Monday, January 4, 2010

Skidmark Rejection

Vrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm!

That's the sound of my story getting rejected in less than 24 hours flat (it was 13 hours, to be precise).

Wow, that's the fastest rejection I've ever received! "It just didn't work for me" was the response from the editor.

Bummer.

Oh well, back to the drawing board. I think I'm done shopping around this particular story. I mean, this was a high-paying pro market, and normally I would just submit to some token markets and probably get a marginal sale that way. But apparently, according to John Scalzi and most other pros, these token markets are not even worth bothering with. It seems that if a story is not good enough to sell in the better markets, it's just not good. Period.

I'm thinking of adopting this philosophy, which eliminates EVERY story I've written to date. Not one of them is that good. Even the two that have sold (which you can find at the top of this page's sidebar). In my opinion, nothing I'm writing right now is of sufficient standard to submit to the Pros or even Semi-Pros. What this means is that I have to put on hold all submissions and just continue to work on my craft in silent for a little while. According to what I see of my snail-like progress, this might last a few years. Maybe 4 at the most. I have a lot to learn.

But on the plus side I will continue to write. And every now and then I'll test the waters with something, sure. But I'm going to put a stop to this practice of sending every single story out to markets in the hopes that at least one will bite. It's not helping at all, and the only result I get is that maybe a token market or two will buy them. Which seems to be a waste of time according to my betters.

I have some ideas on how to switch gears and improve my writing faster. For one, I think it's time I move into high intensity crit-shopping. It will be brutal, but I think it's just what I need to get better.

But for now, all my current short stories are going to be put on hold. They all have premises that the old me way of thinking thought up. This will not do, so those stories will not do. I'll take a little breather and work on the Castlevania III novelization instead. It's my practice novel, and will flex different muscles from short story writing. This will most likely take up a good portion of the first half of this year, if not beyond. By the end of the year, I'll be in a better position to re-assess my short story failings and see what I can salvage from there.

2 comments:

Kim Kasch said...

Sorry :(

David Batista said...

Nothing to be sorry about, Kim. But thanks!

I actually don't see this as a bad thing. It frees me from feeling guilty about not spending enough time sending stories out, and allows me instead to do what I've always wanted to do: focus purely on improving my skills. I thought I could do both, but apparently I'm not ready yet.

It started to feel like a conveyor belt. Story comes out, gets rejected. On to next story. Rejected. On to next story. And so on. I need to slow down and do more navel-gazing at the story level before I start trying to rapid fire completed works out into the market again.

I get the feeling I'll come out the better for this in the long run. So don't cry for me, Argentina. :)

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