“Easy reading,” said Nathaniel Hawthorne, “is damned hard writing.”Today’s post doesn’t have anything to do with the quote. I received an interesting rejection last week. Interesting rejection? Isn’t that an oxymoron? I digress. :)
The editor rejected the story because of the language. Yes, it uses the f-bomb and a few other words that some would find objectionable. Reading between the lines, the editor liked the story and was almost apologetic about rejecting it—and asked me to submit something else—but thought there might be some issues with Internet filters and such. I gather many of her visitors read the short-shorts at work.
What I found interesting in the editor’s comments was that she didn’t ask me to submit a PG version. Perhaps, like me, she realized the language was appropriate for the character.
I wondered when I submitted the story if the R-rated language might be a problem. I wrote a PG version before I submitted it, but the words sounded strange coming out of my character. He was the kind of guy whose vocabulary would be full of four-letter words.
I’ve submitted the piece elsewhere, to a journal whose stories use similar language. I haven’t heard back from them yet.