So, one of those delayed submissions finally came back, and it’s a rejection — but it’s a rejection of a kind I don’t often get, namely the “Liked it, but it’s not a fit for our magazine” rejection. It’s actually pretty hard to feel bad about that — if I’ve done my job well enough that they at least have to consider it, then I’m pretty satisfied. And as a rule, although I try to write well, follow the guidelines and obey the thematic restrictions, I try not to restrict my submissions too much based on style. Sometimes, magazines publish stories you might not expect.
At the side of all this, I discovered — quite by chance — that another of my prospect markets has increased its word-count. I have a story that I would like to send them, but I need to find a way to trim it down again. It recently got rejected, and although some of the issues the reader had were down to them misreading the story a little, they also commented on something that they didn’t understand — the detail explaining it had been cut in an editing session (down from 12k to 7.6k, a lot of background and surrounding world-information was cut), and so I had to add that back in, as well as revert to a previous ending (I was trying a new one, but it didn’t work as a pay-off).
This story has had at least four endings so far. It’s also done quite well in terms of rejections, with second-rounds at some markets I’d really like to get published by, but I’ve just not quite made that final step.
Anyway, reinstating the ending didn’t hurt — it actually cut about twenty words or so — but adding in the missing explanation bloated it back up to 7,550. And, of course, that market now has a hard limit of 7500. And that fifty words might not sound like much, but I’ve put so much effort and time into cropping this story already…I’d cropped it from 12k to 7.6k, but then the next hundred words from 7.6k to 7.5k was really hard. And now I need to find another fifty words to cut.
Assuming, of course, it gets rejected in its current form from its current submission. It most likely will, but I guess we’ll see…