Finding a home for my fantasy story
About a year ago, I wrote a story for a website called JewishFiction.net, which mostly publishes stories about immigrant/Diaspora experiences, the Middle East conflict, family drama, things of that nature. My story was a "Robert E. Howard meets Mel Brooks" comedic fantasy about an evil warlord abducting Jewish mothers in order to magically siphon their guilt-inducing abilities for a world domination scheme. Needless to say, it wasn't accepted, and I'm not the least bit surprised.
I want to rework the story, making it longer (still keeping it at short story length, but I had a 6,000 word limit for JewishFiction.net), but once that's done, I don't know what to do with it. There aren't any Jewish publications I can think of that would take a story like this, so I'm thinking about just submitting it to fantasy publications instead. However, there are a lot of jokes in there that non-Jews are most likely not going to get, besides name puns. One such joke is one of the villain's henchmen confusing the word "minion" with minyan, a quorom of ten Jewish adults required for certain prayers to be said at services. Another joke involves the hero about to use drunken boxing to dispatch some henchmen and slamming down from wine, only to spit it out in disgust when the wine turns out to be Manischevitz, a brand infamous for its bad quality wine.
Any thoughts on this? Should I just submit it as is and let the readers get what they get, or is a mainstream fantasy publication not the right home for this kind of story?
--edited by Ian Nathaniel Cohen on 7/3/2013, 8:04 PM--
As a reader - while this sounds interesting - and humorous, to be honest with you I don't think this wold appeal to many non-Jewish readers unless it was presented in a way that was easy to understand for anyone not familiar with Judaism. I think that a potential publisher would consider the audience this would appeal to prior to signing/buying/publishing the story - and if they feel this would appeal to a small group - but potentially turn off a lot of other reader's who wouldn't understand it, they wouldn't be interested in it.
That isn't to say that you can't publish it somewhere - you may just be better off focusing on niche sites that it would perform better in. If you just want to share it with the world, why not post it on your own blog somewhere?
--edited by May on 7/4/2013, 4:43 PM--
Yeah, that's about what I figured. I suppose I could post it on my website as a web exclusive, once I get the site up and running.
Hi Ian! This story sounds pretty amazing: creative, funny, rich with detail, playful. Whatever happens with it, I really hope you will let the community know.
Will you post to Book Country for feedback? I'd love the chance to take a look at the workshop level, and to see what other BC members think of it.
In general, at least during your first drafts, I believe that you should write the story the way it wants to be--don't worry about the audience, the publication, the word count, etc., as you are crafting it. It's hard enough to write as it is. I feel the creation process should be as open as you can possibly make it for yourself.
Then, when it comes time to start submitting the story to various publications, you can trim and edit as you see fit. Does this make sense? I guess I'd just hate to see this story get its wings clipped before it has a chance to see what it wants to be.