Tuesday, August 10, 2010

State of the Nation

So here's the poop:

I've been over what has become known as "The Fucking Fairy Story" so many times it literally giveth me a headache. I wonder if someone has written a paper on this phenomenon, let's call it the "Bruised Synapse Phenomenon." Like someone hitting the same key on the piano over and over and over.... Don't get me wrong, I still love the story, but after six rejections, I've tweaked and revised it soooooooo often, it's gone numb. You know what I'm talking about, don't you, bloglodytes? I mean, I try to have a read-through and I hear Terry Jones's voice screaming "Not this record! Not this record!"

What? I'm making even less sense than usual today? Well. Rejection makes me a bit loopy. Especially meanypants ones where the editor is foul and condescending because I was ignorant enough not to know that etiquette dictates that I wait double the stated response time to query. Is this really true? I'll admit, I'm still relatively new to this game, so I'd truly love to hear from you all. Anyway, their estimated RT was 60 days, Duotrope had them averaging 42, and it had been 90. Was I really supposed to wait 120 days?

The fun part is that when it came to actual feedback (and I'm smart enough not to look it in the mouth, even if it comes in a cranky package) her complaints were almost all limited to mechanics- which I admit may have been a bit sloppy- standard typing in the US calls for two spaces after a period, over here it's one, so I'm horribly inconsistent. Also, she complained about my not-standard-American spelling of a word. I was grateful for this, because when I looked it up, I discovered that it indeed was standard American spelling, but my character is Irish and they tend to follow British spelling rules, so even though her snark was unjustified, she did me a favour. Or favor. She also complained about a boggy beginning, which I totally agreed with. I had added a rather explanatory paragraph to satisfy someone else who didn't know anything about fairies, or mounds, or Ireland, but I never liked it. So, at the end of the day, it was valuable feedback.

Actually, The whole thing wouldn't have left such a bad taste in my mouth if it weren't for her famous and well-published tendency to blacklist anyone who has the audacity to make simultaneous submissions in her court.

On a completely different note:
They're tearing up the street in front of my lovely garden shed writing space! *pout*
What an awful racket! Nevermind. I'm going to try and finish the story I was working on about the strange little boy, before the Koala gets me.

Happy Writing.


fairyhedgehog said...

"The Fucking Fairy Story" made me laugh! I wonder if you could market it under that name?

What a stinky rejection. I admire the way you get the most out of it, though, and I hope you have better luck next time you submit.

sylvia said...

You know that six rejections is um, not very much, right? Kiersten just posted about selling film rights and she had 40? 50? with half a dozen full requests also rejected. So keep submitting!

My nothing-like-yours-except-the-race novel (F'ing Faeries) is over 50 now. *sigh* I'm working on something new then and that's working well as a distraction.

I hate to admit it but I kinda hate personal feedback. I can get over a form letter in no time but even though I know a personalised rejection is a good thing, I agonise over them for ever.

Anyway, go submit. Want the names of the agents who liked faeries but not high fantasy? ;)

Mother (Re)produces. said...

Hey, *I'd* buy a "Fucking Fairy Story" any day. Well, not if it was in the adult section, but you know what I mean.

Sylvia, it's a short story. I have a novel cooking somewhere in my hippocampus but my attention span isn't grown up enough to deal with it yet. But the short answer is, I have *no* idea what's not very much. Picture me operating from a hermitage with wireless. That's about the situation. (Well, ok; there are people around, but they don't speak english, and they sure as heck don't write.) When I started subbing, it wasn't because I really thought it would get published, it was because I wanted to find out where in the continuum I was. As frustrating as the personal feedback was, I guess it's also spoiled me.
(I gotta laugh here- my comments are getting longer than my posts!) I'll be back to you for that list of agents in five years or so, ok? ;)

sylvia said...

Short stories are the worst! Somehow I got it into my head that this was a novel even though I'm sure you've corrected me before. Novels are also the worst. Meh.

But yeah, six is a lot bigger percentage of the market for short fiction than for agents - I really went off on a tangent.

Do you use duotrope? It's really useful for finding markets. I'm not sure the short story market is much of an indicator of anything though - although personal responses is *awesome* definitely.