Wednesday, March 1, 2017

ISWG: Reworking Old Stories

First, a little bit of exciting news. I've just had a query lead to a request for full manuscript! It's from a publisher I'm really excited about, too.

On the first Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group encourages writers to talk about their insecurities.

Each month, they also have an optional question to answer. This month it's: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

I have, and that's how I got published the first time!
When I saw the submission call for Circuits & Slippers, asking for sci-fi fairy tale retellings, I thought... "Wait, don't I have one of those about Goldilocks and aliens?"
And the answer was "kind of." I had four paragraphs that was going to be about a girl abducted by aliens and subjected to tests (I don't remember what tests or why they were doing them, or really what made me think it was going to be anything like Goldilocks), that I had written a few years ago.
But I liked the idea. Mysterious people, tests, messing with memory... So I got rid of the aliens in favor of bear-like creatures, had the girl get trapped in a house in the woods, and gave her a few different sets of memories. A few months later I was told it had been accepted for publication.

(Just for fun, I dug up those four paragraphs of the original story. They actually aren't as awful as I remember, but the new version is much better in my opinion.)
I awoke with a start and found myself in a room devoid of light. To say it was a room at all was a bold presumption on my part, as it equally could have been a cave or a forest under a clouded night sky, but something about it, perhaps the echoic quality of my breath, gave the impression that I was enclosed in a spacious chamber with four walls.
My head pounded with the ferocity of a bass drum; the hard metal slab did my already-pained skull no favors. This was most certainly not where I had fallen asleep -- though, to be honest, my memories of the previous night were rather blurry.
By this time, my eyes should have begun adjusting to the gloom, but if there was anything to be seen, it was obscured by the thick, all-encompassing darkness. My hand was invisible before my face, and I only knew my eyes were open at all because of a single point of light, a red and blinking eye high above me.
I sat up and swung my legs off to the side, but my dangling feet failed to find the floor and I pulled them up under me.



  1. Congrats on your full manuscript request! That's amazing news!

    I love that those four paragraphs led to something great. :)

    1. Thanks! Just goes to show, there's no bad idea - just less than perfect executions.

  2. Congrats on the manuscript request. Crossing my fingers it leads to more requests.

  3. YAY!!! Congratulations! Lots of happy thoughts over here in the hopes it'll help you get a deal!