I don’t think I have the hang of this yet.
So far I write stories to the call. If the editor says “We went Lovecraftian fairy tales” then I think about it and sit down and write one just for that editor and send it off. I don’t write stories and then look for places to submit them. Finishing stories just for the sake of finishing them has never been my strong suit, but thinking of them as an ordered product helps. If I know who the story is going to before I type the first word then I feel committed to it.
Problem is, so far all I have gotten are rejections. Maybe the stories I write do have a home and it is just not the first place I sent it. But I am not confident about sending my work to lots of people. If the people I specifically wrote it for don’t want it, then why would anyone else? This is why I have a collection already, several of those are stories that other people rejected.
But now that I am actually thinking about it only two are. Three of them I wrote just for this collection. The one many people say is best “Red, in Tooth and Claw” was never submitted anyplace and it is a really good story.
This is on my mind today because I just finished a story yesterday. And I am going to be sending it to an editor/publisher that has turned me down twice now. Every call she puts out is perfect. I read it and I think “This is wonderful, I can do this!”. Part of me knows it is sort of stupid to keep writing things for her. But I really like all the stories that she has written and I feel like our work is similar, though different enough. And hers is of course better, since she has been doing this a lot longer.
I am pretty sure she is going to turn me down again. And this is new, up until today every story I have sent I felt was going to get accepted. I think “oh, yeah, I got this one”. But I don’t have any confidence in this story getting accepted, which is odd, as this story is really good.But should I send it to other places if it is rejected? Should I send it to other places now?
How many markets do you submit stories to? How do you decide if a market is a good fit for your work?