I got another polite, apologetic rejection on a story last night, of the “Not Quite What We’re Looking For” genus, species “Please Feel Free To Send Us Something Else.” Those are generally encouraging, as I interpret them as a positive comment on the writing and a mild criticism of my ability to interpret their submission guidelines. Since one of the things they apologized for was holding on to the story so long–they don’t do simultaneous subs and had it for six months–I tried to get it turned around to another market ASAP.
This meant I read it again. And started fiddling with it. I realized I hadn’t in a couple of years when I checked the date of last save. Thanks to the WUTA folks and to sheer volume of production, I’m a better writer now than when I did the most recent revision two years ago. Hell, I hadn’t even run it through AutoCrit.
Two hours of slashing and burning later, it was almost 10% shorter and mechanically sounder. Two hours and ten minutes later, courtesy of Duotrope.com, I’d submitted it somewhere else. This time for sure!