Friday, February 3, 2012

Making the Cut

So a few days ago I was posting about that anthology I was trying to write for - working anthology title was "Zombies Need Love Too". I was worried that it was going to be cancelled because they didn't get enough submissions. Do you remember that one?


Now, I had a piece that was about 6,500 words long, but the cut-off length for submissions was 5,000 words. i was going to try to trim the story down by about 1,500 words, which for a story of 6,500 words is a massive cut. A huge edit. A ginormous (holy crap, according to spellchecker that really is a word!) job of streamlining to undertake. I had one whole lot of words to cut out -and this is the hard part - without losing any if the story in the process!

That, coupled with the fact that I counted the days incorrectly (hey, I was an English major, not a Math whiz!) and I had two days less than I had thought, meant that I put in a day and a half of huge effort and made the cuts. I stayed up late and got up early. Later and earlier than usual. I went on even shorter sleep, and if you know me then you know that I don't have a lot of sleep to spare! I made the cuts and I re-read and cut some more, and I did it! And the story seemed, to me at least, to be intact!


Hard to tell for sure. I had to just go ahead and submit it, and see what the editor for the anthology said. I did tack on a note mentioning the ginormous (you, still a word! I'll be damned!) edit job I did, and apologizing if the story seemed to have suffered for it. So I tacked on the note, submitted it, and waited.

I waited for three days. Often you wait a month or three to hear about your submissions, if you hear anything at all, depending on whom you submit with. But this was just three days.

Jeeze...was that good, or was it bad? Did it suck that much, that right off the bat and at a glance he could tell it belonged in the back half of a used diaper? I steeled myself and read the email.

Here's what he said:

"Hey Rob, I loved this. Considered it accepted. I will get around to editing it sometime this month, and will send it back for approval."

That was great! Then I read on, and my jaw dropped.

"Also, I thought it was fine as is, but if you still have the longer version, feel free to send to me, and I'll take a look; I'm sure if it makes the story even better, the extra wordage will be fine."

What? I looked back upon the lost sleep and hard work I put in to making the edit work for the story, and I said the first thing that came to mind:


Talk to you later!

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