character development, editorial intern, editorial process, James Joyce, literary journal, literary magazine, narrative craft, publication announcement, published fiction, published story, revision, short fiction publication, Tahoe Writers Works, writing craft
When I received my copy in the mail, it was an unexpected, belated Christmas gift. Although I knew my story had been accepted, I never quite knew when the issue was going to officially come out. What a great way to end the year. I also see it as a good omen for 2014.
I have to say, I love the cover of this literary journal. Thumbing through it, I caught some pretty impressive prose. I’m honored, and a bit humbled, to be among such talented authors, not to mention artists and photographers.
“Reunion” was one of those stories that took quite a few rounds of rejections and revisions. Perhaps this is why as an editorial intern at a literary agency, novelists amaze me, that they can revise their 90,000 word manuscript in six months when it can take me the same amount of time to revise a 9,000 word story. With this particular story, I probably wrote three times that. Most of it was character development, and even now, I’ll think of a section or two of what I’d cut and wonder if it might’ve been better to have kept them in.
I am happy, however, that I stuck with one particular craft decision I’d made back in grad school, when I wrote the first draft. I remember I’d just read “The Dead” by James Joyce. The idea of an “off-page” character exerting influence or pressure on those characters who are on the page intrigued me. I then made a conscious choice to keep the three characters in the story physically separated. I liked how it added to the main character’s isolation and disconnection from the rest of the modern world.
If you’re interested in reading my short story, you can purchase it on Tahoe Writers Works’ website, which in turn will help them in their efforts to support authors “who take chances and might be a little too over the edge.” I love how they support their local literary community with writing events and workshops, and even write and direct theater performances including the “Murder Mystery Radio Theatre.”
To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to create life out of life.