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Quick Baen Bounce


On one hand I'm happy that the first readers were nice enough to bounce my submission to Jim Baen's Universe so quickly. On the other, I know the story is good. Reading it again (for what seems like the millionth time) I've fallen in love with Doe once more. He's got a great story to tell, and for some reason I can't find the right editor.

Is it the sex? I would hope not. Because, while it's present, since "Romeo" is a prostitute, it's also presented in a subtle, tasteful manner. That's a conscious decision on my part because I know that some day my kids (my youngest, at least) is going to sit down and look at what her dad wrote, and I want her to feel proud about what I accomplished and how it makes her feel about the characters.

Am I a bad writer? I don't think that's the case. Ego talking a bit here, I know, but we've all got to have strong ones to send stories out. We've got to believe what we've done is good enough to publish. I'm just got the luxury of knowing I can write publishable/reviewable/reprintable prose. Heck, I got an email back from Interzone about my email submission just this week that it made the first cut out of the 500+ stories subbed during the May period. That puts the story into the top 6 percent. And if I make the next cut, the story is in the top 3 percent. Sucky sucky prose does not do that. So, I can write.

It must be the length. It is a novelette. But I can't cut it down and tell the story. Heck, my only other choice is to bite the bullet and finally sit down and make the damn thing a novel again.

Sorry for the venting. Sometimes I just hate the lottery aspect of this business. I'm down to sending "Romeo, Unbound" off to Writers of the Future at this point, which means I'm not going to know what to do with it until Novemberish if I decide to take the plunge and drop it into the mail.

Edited to add:

The above post is not a rant. Venting probably isn't the best word to use. Jay posted something earlier about using LJ as a private diary at points. And I can see and agree with that thought. I don't expect people to read this. If they do ... they do. I won't write something I wouldn't say in public or say in front of my kids.

The submission process is what it is. Tilting at windmills. And using that phrase is a conscious recognition on my part that the publishers (both the companies and the editors) are not dragons. :-)


Jul. 20th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
First, thanks for the bite. :-)

Second ... my post is more about dialogue than frustration. "Vent" probably wasn't the right word to use. Let's try "express" instead. As in expressing thoughts. Because while I couldn't recommend any stories, it wasn't because the ones I've read weren't good or bad. I just didn't feel one way or another about them. Which says more about me as a reader than you as an editor or JBU as a magazine. Subbing my story was an expression of wanting to see something like that published there. It's a big universe out there. ;-)

Third, sorry you found the story boring. I don't think you're being too blunt or ranting. Dialogue is good, and your opinion about what you consider entertaining and interesting is perfectly valid. You're the gatekeeper and any publisher puts people into place who exhibit the same values and tastes that the publisher holds as well.

It's interesting that we're both right, but not right in the same way. :-)

And lastly ... thanks for the recommendations.

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