My cousin sympathized with my fears yesterday, comparing manuscript submission to having your baby appraised. I don't have a baby, but I think he's probably right.
I read tips 11-20 last night. So far, I am familiar with most of them. The manuscript formatting suggestions took me by surprise. I was taught to always underline, even though italics are now available on computers, but Marcher Lord Press wants italics. I spent the first two hours of editing finding all my underlines and changing them. I'm skeptical that all publishers want this, but since I'm starting with Marcher Lord, I'll change. They also want only one space between sentences instead of two. Again, weird to me, but I changed it.
Tip 13 expresses the publisher's pet peeve of using any words other than said to express speaking. While I agree that said is useful and expected for most dialogue, I think it's OK to use other words on occasion. Sometimes the words themselves do not express how they are said, and I hate adding adverbs when a vivid verb is right there ready to be used. I hope it isn't a deal-breaker. I've read my first two chapters and taken out an agreed, argued and retorted, but that's as far as I'm going for now.
The new fear seems to be the fear of rejection. I've not felt it before, but I'm pretty sure that's what I'm feeling.
I like these people. I like their sense of humor. I like their movie and book references. I like their goals. I love one of their books, Starfire by Stuart Vaughn Stockton. In short, I want to be one of them. I want to write for Marcher Lord Press.
Yet, odds are good I will get rejected. I'll explain why some other day, maybe tomorrow. When that happens, I may not be able to shrug it off as I usually do. It may feel personal, and I don't like that thought.
This new fear isn't going to stop me from submitting. It may make me cry when the little pink letter comes, but I will submit anyway.
The up side of this adventure is that while reviewing and editing my book (which I haven't seriously looked at in over a year), I'm feeling pretty good about it. After all this time, it's still a good story. I'm not finding glaring errors. I'm not finding issues with the Marcher Lord tips I've read so far (except the ones I mentioned). Somewhere along the way, I learned the right stuff about writing and applied it to Star of Justice. I consider this progress.