Just a Comment and not a question

by Otto Bumberger
(Pennsylvania)

I've written a novel (going by notes as far back as High School, over 40 years ago), and have pieced everything together and fleshed it out to my satisfaction.


Yes, I'm a VERY slow worker. But I'm fairly well-traveled, I read a lot, and I have years of experience to color my fiction.

Even if I knew it'd never sell I'd keep on writing. Maybe my grandkids will find my manuscript(s) in some dusty attic years after I'm gone. Who knows?

In a nutshell this novel is about a small town in Pennsylvania in 1946 which has become tainted with an infestation of the undead. (yes, groan, yet another vampire story) But, like Stephen King once said, "How many times in your life have you eaten eggs? But there's always a new way to fix eggs." That is to say, every person has their own unique voice.

After my first draft my novel ended up being 1,200 pages long! After a few more years and NINE more drafts I've cut and polished, and cut and polished some more. I trimmed away as much 'fat' as possible, removing most of the 'Back-Story,' but kept enough flashbacks necessary to explain and define certain points. Now it's down to around 500 pages. Thank God!

My publishing history is very short. It includes a short (factual) hunting story for a national magazine, and two vampire short stories published in the small press, plus a few short articles for other magazines.

I believe this novel is good (I'm my own worst critic), my characters are distinctive and three-dimensional enough, and I strove to make this book a page turner, fast paced enough, and interesting enough, so that it would be hard to
put down. And let me add here that the more research one puts into a story, the more authentic it is. Ron L. Hubbard once stated that he "was always searching for the magic lamp which will shoot his stories genie-like into full bloom without the least effort on his part. The name of this magic lamp is called RESEARCH." With today's on-line computer technology it's a hell of a lot easier than traipsing around a musty library somewhere for hours.

Here's the pet peeve: I think the hardest part of all this is getting an editor.
I don't mind rejections, having gotten dozens in the past (I could paper my wall with them) . . . . but it's downright annoying when I don't even get a response most of the time.

Response: Getting published has never been easy, and it seems to have gotten harder in recent decades. Long gone are the days when an editor would buy a flawed manuscript with potential and work with the writer to turn it into a masterpiece.

But so what? Writing does not have to be commercially successful. Sometimes the fulfillment that comes from the process of writing something you find meaningful is enough reward.

I fact, I would say that anytime someone writes "The End" on a manuscript, it is a heroic accomplishment. So congratulations on having reached this stage after the artistic journey of a lifetime. I'm sure you wouldn't have got this far if you didn't have a strong muse, determination, and at least some enjoyment along the way.

Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you the best of luck in getting your work seen by those who are most worthy of appreciating it.

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