Saturday, September 8, 2012

An Example of the Editorial Process.

Hey, guess what, Children of the Internet? Rejection is not only a reality, it's also a necessity and, honest to goshness, it's okay and you'll survive to be rejected again. So, instead of immediately accusing editors of being evil gatekeepers trying to prevent new talent from being seen (in reality their job is the exact opposite) and running to Amazon's self-pub crutch, try accepting the feedback and fixing the submission's issues.

That's what old Chris does, and it often pays off nicely. I'll give you an example, assuming you're still reading at this point. eFiction recently rejected a story I sent them, but were kind enough to advise me the story had potential and they'd love to take a second look at it once I'd done a rewrite. They even provided a link to an online writers workshop via their site so I could have someone go through it!

If a writer is unwilling to take advantage of that kind of resource, he or she might as well start writing pamphlets. Below are some of the comments the editor who workshopped my short story sent me:

"Jesus, I am loving this story, but you are missing an awesome moment." 

"You have a few problem areas that need to be fixed, but this story is where it is at. Good on you... damn it, I love being wrong when something turns out so wicked."

"To tell you the truth... you do not need another book to help your story. Your story can hold its own without mentioning someone else's work... but I love how you are informing us of another writer. So, make me understand what I don't."
"Freaking loved it!"
"Christopher Nadeau,

You evil bastard you.

Your's is the third that I've workshopped in conjunction with efiction. The first two I couldn't make it halfway... story is very important to me - more so than grammar.

It was midnight when I got off my eight hour factory shift and it is 2am now. I've spent two hours and three 22 ounce Cheladas reading your story.

I am extremely impressed. You have some definite problem areas that need to be corrected and I have thrown in a few suggestions here and there.

I want to see this story in the October edition of efiction - it deserves to be there."

Frankly, his comments are more entertaining than my story! I've only included a few here but he sent me five separate emails. Naturally, not all responses will be so positive, but without this type of feedback you're basically singing in the shower when the house is empty and expecting people to consider you a professional singer~

Saturday, September 1, 2012

On the Death of Intelligent Discourse.

Somewhere along the line, due in no small measure to the Internet and social networking, people got the mistaken notion that one shouldn't discuss a topic if one isn't on the "right side" of it. In this case, my comments on where I was when former Princess Diana's untimely but probably planned death occured in 1997.

In a sea of "I was so sad" replies, mine naturally stood out among a select few who were basically unaffected.

The exact question on this particular message board read as follows:

Today marks the 15th anniversary of Princess Diana's death.
Where were you when you found out she had been killed in the now infamous car crash?

My initial reply is below:

Dealing with my mother's death and not caring about this screwed up woman.

Here are some replies to my comment:

"Wow if you don't have anything nice to say then just move on! So many ugly, hateful people anymore!"
"@ Christopher --- sorry for your loss, ... been there done that!! ... BOTH parents.... but you don't have to be so cruel, and say ANYTHING then! .... >:("
I could handle the first one, no big deal. But the second one required a response, one I felt was diplomatic and in no way incendiary:
" Thank you. Sorry for yours too. I lost both parents before I was 30 so I also have been there, done that. To your second point, this is general deiscussion board asking people what they were doing. Not all responses need to be of the 'OMG I was so bummed"'category. Many of us didn't care for or about Diana and our views are just as valid."
You'll notice I not only acknowledged her acknowlegement but expressed my condolences as well, despite my resentment of people who think they're the only ones who've lost both parents. Her reply is below:
"@ Christopher!! .... THEN .... YOU DON'T NEED TO SAY ................ ANYTHING!!! ... shut! up!! ... and LEAVE the subject moron!! ... jeeeez!"
Gloves off at this point, I replied:
"I thanked you for what you wrote to me and expressed sympathy for your loss and your response is to call me a moron? You're a classless imbecile with no concept of intelligent discussion and no longer worth my time or the oxygen a tree could use. To hell with you and your narrow-minded stupidity."
No response came to that one. I could've been a lot ruder than I was, but I realize these people are like boils on the ass of humanity; symptoms of a greater disease.