I'll admit, getting 21 rejections in a row was a bummer.
I needed to take some time and tend to my wounds. By which I mean, focus more on writing that submitting. I must admit that my writing is improving my leaps and bounds. I'm officially in Story 2.0 mode now. My next generation of stories is about to go flying through the submissions process, which means I'll likely end up with 21 more rejections.
But that's okay. Rejections do sting less when they become an accepted part of life. Like bugs and camping. You go camping, you get bit. That's the price of camping. You write and sub, you get rejected. That's the price of being an author.
I think my next teachers will be the pulp authors of old. I was reading a pulpy story on one of my critter sites, and it sure looked like fun. The snappy attitude, the larger than life characters, the twists and turns to keep things moving.
So I'm trying Lester Dent's master formula on my current story. The rub is, the story started as a sort of sci fi think piece. As such, it was getting boring. With Lester Dent's magic forumula, it suddenly seems more interesting.
The pulp tip of the day: When your characters are talking, have them doing something.
"You bring the map?" Charlie asked.
"Sure I brought the map. Why wouldn't I?" Nick said.
"Because you never bring the map."
Now, add action:
"You bring the map?" Charlie ducked as the flaming arrow whizzed over his head.
Nick aimed his pistol over the wall and squeezed off a shot. "Sure I brought the map. Why wouldn't I?"
"Because you never bring the map," Charlie said. He slapped a fresh clip into his .45.
PULP IT UP!