Friday, December 12, 2014

Writing for Woman's World

Whenever I don’t go to the gym for a few days, I get a vague feeling like something isn’t quite right. I notice that I feel edgy and on the verge of cranky. I think the same thing happens when I’m not writing something.

Right now I am waiting for my editor to okay a synopsis for the next crochet mystery. I am also waiting on the edits for the next Yarn Retreat mystery called WOUND UP IN MURDER. At first, I was glad for the break. Particularly since I have been helping my son and husband out with the family business. But the feeling of relief is gone and now there is the gnawing feeling that something is missing.

The solution is simple. Work on something else. But then I have to figure out what to write. In the past I wrote some romance stories and mini mysteries for Woman’s World. They are fun to write and a bit tricky because the stories have to fit into their style and have a pretty exact word count.

Thinking about submitting a story to them brings me back to the old days of sending a self addressed stamped envelope along with the submission. Then waiting to see if they accept the story. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to months to get an answer.

Recently I came across a whole pile of rejections I’d gotten from them in the distant past. It is true that rejections are always a no, but there are different variations on why they passed. The worst is just a form letter. That says you weren’t even close. It is better if there is some kind of comment on the bottom saying something like the story submitted wasn’t right for them, but to keep sending things in. That says they like you’re writing and you are on the right track. The very best kind of no is a note saying they really liked the story but they can’t buy it because of some reason like it was similar to something they bought recently. That means it was just bad timing.

I had one rejection with a note where the fiction editor said how much she liked my writing even if she didn’t buy the particular story I’d sent in. I think that time she thought the story was too sad. My husband couldn’t understand why I felt hopeful. To him, it was just a fancy no.

They did publish a number of my stories. As the years went by, their word count got shorter and the format of the mysteries changed into a solve it yourself kind of puzzle.

The romances are the kind that you can read in a few minutes and leave you with a smile. The mysteries are fun to solve. The magazine has a circulation of about a million people. The first time they bought one of my stories it was cool to think that a million people might be reading something I wrote.

I have talked myself into it. Working on story for them is just what I need to do to get out of this no writing funk. The best part is that I can finish one relatively quickly, so when I get the okay for the synopsis or the edits of the next Casey book arrive, the story will already be off my plate.

And who knows, maybe Woman’s World will even buy it.


Planner said...

Happy writing! Please let us all know if Woman's World buys your story. Good luck!

Linda O. Johnston said...

What a fun thing to do in "spare" time, Betty! Enjoy plotting and writing your Woman's World stories.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, I definitely will spread the word if they buy a story.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, it is a challenge to be able to write something that fits in just right with Woman's World's tone.