Monday, February 29, 2016

The Buchanan Book of the Dead, Part 3

What is a short story collection?

I know a good number of writers. I know these writers from grad school, barroom meetings and from the literary magazine community. I know a great number of short story writers. I know them from the aforementioned places and especially from my work at Umbrella Factory Magazine.

Rather than get into a philosophical or existential conversation about why write at all, perhaps I'll just focus on why write short stories, or in the case of The Buchanan Book of the Dead, why write a collection.

In short, magazines.

The short story collection, in my opinion is about only one thing: the amount of work it takes to produce work that a magazine editor will publish.

Deconstructing the short story collection:

A 50,000 word manuscript that's made up of x number of stories should be nothing more than a reissuing of work found elsewhere. Summarily, this collection is what has already been published.

Looking at the individual stories, why would a writer endeavor to write one other than for publication? I also find it funny how so many writers will write story after story after story and have nothing but these dreams of publication and yet never submit a single piece of work.

Submitting work is not an easy thing to do. There are tens of thousands of magazines out there and each of them wants to fill their pages with content.

Submit. Get rejected. Rewrite. Submit again. Get rejected again. Rewrite.

Eventually the story will get published. Do this x amount of times. Then you have a short collection.

Me? The Buchanan Book of the Dead?

Well, I have a bunch of short stories. Eventually, I will have to start submitting, which means rejection, rewriting, resubmitting, rejection and so the process goes.

The life of a writer is not much more than this process.

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