Now personally I am most at ease when I am writing Fantasy stories; since 1978 in fact when (in all modesty) I pioneered the comic sub-genre. The flaw in this was that the tales were written on scraps of A5 paper in my own hand, which should be best described as ‘interesting’ and crammed into a paper wallet. One day these were shown to a fellow work-mate who was also a reader of Fantasy and claimed to have contacts and ‘also ‘knew things’.
What these things were or who the contacts might have been it was not my fate to find out. We were working for a ***redacted*** and these were ***redacted*** times, suffice it to say we went in somewhat different directions. Yet a year later in the city of ***redacted*** as I was being swept along by a crowd going in one direction I noticed him being swept in the opposite direction. I was for talking but you know the problems you can get into by trying to stop a crowd, aside from the physical ones people do get accusatory as if the whole world is geared to their wishes and plans anyhow judging by his grim demeanour it appeared he had Other Things on his mind and was an enthusiastic part of the crowd going the other way and so that was that.
Well, I carried on writing bits and pieces and intending to put them together but somehow there never seemed to be the time nor the resources to send them anywhere, apart from those occasional grand gestures inexperienced writers get to do; the tragi-comic process of sending a handwritten letter with handwritten bits of work to very large and prestigious publishing companies without checking if they are remotely interested in your type of work. I was not downcast by not getting replies. No sir! It was obvious they were only concerned with the trendy, the famous and the fashionable…..well I’d show them!!
So in the process of ‘showing them’ I found that I was not a pioneer in this sub-genre, there were and had been others before and about me who were in varying degrees of success writing Fantasy and being funny in the process. Maybe not quite as funny, but nonetheless funny or worse humorous, incisive and witty.
It is indeed difficult to place your piece about the villain slipping on their robe and falling headfirst into a privy above a pithy paragraph which manages to combine wry comments on the genre, the expectations and some fragile perceptions in contemporary society with a colourful piece of action.
This all took place before there was an Internet and these days anyone can put up any sort of fiction or stuff masquerading as fact without much interruption. However it would seem that similar obstacles still intrude upon those who would have aspirations to being accepted by prestigious or even modest publishers . (Only these days the poorly researched submission would of course be e-mailed- and probably to someone in the organisation who has long since left or closed down that e-mail account)
At this stage there are a few options open.
(1) Give up the whole business and turn your energies to a hobby or interest which does not require placing the finished work before some person or personages for acceptance. In part I have gone down this road, I make post apocalyptical ruined cities out of card, with at least one building bearing an indication it was once the location of a publishers.
(2) Take the Bitter and Brooding approach and write savage and grim pieces on the follies of society in general while lamenting its failure to appreciate the true worth of whatever takes your fancy. Then post it up on a website and continue in this vein until you either tire of it or the website tires of you. At this stage you should go into self-publishing small volumes of angry poetry; it doesn’t matter what you are angry about, no one is likely to notice, which will only prove, to you, how misunderstood you are; this should keep you in inspiration for years, although the number of Christmas Cards you get will likely shrink. But art must have its sacrifices!! You should also get rid of any T-shirts you have with (apparently) funny statements or captions. You can’t go around the place with a grim brooding face and a funny T-shirt; just take a look at those who do. One if not both messages are being negated by the other.
(3) Shrug it all off with a small smile and justify your efforts as creating a sub-sub-genre which will one day have it’s…..errr….day, and devoted following.
(4) Get yourself a website and complain about something. It doesn’t really matter what, if you go on long enough, fill it will contradictory statements and as few verifiable facts you will be bound to get a following, particularly if you blame the government (of your country) and the CIA/NSA, this is always a winning combination.
Of course you will note that none of the above will be any the more likely to get your original work published, but all of them are less work, and in the case of (2) & (4) require no application of intelligence or artistic effort whatsoever.