A Dilemma

I think I mentioned that I sent one of my stories off to a market that takes months and months to respond (actually a year or so would be closer to the truth).  I did so because it also pays two and a half times what the other markets pay.  I like the story and I think it’s of publication quality, so why wouldn’t I aim for the highest paying market?  I’m not in a huge rush to get published, so I was fine with the wait.

And then yesterday I was reading a post on Making Light by Abi Sutherland that tied into a post by Elizabeth Bear on Clarkesworld’s site.  And basically what I pulled from both posts is that there’s a current lack of light-hearted science fiction in the market.  (There’s more to the posts, but that’s the part that triggered my dilemma.)

The story I submitted is a humor piece.  Not some slapsticky, clever pun type story, but it definitely has parts that I hope people will laugh at.  So, the question is, would I be better off pulling it from the market that takes forever and submitting it to a few of the markets that could actually accept it now while this whole discussion is occurring?  Is there an actual opportunity here?

Of course, I could just submit the story to the fast response markets and leave in the other market’s queue, but I know they don’t want simultaneous submissions and, even if no one else realized what I had done, I’d know I’d sim subbed it when I shouldn’t have.  And I’m not going to withdraw a story and then resubmit it.  To me that’s just tacky.  So, if I pull, I’m basically self-eliminating this story from that market.  And possibly for nothing.

Realistically, the odds of the story getting accepted by any paying market are low, so in a sense this debate is pointless.  It’s like debating how I’d spend my bonus if I were a first round pick in the NFL draft.  But, I have to believe it is of publication quality and treat it as such.

So, I’m pretty sure I’m going to pull it from the first market, but I’m going to sit on the decision for a day.  Anyone who wants to chime in with thoughts in the interim, please feel free to do so.

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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2 Responses to A Dilemma

  1. bluedeckshoe says:

    I know how you feel. I read some writing competition outlines and realise that I have something perfect on my blog already – but it’s that phrase “Previously unpublished” that gets you every time. I would be tempted to leave the first piece to its fate and write some more (now knowing about the shortage). Good luck!

  2. mhleewriter says:

    Bluedeckshoe – thanks for the advice! I wish I were a good enough writer to be able to just jot down another similarly funny piece, but I’m afraid that’s not the case. I tend toward sardonic humor more often than not, so this story was a bit of an exception for me. Hmmm. Perhaps I’ll give it a few more days and see what surfaces from the subconscious and then decide…

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