I sent a short story to a magazine editor, I was pretty confident that it was a good fit and story for that publication. I was wrong. She didn’t like it, she told me what she felt was missing. At first I was insulted then after the shock wore off; I could see some of the what she said.
I already had some more to this story and thought, “Well, if I take that part and move it to the front and move this piece here. I sat down at the computer ready to make some changes, but I couldn’t.
I made myself a come of tea, and conjured the two characters in question. Once I gave them the run down of what happened, the younger one flipped out. The older one and I both allowed the younger her outburst. That’s when the strangest thing happened.
I my attention focused on the older who had relaxed in her chair. It was like watching myself in the mirror, she would sip from her drink at different times than I, so it wasn’t really creepy. I finally calmed the younger and asked the older her opinion.
“I will not change to make another happy. If she doesn’t like who I am, my story is not for her.” She took another sip from her cup.
Both I and the younger watched the older. The younger stood behind the older woman, “I agree. Our story isn’t for that publication.”
So, this publication has been removed from my list.
The point? You may be asking. Stay true to your writing. There may be times when some one else’s advice is just the thing to improve your work. There are other times when following their advice makes your work their’s. Knowing when to change or when to refuse is (in my opinion) harder than the writing.
What do you think? Have you ever changed your work to please another, even when it didn’t feel right? Leave me your opinions!