The logistics of slush piles demand ruthlessness, and stories that don’t intrigue the reader early on won’t get a second chance later. So, you’ve got your hook. It’s dramatic, it’s ingenious, and it’s free of typos. Your first two pages have been polished to near oblivion. Now what?
Archive for the ‘Advice for New Writers’ Category
If I’m unsure about a story, I put it on probation, and take another look 6 months later before I either lock it up, set it free, or possibly keep it on probation.
I’ve published about three dozen short stories, and perhaps 1/3 are SFWA-qualifying. I thought I’d open my submission history in case it would help a new writer see what the submission process looks like.
A machine that creates gourmet meals-on-the-go in exchange for credits is still just a vending machine.
We can pick our teachers and we can pick our friends and we can pick the books we read and the music we listen to and the movies we see, et cetera. You are a mash-up of what you let into your life.
I’ve been told by highly skilled writers that this is a good exercise–something to do for now, but eventually I’ll grow out of this once I internalize it. I believe them! I really do. The thing is, I keep discovering different structures to try, and I can’t see myself internalizing any of them until I run out of new ones.
Whether you want to self-publish your novel or are trying to land a traditional publishing contract, it is in every author’s interest to make connections and talk with the editors in our field.
Anything I can control, I pay close attention to. Contracts. Personal relationships. The words. Stories I want to tell.
Write a lot. This is almost all I need to say, as nothing else matters without the constant practice of writing a lot. Write blog posts and letters, booklets and diatribes, letters to the editor and book reviews, love poems and short stories, novellas and manifestos. The sheer mass of your writing becomes the raw matter from which to chisel your voice.
When I decided to “go dark” on Twitter, Facebook and IMs for one hundred days, I wasn’t sure what effect it would have on my web presence.