How To: Write + COMPLETELY Edit a Short Story In ONE Week

Happy Friday! (Just kidding. I decided to post this a day early so happy THURSDAY!)

This past week, I have been writing like a madwoman because as always, I put things off to the last moment. This “thing” I put off was a writing scholarship portfolio that is due actually today when you are reading this, so fingers crossed, the submission process for future Zoe went well.

Anyways, I always do things last minute, especially writing things, so I thought I would give some of my tips for fast-drafting and polishing up a short story in a short time span. Also, apparently May is short story month so this is the perfect time to share this blog post with you all. Hopefully, you all find this helpful and if you have any tips of your own, make sure you leave them down below!

  1. Outline, Outline, Outline – Even if you aren’t a huge fan of outlining (like myself), I highly, HIGHLY recommend writing out an outline before fast-drafting. Even if it is only a sentence of what happens in the beginning, middle, and end, then that is better than nothing and will help you so much while drafting. This will save you from those moments where you pause your writing sprint because you have no idea where you are going with this story.
  2. Do More Than One Draft – When it comes to short stories, I will try to do a draft a day. Especially if I have at least one week before it needs to be finished and ready to go. If I am even shorter on time, I’ll write draft one in the morning, draft two in the evening and so on. Personally, I like to write at least three drafts. Sometimes more if I think the story desperately needs it, but usually at three I decide it is a good time to let it sit for a moment before diving into edits.
  3. Start With the BIG Edits – Honestly, I do not know the “right” or “proper” way to edit. I do what works best for me which is making the huge changes first. This means cutting chunks out, re-writing sections, and adjusting dialogue and character descriptions. Also, just overall trying to get to my word count goal. I personally don’t see the point in starting with the little edits because I end up slicing up my drafts and barely any of the words survive to see the next day!
  4. Now For the Little Edits – Now, after glossing up your story and finally, FINALLY getting it to your desired word count, it is time to focus on the smaller, yet very important things. This is things like grammar, italicizing words, fixing word order, etc, etc. The little things that make the sentences flow nicely and make them sound beautiful.
  5. Let It Sit – If you have the time to spare, let your story sit for at LEAST one day. If you can afford to give it more, than great. Usually, I only have one day. So, I will give my story that one day and then usually the day it’s due (yes, I know, I’m SO on top of things), I will give it a final tweaking. No big edits though because that could start a total disaster.

Those are my 5 tips for writing short stories while under tight deadlines and I hope they were helpful! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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10 Literary Magazines To Submit To – (No Fees)

 

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Submitting to literary magazines are a fantastic way to get your work out there and while it is important to support them financially to keep them alive, I think that when you are first starting out as a writer it is the smartest choice to only submit to ones that do no require a reading or a submission fee. Basically that means you don’t have to pay them money for them to read and judge your work. Anyways, here is a list of 10 awesome literary magazines for you to submit to, and I hope you enjoy!

Small Print Magazine 

Submission Period: All Year

What Do They Accept?: Fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, book reviews, features, interviews, writing tools review, cartoons

Maximum Word Count/Poems/Panels?: Fiction/Non-Fiction – 8000 words, Poetry – 6 poems, Book Reviews – 1000 words, Articles – 1500 words, Cartoons – single-panel

The First Line

Submission Period: All Year

What Do They Accept?: Fiction, non-fiction

Maximum Word Count/Poems/Panels?: Fiction – 300-5000 words, Non-Fiction – 500-800 words

Juxtaprose

Submission Period: All Year

What Do They Accept?: Fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, art, blog posts, photography

Maximum Word Count/Poems/Panels?: Fiction/Creative Non-Fiction – 500-5000 words, Poetry – 5 poems, Art/Photography – 5 pieces, Blog – three articles, 800-1200 words

The Journal

Submission Period: All Year

What Do They Accept?: Fiction, poetry, non-fiction, photo essays, author interviews, book/poetry reviews

Maximum Word Count/Poems/Panels?: Fiction – 10,000 words, Non-Fiction – 6,000 words, Poetry – 3-5 poems, Reviews/Interviews – 1200 words, Photo Essays – collection of pictures with up to 250 word description

Wildness

Submission Period: All Year

What Do They Accept?: Fiction, non-fiction, poetry

Maximum Word Count/Poems/Panels?: Fiction/Non-Fiction – 3000 words, Poetry – 5 poems

Enchanted Conversation

Submission Period: Deadline is January 20

What Do They Accept?: Fiction, poems, art, comics

Maximum Word Count/Poems/Panels?: Fiction – 700-2500 words, Poetry – any length, Art – 1-3 pieces, Comics – 1-5 pages

Nashville Review

Submission Period: All Year

What Do They Accept?: Fiction, poetry, non-fiction, comics

Maximum Word Count/Poems/Panels?: Fiction/Non-Fiction – 8000 words, Poems – 3 poems, comics – 1 page or graphic novel excerpts

QU

Submission Period: Until January 15

What Do They Accept?: Fiction, non-fiction, scripts, poetry

Maximum Word Count/Poems/Panels?: Fiction/Non-Fiction/Scripts – 8000 words, Poetry – 3 poems

Cordella Magazine

Submission Period: All Year

What Do They Accept?: Fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, art

Maximum Word Count/Poems/Panels?: Not stated

Room Magazine 

Submission Period: November 1 – January 31

What Do They Accept?: Fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and art

Maximum Word Count/Poems/Panels?: Poetry – 5 poems,  Fiction/Non-Fiction/Art – 1-5+ pages

Those are a few awesome literary magazines that you should consider submitting to at some point and I hope you found this blog post motivating and helpful! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: December 2017 Wrap Up!