I submitted a short story for an anthology that I wanted to be in. Now the anthology is for fantasy stories and I’ve written a few of them, but not any novels yet. The anthology would still be good exposure even so.
So I submitted something – well, I submitted the first 500 words as they requested. And I crossed my fingers. I expected a fairly quick response since the initial submission was only the first 500 words. And I got one
I didn’t make the cut. The editor did say the story had a strong start. And that I did an excellent job getting the Point of View Character’s personality and voice across. So there’s that.
The reason for the pass was apparently the flow between the internal dialogue and what was happening externally. The editor felt there was some disconnect that didn’t work for them. I had to tighten up the first part of the story to get the hook into the first 500 words for the submission. So he may be right. I may have cut too much. But none of the my beta readers mentioned it, so I’m going to have to go back and look at it myself.
Was it hard to see the “I’m going to pass on this”? Yes. But not as hard as I expected it to be. That’s largely because of the feedback I got with it. The editor did think it was a strong start. They did think I did a really good job with the characterization. So I’m not feeling like a failure, or like I can’t write.
Thinking more about the publisher of that anthology, I think my story may be too character driven for them. And that may be why the positives weren’t enough. I’m okay with that. I tend to write character driven stories and I know there’s an audience for them. This publisher just isn’t it.
I had debated on sending this story to them anyway. I happen to love this story and part of me wanted to keep it for myself. Well, not for myself but to indie publish or give to my mailing list.
So I am a bit disappointed that the story didn’t make the first cut. But I understand and I don’t feel it’s so much about the quality of the story as the fit for that anthology. The work is good. The tone and theme just don’t fit with the editor’s vision. I’m okay with that.