Saturday 31 May 2014

Episode 160: The Scorecard

I received a rejection letter from Aurealis Magazine for a short story today. It arrived in email format. It was a rejection email. It was my first. It was my first submission, and my first rejection.

The process of submission did something peculiar. In the two to three weeks leading up to the submission, my brain simply stopped processing any aspect of the story in any sort of a useful way. I would read through it, and it would tell me that the story wasn't done, and I would make changes, and the cycle would repeat. Within the first hour following the submission I started rewriting large sections of the story. I have no doubt that had I held onto the story for a a couple more days this would not have happened until after I submitted it anyway.

I suppose it isn't really that peculiar. That sort of thing happens a lot. Someone clever probably has a very clever term for it. It is a bit like coach wit, but not quite. They are related. I'm not sure where I got that from. It feels like something that would've been in The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Since receiving the rejection even more shortcomings have become apparent (partly due to the feedback included in the email). I realise now when I read through the story that the entire point of the story is submerged somewhere beneath the surface of a tedious narrative, and that large portions of it a written in a very functional style that makes no attempt to engage the reader.

I've added The Scorecard to the blog, which will keep track of the number of major rewrites, and rejections, and probably other things as time goes by of each of the stories that I submit.

I am doing this because I enjoy statistics, and it is something that I have wanted to see from other writers. I can't force other writers to keep a scorecard. That is not something that I can do. I hope that I do eventually get something published. Not just for the sake of the scorecard, but for other sakes.

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