To Reflection’s Edge. Was a long and frustrating gap between my last sale and this one. It may release in their upcoming December issue, otherwise I don’t think they publish again until the summer.

I’m growing to love working with editor Sharon Dodge. Misleadingly, this was the first piece of short SFF I ever wrote–misleading because I’d written one fantasy and one sci-fi novel already, plus an undergrad degree’s worth of literary short stories–and even after a couple revisions, indeed due in part to those revisions, it had some bloat to it, and once she brought that to my attention, it was obvious. You know what I found out? It’s much easier to kill your toddlers than your babies. With two years of distance from the original draft, I found it no trouble at all to chop all kinds of material out, including at least one paragraph I loved, to eventually reduce it 1300 words. It now weighs in at 5400; right around a 20% decrease.

I hope this sort of info isn’t some kind of trade secret: I always believed in this story, which is why I sent it to her in the first place, but without a sharp editorial insight (and of course my brilliant decision to run with her more-brilliant suggestion), it may never have sold. I think that, like finding good entertainment critics, the key to editors is finding ones you trust. When those ones have something to say to you, you’d damned well better listen to them.

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I am a Science Fiction and Fantasy author, based in LA. Read More.
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