What is one to do?

Posted: February 13, 2016 in process, thoughts, Younger fiction
Tags: ,

I have 15 stories written and probably another 50 in draft or idea form. That’s little stories of up to 1,000 words, maybe a couple at 2,000. And therein lies the dilemma.

Publishers want a certain length, but if I cut them or adjust them in any way, they might lose their charm (okay, so I accept that maybe no one else will think they have some charm but anyway…) and then a refusal from a publisher would leave me with a bad taste because I knew it wasn’t actually what I wrote instinctively.

It’s not as though I waffle; I’m used to editing to length. Just that these need their length, as is. So, as they stand, they are neat and tidy and I accept a publisher’s editor would want to ask for some extra edits. Cutting is the problem. It’s just not knowing which version to send in case I send the wrong one and court failure.

And so nothing happens. Work gets in the way (and art) and these stories languish in my drawer (well, on my hard drive).

And now, with one or two that I do think (still) are good enough to be seen, there is the additional problem that one of them contains rhyme as an integral part of the story at each stepping stone of the plot. But they say it’s harder to sell foreign rights if there’s rhyme. Actually, as far as I can see from retailers shelves, loads of books are published in rhyme all the time. I just don’t get it. Children absolutely love being able to repeat with you an ongoing rhyme, because that way they are taking part in the story even when they can’t read. They pay attention so as not to miss it when it comes again. Surely that is all to the good?

Maybe I just love my stories too much! And with that thought, here is a valentine made from one of my own paintings, with an additional heart photoshopped over the flower she was originally offering. I tinted the card to be romantic too – how clichéd is that? Maybe a publisher will tell me my stories, too, are not original enough. Maybe that’s why my brain won’t send them out?


Real watercolour and Photoshop


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