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Paid for Buffy

After sending Simon Spotlight Entertainment an SASE, I've received their guidelines for submitting Buffy the Vampire Slayer novel proposals. They require an outline and sample chapter -- pretty much typical for fiction submissions. But the idea I had was for a post-Chosen story -- in other words, set after the end of the series. Although it isn't specifically said, their guidelines make it clear that they prefer stories set during the run of the series.

So the question is, do I retool my story idea to set it before the end of the show, which would be a great deal of work, indeed? Or do I roll the dice and send it to them as is, hoping it'll knock their socks off? They prefer working with published authors, so my chances are low enough without playing fast and loose with the rules, but one thing the guidelines did say was "please consider playing around with the novel format: tell the story backward, in flashback, or through the eyes of another character". I wonder if a later time frame qualifies as a similar "thinking outside the box" process.

*sigh* No wonder so many good writers never try to get published -- the process tends to crush the spirit.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
curiouswombat
Sep. 20th, 2005 10:09 am (UTC)
I'd be inclined to send it as it is. If they reject it you can ask why, and if it is because it's outside the timeline of the series then go back and try and rewrite, or start again with a new story!
ozma914
Sep. 20th, 2005 10:56 am (UTC)
Fear and confusion
True, but on the other hand, they say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. In other words, if they're really serious about always sticking within the series, as they hint, they could get upset that I dared do otherwise -- even though they don't specifically say not to.
But again, if I hit 'em with a really brilliant plot and sample chapter, they would ask me to try again anyway, right? Right? :-/ Now all I have to do is be really brilliant. No pressure.
keith5by5
Sep. 20th, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
If you're going to sell your soul to the devil, I'd advise re-tooling your story, give them exactly what they want that's the way to maximise your chances.

ozma914
Sep. 21st, 2005 08:18 am (UTC)
Actually, I once sold my soul for a pickup truck
I don't consider trying to get published selling my soul; after all, it's not like I'm writing great literature, and maybe some editorial suggestions would improve my story.
I consider myself a pretty good writer, but nobody's going to have a college class fifty years from now covering "M.R. Hunter's Alternative Buffyverse Literature". Probably. Besides, even the great artists sometimes had to slum to support their art.
That's what I keep telling myself.
keith5by5
Sep. 21st, 2005 10:59 am (UTC)
Re: Actually, I once sold my soul for a pickup truck
I refer you to my comments about Buffy verse novels, they're so bad, they're what drove me into looking for fan fiction.

Hell, every one wants to sell, but wouldn't it be more satisfying to sell your own creations? Besides, the standard of Buffy novels not high..

And your soul? Wouldn't give you a bike for it.
ozma914
Sep. 23rd, 2005 06:07 pm (UTC)
maybe not soul, but at least sold
Ah, but that's exactly my point: I'm going to make a GOOD Buffyverse novel. I may give in to some editorial requirements, but I won't compromise on writing, plotting or characterization. Someday you'll read that novel and think, "Say, paid writer can do good work!"
Besides, paid writers have to start somewhere. If the standard for Buffy novels isn't high, it just gives me that much more of a chance to get my foot in the door with something that's better. The publishing industry does take someone who can get that first book published a lot more seriously, so from that point on it'll be easier to sell my own creations, of which I have many. Then I can quit my present job, show up at family and high school reunions wearing black turtlenecks and smoking a pipe, and be VERY satisfied.
I've got it all planned out. :-)
keith5by5
Sep. 23rd, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC)
Re: maybe not soul, but at least sold
Black turtlenecks? Pipes?

Think again.

I see your point about a first published book whatever it is giving you a foot in the door though.

The thing with Buffy books though is I never felt they added anything, they were all wafer-thin on the characterisation....
ozma914
Sep. 24th, 2005 09:37 am (UTC)
wafer characterization
You're right about that. Just within the past couple of months I finally got a chance to read the first of the Buffy tie-in novels, and I wasn't impressed at all with the way they handled characterization. Plots were a little better, if predictible, while the writing was generally too simplistic.
The more recent novels have been better, although still not perfect.

I think I'm going to leave my novel set post-Chosen, although otherwise I'll bring it in closer to the publisher guidelines. I'll hope to wow them enough that they even if they decide not to buy that story, at least they'll want to see something else from me. Now I have to start working on the outline -- ugh. Although I always outline my stories beforehand, they're not the kind work that would impress an editor.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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