Monday, December 9, 2013

Advancing The Plot

Last week, Amazon launched StoryFront, stepping into the short story publishing arena with names like John Connolly, LJ Sellers, JA Konrath and Charlie Williams.

I was fortunate enough to be involved, as well, and I hope that writers who have works gathering dust in a drawer might find some encouragement from this story.

Several years ago, I took a creative writing course.  At the time, I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my writing.  Okay... that's not entirely true.  I wanted to write novels.  The problem was, I didn't know what to write about, or how to get started.

As I began to experiment with different genres and formats, I wrote a short story that I submitted to a small Canadian short story magazine.  It earned me one of my first high level rejection letters, with a personal, hand-written note saying it had been close.

The story still ended up gathering dust in a drawer.  When I dusted it off earlier this year, I did find that it needed some true dusting.  Part of that is what you learn about writing as you become more experienced.  It's a bit of a different structure for me, but when I re-read it, I was struck by my own interest in the characters, and the greater story that lurks in the shadows around the edges of this tale.

It could be because I got the idea for this story from a real event that happened in a small, Alberta town, many years ago.  My ex-husband had a remote connection to the events, and told me the story, and I started to wonder if there was a way it could have been murder... how.... and why.

The result is The Death Run.

The greater result is a reminder to writers, that an idea or project might have great potential.  It just might have to wait for the right time.  If this story had been published all those years ago, I would have received a check for $25 and a publication credit.  It would have been nice, but nothing compared to the perks of working with Amazon on this launch.

Sometimes, 'no' feels like an obstacle keeping you from success, but it's really like an obstacle that advances the plot, that sends you down a better path for a better result.

All you can do is keep working, learning, and improving.  I may not have a great supply of patience, but when I can tap into it, there's almost always a better outcome in the end.


John McFetridge said...

Thanks for the backstory on this, it's good to see patience pay off.

David Cranmer said...

Encouraging for sure and congrats.