Sunday, September 27, 2009
You are standing at an existential crossroads, a wasteland at your feet and a song on your lips. Overhead, a trio of mechanical vultures have begun circling, and the red dots of their laser-sights are crawling across your bare chest. To the west runs a dank near-motionless river, and every now and then something thrashes around in the water. The way east is blocked by an endless sense of ennui. South is a burning city, and an ex-wife to whom you owe alimony.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I just had to withdraw my story though. The sale was well over a year ago. A few months after that (still slightly over a year ago) I followed up, and received e-mail that there would be a few months delay. Nothing has happened since then, so I faced reality, and wrote the editor an e-mail explaining that I was withdrawing the story but would like to hear if they began publishing again.
The birth of this story is still with me. I was browsing through Duotrope to see if any of the markets would inspire me, hoping to publish a few short stories and become an SFWA member before finishing my novel and sending query letters. I found Mansstory 2, a magazine which not only published stories reminiscent of the pulp era but illustrated them.
While I was born a little late for the pulp era, I still remember an old magazine I bought in college a couple of decades ago at a used bookstore. For some semi logical reason, the all female extraterrestrial crew that discovered earth was able to breed with humans - I forget why. Eventually it turned out they wanted to do something nasty to the sun, send the Earth into an ice age, not destroying humanity totally but turning Earth into a combination rest stop and male whore house.
The story took itself too seriously for something so silly, but there was something fun about it. I designed my own species, originally descended from humans but separated during a collapse of civilization. I came up with biological and cultural reasons why they had all female crews who were sexually interested in human males. My story is set on Treaty Station, a couple of decades after a war, and everyone involved has ftl.
My craft has grown in the interim, and I will rewrite the story before I begin sending it out again, when I need a break from the book I'm writing.
Anybody else have stories about the stories you have written, are writing, or plan to write?
Sunday, September 13, 2009
This does not entirely exclude me from the ranks of electronic fiction readers, although it does narrow my options. I prefer browser fiction readable with Firefox rather than Adobe Acrobat, though I won't insist on that. Since I will be sitting in front of my computer the whole time, my ideal online read is shorter than your average short story. Needless to say it should be great fiction - why should I suffer for being cheap, err, largess impaired?
I've found a story that meets all those criteria, and interests me as a writer as well, because it breaks several important rules so successfully. Some of the most important moments are made into a narrative summary, rather than shown through the eyes of the protagonist, or even the narrator. Instead of saving four letter words for a point of deep emotional impact, the author opens with one. Until you read the author's biography at the end, you may wonder if this is a work of fiction or an essay. Yet it works wonderfully.
I want to thank the Rose and Thorn literary e-zine and Charles Ries for Bill the Mink
I would love to hear about any stories that fulfill most or all of my rules in the comment section.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Mystery and crime writer Lee Goldberg links to a post on a mysterious Agent 007 blog which has since been deleted. Click here to sort out which parts of this advice come from which writer - and read the rest of it.
"Agents and editors can Google search, too, and before we sign you, we usually do. It can be so hard to feel the love when we read that you’ve already been rejected fifty times. We know it happens, but we don’t need to know that it happened to you. And we certainly won’t feel comfortable sending your work to editors with that kind of info so readily available.
So what should you be writing about? All your success. Kind of hard to do if you haven't had any yet, but I guess the message is... don't whine. Unless you already ARE a success, and then it's okay."
So the beginning of my writer's blog waited until I had a few triumphs saved up to record. Yesterday I was admitted to Deadly Prose, an exclusive critique group for novel length work. They require an entrance examination and sample first chapter, and accept less than a quarter of all applicants. I was accepted, and promptly greeted by enthusiastic, friendly, and knowledgeable authors.