Well how about that…

April 3, 2007 at 3:20 am (Submissions, Writing)

Got my first ever rewrite request Sunday. Of course, it’s not an acceptance and an acceptance isn’t guaranteed, but it’s certainly a step in that direction.

The story in question is “That Ain’t a Mosey,” my cowboy zombie apocalypse. The request comes courtesy of the Triangulation anthology.

The majority of the readers are going to see right where you’re going, and I think they’re going to get impatient waiting for you to get there. You can make the case that the first nine pages are backstory — that the story doesn’t REALLY begin until Doc gets shot and the undead mayhem begins. It shouldn’t take nine pages to get there. I want to see a rewrite — I want to see a version of this narrative that’s slimmer and faster paced, and (most importantly) gets to the actual story faster.

In its original form, “That Ain’t a Mosey” weighs in at about 6,500 words. I still think it was a good story that flowed nicely (if perhaps a tad slowly), but after whacking 1,700 words, I can see the advantages of making it a lean, mean, undead machine. I’m going to let the thing sit for a few days and go back and look at it to make sure I didn’t cut anything unnecessary.

The thing that strikes me as funny is this little adventure so far illustrates a point I’ve heard often (and even made myself): Sometimes it’s just a matter of hitting an editor at the right moment. History is Dead rejected the story as nicely written, but not what they were looking for. I turned around and sent it to Triangulation without alteration, where they just happened to be needing some zombies for the “End of Time” theme. Sure, I would have liked to have it accepted as it was, but if he likes my changes, I’ve got a strong(er) piece in a fairly notable publication. The fact that it pays more than History (if they take it) doesn’t hurt, either. 🙂



  1. Mike Stone said,

    Good for you Jeff! Pete Butler is a good bloke to work with, as well as a writer of no mean ability himself. I just signed my contract for Triangulations, so we might be sharing a contents page this summer. Good luck with the revision.

  2. hamstersbane said,

    Thanks, Mike!

    You know, I think I first came across your site one time when I was searching for news on the Triangulation anthology.

    If I may ask, what’s your story (in broad terms) about? I believe it’s called “The Bridge.”

  3. Mike Stone said,

    ‘The Bridge’ is a short short — less than a 1000 words — so any explanation will inevitably be longer than the story! It’s a cautionary urban fantasy: be careful what you wish for.

    If Pete is looking at a zombie tale, which is about as far removed from my story as it’s possible to be, Triangulations promises to offer a good variety. *rubs hands in anticipation*

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