i'd been toying with the idea of taking some of my old stories that i've submitted and gotten rejected over and over again and just put them here. but then i felt that might be considered giving up, if only to myself. which made me wonder about the nature of posting here and how i view it as a part of my process, or how you view it as a part of your process. if you post unpublished works or stories that have been variously rejected, if you then post them here, what that means to you.
It just means a chance for YOU to see them with "fresh eyes" and possibly make changes for the better.
Other'n that, chicken ain't nothin' but a bird...
Brian sometimes stories are rejected not because they're no good but because they don't fit into the mix at any given moment. I've turned down stories that were accepted elsewhere a few times already, but they weren't right for us. That's just how it goes.
"Giving up" is a relative term. But a person shouldn't. Not ever.
The only other observation I can make is that sometimes when I put a story in a different format than just my word processor a strange thing can sometimes happen. I see it in a different format and say "what was I thinking when I wrote this THAT way? That sucks!" I don't know how to explain that.
I've put up a handful of stories here and, once I went back and read them again with a somewhat "official" look, I kind of hate them. Nothing I've put up here looks like it did when I posted it because I've gone back and changed it. Not one thing. That's what Matt is saying when he talks about "fresh eyes."
A story is never "there." Just when you think it is, it isn't.
i guess maybe what else i mean is, after doing these things, revising, submitting multiple times, not being overcome by rejection but coming to some point when you can't change your story anymore or don't want to and still not finding that right fit for it, not wanting to lose the story to oblivion, is this a good place for such a story to finally end up?
I don't know.
I'm pondering something similar, though with only one story in particular; here's what I've thought up.
On one hand, sure, maybe it feels like giving up, and maybe it is.
On the other, if Fictionaut cannot be an island for misfit toys as well as heavily played with ones, then I don't know if it can be anything.
This is the exact forum for a story you believe in enough to share openly, regardless of placement--it's not Facebook Notes. Stories are at home here.
The only difference b/w this and placing it in a journal is that it's up to you.
Hope this helps.
YES, this is def. a great forum for posting a story that you've worked on / submitted to a pt of exhaustion because it allows you to set it aside, take a breather, gauge people's interest in the story itself (without worrying too much about the whole issue of faves/comments/views) while you move on to new work. THEN, if you decide to submit it to new places, you can always change the setting to 'private' with no worries of it interferring with an editor's decision to publish. I don't post work here anymore, for strictly personal reasons not related to the site itself, but when I was actively posting and responding to other's work, it really helped boost my writerly confidence and gave me greater perspective into the possibilties of fiction. So I say go for it, post here whether you have exhausted all other avenues or whether you just want to run a flag up the pole and see what happens. Best community I've found, real or otherwise.
Posting a story here is not tantamount to "giving up," and may in fact open new doors. A number of unpublished pieces I first posted here were later accepted by magazines and in one instance, poems first posted here were requested by an editor and published in the magazine. The other thing is that the feedback I've got here has materially helped my work, sometimes boosting confidence, sometimes prompting fruitful change. I wouldn't--and don't--think of Fictionaut as a lesser form of publishing, just a different kind, with its own real benefits.
What David said. I've had a number of pieces picked up by editors who saw the work here, or who solicited for other pieces. Several times, a single observation on a story or poem has triggered something that made me see my work with new eyes, and I've revised.
So not lesser here, just different, a complement to the myriad ways we get our stuff *out there*. Peace...
I believe it comes down to believing in yourself--your work. I don't know of any writer who hasn't been rejected,forgotten or ignored. You know what you are trying to do, but you don't always know who you are going to reach. I think that's okay. Many times I've posted something I thought was a remarkable piece of original thought and creativity only to have it handed back to me with a no confidence vote. Yeah it hurts, but if I still believe in the piece it still goes up. I write on purpose, and I post on purpose. Not everything works everytime, but that's not necessarily the fault of your hard work on stories, poems or other artwork. Save it and move on. Take another look at it.Revise. If it still agrees with you so be it, but you do have the power to change it. It's all a learning process,a letting go process, and you can throw in some luck. Point is, it is what it is. Don't give up on what you believe in just because the world is looking the other way. If we as a group have somehow missed an important piece that you think deserves a little more attention, I say post it again..and again. We'll wise up sooner or later.This is a pretty big viewing screen, but the watchers are other writers and editors and various amazing creative people out there in the universe. If even one of those folks gets what you are doing and likes it then it's worth every heartache you have to go through.
yes. this is a great place for parking stories, and sometimes they do get picked up at random. also, you can get some excellent feedback from other writers. i've tremendous admiration for so many of the writers i've encountered here at FN.
No, I don't think it's the end of the hope- road, posting rejected work here. And come to think of it, I don't know any writers or artists
who don't have the mark of the brick wall permanently etched into the forehead. For me, it's a place to break the silence, give or get an encouraging word or two, carry on.
It's not giving up. So, there's this poem I absolutely adore. It's called Goblet. Editors and readers *should* be falling all over it, gathering in a crowded circle, basking in its glowing beauty. And yet it just sits there, alone and lonely in its shadowy, dusty corner, while its sisters are taken to the ball.
Does that mean I should mess with it, tinker, revise? No, I know in my heart its as good as it gets. Should I stop pointing it out to visitors, recommending it to anyone who inquires? Not that either. But as Kate points out, art is a renewable resource, there's no point worrying about one piece when I can write another today. That takes less effort anyway.
For myself, I only post brand new work here, the day it's written, with the ink still wet. But others use the site differently, and more power to 'em. Maybe posting the one you're thinking of is a way of putting your beautiful lady in a new gown? One never knows who might ask her to dance.
Everyone who posts here will eventually ask the question, "Why do I do this?" From what I've seen, many good writers stick around for a while, then choose to move on for various reasons. Ultimately, you can only derive from Fictionaut what you choose to offer, not only in posting, but in reading and commenting on the work of others.
Fictionaut is a different sort of web site, being 'not a journal' and 'literary' only by order of self-definition.
If the writers who post here choose to offer examples of their best work, it shines. When the greater number of posts tend to lean toward the Least Common Denominator, it suffers.
The membership makes Fictionaut what it is and what it shall be, and only the membership can determine the quality of the content.
I would hope that no one would think of it as a dumping ground for work that is rejected elsewhere.
I joined this place thinking that it was a private place to re-post work already published by established magazines/anthologies, and to simply form a new community of readers. I personally would never post something here that had not previously been published, but that's because I'm still not so indy as to self publish--although I respect it more day by day.
I didn't know we could make postings private here, and had I figured that out I might have used this as a place to be critiqued and to better my work, but privately, without considering it to have been published. I never consider a Fictionaut post to be a published work.
Writing is closing in on what indy music did and I want to be on top of the trend and support it, but I also think the old-school way a teeny bit. The internet makes many many things confusing. I still think that if you haven't sent a work out over 20 times that you need to keep going. It's the 22nd one that will fall in love and so will their peeps.
If you have sent it out over 20 times and you still believe in it, then post it here and make a tee shirt of it. Sincerely. I will buy it. And the chapbook. Sometimes the most brilliant things are overlooked.
Sorry if I confused the situation. All I mean is Best Of Luck With It All.
i post on FN pretty much every story that eventually gets published elsewhere. sometimes the feedback on a line here or there makes a huge difference to the final submission copy. for me, it's the beginning point for so many stories and i'm happy to share them here first.
Same here. 90% of all my publications over the last year-and-a-half were first posted here for final tweaks (sometimes under working titles).
So it's privateprivateprivate work, then a shot of public exposure which leads to a different level of scrutiny, then another round of privateprivateprivate work then submission.
Works for me.
Such a good thread. Great ideas to mull, Brian.
Just want to add: never give up. A very smart writer I met at a conference told us: Stand in line long enough, you'll be served.
You will. Some things get rejected because they need work. Other because they don't fit. this place seems perfect to me to put up pieces you have questions about since this is such a pool of talented writers.
As James said you might just get that insight you need to move the thing (yes sometimes they do seem like 'things') along.
I do it like Matt says: 'So it's privateprivateprivate work, then a shot of public exposure which leads to a different level of scrutiny, then another round of privateprivateprivate work then submission'... though i've only recently started submitting/considering submitting. Even the word 'Submitting' makes me feel sick. (I'd feel more comfy if it was referred to as 'Dominating your work'!)...
these are good words and helpful. i've just posted one of the stories that made me post this. if you could all take a look and continue to be helpful...
Brian-I read what you wrote about what this piece means to you (I'm at work and can't read the story just yet) but I know what it feels like to have a story be your personal favorite but one you can't get published. I usually put it in the drawer for a few years, revisit it, then send it out again if I still believe in it--half of the time this works and the other half of the time I get grouchy and just re-drawer. Best of luck!