Monday, December 1, 2008

Random Thoughts on Rejection

As previously noted, I like spending time reading other writers blogs, I like reading about their successes and what anthologies they've submitted to. I've found there's actually a cool and supportive community of writers out there, spending time on each others blogs, offering congratulations upon success and sympathy upon failure or near miss. Many write bluntly about rejection as well, but for whatever reason, when I started this thing I didn't want or expect to.

But rejection is such a part of the game, it's hard not to write about. There's just no getting around it. After years of querying agents and publishers (and this recent foray into short fiction) I figure I'm sitting on close to two-hundred rejections. And I suppose if you're gonna have a blog, and wanna keep folks even mildly interested, you've got to write about something.

That being said, I received a few rejections over the weekend, all of them deserved. The first was from an upcoming anthology of humorous horror, the editor noting that my submission was not horror and not funny. Ouch!

Setting aside that humor is subjective (I think there were a few chuckles in there) I absolutely understand why they didn't select the story. It was basically a few anecdotes cobbled together from a long ago attempt to write a humorous serial killer novel. No surprise the editor saw it as just that. Part of me knows this and is embarrassed to have even wasted their time.

The second rejection came as no surprise. It was a story culled from a few chapters of a completed novel now gathering dust. The magazine editor is no fan of vampires.

The third rejection came with brief but enlightening comments. The story did not pull her in, and read more like the beginning of a novel than a short story. I always appreciate feedback as to why a particular story was not selected or found wanting. She has a definite point.

I also think I'm submitting too much, and writing stories geared to specific markets. I think I'm gonna scale back a while and work on things I want to write or am inspired to write, as opposed to writing to fit a particular anthology. Focus on quality as opposed to quantity. Perhaps once I've got a few good ones (this time) finished, the market for them will take care of itself.

I've still got a couple of submissions lingering out there, one or two I think still may have a chance. I'll keep ya posted!

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