Welcome to another edition of Behind the Story, where I give you a behind the scenes peek into my inspiration and writing process as connected to my published works. Today’s entry is:
What You Make Of It, published by Fantasia Divinity in June 2017
There is a literary magazine called The First Line that provides writers with first lines as prompts that they want every story in that issue of the magazine to start with. If your story is not accepted in The First Line, the writer is free to submit it elsewhere.
“What You Make of It” is one of two of my published stories that started with a first line from The First Line. The other, “Don’t Lie to Me” when edited between drafts, ultimately does not start with the first line prompt anymore, but “What You Make of It” kept it word for word, the line being: “George pressed the call button and said, “Mrs. Whitfield, you have a visitor.”” If you see the story, you’ll see I made George a woman, because why the hell not. I kind of hoped that it would make it stand out amongst the other stories submitted to The First Line for that issue.
Ultimately, the story was not accepted at The First Line, but was later accepted and published by Fantasia Divinity.
“What You Make Of It” is a short little short story that was an icebreaker for me in terms of story acceptances at a literary magazine. Before this, I had a dry spell in which I hadn’t had a story published in a literary magazine since 2011. The reasons are several.
Post-college, out in the world with my Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, trying to figure out a career, trying to become a writer, trying to figure what type of writing I wanted to write… I had bit of a writer’s existential crisis in terms of creativity and focus and vision on where I wanted to go.
I worked through this over the years, and in 2015 renewed my focus in writing and in submitting my short stories to literary magazines. I dealt with a lot of rejections for a lot of stories. That is something young writers -- all writers -- have to learn to deal with: a lot more rejection and failure than success and recognition. Despite the lack of success in literary magazines, I kept writing and I kept submitting, and eventually -- two years later -- I broke through the ice, got paid a grand three dollars for this story, and more success has followed after.
Insights from the life of an aspiring, struggling writer; a passionate reader, and a working librarian.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies