After several rejections, I decided to write a story sticking as close as possible to the widely accepted short story structure, and surprise, surprise, it was accepted for publication by Alfie Dog Fiction! It was published there at the end of December 2014.
It’s the story of two boys that skip school to investigate rumours of something living under their sleepy village.
Half a mile outside the village, the boys venture inside a series of chasms and caves known to the locals as ‘The Scar’. Inside they encounter something that has lived – and fed – down there for years, and it’s still hungry.
I took this approach after the rejections, because I was becoming disillusioned with the whole process. I think tiny bit of success had filled me with a confidence that my writing was good enough for everyone now. Of course, that wasn’t the case, as highlighted by the string of rejections i had received.
The ‘widely accepted short story structure’ I spoke of was one where the protagonist is presented with a problem at the outset and is the hit with a series of hurdles on his way to achieving his ultimate end. This is where he enters a try / fail cycle, trying to overcome the obstacles, but failing each time, until the climax, where the hero either succeeds or fails.
I followed that structure to the letter, and if you read it, i hope you will see that to be the case. You can pick up ‘Into the Scar’ here.