Submission Blitz – Day 28

April 29, 2013 at 12:48 am (fantasy, writing) (, , , , , , , )

Elements of Genocide was sent off today. I swear submitting novels to the bigger publishers feels like getting punched in the stomach. It shouldn’t – it’s hardly any different from submitting short stories – but it does. I almost enjoy submitting short stories, even on a day like today where I got a basic form letter rejection from one of the pro-rate venues I submitted to (no surprise there.)

I guess with the novels it seems like a futile effort, submitting something that will be hanging in limbo for as much as 8-12 months (or even more)just to elicit the inevitable “no”. I don’t have the same sense of hope I have when submitting short stories – there’s some there even when I’m taking a stab at a pro-rate venue. I figure there’s always a slim chance I just might break through that short story pro-rate glass ceiling someday, but I don’t believe there’s any chance for my novel manuscripts at all. I write squares when they are looking for circles. I’m pretty sure the only chance I have of ever being picked up by one of the bigger players is if I somehow make a name for myself first and they buy into that. That’s not likely to happen either. While I like what I write, I know my mind works differently from that of Joe Average. I’m not sure I’ll ever have anything more than niche appeal.

The only reason I do send the novels out to them is because I know Barb always wanted me to. She was a voracious reader and she always told me my work was better than many big six books she had read. She had hope for me, and I don’t want to let that down. But I’m not convinced myself.

Part of the problem is that I’m a rebel. I won’t write to a theme because it’s currently trendy and marketable and while I do polish my story, I won’t sand off my edges to work my way into a restrictive hole. I’m also a storyteller, not a wordsmith, which is a death-knell for a writer trying to break into the fantasy genre. What do I mean by that? For me it’s all about the story and the characters involved. It’s not about the flowery vocabulary, the frilly decor or unnecessary world-building (just the creations that count.) The only thing I try to put into a story is what is vital to the story. In an industry where “show, don’t tell” is a mantra, being a story”tell”er is just asking for nasty name-calling and finger-pointing. But I’ve never lived my life caving to peer pressure. I’m not about to start now.

Only one more novel to send out, which is good because this part always generates extra frustration. ‘Til that’s over with, I grit my teeth and wait for Tuesday.


  1. L. Marie said,

    Good luck with your submission! Sending anything out takes courage.

    • chantellyb said,

      Thanks! I did get the confirmation e-mail – now its just a matter of waiting.

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