Published!


Published!

My blogger friends, I would like to share with you a piece of great news: I got published!

It had been a long journey for me trying, then giving up, then trying again, leading to this moment. I always felt inferior somehow – that I am incompetent. I felt that not being a native English speaker was disadvantageous for my writing ambitions; so having my English-written story published is major for me. I realize that this may not be huge, still I am optimistic that it is a step in the right direction.

Here’s the link to the thriller: November 13th. Please feel free to read it, share it, and let me know what you think πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

http://www.short-story.me/mystery-stories/597-november-13th.html

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83 thoughts on “Published!”

  1. Published! Boom boom~!

    And now (hunches shoulders darkly, with an evil grin) … the world~!!!!

    Exits stage left still cackling encouragingly …

  2. Congrats on your short story seeing the light of day. It takes great courage to share one’s stories with the public. I personally think the short story is one of the hardest things to write. It tells a story without giving depth of character that can explain why things happen. Good luck with your writing as you have a strong voice with many passionate ideas that come across in your blogs. Use that in all your writing and then your writing will make a difference to people.

  3. PS., Sorry. I had a couple errors of my own from hurrying. They’re not their. And the four names have the first three letters identical and two have the first four identical. Sorry, I didn’t proof.

  4. Good Job, Margaux; I’m happy for you. Before I begin I personally can’t stand when a proof reader or friend tells me the manuscript they read is perfect, even if it’s published. Few manuscripts are perfect. So, I’ll be fair to you. For a first short-short story this was an excellent read. Not without problems, but not with any major problems. For one thing a short story with a 2,000 word maximum length is not easy to write because from start to finish you have to move along and tell a plausible story. You did that and amazingly well. You certainly have a great command of the English language, better than most or at least many, Americans. (Only two concerning errors, both minor, I saw and your editor should have corrected them or pointed them out to you for a re-write.) The story ending was fantastic. As I was reading the story I was already wondering how it would end, because most publishers do not like and will not publish as a rule stories where a character gets away with murder or commits a crime without being caught. Your ending fit perfectly and, I must admit, a shocker, really. I already had Robert dead, his lover dead and neither one was dead, in fact one never existed. You rapped it up superbly.

    Now, I first thought it was a typo, but a second and third occurrence meant it was no typo. You said, “…victim had jumped off the window.” We say, “…victim jumped out of the window.” Out instead of off. And SOMETIMES no need for “had jumped” because jumped is past tense. He jumped. But had is okay in this case.
    Second from last paragraph, “before she jumped off the bedroom window” One jumps off the bed, but jumps out the window as they go out the door. Otherwise a fantastic command of the English language, a major accomplishment since it is the hardest of all languages to learn.

    She was already out of the car and then she was back in the car when she arrived at the crime scene. That’s a bit confusing. Most readers will likely miss it. But their not chewing the meal of their words as they read. Sometimes we are too close to our writing and just need to step away and take a look at it when we are fresh. If you intended “…She got out of her car…” as past tense instead of present tense to make it smooth with the earlier action, consider “She had gotten out of her car…” she is now across the street, but reflects back to getting out of the car.

    And, the most important flaw I saw was your name is Margaux, your characters are Martha, Marilyn and Marigold. All four of those names are so similar it’s confusing. The first four letters in all four are identical. They each have between 6-8 characters or letters. The only reasons they worked here is because it’s a short-short and the storyline has a mentally sick woman with imaginary friends. In a novel, I don’t think any publisher would have touched the story because of that. The rule is never use characters in the same scene with similar name or names starting with the same letter. It simply confuses the reader. The best practice is never name your characters with the same first letter in their names. Some authors break this rule, but it is a rule. The longer the work, the more scenes, the more chapters, the more this is so, because when you leave the character and move on to another chapter it is hard to remember who did what. You can write your first draft to keep the flow of the story going, but you might miss the correction in revision and make things worst. So avoid it is the best advice.

    Use the blogs for practice and learning, but avoid publishing any good work on the blogs or anywhere on internet unless you get paid well and assign First North American Serial rights so you can get paid again later. Don’t publish any good stories–or parts of a story–on the Internet you intend to commercially market. Publish less desirable ones. If you get rejected so many times consider self-publishing, Amazon e-books, etc and then blogs as a last resort, this way you won’t yourself. Publishers check everything, including to see if your story is already out there, so just keep that in mind. Also, feedback can be as dangerous as helpful, for it depends upon who is feeding back. Some could confuse you. Some could be wrong. Good feedback has to be constructive in order to help you, so never take it personal take it as a learning lesson to enhance your writing career.

    Please, keep writing and keep submitting your work to commercial publishers. Don’t be afraid of rejections, all good writers have been rejected, including Jo Rowling. You have talent and it will take time to get your work to read smooth–don’t worry about it–but persistence will pay off and one day I truly believe you’ll be a bestselling author as long as you don’t give up or let others discourage you.

    With a little bit of ironing out the rough edges, in a novel form, this is what people would call a “page turner”, you want to keep reading to the end . Because of the ending, and the surprise (which always make a novel or story original and good read) I was drawn to re-read the story and that’s a good sign.

    I don’t know how many words your output is a day, but just so you know, the average, or I should say most successful authors, most bestsellers, write around 2,000 words per day. So if you have your novel ideas, get going. In just 25 days you’ll have your first draft to a 200 page book with 250 words per page or 50,000 words done. For first novels most publishers like to see somewhere between 200-300 pages or 50K-75K words. The 75K is doable in 38 days or so, and then second draft, rewrites, edit and revision, polishing time. Some authors, like James Patterson writes a lot more than that, but this is just a guide to get your started.

    I hope this feedback helps and encourages you as intended, and not discourage you.

    Finally, please know, Margaux, that all of this is trying to help you with constructive criticism. I went through this length because I believe you can be a bestseller with a little more polishing. I also think that with our background, 5-languages, and travel to several countries, especially Russian, Ukraine and the Arab states who would have a wealth of material to tap several novels from. Writing requires the main elements, experience, research and imagination.

    Consider contests and various competitions which will also provide more expose. The link to Writer’s Digest many entries. [Many are closed for the season, but they have them every year.] Click “Home” to find more information on writing.
    http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writing-competitions

    All of my best wishes.
    Cliff Harrison

    1. Hello Cliff,

      Thank you for this detailed comment. I do realize that my short story had some flaws. Now that I look back at it, I would have several things differently. I’m glad you pointed out the issue with the names. I intended for the names to start with the letter M since Marilyn and Marigold were imaginery. Since my name is Margaux, I can see how that my cause an issue.

      I do appreciate the feedback, and I’m glad that you liked the story as well as its ending. I try to write 500 words a day at least. Now that my novel is approaching the end, however, it’s getting more difficult to do so. The intended length for my novel is 55K, i’m glad you pointed out the acceptable length.

      You definitely did not discourage me, on the contrary, I welcome constructive criticism. Thank you for taking your time to write this, and I will try competitions on the future.

      Regards,
      Margaret

      P.S. If you have the time to read my second published short story, i would really appreciate it.

      1. I’ll leave myself a note to read the other one. I’m way over due for bed and way out of schedule. But send me a reminder if you don’t hear a reply by a couple of days and I sure will. I read your poem, that was a keeper. You might not need competition, you might beable to speed through. Just keep in mind…oops, Margaret, nothing is in stone for writers. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. If it works keep it up, if it isn’t broken don’t try to fix it. 500 words a day is fine, I was just giving you a guide. Stephen King said he sometimes stops writing when his characters get stale and feel like characters and not real people, so take a short rest, but don’t let it get cold. That was exactly what I thought about the M was because the were imaginary friends of Martha. Just remember, nothing is in stone, it’s all guidelines. You’ll do well, I’m sure. I’m a fairly good judge. Thanks for the new friendship. I’ll catch you later, I promise. Good night. –Cliff

  5. Beautiful! Congratulations! Just to let you know you write so beautifully – better even than many native English speakers!

  6. congratulations! I feel you about how long the journey is…I feel that way about getting my oil painting noticed, but the hard work pays off, very happy for you and wish you continued success! Thanks for stopping by my blog πŸ™‚

  7. Margoux, I just read your short story that was published. What an awesome job you did with it. Kept the reader reading to the very end. Congratulations! The surprise ending was a shocker.

  8. I just read the story. Nice work, especially with how you described the scenes. I would give three main points of feedback if I may. First, the only sentences that read awkwardly to me were: “the victim jumped off a window” instead of “…jumped out of a window.”

    Second, in the story it reads: “Martha felt the roaring wind trying to push her back to her car; her friends, on the other hand, were pushing her forward.” But in the paragraph after, it reads: “She got out of her car…” I had already assumed she was out of her car before this because of the wind pushing her.

    Third, and finally, I had to read this part over. After the first read, I didn’t get a clear sense of when Martha entered the home once she “tipped around the apartment…” When it reads, “she heard them” I assumed she was still outside. Then, it moved forward to her walking to the end of the hallway, coming up to the bedroom door. I just feel their could possibly be a smoother transition from outside to inside the apartment.

    I’m sorry for the long “comment.” I really do like the story! And I read over various parts again to realize that the very beginning of the story highlighted the fact that someone, 11 years later on the same day, decided to jump out of the window of the same Mental Institution Martha was admitted to. Same as every year. That is brilliant!

    Plus, there were little hints throughout the story that this was really all in her head. But once I read that she started stabbing the mistress I completely forgot about these hints lol!

    Excellent job. Keep writing! I have to come back soon to read your children poem.

    1. Thank you for your comments, very helpful. This was my first attempt to a short story! I will, definitely, try to be smoother and clearer in future narratives. I hope you like the poem πŸ™‚

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