Re: reading work out loud
I wrote a huge long post for this thread. It must have taken me too long. I don't feel like starting over, so I'll just say this:
I had to do a paper on Faulkner's Barn Burner in college. It was ridiculous. Because of that, he is my least favorite author. That is the only paper I've ever received less than an A on. Seriously p'd me off!
If you've been traditionally published, there are no rules. If you have not, well you have to try to follow them. Life sucks. It would be nice to be that one person that can get away with doing whatever...but it's not likely. Those of us that are not that lucky, must follow the standard rules. Those that are--well kudos to you!!! Someone ought to have an easy go of it. And the rest will work hard and strive to make some sort of change. I will anyhow. And if I can't make a change, well I'll try to at least be interesting! lol
Fear Of Rules, part XXXIV
As Noah Lukemann hints, anything that you want to get published has to get past a gatekeeper or three. The gatekeper's job is to take everything that comes in -- solicited or slush -- & trim it to a manageable fraction that can get more in-depth consideration. Therefore, a gatekeeper isn't looking for an excuse to KEEP a proposal, but to DISCARD it.
Go ahead & break a rule, or a dozen, or a hundred. If your writing is incredible & can get past the gatekeepers, you may get it published.
Of course, if your writing is second-rate (at best), or your story is hackneyed, or the gatekeeper has a hangover & can't get past the first half-page of your exercise in juvenile disobedience... well, thank you for supporting the U.S. Postal Service!!