Over the past couple of days I finished the first (and second) draft of a new short story (well, flash actually) called REDACTED. I’ve sent it out to a couple of wonderful friends from the Rainforest Writers Village Retreat to get some feedback. I’m also going to have my wife read it tomorrow. If everyone seems happy with it and there are no major issues with it, I’ll send it out to market next week.
Therein lies the problem.
Sometimes figuring out where a story should go is the most difficult part of the process. I’ve written stories for quite a few anthologies that I thought were perfect given the theme and they were rejected in what I can only assume was the nastiest form rejection available at their disposal. (Okay, not really, but it really feels like that sometimes.)
Other times I know exactly what market a story belongs to before I even write it, and they accept it in record time. Or whatever counts for record time in publishing which lags far, far behind real time. (My forthcoming story with Daily Science Fiction followed this path.)
I have two or three other stories in various states of undress that I already know the perfect market for. But REDACTED is a tough one. The idea came quickly and was written even quicker. It’s an epistolary tale and has some strange formatting and I think there’s a possibility that either of those things could turn a market off. I don’t know much about print publishing but I think the formatting weirdness would work better for an online market.
I guess I could just select my top three to five markets and randomly choose one. But I don’t particularly like that idea. So, internet writer friends, what do you do when you don’t know where a story belongs? (Besides weep and gnash your teeth.)