In an earlier post, I explained what the Yeah Write weekly challenges are all about, and I briefly touched on the “love letters” you might get if your post does not make it onto the Thursday voting grid. Now that I have received 4 love letters, I understand them a bit better, and thought I’d elaborate.
First, let me just say that Rowan, the Submissions Editor, writes these little letters, and in a previous life she must have been a diplomat. Never ever in my life have I received such positive constructive criticism.
In my case, I have received 2 different kinds of rejections, the rules violation rejection and the writing rejection, which can include grammar, style, proofreading, and probably some other things with which I have not yet had a problem. I’ve received 2 of each.
The rules violation I received in the nonfiction category had to do with the submission guidelines. My entry was more of a basic blog entry and not the required personal essay that answered “so what?”. Got it. In the microstory/42 word category, I had, um, 43 words. No explanation needed there. I had counted a bunch of times, just not the most important time which is right before you hit publish and walk away.
The writing violations were both in the fiction category. The first had to do with verbs being disagreeable, and some other problems. Not enough proofreading, and rewriting. So I tried again, and while my grammar had drastically improved, it became apparent that my fictional style sucked needed some practice.
Rowan liked my story idea, just not the story. And I am totally okay with that. I mean, I have never really written fiction before, so for her to be able to say a few nice things was great. Of course when you see the email from her around 10 pm on a Wednesday night, there is a little wincing before opening it on up. And after you finish reading the email, you are ready to get back in there and try again.
The “so what” of this? The rules violations, for me, leave more of a scar. These are just sloppy mistakes. Seriously, can I just not count to 42 one more time? Of course I can, and now I will never forget.
The fiction writing problems were not unexpected, but I’m to keep trying, posting fiction on the weekend moonshine grid. Maybe try some poetry. I won’t improve if I don’t keep trying, and if it turns out that fiction is just not my thing, then ok. I’m just not ready to throw in the towel yet.
And now the shameless plea I’ve been building up to: I’d love if y’all took a peek at the fictional story I wrote Tuesday and tell me what you liked and didn’t like. Thanks for reading!