Posts Tagged ‘anthologies’


Indecisions, Indecisions

Submitted another W1S1 story today. The market I’d originally intended to send it to just ended their submission period and won’t read again until 2012. If it hasn’t found a home by then, I’ll give them a shot.

A few weeks ago I found myself wondering about the wisdom of writing a story aimed at at anthology, particularly one that has a narrow theme. At that time I’d written one story with a fairly specific focus and submitted it. I’m still waiting to hear back on that one. If it’s rejected, it will take some reworking to make it suitable for any other market. But once I rework it, and I know exactly how I’d do that, it could be sent to a wide variety of places. In fact, while writing it I almost left out a couple of elements necessary to the anthology and wrote it a little differently. In the end, I went with the anthology’s theme.

Not long after this, I wrote a story aimed at another anthology with a narrow focus–narrow enough that I wasn’t sure where I’d send the story if it bounced back to me. I even wondered aloud at Absolute Write about the wisdom of submitting to narrowly focused anthologies. I think it was the same day or the next that the story I’d been worried about was accepted. So I stopped worrying.

Now, however, I’ve written a story with an extremely narrow focus for an anthology that has been rejected. The anthology is horror-themed, but with a specific thrust. And looking at the story now, I do have another market in mind that’s probably a good fit, but it would require cutting about 700 words. I’m not sure I want to work that hard for this story. It’s a bit wild and galloping, and I knew when I submitted that it probably wasn’t exactly what the anthology was looking for. I started out on track, but the story wanted to go in another direction. I submitted anyway because there’s no point in rejecting myself–I’ll give the editor the privelege of doing that! So I wasn’t surprised by the rejection.

I’m now left wondering, though, if I should just trunk this one. I had fun writing it, but the idea of spending time cutting a fairly wild and galloping 4,670 words story down to 4,000–I’m not sure it’s worth the effort, and I’m just not sure I want to.

The rejection, first for March and second for the year, didn’t get me down at all. I shrugged and thought, “Gosh, where can I send this one to now?” That might have something to do with how it didn’t take me long to write and I didn’t struggle over it like I do some stories. The first story I sent to antho, the one I’m waiting to hear back on, will crack my heart just a little if it’s rejected, especially if it’s form rejected. But I have a plan in place if that happens, and I really think it’ll find a home somewhere nice. I think it’s one of the best things I’ve done. The story that got picked up for the upcoming antho would have hurt me had it been rejected, because I felt great about it when it was done. This last one that was rejected made me shrug a little. I think that’s an important distinction that the story doesn’t matter to me as much, and there’s probably a good reason for that.

I’ll look for a potential market that won’t require carving first. If it keeps getting rejected, I’ll carve it down to 4,000 and submit to the market mentioned above (one that published an equally wild and galloping piece by me in 2003 or 2004). If it comes back from there, I think it’s destined for ye olde trunk.


Okay, I’ll Take It

February 12, 2011: This week’s submission went out earlier in the week. I subbed the story I wrote last week to a narrowly themed anthology with a deadline of Tuesday. I find myself wishing I’d waited, because there are about 3 paragraphs in the center that I wish I could do differently now. I don’t think they’re story breakers, but naturally only after I sent it out did it occur to me how I could have integrated the information into the action a little better. I hope if the editor finds that to be the sticking point, I get a chance to change it rather than a rejection. If it’s rejected for other reasons, well, it is what it is.

I read the first half out loud to my daughter, checking for errors and to see what she thought. She was anxious for me to continue, and then ended up upset at what happened in the story. Real tears and anger at me for not warning her, and everything. I consider that a successful story, whether it’s published or not.

This week’s story was supposed to be one of a few stories I intend to sub to upcoming anthologies or ezines with upcoming deadlines. Instead, I wrote a kind of random thing, a 750-word flash, that I don’t think is particularly good, frankly. It’s not bad, if I do say so, but it doesn’t feel whole. I’ll have to leave it alone for a while and go back, see what I think later.

So today, a Saturday, with the new week starting tomorrow (or Monday, depending on your point of view), I decided to go ahead and write one of the stories I’d thought about for last week. It’s for another anthology with a narrow focus, with a deadline of Tuesday. So that’s a day or two to write the story, and possibly a day or two to revise, depending. It’s the kind of story that feels right up my alley, though. So throughout the day today I wrote it, ending up at about 6,400 words. Now I’ll have tomorrow and Monday to comb through it, and will send it as next week’s sub on Monday.

Even if I rushed too much, if it’s not that great and ends up rejected by the anthology (always the most likely scenario, but especially so with last-minute subs, I think), I did have fun writing it. My daughter read this one herself and was intrigued to find out what was going on. Hopefully that’s another good sign.

Even if nothing I submit gets picked up, it feels really great to back in the groove of writing (and submitting) new fiction regularly.