Story Inspiration Sunday

I blog about inspiration both here on my blog and over at Book View Cafe. Feel free to comment either here or there.


I’ve spent the last week on the Oregon Coast, at a writing workshop. It’s actually been more business than craft, as I’ve been attending the anthology workshop.

After listening to six different editors opinions on 40+ professionally written stories, I can tell you that this post is absolutely true. You could have five editors all say, “Loved this story. Would have bought it.” Then the editor with the checkbook, who could actually buy the story, say, “Nope. Didn’t like it. Doesn’t fit.”

One of the things that was also very interesting was hearing an editor say, “I don’t like X in my stories,” such as carnival stories, stories where children are endangered, stories with magical snowmen, etc. Which would prompt me, the writer, to think, “Okay, don’t send that type of story to that editor.”

Then the next story, that editor would say, “I don’t like X in my stories. This one was so well done I would buy it anyway.”

One of the other interesting things was hearing stories about editors who reject a story, and then, two-three years later, receiving an email that says, “I just can’t get that story out of my head, have you sold it? Can I have it?”

So again, I agree with this post. There is no perfect story. You are never going to write a story that is a guaranteed sale to a market. For that matter, even if you are invited to write in an anthology, there’s still not guarantee that the editor won’t reject the story and tell you to rewrite it or submit something else.

But beyond the networking that I’ve done here, and all the things I’ve learned, one of the reasons I come to these workshops is because these people are my people. This is my family. I adore these people, and despite the exhaustion, they’re still clever and fun.

And that’s the inspiration part of this post. (See? I knew I could get there.)