Not every story is ready. It took me a slew of rejections to figure out what this story needed before FrostFire Worlds bought it for their Nov. 2017 issue. Originally an adult horror story told from the mother’s perspective (and with a very different ending), my childish nature seemed to seep too far out of this one. It needed a lot of love and some serious feedback.
This is why I always say that rejections teach you everything you need to be a good writer. If you listen, that is. A very helpful editor pointed out that the story seemed to be less about the mom and more about the kid. Once I changed perspective, everything flowed better.
There were some areas that needed reworking. It reminded me of my college 101 professor’s philosophy to: never get married to your work. Be open to changes.
This is vital for an author’s success. I told a newbie author who asked for advice, “How we perceive our stories to be isn’t always how they’ll be received.” It made me feel a thousand years old to say so, but it’s true. Writing is translating imagination to paper; if the words aren’t captured properly, the story will fall flat.
Having a background and experience in many genres has helped and hindered me at times. Switching into my children’s author brain gave Red Monster the oomph it needed to get published (in print and for pay). Focusing on my strengths in children’s and non-fiction has offered me more opportunities than before.
I hope any of you with middle grade readers, or any of you at any age really, can enjoy this tale.