Fiction Ed’s Blog: Rewrites

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Fiction Ed, Lucy looks at rewrites – why you might be asked for one, and how you can give yours the best chance of success!

Why Might We Ask For A Rewrite?

We ask for a rewrite if we think a story has the potential to entertain our readers, but isn’t just quite right for the magazine, yet.

It’s never intended as a criticism – our aim is to help ‘shape’ your story to be the best possible fit for the “Friend”.

Follow The Guidelines

A rewrite may require a complete rethink, or it may simply need a few minor adjustments.

Your assigned editor will point you in the right direction with clear advice – make sure you read their email carefully, before making a start.

If you decide to try a rewrite without being directly asked to do so, it will be helpful to take on board the reasons your story was unsuccessful, and bear these in mind when rewriting.

Why Might A Rewrite Be Unsuccessful?

Reasons rewrites aren’t successful include drifting away from the original story, or from the original feeling of the story – perhaps paying more attention to the tweaks than to the storyline, or characters.

It can be helpful to remember that the reason we asked for the story to be rewritten was because we liked the original enough to believe it could benefit from changes being made.

Unless you’ve been given a deadline, don’t try to rush a rewrite. Let any changes ‘settle’ and read the story in its entirety to make sure it all makes sense, given the changes.

And occasionally, once the first raft of corrections are complete, it can reveal flaws or weaknesses in the story that weren’t apparent before.

Not A Guarantee Of Acceptance

A rewrite isn’t a guarantee of acceptance.

Being asked for a rewrite does not guarantee that your story will be purchased, although it’s our hope that making the changes required will give it the best possible chance of acceptance.

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!