On the Value of Editing

So, my story “Vintage: A Rock’n’Roll Fairy Tale” won second place in the recent contest at On The Premises. It felt good. Part of it is that, even though I’ve been writing and publishing fiction off and on since I was about 12, only in recent years have I really begun to understand how professional writing feels, and this time was the first time a fiction story really felt that way.

A good edit is the signature feeling of professional writing. In my nonfiction work, I’m so grateful for my editors. Not only am I always learning from them better ways to construct stories, I also lean on them to help me get stories completed much faster than I could do it on my own. A good edit brings out all the spots I kind of had misgivings about but overlooked because I was too tired or doubtful of my intuition. It tells me those spots are important and should be addressed.

After my story got accepted by OTP, I got edits back from them and they were that great kind of edits. Throughout the process, I felt pushed to make the story better than I could on my own. I’ve taken some writing classes, and, with the exception of an excellent graphic novel writing class, I rarely felt that feeling in class. It’s something that seems only to come from real experience. Anyway, I’m dead sure that the final version of “Vintage” is much better than my original, and I’m grateful to OTP’s editors for helping me get it there.

In the near future, I want to write reviews of other stories in this issue of OTP, since I know they do great work.

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