Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

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amyhg
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Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby amyhg » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:19 pm

I'm having an identity crisis this quarter. I've submitted my piece for Q3, and I think it has a good chance of going far, but I actually don't want it to place. My reasoning is that the style I wrote it in is not the style I want people to associate me with. There's nothing wrong with it -- just straight-forward YA fantasy -- but I love to write more poetically. I feel like I've submitted a Garth Nix piece while what I want to be known for is Patrick Rothfuss or Pierce Brown.

Anyone else felt this way about a submission? Are my feelings even reasonable? They're based on the assumption that WOTF winners are defined by their winning pieces. Is that the case?

Thoughts, anyone?

P.S. And truthfully, if this piece did win, I'd still be ecstatic. :p
v33: Q3, Q4 - R
v34: Q1 - R, Q2 - SECOND PLACE!

kentagions
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby kentagions » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:15 pm

I know what you're saying. Name recognition is a big part of marketing. Becoming known through WotF for YA Fantasy might appear to shut the door on that amyhg High Fantasy writer clambering to get out.

However, once he'd become known for horror, do you suppose Stephen King used his real name or Richard Bachman in his pitch letters?

hlreinhold
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby hlreinhold » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:54 pm

I feel a little like this. I'd prefer to win (and be associated) with SF rather than fantasy, yet my last entry was fantasy and (in my opinion) not written in my 'ideal style' (whatever that is). But I think the plot was a lot smoother, and the piece might have a better chance than some of my recent SF stories. So I feel somewhat in two minds about it.

But I don't honestly think that which piece you win with matters in the long run. If you keep writing and if your writing keeps improving, your future work should overshadow any WotF winning story anyway. I think it's best to just submit the strongest piece you've got each quarter, regardless of genre or style.

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Dustin Adams
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby Dustin Adams » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:11 am

I have felt the same way.
I like some stories better than others, but if I submit them, I want to win with them. Eyes on the prize, and all that. Whatever it takes to get me to LA. Plus, I've never disliked a story I've submitted.
Of all my submissions, the one I most wish won was my first finalist. Perhaps no coincidence that it scored higher than all my other submissions...
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MattDovey
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby MattDovey » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:07 am

You'll only be defined by your winning piece if you allow yourself to be, continuing to write only in the way that you won with. I won with a fantasy, but that's not stopped me selling sci-fi. It's short fiction, so everyone expects range and variety anyway--and with WotF in particular, it's categorically for beginners. You should be growing and evolving past this publication. Besides, ain't no Writing Police gonna come knocking on your door if you change your style or approach wotf001
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disgruntledpeony
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby disgruntledpeony » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:15 am

MattDovey wrote:You'll only be defined by your winning piece if you allow yourself to be, continuing to write only in the way that you won with. I won with a fantasy, but that's not stopped me selling sci-fi. It's short fiction, so everyone expects range and variety anyway--and with WotF in particular, it's categorically for beginners. You should be growing and evolving past this publication. Besides, ain't no Writing Police gonna come knocking on your door if you change your style or approach wotf001

wotf010 Well said, sir. wotf013
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
2015, Q4: R
2016: SF, n/a, SHM, SHM
2017: SHM, n/a, ?

amyhg
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby amyhg » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:58 pm

What everyone's said makes sense. I don't have much experience in the business of publishing, but I"m assuming being professionally published says a lot to editors about my ability. Then they can judge if that ability extends to their niche by reading the submission.

For some reason I was thinking of it the opposite way, that publishers would come looking for me because they'd seen what I published and wanted something like it. Does that even happen?
v33: Q3, Q4 - R
v34: Q1 - R, Q2 - SECOND PLACE!

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disgruntledpeony
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby disgruntledpeony » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:51 pm

amyhg wrote:What everyone's said makes sense. I don't have much experience in the business of publishing, but I"m assuming being professionally published says a lot to editors about my ability. Then they can judge if that ability extends to their niche by reading the submission.

For some reason I was thinking of it the opposite way, that publishers would come looking for me because they'd seen what I published and wanted something like it. Does that even happen?

If it does, it's rare. It's possible it used to happen, but doesn't anymore. From everything I've read, the market seems to be oversaturated.
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
2015, Q4: R
2016: SF, n/a, SHM, SHM
2017: SHM, n/a, ?

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MattDovey
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby MattDovey » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:23 am

amyhg wrote:What everyone's said makes sense. I don't have much experience in the business of publishing, but I"m assuming being professionally published says a lot to editors about my ability. Then they can judge if that ability extends to their niche by reading the submission.

For some reason I was thinking of it the opposite way, that publishers would come looking for me because they'd seen what I published and wanted something like it. Does that even happen?


It happens, but only once you're well known and accomplished enough. To illustrate what I mean by "well known and accomplished", I've not yet had any secret anthology invites or garnered any special market access, and I'm up to 16 sales now in the last 20 months, 12 of them originals at pro rates, and I'm a member of two writing groups, on staff at a pro magazine and an occasional (and admittedly new) narrator for podcasts. We're talking Ken Liu, Aliette de Bodard sort of levels--so don't worry about it for now :D
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Dustin Adams
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby Dustin Adams » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:24 am

MattDovey wrote:... (and admittedly new) narrator for podcasts.

Dude, I could listen to you narrate a dictionary.
You, and James Earl Jones.
I'm ready.

Webster.
2x Finalist
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7x HM
Eight EDF stories. DSF: Flash1. Flash2. Short Story. My Semi-F

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MattDovey
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby MattDovey » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:04 am

Dustin Adams wrote:
MattDovey wrote:... (and admittedly new) narrator for podcasts.

Dude, I could listen to you narrate a dictionary.
You, and James Earl Jones.
I'm ready.

Webster.


Whereas for my money, I reckon Tina Connolly could make me cry reading the dictionary. Zyzzogeton she'd whisper, and tears would roll down my face.

I may be biased after my Escape Pod story recently, but everybody--everybody--should listen to her narration of Carnival Nine at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

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hlreinhold
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby hlreinhold » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:47 am

MattDovey wrote:I may be biased after my Escape Pod story recently, but everybody--everybody--should listen to her narration of Carnival Nine at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.


I agree. She's done a wonderful job of bringing both these stories to life. Listen, people!

ImaWriter
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby ImaWriter » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:26 am

In my opinion, if you are fortunate enough (and lucky enough) to win: gift horse... mouth... blah, blah, blah.

KathiLS
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Re: Wanting to Do Well But Not Win...?

Postby KathiLS » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:40 am

Dustin Adams wrote:
MattDovey wrote:... (and admittedly new) narrator for podcasts.

Dude, I could listen to you narrate a dictionary.
You, and James Earl Jones.
I'm ready.

Webster.


And Sam Elliot.
~Kathi
Q3 V33 Finalist
The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.
~Peter Pan

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