Just got word I’ve had another sale, this time for the story "Lessons Never Learned" to Every Day Fiction. EDF is a great market that is similar to Daily Science Fiction in that they publish first via email to subscribers and then archive on a website. I like this method very much, and I subscribe to both EDF and DSF. I enjoy the quick read of a flash fiction or short fiction piece each morning to start my day off. It’s fun, and a great way to get into the writing mind set early in the day.
There was one change the editors requested, and it made sense to me. I didn’t provide clues to identify the gender of the narrator until late in the story, and this was disquieting for many of the first readers at EDF. Once they pointed it out, making the change made perfect sense. This is one of those problems when you, as the author, proofread your own story. Since I, as the author, knew the narrator to be male, the confusion didn’t stand out to me. But as soon as someone mentioned it, the confusing stood out prominently. Correcting this little bit of confusion serves to illustrate the importance of the writer and editor working together to make a better story, so I thought I’d take time to mention it.
Also, speaking of "you;" this story is epistolary in nature, i.e. the male narrator is addressing his deceased wife. (The gender of the spouse was not revealed until late in the story as well. I’ve fixed this now in the second sentence.) I would have to say an epistolary story is about as close as I will ever come to writing in the second person. A true second person story, where the author addresses the reader as if the reader is doing the action of the story, always sort of puts me off, and seems a bit smug on the author’s part. Epistolary stories, i.e. those written as a letter, don’t bother me in that way, because in the case of these, the ‘you’ is just another character in the story, and not the reader. It is as if we are privy to someone’s private communiqué with another character. In my story there is no letter, but the first person narrator (and not the author) is definitely addressing his deceased wife, (and not the reader) so it is still epistolary in nature–sort of like a mental journal entry on the narrator’s part.
I mentioned this story in a previous entry on music and writing. It’s title comes from the Walt Wilkins song of the same name. I think I will go put the album on the iPod this morning as a way of celebrating, and to perhaps see if there are any other story prompts in there.