Elves coming through a portal. Originally from http://zombiesneedbrains.com

What I learned about myself while facing the heartbreak of rejection

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Zombies need brains, LLC announced a new anthology a while back.  What they were looking for resonated with me, for both the portals and ‘Temporally deactivated’. After toying with a couple of ideas, a new story came to me.  I wrote it, refined it, and caught many of the issues I usually find in my writing. By the time I was done, I was getting consistently good feedback. This was the best story I’ve written.

 I purchased a lifetime subscription to Pro-Writing aid. I used this short story I cleaned up the writing, eleminiating passive voice as well as correcting passive voice, and grammer. The tool also examined the story for cadence, repeats, and other things that detract from readability. My critique partner reviewed it, as well as a number of people who beta read my works. I grew excited about this short story.  Little did I know that the way I see the world sabotaged my writing.

I submitted the story, and waited.

I received the rejection letter, and sat stunned.  How could this story be rejected? What had I missed. I knew there was an issue with the beginning of the story,  but that was explained fairly quickly Further along in the story.  So I turned to Absolute Write where I posted the first eighteen hundred words. 

The feedback was consistent. I was taking the science fiction white room concept to an illogical extreme.  One person gave me a surprising compliment, telling me that I had a natural gift for description.  I think it’s because my description of the two guards got them going.

Anyway, after reading the feedback, I realized that I write the same way I normally see life.  I don’t describe room or environments well because I don’t notice the color the walls are painted, or more than that there is ‘appropriate seating’, and that is exactly how my writing is.  I notice people not environments.  So now, I’m trying to remember to give more description. But it is one of the hardest types of writing for me. Half the time I don’t notice these types of descriptions in what I read, anymore than I notice the environment I enter In real life.

So that’s my new goal.  Work on including more physical description of my environment and the people my characters encounter. 


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About Me


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I’m Bryan Teague, an author writing in the Fantasy, Science Fiction and Romance genres.  By day, I work with websites doing development and systems administration.

Buy my first published short stories, 4 of them in the Anthology Letters Never Meant to be Read Volume III 

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