Margaret S. Hamilton
I spent three months last winter writing and revising a four-thousand-word short story, “Dressed to Kill,” set at the annual New Orleans Red Dress Run. The story had it all: a compelling setting, a repugnant villain, sympathetic heroine, and intrepid amateur sleuth, Lizzie Christopher, who unravels a dastardly plot.
Not only was it not accepted for the Sisters in Crime Fish out of Water anthology, it received scathing critiques and low scores from the judges. I was crushed.
Thanks for contributing this post, Margaret! It’s fascinating to compare the two versions of your first page.
Always a pleasure to be a guest on your blog! Already working on my next New Orleans story.
I loved the second version, Margaret! I especially loved the way you kept a lot of the description from the first version, but changed the POV to Maria’s. Definitely a more compelling opening.
thanks Nupur! Exactly. Lesson learned, and reapplying to my current WIP. Margaret
A lesson well learned, Margaret. How long did you have to think to get your revision going?
I had about three weeks to slash my original story and think of a new ending that would show the power of the Kappa sisterhood. I kept the core group of characters and inciting incident, and one precious paragraph of pure description. One of the characters had appeared in an earlier New Orleans story and because the original story plot was more complicated, I used the earlier version as “freewriting” to dig deeper into the characters, their motives and fears.