By Kim Dare.
Masochism - I suppose the same could be said of any form of writing for publication, but what I’m talking about is specifically those writers who write for publication and then make their lives far more difficult and painful than they need to.
I have nothing against a little bit of masochism at the right time and in the right place – but while seeking publication is probably not the best time to indulge in it.
Rejection hurts in a very nasty way – and it doesn’t matter if it’s from a publisher or a reviewer. Reviewers are tricky – you can’t please all the people all the time, it’s easy to get glowing and scathing reviews for the same book.
But why invite more rejection from publishers than is absolutely necessary?
I’ve been writing for what feels like forever, but I’ve only been writing with a serious intent to publish for about sixteen months (it was a New Years resolution for 2008 to be exact). So, I’m no expert on anything, but I suppose what I’m advocating is somewhere in the middle of what everyone else has been saying.
I’m not saying you should write to the market as such – mostly because I’m very bad at it. My characters tend to do whatever they hell they want no matter what I’d been planning for them.
Trying to force those characters to do one thing when they obviously want to do something else is painful for me – and not in a fun way. So I don’t stress myself out over making sure they do something the market will approve of. If they do something my current publisher won’t accept – then I’ll look for somewhere else to send them. I’d rather do that than compromise the project or the characters.
But that brings me to the other side of the story – what I do believe in, is submitting each project to the right market. As Jude said – know the guidelines and follow them. And send the story to the place that is most likely to accept it. Then, if you get a letter back saying it’s rejected because it’s too X or there’s not enough Y in it, next time you send them something – try to send them something with less X or more Y.
Meanwhile try to find a publisher who likes more X than Y in their stories, who’ll be more likely to accept your previous story. Don’t keep hitting the same publisher over the head with what they don’t want – you’ll be the one who ends up with a headache!
I tend to work with all sorts of different story ideas milling around in my head and on my to-do lists at the same time. (I assume that most writers are the same.)
If there’s one of those story ideas that has a better chance of being accepted by a certain publisher or for a certain call than another story idea, I think its common sense send off the one they are more likely to accept and keep the other one for another day and another publisher.
There’s no reason to invite rejection by making getting published any harder than it has to be. I don’t think I’m advocating writing for the market as such – but maybe I’m saying that it sometimes makes sense to concentrate on those story ideas that are more acceptable to the market you’re aiming for at the moment?
As for myself?
I’ve had one or two stories that haven’t been accepted into the projects I first had planned for them, but so far everything I’ve submitted for publication has found its rightful home somewhere.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just lucky in that I happen to be writing the kind of stories that the publishers I’ve chosen to submit to are accepting at the moment. Maybe that will change - Markets fluctuate after all.
I like kink, romance and happy endings, and that’s what I write. If the demand for BDSM erotic romance dries up, I’ll be in trouble. I may have to re-think and make a few painful realisations about my chances for continued publication.
But until then, I’m keeping the masochism strictly for play time!
Kink, love and a happy ending. Do you Dare?