A question from the “feeling stupid” files…

So, hypothetically speaking, you know, I have this friend… Okay, no, I don’t have this friend.
Suppose I have this story, and my friend said it sucked last July, and I’d had it critiqued at a writing workshop in September and rewritten it so much that a unix diff on the files leaves me scratching my head and wondering where the untouched parts are and whether they exist, but there is the same premise and the same characters and all.
Is this a new story when I go to submit it?

  1. Yes, it’s a new story. Submit like the wind!
  2. No, it’s the same story. You’ve burned the story at the markets that saw the old version. Sucks to be you.
  3. It depends on the editor.

How embarrassed should I be that I don’t know the answer to this question?

  1. Extremely.
  2. A moderate amount.
  3. Mildly.
  4. Not at all.

If I submit like the wind, should I say something to the markets that saw the previous version? If so, what should I say?

  1. It’s rude to not mention it. Say something like this.
  2. It’s a new story. Don’t mention it.
  3. Tell them it’s a “reboot” of the other story.
  4. Do something else, which I will detail in comments.

Discuss.

8 Comments

Filed under selling fiction

8 Responses to A question from the “feeling stupid” files…

  1. B. B. Kristopher

    Is this a new story when I go to submit it?
    C. It depends on the editor.
    How embarrassed should I be that I don’t know the answer to this question?
    D. Not at all.
    If I submit like the wind, should I say something to the markets that saw the previous version? If so, what should I say?
    I honestly don’t know what to say.

  2. Well, you’re a big help! 😉
    Seriously, that’s about where I am, too. Dammit.

  3. Jennifer Pelland

    Alas, it’s not a new story. If you resub it to a market that’s already seen it and the editor hasn’t changed in the meantime, then you need to be honest about it in your cover letter.
    Sorry.

  4. Thanks, Jen. I figured I needed to say something.
    The unix diff command claims that not a single paragraph of the original story was left untouched. Now that’s a rewrite!
    Should I just not even send it to those other markets, or should I go ahead unless they say “no resubs”?

  5. Another Voice in the Cacophony

    I don’t think it’s a new story. If you resub, I’d mention it’s an extensive rewrite.
    In my extensive experience, that is. 😉
    I don’t think you should be embarassed to ask the question. It’s a good question.

  6. I’ve been pretty much using the text that I linked on the new subs. I was mainly having a moment of authorial anxiety that I was doing it wrong.

  7. Jennifer Pelland

    Should I just not even send it to those other markets, or should I go ahead unless they say “no resubs”?
    It can’t hurt to try. Actually, it could hurt in that it could be a massive waste of time if they sit on it for five months before opening the envelope, then immediately reject it for being a resub.

  8. LOL!
    I hadn’t sent it to anyone really pokey yet, so it should be okay. 😉