Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rejection, Short Story

I received a rejection this past week from a small literary journal. I’m not going to name the publication, because I have nothing against them and I may also submit to them again in the future. Apparently, the subject matter wasn’t what the publication was looking for. This is mostly my fault. I browsed their website, but didn’t actually pick up a copy to read. Sometimes this is an important step in getting to know what kind of subject matter a particular journal/magazine likes.

So, it’s fine. The subject matter wasn’t what they were looking for. What has stuck with me is that they called the writing “overblown”. Really? Overblown? Is that because of the scene near the end? Or is it the language overall? I’ve had a professional editor look at this story already. He suggested changes, most of which I followed through with. So what is it? I’m posting a sample of the story below. I hope you enjoy it. If you also think it’s overblown, please let me know.

*  *  *

Voices were raised below, verbal accusations flung below the window. Heat rose into the atmosphere. A woman was frustrated with a man’s words. She responded with sarcasm. She told him to leave. The sun glared down on their scene. A cloud moved in front of the sun; the street darkened.

Another man watched them from the window. With each exchange, his heart rate increased. He grits his teeth and waits. His breathing is heavy. Soon he was pacing the floor of his apartment, but he still heard the voices. He shut his eyes but could not shut out the sound. He returned to the window, unable to tear himself away.

Love, wrapped in the golden brown of her eyes, the island bronze of her skin, enthralled him. She was always ready for whatever came their way. He wanted to do everything with her; to bask in her laughter and curiosity. He wanted to protect her, but he did as she asked. She was outside on the sidewalk being berated, and he felt vile for letting it happen.

As the young man stood, ready to break his promise and join the arguing pair, the woman turned and walked away. She entered the building. The man on the sidewalk stood silently. Rage rippled across his face. With no other options, he marched to his yellow car and drove away.

No comments:

Post a Comment