the story?


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autumnmuse
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The best way is to get a fresh pair of eyes. Submit the first 13 on the F&F forum, including wordcount, genre, and what type of critique you are looking for, and ask for readers.
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Spaceman
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Either that or set it aside for a month or two while you work on something else. I have a half-redlined story laying around here somewhere.
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rjzeller
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I believe it was in Stephen King's "On Writing" where I saw the best advice on revisions:

Revision = first draft - 10%

or something like that. Works wonders for me. No matter how good a draft is in my mind, I take a word count before and after and force myself to get shorter by at least 10%. I may lose some clever little bits along the way, but in every case so far people have preferred the shorter version.


Posts: 207 | Registered: Jan 2004  | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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