I recently jumped into the running for another anthology, which means writing to a tight deadline. I tripped up my schedule for a few weeks, finalizing my novel for the Amazon Break Through Novel Contest, and was two-weeks behind schedule. I DID finish in time (barely), but now I sit here the day before the deadline, with a completed manuscript in my hands, second guessing myself.
Do I think it’s not good enough? No. The opposite. It’s tight. It’s precise….
And if you could have seen the look on my son’s face after reading it— Dang. I haven’t seen him this excited about something since finishing the Hunger Games (Not that mine is even remotely like the Hunger Games)
So what’s the problem? Submit the dern thing!
Here’s my problem… It’s too long. I did not make the word count. I contacted the publisher, and they said they would consider it at the higher word count, but it definitely would have to be cut down by 1500 words for publication in the anthology (If it were chosen)
I searched for those 1500 words, and found a possible 500 to cut, but editing out those 500 would have affected the “mood” of the story. And if another 1000 words were cut after that, the whole story would seem rushed.
If my son had said “Meh, it’s okay. I’ve read better.” (Which he has done to me in the past) I would have sliced and diced the 1500 words out of the story and sent it in.
But he didn’t say that. He asked for more. My kid the voracious reader said: “It was really great. I’ve never read anything like that before. When will you write another one?”
I thought about what those forced changes would do, and decided to take the creative high road. I am passing on the anthology, and am now embarking on a search for a publisher of Young Adult Paranormal Short/Novellas.
Ugh! I hate passing up an opportunity, but I think this particular story needs to find a more suitable home than the confines of an anthology.
I am all for editing… all stories need to be edited, but I don’t want to “cut” just for the sake of “cutting”. I’d rather have words cut because they don’t belong there… not because there is a stipulation on word count.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this?
If not, do you think you’d submit anyway, or search for a new home?
- St Somewhere Fiction Anthology – Deadline August 1st 2013 (getwrite.com)
- Call for Submission – Anthology (keithpublications.wordpress.com)
- Anthologies looking for submissions in 2013 (gailkavanagh.wordpress.com)
- Superhero Anthology – Now Accepting Submissions (outwherethebusesdontrun.com)
- Call for Submissions: Critical Works on Quentin Tarantino’s Movies! (sueddie.wordpress.com)