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by Ishmael
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:56 am
Forum: Story Critique Exchange
Topic: Critiques by Ishmael
Replies: 3
Views: 104

Re: Critiques by Ishmael

Always happy to help, Louis. Punt it over.
by Ishmael
Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Story Critique Exchange
Topic: Critiques by Ishmael
Replies: 3
Views: 104

Critiques by Ishmael

May I remind forum members that I'm still happy to offer critiques and sometimes exchanges despite being pro'ed out of the contest. Obviously if I knew how to win I'd have won, but I managed a semi-finalist and a couple of silvers. I don't however tell people their stories are good if I don't think ...
by Ishmael
Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:36 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Success!
Replies: 3900
Views: 748932

Re: Success!

Good news! Well done. And as a former teacher, I hope your new profession is good to you.
by Ishmael
Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Success!
Replies: 3900
Views: 748932

Re: Success!

Well done, Rebecca. Two top markets.
wotf009
by Ishmael
Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Success!
Replies: 3900
Views: 748932

Re: Success!

My Nature story is out: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-017-07228-2 I'm quite proud of this one. It is the first story that made my beta readers cry and at 950 words that's hard to do. Oh yes! But the interview is almost better than the story. There's more here Aaron. You've created a world ...
by Ishmael
Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:58 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Goodbye, Publisher's Word Count!
Replies: 17
Views: 653

Re: Goodbye, Publisher's Word Count!

Do not explain to anyone who may be oversensitive the literal meaning of some place names.

Grand Tetons?

Especially not Grand Tetons, Long John. wotf003
by Ishmael
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:17 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29
Replies: 4936
Views: 916729

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Oh! Sound of frog lodged in the throat Of dying wolf that made sweet chords! How shall our untuned lyres give note Angelic to to thy rough-hewn words? For clothed like sheep the lycanthrope’s Grey goatskin glimmers neath red moon; And like the frog bathed in lye soap Our feeble croaks and sighs end ...
by Ishmael
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:14 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Success!
Replies: 3900
Views: 748932

Re: Success!

Wow! That's an impressive anthology in which to appear, Bob! Well done! wotf010
by Ishmael
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:27 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: The editorial process for short fiction
Replies: 11
Views: 374

Re: The editorial process for short fiction

I want to stress that I have worked with pro editors who were content to leave the writing to the writer (Flame Tree and Third Flatiron for example.) I've also had the good fortune to work with editors who saw what I was trying to do and helped me do it better. Honourable mentions to MJ Moores, Josh...
by Ishmael
Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: The editorial process for short fiction
Replies: 11
Views: 374

Re: The editorial process for short fiction

The truly infuriating thing about recent events was that I had contrived to improve the story. I think when multiple changes are made to a text it's very easy for it to become rather clunky. What began as a beautifully-choreographed if perhaps slightly elaborate dance becomes a series of disconnecte...
by Ishmael
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:47 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: The editorial process for short fiction
Replies: 11
Views: 374

Re: The editorial process for short fiction

I'm finding it hard to write down my recent experiences. I shall be brief. If I've counted right, and I may not have because the exchanges were drawn out, it adds up to six rewrites, four by me and two (uninvited) by an editorial team. The first of the editorial redrafts came after my first. It took...
by Ishmael
Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:22 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Almost Success - The "Mixed Feelings" Thread
Replies: 713
Views: 187802

Re: Almost Success - The "Mixed Feelings" Thread

Thanks, Martin. That was pretty much my thinking. I have to say that I've encountered a huge variety of editorial philosophies and degrees of intervention, even in my short career. The first time I encountered a strongly interventionist editor I was quite taken aback. "No, no," I said, &qu...
by Ishmael
Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:39 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Almost Success - The "Mixed Feelings" Thread
Replies: 713
Views: 187802

Re: Almost Success - The "Mixed Feelings" Thread

A certain writing saga of mine has been going on so long I can't remember what thread it was in. You may recall I mentioned decling publication of a story that had been, in my view, excessively re-written by a pro editor? Well the editor asked me to take another shot at it myself, which I did, incor...
by Ishmael
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:08 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 34
Replies: 285
Views: 11485

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 34

Thank you, Moon; you are in danger of giving me a swelled head! Now for some reason I'm being pressed to investigate whether my various pro outlets met the 5,000 copies / hits rule as well as paying pro rates. Since my first pro sale was way back in 2014 and that outlet is not at present back after ...
by Ishmael
Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 34
Replies: 285
Views: 11485

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 34

I thought I'd posted my result already. Maybe I failed to press submit or something. Anyway I'm signing off from WotF with my eleventh HM, a batting average of .583 and a hitting streak of 12 consecutive entries. Close but no cigar. Not much more than a whiff of a distant cigarillo. Fortunately ther...
by Ishmael
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:07 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Success!
Replies: 3900
Views: 748932

Re: Success!

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51i1Zf7iAWL.jpg And Now! Available for preorder at an Amazon page near you! Containing not only my story mentioned above but also the sonnet mentioned earlier. Hey! For the first time ever, I'm in the same anthology twice! wotf007
by Ishmael
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 34
Replies: 285
Views: 11485

Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 34

disgruntledpeony wrote:There's a good chance we will see those on Thursday.


And here was I, just sleeping about the forum as I do, minding my own business, when DP says this! On Bonfire Night for goodness' sake!

wotf039
by Ishmael
Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:14 am
Forum: Writing: Craft, Talent, Technique
Topic: Why Do You Write?
Replies: 13
Views: 500

Re: Why Do You Write?

Is it art if it's not in the public domain? The standard answer is to point out Van Gogh sold only one paiting in his lifetime. On the other hand, I for one certainly started with the notion that my work didn't sell because it was too artistic for the uncomprehending market. The truth, as I now kno...
by Ishmael
Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:08 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)
Replies: 103
Views: 3091

Re: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)

I would add that sending stories to a number of outlets is a good way to reduce size of butterflies connected with any particular outlet. I got a rejection this morning, to which my reaction was "What on Earth did I send to them?" wotf013
by Ishmael
Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:05 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Success!
Replies: 3900
Views: 748932

Re: Success!

I don't think so. Details are sketchy at present but I got the proofs this a.m. so all should be known soon.
by Ishmael
Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:57 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Success!
Replies: 3900
Views: 748932

Re: Success!

wotf013 And I've actually sold another story but I can't say where as yet. Which is that my story 'Conspiracy of Silence' will be appearing in 'More Alternative Truths' due out on 11/11. Sometime in 2015, just after I'd sold 'The Old Man on the Green' to T Gene Davis, a reader actually enquired whe...
by Ishmael
Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:43 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)
Replies: 103
Views: 3091

Re: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)

Thank you, but to be honest the positive attitude around this forum makes membership an easy load to carry. I'm very wary of organisations whose members lack the mutually-supportive ethos. But before we get carried away, I'm not yet a household name in my own household, let alone someone who invaria...
by Ishmael
Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:54 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)
Replies: 103
Views: 3091

Re: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)

So... you're killing us... what was the question? Something like: What business is carried on in London by houses called Phillips and Bonhams? Now since then I've been underbidder on a clock sold by auction at Bonhams, but at the time I'd no idea. I held the option at the time, so the issue was, ta...
by Ishmael
Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:40 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Success!
Replies: 3900
Views: 748932

Re: Success!

amoskalik wrote:I just got an acceptance from Nature!


Hoo-rah! wotf009
by Ishmael
Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:21 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)
Replies: 103
Views: 3091

Re: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)

So the next time I go on a quiz show I'm going to introduce myself 'Call me Ishmael and I'm a writer." wotf011 Fixed. wotf001 Oh yes. Let's get the quotation right. But actually the only time I was on a quiz show I at first found it quite nerve-wracking to say anything. The show was called '15...
by Ishmael
Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:13 am
Forum: Publishing: The Business Of
Topic: Form vs Personal Rejection
Replies: 12
Views: 528

Re: Form vs Personal Rejection

My rule of thumb is that in order to count as personal, a rejection has to refer to your story. Analog, for example, has a realtively rare 'send more' form rejection which is an honour in itself. As I recall it makes a reference to liking your style of writing, but says nothing about the story itsel...
by Ishmael
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:57 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)
Replies: 103
Views: 3091

Re: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)

Ah! Thanks JV, but sadly the membership fee is nearly two thirds of the income from a professional story. I've been qualified for quite a while, because SFWA don't employ the exclusions that WotF does. However, although I'm told there are discounts for impoverished foreigners such as I, I'll have to...
by Ishmael
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)
Replies: 103
Views: 3091

Re: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)

You are most kind, Moon. I'm not sure whether I was being asked for my story method or my determination method. Stubbornness comes as part of the package when you're born in Yorkshire. Plus I tend to tackle things that I find daunting because they aren't allowed to beat me. Such as taking up steeple...
by Ishmael
Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:57 am
Forum: The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items
Topic: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)
Replies: 103
Views: 3091

Re: Four in Thirty-Five (4 in 35!)

Ishmael, your determination is certainly an inspiration! ... So how do you do it? 1. Idea 2. extensive research 3. start writing 4. write your protagonist into an impossible corner 5. have another idea to get your protagonist out of the corner 6. write the rest 7. go back and eliminate verbiage and...

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