Since I began this Journey into the Published Land over a year ago, I’ve learned many things — but one in particular: constructive criticism from editors is as rare as a high-scoring soccer game.
I recently received the following comments when my “coyote” story was rejected by the folks at Every Day Fiction.
EDITOR 1: This is an interesting piece. The prose is fresh and nicely done. But it is unclear why an apparently healthy young woman wants to die and why her father would pay for her to do so. What is the Coyote? There is certainly a lot of talent here.
EDITOR 2: Methinks 1000 words is simply not enough to do justice to this story, but I'll pass it along for a third opinion. There's some excellent writing here, and a well-crafted piece. I also didn't know what a "coyote" was in this context, and I'm not sure the majority of our readers will either. I thought there was a lack of information regarding the girl's choice for death. Finally, there was a surprising lack of tension and conflict. We know what he's going to do; then it's just the act itself.
EDITOR 3: Nice gritty tale. A "coyote" is an individual who helps illegal aliens cross into the U.S. and get to where they are going. Here, the "coyote" helps the spirits of unhappy mortals reach their afterlife destination. Interesting premise, interesting character, interesting setting. What is missing for me is an understanding of what they need the coyote's services for. How does he circumvent whatever protocols there are for getting to heaven, hell, Nirvana, etc?
I agreed the story needed some work, and after revising it to correct the above-mentioned flaws, I sent it off to On Spec. Will it score an acceptance? We shall see...