Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Synopses and panic

I rechecked some of the guidelines for Black Library’s manuscript submission period, boy am I glad I did. They altered the requirements for manuscripts and my thought process ran as follows.
’No more novels’. Meh.
‘Short stories now sample text only’. Hmmm.
‘Short stories no longer require synopses’. Ahhhh, nice.
‘Submissions period now 1st April – 31st July’. HOLY BALL-ACHING SHITFIRE!

So firstly they will no longer accept novel submissions after the 2012 sub period, the sheer volume of subs leads to over-saturation and (sounds like) it takes up their remaining editing/coaching + proofreading time.
Few thoughts on that, mostly HUZZAH! Less novel subs mean fewer authors and competition and it means the staff have got some more time to notice mine and me.

Hmmm to help that maybe I should create a blog to satisfy the trifecta of owning a social media page, an updated personal blog and showing evidence of being a normal human being. The BL authors all seem to have this nowadays. Happily I hadn’t intended to attempt to write a novel again, shorts are the way I’m going so am rather happy with that change.

Secondly, the site set out the requirements for short story subs. ‘To be an emailed to blah blah blah, send 500-1000 words of sample text and your contact details’. That’s it. No need for a synopsis or even the finished short story. In theory Waaagh.Orksmith@40kismylife.com could quite comfortably fire off 500 words of gibbering fluff nonsense and be as vociferous about not receiving a response as any genuine author. 

This I’m not a fan of (sound like a 40k fanboy much?). Mainly due to bitterness I freely admit. Having penned 3 separate short stories from start to finish ready for the traditional May 1st – July 31st submission period it’d be nice if they didn’t change the rules halfway through my personal challenge.

Thirdly, hold on a minute...sample text only? Does that mean I don’t have to start on a synopsis for each sub? Oh joy! Synopses seem to be a necessary and thus-far unwelcome part of the writing method, whereby hacking apart my carefully crafted creation into a ‘blip-like’ summary synopsis is demanded, seemingly to satisfy (in my eyes) the lazy editor. Kidding, love them all really.

I didn’t have a month, I was already 3 days late and better get a chop on.

Thus far I’d not fully chosen my 1000 words sample text (go big or go home) that I wanted for two of the three stories, mainly as I wanted to get the synopses finished and tie them all off nicely. However I did rush off, picked my sample text, cordially sent three separate emails with contact details attached and attempted not to panic.
Must. Resist. Checking. Emails.

Anyway, its done now, in the mad panics absence I was feeling rather goal-less. I’d been so confident of hitting my May deadline that I had mapped out the next month's writing, assigning it for the synopses, so reading BL’s changes was a bit of a butt-kick.

Must remember not to project seek now. Focus…I could blog I guess? I’ll also re-read the BL guidelines again, as I’m pretty sure it doesn’t say I can’t send short story subs throughout the year. 

Come ‘ere ideas book, we’ve got some work to do…
Oooh, great South run you say Lisa? Sold.

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