Scent of Evil was my first attempt to be published in an actual book. I like to think that my first step towards becoming a professional author was submitting my first work to be published. Maybe that should be changed to surviving my first rejection letter. I did get some good feedback on my work. What hurt though was that I had seen the flaws myself. That means that there were problems that I could have changed myself.
The editor said that I should have gone for a darker, more noir style. I had tried to capture the essence of the anthology, struggling against demons, but fell back more to action and adventure. While I was aiming to fit the desired styles, I think I took for granted the range of stories I had seen in the first volume of the Crimson Pact anthology.
The biggest blow was when the editor had suggested that the story might have been better if I had written from the dog's point of view. Ouch! I had originally had just that idea. Unfortunately, I rejected it in favor of trying to make the dog character a surprise. I had been worried that the dog as the point of view character might come off as not serious enough for what they wanted or not fit what they were looking for. Talk about a time when you should have gone with the first option.
Now, the one thing I did disagree with was his suggestion that Mike is a horrible dog name. That was the name of a dog I use to have. I will admit though that a more fitting name could have been found. My last dog was Max, I think that would have done better. Originally the dog had been named Rex, but one of my proof readers said it was to obvious. I changed it to a "person name" to try and hide my twist (which turned out to be a poor twist) better. On a side note, he pointed out that I never did name the narrator. While that was somewhat intentional, I can see how that might be a flaw.
While there were a lot of stings, I did get some good from the rejection letter too. The editor did say that while my story did not quite work, it was an interesting idea. As well he stated that I have some skill as a writer and that with more work I could be published. I have to agree with him that I will probably do better with longer works. I want to be good at short works too though, and that is part of why I started this blog.
Keep following along and let me know if I'm getting better, but do not be afraid to give me some criticism to keep my head from getting swollen.