Saturday, January 31, 2015

Play it again, Sam

Do you write slice of life stories about everyday events?
I am developing a 1,500 word personal essay about my cousin's wedding reception.
There are so many ways that I can go with this, but rather than take a conventional approach, I have decided to draw parallels between something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Now I understand how a writer can sell the same story to numerous publications. It's all about the slant, I suppose. Have you ever sold the same story more than once, or do you know anyone who has? I would be interested to know more about reruns.

12 comments:

Sioux said...

Your approach will result--I'm sure--in a wonderfully unique story.

Yes, I had a nonfiction story about getting my head stuck in a sink, and when there was a call out for fictional stories, I took the same story, rewrote it and added a fictional ending (complete with hunky firemen rescuing me).

Good luck with your piece.

Bookie said...

I have never done this much as I feared doing it "wrong". In December my hometown wanted another DX station article like the one in Country for their town history. They wanted it in a few days. I took the article in chunks and put other chunks from a years old newspaper article on same subject...meshed them together and hoped for best with the short time. I hope I am not sued for plagarising myself!!!

K9friend said...

Most places I submit won't take a story that has been published elsewhere. I did, however, have an odd Chicken Soup moment on Friday. I received a contract for a story to be published in Time to Thrive, but the title was different. I signed and returned the contract and asked why they decided to change my title. Turns out they didn't choose the story I sent for Time to Thrive, but one I sent nearly 2 years ago for a completely different book. Guess they do hold on to those stories.

Pat
Critter Alley

Tammy said...

Have never done it, but I'm curious to hear what people say!

Cathy C. Hall said...

I've done it, Linda.

For quite a few years, I wrote a humorous column and so had lots of slice-of-life stories (generally around 300 to 400 words). I've taken those stories and revised, expanded, given new slants, whatever, and sold them again.

I'll usually state that a version of the story appeared in a regional magazine. It's never been a problem, selling it. (But I wouldn't try to re-sell something that had been in a CS title or had a national readership. Size of the market matters, I think.)

Dianna Graveman said...

Some years ago, I wrote a fiction piece based on the events in my travel journal. Later, I used the same events to write a nonfiction travel piece for a local paper. By the way, I got a real kick out of Pat's note to Linda above (about CS Time to Thrive). How funny! I received an acceptance for that book also last week, and I haven't submitted to CS in years! I couldn't figure out what was going on; I even emailed Linda about it. Turns out it was a story I'd submitted to a different book about four years ago. I didn't even remember having written the essay. Luckily, I found the story in my archives so I could figure out what I was giving permission to print.

Shelly said...

I've never tried to sell any of my stories, but this idea sounds terrific. Can't wait to hear how it turns out~

Theresa Sanders said...

I think you're right, Linda. You can write with the same theme, or even about the same incident, as long as the slant is unique. I know you will do it wonderfully! Good luck!

Daisy said...

I haven't done this, but I like the twist you are planning with your piece.

Susan Sundwall said...

Linda, I've sold a few more than once. One of them five times. It was a story about the family recipe box. The publications were aware but since the markets didn't cross they were cool with it.

Lisa Claro said...

Hi Linda - If the cow can be milked more than once, there's no point in locking it in the barn. :) I've done some "milking" here and there, but usually prefer to "open a fresh carton" to avoid a problem. Most topics are loaded with options, and I often find it's easier to start with a blank page than spend time trying to breathe new life into an old story. Some writers are super talented at the re-working their stuff, though.

Lynn said...

I was going to say talk to Sioux who did it, but I'm sure you would be great at rewriting stories that you've already submitted.