Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What Can't Be Red-Penned

One of my stories was recently published in Daily Science Fiction (a fantastic sci-fi flash fiction magazine delivered to your e-mail inbox each morning -- I highly recommend subscribing if you like sci-fi). There's a funny phenomenon that I have realized occurs for me, at least, when your story is delivered to its public forum.

Suddenly any flaw in the writing stands in stark relief, to an exent it didn't on the computer monitor or even printed on the page and being red-penned. No matter how critical I can be of my own work in creation, it has nothing on how critical I feel of it when there's no more opportunity to alter it.

Don't get me wrong; I believe in that story, and I believe it had to be good for DSF to publish it. I love the stories they select, and therefore have a lot of faith in the editors - and their decisions. When my insecurities set in I took a deep breath and told myself to stop being a nutcase. I always feel this way about my work in print, which is pretty terrifying when I think about these entire novels I write and hope to publish (and also, reason no. 1 why self-publishing doesn't seem like a good option for me, personally).

We writers are funny people. Self-confident enough to create and share our own worlds, but sometimes with our own hang-ups along the way.

(And, if you're curious, you can read my short story, Ten Speeds at the End of the World, here)


CNHolmberg said...

Congrats on the publication!

I see so many flaws on my own... I can't imagine how many would stand out in published form...

Old Kitty said...

AWwwwww!!!! I love love love your story!! Loved it!!!! Awwww wow!! I gave it seven rocket dragons and want to give it more! It's so sad and so beautiful and what an ending!! Awwwwww it's truly lovely!!! Yay for you!!!! Wooo-hoo!! I think this is my first read of a full story of yours - and I'm most happy!! It's lovely!! Well done you! Take care

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Oh my gosh, this is SO true! Since the publication of my first novel, I've been unable to read it all the way through. I gave up after a chapter or so, because I couldn't stop seeing sentences I wanted to change!

I think this is a common trait among writers. I was on a panel of YA writers last spring and all 4 of us admitted we were unable to read our own published works without wanting to edit them some more.

Congrats on the story, and try not to fixate on That Which Cannot Be Changed!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on having your story published.

The urge to tweak never ends. I don't want to read my published novel. I'm sure I'll want to change many things.

Lady Dae said...

It's always that way. I talked to Rick Moody at a writer's conference and ask when did he know it was time to stop. He said when you find yourself changing things back and forth there's nothing more to be done by the writer because we'll never be satisfied completely with our work.