So, I've been working on a story for a while now. It's a weird one, definitely firmly in the realm of "weird fiction," and it was spawned from a really lovely writing group meeting I attended back before the world started ending in March of 2020.
The story itself is a bizarre one, lacking in answers, but deeply-creepy and strange, and, I like to think, a little touching. At least, that's what some of my critique group members have said.
And yet, I can't sell the damn thing.
I've edited the story three times now, more than I have any story that I've sold, and yet, I can't find a buyer or outlet for the thing, even though I think it's strong, and it's been worked on by a few different groups of talented authors, there's some weird reason this thing can't find a home.
It'll end up in my next anthology, for sure, but at the same time, I'd love to find it a temporary first home where folks can read it and get creeped out by it.
The missing ingredient needs to be found, and even after three re-writes, it's still not there. The point is, your stories and writing won't always be perfect, and more often than not, you won't know the reason why something isn't working.
The way to fix this is to get involved in writing groups and critique groups. It's a scary thing, for sure, but in the end, the feedback will make you a stronger writer, I promise. Check Facebook, check your local library, join an organization, do whatever you can to get your work looked at by different eyes, and I promise you'll grow from it.
Even when you can't figure out what the missing piece of the puzzle is, like me.
Robert P. Ottone is an author, teacher, and cigar enthusiast from East Islip, New York. He delights in the creepy.