Monday, August 25, 2008

Rejections and Revisions and Editing

Got a "not quite what I'm looking for but hope you will submit again," from Ann VanderMeer at Weird Tales on "Jack of Stones." Sigh. At 9300 words, "Jack" is a hard one to find a market for.

I also got a request for a revision from Haruah: Breath of Heaven on "Hummingbird." I did the revisions and sent it back toot-sweet.

This week I read a whole ton of slush--53 stories. 13 of those I sent on to my slush team, which is a bit over my 15-20% target. Part of that is that Jake tends to like sending Pro submissions on through to the slush team, passable or not, just to see what they have to say. I had quite a few pro submissions this week, which fluffed my numbers some.

I think the thing that surprises me the most about reading 'unfiltered' slush (ie. slush that comes right out of the proverbial mailroom) is how little of it is just plain not-ready-for-publication awful. All these years I have submitted with the expectation that my stories are within the top 90% or so simply because my grammar and spelling are correct, that I've copy-edited carefully, that I write coherent sentences, etc. From what I'm seeing, that number is closer to 20%. Of the remainder, most of the stories I'm rejecting suffer from deficient story construction and characterization. They simply leave me not caring very much about what happens in the story.

Make me care, people. Make me care.

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