I spent yesterday cleaning out old files - old floppy disks and paper. It was interesting going through some of them. Personal memories, work-related papers from old jobs, even old DOS and early Windows based computer programs. The most interesting though - and the reason for going through all of this - was to organize my writing. Okay, I know, according to most people, I'm already more organized than 90% of the human population. But I was looking for something specific and when I couldn't immediately put my hand on it, I got to work.
Anyway, I started reading through some of my first writings - and rejections. I certainly have a lot of them. And for good reason. My early work is atrocious. Okay, maybe not that bad, but not good either. I told a good story - and many of the rejections say so - but my technique was not good. I have become a much better writer technically, but I also notice that the spark of imagination in those earlier works is somewhat lacking. What really amazed me was that several editors compared my work to Heinlein. This feels like a huge compliment to me as I always loved his work. The unfortunate part is that it no longer sells. That style of writing is the style of past decades and does not sell today. I've also had my work likened to A.C. Crispin and Anne McCaffrey - two more writers I hugely admire. They sell well today, but only because they've already built the names for themselves.
I have gotten similar comments from recent rejections - good story, good technique, but the style is too old fashioned. So does that mean my type of writing is passe'? And, if so, how do you correct style? An interesting conundrum.
Today's teaser: On October 16th, 1955, the first "Ann Landers" column was published by the Chicago Sun Times. You've just become the new Ann Landers. What advice would you give me to help make my work more salable?
Today's quote: "Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money." - Louis Untermeyer