There's also a legal problem. A lot of companies want first rights, and posting on the internet, without a limit on who can read it, counts, and they won't take your manuscript (I think I got all the terms right - it's been a while since I read this, and I can't give you the source).
Yes, you’re right, that’s a risk too. That’s why I don’t post things that I’ve submitted for publication in lit mags, or hope to.
re: minor characters existing just to be killed off: if they don't have a back story that catches the attention - if the author hasn't given them something for the reader to relate to - the reader won't care. it's why there were so many red-shirts in Star Trek. No one even knew their names, much of the time, and they were nothing but canon fodder, and we didn't care.
I don't think it's the storytelling or character development. I think it's more that they don't want endless descriptions of things that don't really add to the story. I want a good story teller that develops plot and character without putting in pointless, needless details. I love Tolkien and Austin, but I love Bujold and Brust much more - for their characters and ability to tell a good story.
Well that’s very right. Tolkien… omg. Whenever people ask me if LOTR are fun to read, I say, “Yeah, they’re epic, but you have to accept the fact that every time the Fellowship walks past a rock, you get a 100 page history of why it’s there.”
But LOTR is still epic.