After receiving numerous rejections on my novel, I decided that I need to build my publishing history by submitting short stories to magazines for possible publications. Problem-- I didn't have any completed short stories. No, all I had was one small paragraph. In my heart I knew there was some brilliance swimming around in the depths of whatever story would emerge, but do you think I had a clue what that story was? Absolutely not.
Luckily, I've begun to surround my self with writers. Some old, some young, some old with young hearts. Whatever the category, they love to write and thus, being associated gets me pumped to create a masterpiece as well.
So, I sent my single paragraph to a few of my writing friends and said, "I don't know where this is going. I need help. Give me anything: a character, a plot, a setting, a conflict." I didn't care. I could have been one sarcastic remark and I would have taken it. After a few days, a few suggestions came my way, and, by piecing them together, a story burst forth!
"YES!" I shouted in the middle of my kitchen to whatever dust bunnies were listening. (There are many since I prefer to write than clean the fuzzy little creatures.) Immediately, I got to work. Now, two weeks later, I have a full story, and, dare I say it, it's good. Really good. But I'm slightly biased to my own work.
Step 2: find a magazine. I'd been collecting the names of a few magazines that accept short stories for publication, so within minutes of completion, I buried myself in the online search of the right magazine. (The right magazine consists of one that doesn't charge for submissions.) Of my lists and lists, I found two that don't require submission fees and one of those doesn't allow you to submit online. Darn it!
Anyway, I'll have you all know that as of about five minutes ago, I've submitted to the online site, Glimmertrain and plan to send my printed story to the Paris Review. Now, I have to wait and see and hope and pray that maybe someone thinks my story is as brilliant as I do.