Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Friday, April 10, 2009

Notes from the Editor's Chair

Okay, this is my writing blog, but it seems that my alter-ego (the editor) also wants her say. Does it seem ironic that I feel so depressed about getting rejections while at the same time doling out rejections every day? I also occasionally dole out an acceptance, and I like accepting a story almost as much as getting a story accepted. But that's not what I wanted to talk about today. Today, Angie-the-editor would like to say this:

I've been writing the same comment on a number of submissions lately, and it goes like this: "The long telling of back story did not make an engaging opening." Let me repeat it: The Long Telling of Back Story Did NOT Make an Engaging Opening. I can guarantee that if your story begins with a history lesson or your main character's life story it will be rejected no matter what follows. If you get a really patient editor who plows through the back story, you might get a revision request, but most editors aren't that patient, and a long "telly" opening does not portend well for the rest of the story. Here's my post about handling back story.

Okay, I've had my say. Really if you want to stand out of the slushpile, an engaging opening is a must.

Now, back to the writing chair...

5 comments:

tiff said...

its a good thing im not a writer i tend to get long winded while telling stories especally when im setting up the story thanks for the advice

Windsong said...

Good information. You're absolutely right. It's hard to get into the story you're trying to read, when you're reading a completely different story that happened first.

Angie said...

Well, Tiff, when you're telling a story, then the "telling" is okay. I love listening to you tell stories.

Lady Glamis said...

Oh, great advice! Thanks!

Linz said...

Great advice and so true! That's one of the reasone that I like sequals and series - because after the first, you don't need as much character development and can get to the good stuff!

You are really good at back stories, by the way! I have always noticed and enjoyed that about your stories!