Yeah, I know, that’s pretty sad! But I finally did drum up the courage to submit something to Carina’s “Too Taboo” anthology call. Right when I read the information, I saw a Twitter discussion (I swear, I get some of my best ideas from Twitter!) and it sparked an idea that flowed within days.
That doesn’t always happen. Some stories I love so much and I just can’t finish them. It’s like my brain thinks something is wrong, or there’s some detail that’s just not gelling, and for whatever reason, I can’t finish. Or I finish and I know it’s not worth doing anything with.
I had my doubts last night and almost talked myself out of getting the proposal put together (synopsis, UGH!). I’ve had such a tough year and I’ve only just begun to make some headway. I could just hold this story back, finish it at my leisure, and self-pub it later, right? Right. But that’s not pushing me to take risks and put myself out there.
I mean, one of the pluses of self publishing is definitely NOT having to write a synopsis. But that’s an important skill to have in order to sell on proposal or make longer series deals. What if something I write finally becomes a best seller (snort, chuckles, yeah, I know) and a BIG comes calling with a great offer? I’d like to be able to write a synopsis — which means I’ve planned the story out. I know the beats and big twists. I know “whodunit” and “who banged who” and “why.” I’ve spent enough time to make sure my opening and closing images resonate and come full circle.
Granted, I don’t always need that level of information! But if I have it, chances are that much greater that I’ll have the confidence to finish the book and know it’ll hold up to an editor’s red-pen scrutiny.
It’d be easier to hold this story back and self pub it “later.” (Which honestly might mean I’d never finish it.) Well, I’ve never been much for taking the easiest path. I’m much more likely to kick the comfy stall down and charge off into the night, just to prove there’s still a wild heart inside me.
But I also want to make smart choices, and I did have to pause and think. I have TERRIBLE luck with anthology calls. Honestly? I’ve never had a successful acceptance for any antho call I’ve answered, and I’ve answered several. At least 5, I think. All rejections. (Survive My Fire was my submission for a dragon antho call back in 2009ish.) So what’s a rejection going to do to my frame of mind right now, after all the other publishing biz blows I’ve taken this year?
It might be smarter to play safer, if for no other reason to protect my muse, which has been a little delicate this year.
Then Gregar kicked my ass for saying he was delicate, and I saw a cool clip of Idris Elba on Facebook (shared on my page here), so I decided I was being ridiculous. I wrote the damned synopsis. I polished my first 30 pages. And I submitted that puppy over lunch today.