Tag Archives: Experiences

What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?

bunnycryMisery is like high-powered story fuel.

My next short story is about a guy who’s had a recent run of very bad luck. (Of course, thanks to a mysterious peddler, his luck is about to change.) To write his perspective, I’m going to draw from my own experience from the lowest points of my life.

Getting fired from a temp job for being home (on doctor’s orders) due to having a spinal headache (MOST unpleasant) and going into shock following a medical procedure (relating to breaking my spine in 2006) was one of the worst weeks of my life. I was in so much pain and agony that there were hours where (1) I sincerely thought I was going to die, or (2) I really didn’t know much of what was going on around me.

As a kind of sympathy card for the rough week I was having, my employer let me go, saying they just needed a warm body in the seat and if I was going to be…well… y’know, in the hospital, that just wasn’t acceptable to them.

There was another time where my girlfriend dumped me one day, and my cat died the following day. When it rains it pours, right? And other pessemistic cliches.

What about you? What were some of the worst experiences of your life? Breakups? Firings? Injuries? Sicknesses? Screwed up travel plans? Combinations of all of the above?

I’m the best writer ever. I’m the worst writer ever.

reality-chec_qjpreviewthThe feedback is starting to roll in for Woman’s Best Friend. Only for the first half so far; I’ve had a few requests for the whole story, but I haven’t been able to send them yet since that file is at home and I’m at work during the day.

Writers must simultaneously believe that their work is both the greatest story ever told (or else what’s the motivation to keep writing it?) and the most worthless drivel ever put to paper (or else how can we take rejection, which is inevitable?)

My ego is taking the customary post-new-story bruising, and it’s rough. But it’s necessary. It’s not just necessary that you give me feedback, it’s necessary that you be ruthless about it.

Because the people who read submissions are overworked, way behind, underpaid, and with each manuscript, all they’re looking for is an excuse to toss it out so they can move on to the next. Only a story which grips them flawlessly from beginning to end will be published.

I do want to remind you that I’m looking primarily for your experiences as you read. I’m looking for what you felt and thought, not how you think you would feel if X was changed/added/removed, because…let’s face it… we don’t really know. (And I’ve already received one grammatical ‘correction’ which would make the sentence incorrect. Needless to say, you can’t take all of everyone’s advice.)

But thanks for the feedback I’ve gotten so far, it’s already been a huge help.

Those who have requested the full text will receive it later tonight AFTER I’ve made the corrections already made evident in feedback to the first half, and done a quick polish/edit of the second half. I want it to be as quick a read as possible; it’s necessary that I edit it before I really begin to hate this story.