“Editors always reject this”

February 4, 2015

Often, critiquers will tell me any time they see an adverb, the word was, a passive sentence, telling instead of showing, etc., that editors will reject my story outright just for using that. While those things are “rules of writing” that, sure, make something flow and sound better, I got a shock to my brain today.
I opened up an issue of a big-time fiction magazine (found in print form on newsstands all over the country, possibly world), and noticed in a story a few things I never thought I’d see:
Passive voice!
Overt use of the word “was”!
So here I am, wondering how this story made it into a popular, big-time magazine like this, having broken those rules. I mean, didn’t an editor read it? How did it not get rejected right away?!
Does this mean that if I write a story that’s really good, even if I break those rules, I still have a chance of getting published?
Sorry if this seems like an angry rant (which is obviously is), but I’m so irritated at workshoppers who “guarantee” I’ll never have any chance of getting my stuff published if I break these rules. I know what Stephen King says. I know what pretentious grammar Nazis say. And you know what?
I really don’t give a shit.
I’ll write how I want, and take my chances when I do. So far, things are going fairly well. So go ahead, make your guarantees. I’ll enjoy reaping the fruits of my labor, while you sweat it out and worry about pointless shit that doesn’t mean a damn. (Not you, per se, but the hypothetical you that has pissed me off before.)


One Response to ““Editors always reject this””

  1. Emily said

    Well I’ll give you plus points for your obvious voice coming out on the page. Definitely would have to agree with this one. I become so tired of hearing the adverb argument. If adverbs are so bad why do we even have them in our language? Idiotic, that’s what it is. Great thoughts and totally see your points. Keep writing and never give up. Don’t let it get you down!

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