Before I forget: This is the first of the month, so there’s a new story on the Hot Flashes page.
Now. The first thing you do when you have a story bejected is The Bejection Dance. Get that out of the way first off.
Here’s a link to The Bejection Dance, which I originally posted on my old WEBLAHG. It was just like this blog except … well … except nothing. When I started this blog, it was supposed to be all professional and nothing but business, but that kind of fell by the wayside, and now it’s almost as random as the old site. ALL RIGHT, IT’S JUST AS RANDOM — ARE YOU HAPPY? HUH?
I wrote a story for a themed anthology, and it wasn’t accepted. It was, in other words, bejected. Bejected is just like rejected, but you’re also dejected. And everybody knows that r + d = b. So.
The anthology is of stories that all begin with the line, “No shit, there I was.” As you can imagine, a speculative fiction story beginning with that line could go pretty much anywhere. But the editor apparently didn’t want to go where I went, so the story was declined.
I once went to a panel of anthology editors, one of whom shared the insight of a magazine editor who said she could always tell when a themed anthology was about to come out by the number of submissions she got with the same element in common.
So the second thing to do is rewrite the story so that editor wouldn’t know it was a reject from a themed anthology. In this case, that’s easy.
Here’s the current first line:
So I’ll change it to:
“I’ll tell you what happened.” Mrs. DiMarco flicked the hand holding her cigarette, spilling ashes on her fish sandwich and fries. “Dammit!”
And I’ll send it somewhere else. And, eventually, I’ll sell it. And then I’ll do The Asseptince Dance.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Rewrite the first sentence of a short story without changing the meaning of the paragraph.