Five Minute Rant

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
LDWriter2
Posts: 3368
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: Central Cailf.
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:13 pm

LaurieG wrote:My 2 cents, LD. Take the "good points" your critiques pointed out, and strengthen them.

Also, re-read a story you wrote a year ago. Do you see things you would do better now? If so, your writing IS getting better, and you're mostly suffering from lack of self confidence. Neil Gaiman confesses that, about 3/4 through writing a novel, he is ready to quit being a writer because he "knows" he's no good. And that's after winning Hugos, Nebulas, World Fantasy Awards, and many others!

I'd offer to see your work, as other generous forumites have, but I'm busy preparing for my son's wedding in a few weeks. wotf007


Thanks for the thoughts and Congrats to your son.

From what I understand most pros go through that. A couple have even quit for a while over it-that is after sells and awards.

But besides a couple of "very good"s from none writers and new writers I don't get any statements that would give me confidence. Well, usually. Two HMs from Dave help but even the editors who usual say something, like at BCS, don't add anything extra. That lazy writing comment from Edith at Universe Annex still burns.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

LaurieG
Posts: 525
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:27 am
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LaurieG » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:40 am

What the hell. Send your best story my way and let's see if I can give you some input. Just keep in mind that I have yet to make a pro sale, only semi pro's. And those 2 Finalists. But I have gotten good critiques on my Semi's, and one from a major editor, so at least I know what makes a critique helpful. I'll PM my email.
http://laurie-gail.livejournal.com

2 time Finalist
4 time Semi-Finalist
lots of HM's and Rejects

User avatar
Ishmael
Posts: 1678
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:47 am
Location: Stirlingshire, UK

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:03 am

Louis, I've made comments over at Baen's Bar. Plus I've tried to re-write the setting of one scene to show how you might increase the pace of the story. I hope this helps a little.
wotf008
1 x SF, 2 x SHM, 11 x HM, WotF batting average .583
Blog The View From Sliabh Mannan.

LDWriter2
Posts: 3368
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: Central Cailf.
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:01 pm

I will send the story but it looks I may have my answer.


But one thing I thought of this afternoon

I do think I am getting better. I am doing what I am told to do, so it would seem I have to be getting better.That is one thing that is frustrating-no one else thinks so. Except a couple of people over on Google+. I am doing some flash stories based on pictures. Basically just write it, spell check it and post it, sometimes with a bit of revising. Nothing like I am doing on these stories though. The stories could use some more work which I have done on a couple of them later. I do get a couple of positive comments. But that's it.


And no positive comments in the critiques either. I have read positive comments by Edith for a couple of writers but except one story a couple of years ago, she has never left me any. Pretty much the same for everyone else with any story.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

LDWriter2
Posts: 3368
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: Central Cailf.
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:07 pm

I decided it was time to go back to the drawing board. The writing that made up my story turned out to be almost a mess.

So I redid the opening. Started the story later and it's more condensed. Or so I hope. The next section may stay pretty much the same. I won't say what it involves since I may send it back in the next Q2. Unless it sells by then but I don't expect that. Anyway, there are smaller areas of the next section I may delete and others rewrite as I did the opening. The ending? I am not sure. I have not gotten a lot of feedback on that.

If anyone wants to read the new version, it might be done by Sunday. Or so I plan. But I have a couple of other things to do too.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

User avatar
emilymccosh
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:21 pm
Location: California, United States
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby emilymccosh » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:36 pm

LDWriter2 wrote:I decided it was time to go back to the drawing board. The writing that made up my story turned out to be almost a mess.

So I redid the opening. Started the story later and it's more condensed. Or so I hope. The next section may stay pretty much the same. I won't say what it involves since I may send it back in the next Q2. Unless it sells by then but I don't expect that. Anyway, there are smaller areas of the next section I may delete and others rewrite as I did the opening. The ending? I am not sure. I have not gotten a lot of feedback on that.

If anyone wants to read the new version, it might be done by Sunday. Or so I plan. But I have a couple of other things to do too.


Sent you a PM wotf008
Contest history: R, R, SHM, R, HM, R, R
1 very hopeful: V34 Q2

oceansinthesky.com | @wordweaveremily

"Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations." ~ Ray Bradbury

User avatar
Ishmael
Posts: 1678
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:47 am
Location: Stirlingshire, UK

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:56 am

I have today, for the first time, replied to a rejection. Usually I just note the contents, take or reject any criticism and move on to the next submission.

However this 135 day personal rejection from Enter The Apocalypse was different:

The writing in this piece actually made me feel the acidic air. However the story of a man taking his family (without agreement) to some final destination doesn’t work for me as it doesn’t seem to wrap up anything.

A perceptive PR you may say. What's wrong with that?

Just this. My story contained no acidic air, nor men taking their families anywhere (with or without agreement), neither to a final destination nor anywhere else.

I am not hoping for a reprieve. I assume this error is the result of a mismatched mail-merge. However if one has come to me there must be a chance others have gone or will go out and I thought I should point this out.

Double Rant. I had submitted a sequel to Enter the Aftermath. I suppose I should expect shortly to receive a rejection for that too.

wotf014
1 x SF, 2 x SHM, 11 x HM, WotF batting average .583
Blog The View From Sliabh Mannan.

amoskalik
Posts: 976
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:40 pm
Location: Detroit, MI
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby amoskalik » Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:29 am

I would say you are justified in pointing that error out as it is something they should be eager to correct. I have a submission to Aftermath as well. Hopefully they have their processes in better shape when they start on that one.
Trajectory HM R R HM R R HM HM HM R

User avatar
Ishmael
Posts: 1678
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:47 am
Location: Stirlingshire, UK

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:54 am

Actually I should correct myself - my other submission is for Rebirth not Aftermath. Nevertheless, I suspect they'll be more careful in future because -

TARANTARAA! I got a reply to my reply. This offered an alternative personal rejection. Slight problem. Wasn't mine either.

I replied to this effect.

Got another reply. (I paraphrase.) Was I quite sure my story wasn't ...? Wait a minute, is this one yours? Yes, third time lucky.

Got a third personal rejection, considerably less complimentary than either of the first two!

But in the interests of all who come after, we also serve who only rant with fate. wotf013
1 x SF, 2 x SHM, 11 x HM, WotF batting average .583
Blog The View From Sliabh Mannan.

User avatar
emilymccosh
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:21 pm
Location: California, United States
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby emilymccosh » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:09 pm

Okay, I've been telling myself that I shouldn't complain too much about this because I've waited longer for a reply before, but it is driving me NUTS!

I have had my SHM story at Asimov's for 115 days now, and not a peep! Not even a change on the submission portal! Their guidelines says they mostly respond between 5 weeks, but query after 3 months. 5 weeks passed. 3 months passed. Queried. Still nothing.

The crazy part of my writer brain is going 'oh my gosh, they're never going to respond. I am stuck in a submission black hole!!!'

The more logical side of me realizes they'll get to me eventually, and they're just busy.

But, the logical side of my brain is not the dominant one when it comes to my stories. *sigh*

Okay, I feel better. wotf008
Contest history: R, R, SHM, R, HM, R, R
1 very hopeful: V34 Q2

oceansinthesky.com | @wordweaveremily

"Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations." ~ Ray Bradbury

User avatar
MattDovey
Posts: 380
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:33 am
Location: England
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby MattDovey » Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:47 am

emilymccosh wrote:Okay, I've been telling myself that I shouldn't complain too much about this because I've waited longer for a reply before, but it is driving me NUTS!

I have had my SHM story at Asimov's for 115 days now, and not a peep! Not even a change on the submission portal! Their guidelines says they mostly respond between 5 weeks, but query after 3 months. 5 weeks passed. 3 months passed. Queried. Still nothing.

The crazy part of my writer brain is going 'oh my gosh, they're never going to respond. I am stuck in a submission black hole!!!'

The more logical side of me realizes they'll get to me eventually, and they're just busy.

But, the logical side of my brain is not the dominant one when it comes to my stories. *sigh*

Okay, I feel better. wotf008


Asimov's have been on a massive go-slow of late. They pretty much stopped reading for 100 days from June 1 for no apparent reason. But it has started moving again (and I have the form rejection to prove it wotf008) so hang in there.
Golden Pen winner v32 (2016)
Stories | About | Facebook | Twitter

User avatar
Ishmael
Posts: 1678
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:47 am
Location: Stirlingshire, UK

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:53 am

My lead submission to Asimov's is approaching 170 days. NNiNN!
1 x SF, 2 x SHM, 11 x HM, WotF batting average .583
Blog The View From Sliabh Mannan.

amoskalik
Posts: 976
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:40 pm
Location: Detroit, MI
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby amoskalik » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:57 pm

I'm at 126 days. They must have lost their slush readers or something because they are now slower than Tor used to be.
Trajectory HM R R HM R R HM HM HM R

User avatar
emilymccosh
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:21 pm
Location: California, United States
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby emilymccosh » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:03 am

Well, it appears I'm in good company then!! wotf019
Contest history: R, R, SHM, R, HM, R, R
1 very hopeful: V34 Q2

oceansinthesky.com | @wordweaveremily

"Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations." ~ Ray Bradbury

User avatar
disgruntledpeony
Posts: 662
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:21 pm

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby disgruntledpeony » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:32 pm

This thread's been quiet for awhile, so I might as well contribute! Sent a story that I personally would categorize as a Weird West story to a semi-pro market (it's basically worked its way out of all the pro markets). They said it was more Fantasy than Weird West, so they weren't interested. And, I mean... I guess I maybe haven't read enough Weird West fiction or something, because it seemed viable to me? It's set in 1880s Texas, there's a combination of Native American and European fantasy elements... Is there some other criteria I'm supposed to be meeting?

Ahh well. On to the next market! (As soon as I find one.)
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
2015, Q4: R
2016: SF, n/a, SHM, SHM
2017: SHM, n/a, F, R
2018: HM, ?

LDWriter2
Posts: 3368
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: Central Cailf.
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:21 pm

Been a while since I have been here. Mainly because I haven't been sending out stories. And that is what this rant is about. Got half a dozen new stories with one to three times they have been sent out, but I am so far out of the habit I just don't think about it when I have the time. Ugh, I know my writing has improved but maybe subconsciously I think I still have no chance. Or I am just too busy with novels. Whatever the case I need to send out some.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

User avatar
michaeljwyantjr
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:16 am
Location: Lost in the country, NY
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:02 pm

Do it!
WotF Results:
  • R:2
  • HM:4
  • sHM:0
  • SF:0
  • F:0
  • Last: R, Q1 v35
  • Pending, Q2 v35

LDWriter2
Posts: 3368
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: Central Cailf.
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:31 pm

Been while since I have been here. I have been busy with Indie publishing books and writing them. And writing a few very short stories to pictures. All are under 600 words but many are 200 to 400 words. A couple around 100.

Anyway, still learning to write and all that, which brings me to something I badly need to rant, or vent on. If you read this and or comment Wait to I get to the end. The what might surprise you.


I have taken what is, I think, my third online workshop from Dean Wesley Smith. Second for sure. This one is about writing and selling short stories. I learned more than I expected because it included a lecture series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch on short stories. We had to write a total of four short stories as if we were writing for an anthology. So they each had a premise, 3,000 to 6,000 words, in by each Sunday, and had to be professionally formatted. Dean read them and Kristine read at least some of them. He explained what he liked or what he did not like about them. Why he stopped reading etc. He read each of mine all the way through, made some very complimentary comments Told me-almost commanded me-to send the Urban Fantasy story to a fantasy market. And he ended the last one by saying that he enjoys reading my stories. He started reading my stories for Strange New Worlds way back when and has read a few complete stories and a few openings along the way. Starting with the last two SNWs he has said good things about my writing.

Okay, now we reached the point of my Rant.

Snarl, He. Is. The. Only. Editor. Who Likes. My. Work. And he is not buying! He describes how editors start noticing certain writers and even start to look forward to read stories by them even though they are not quite good enough to buy. By nice if some of that would show up. I can't even get the few editors who write more notes than usual, to say anything. Well, Sheila Williams did say once she didn't mind reading my stories. I am upset and feel like roaring. But since I have been learning and since I have a couple of fans for those picture stories, maybe these will be better received. I do need to get back in the habit of sending out stories. I could probably send out 12 to 20 if I got on the ball.

So now I have four stories that need to be sent out-actually around seven all together. But one thing he doesn't do is notice certain things, like off grammar and typos that most editors demand. So I figure I better get mine grammar checked. Nothing else just that. I have asked about four of then, in a couple of places. So, I have stories that might attract the attention of an editor. I know where I will be sending most of those stories. I need a market for a thriller type though, but they are just sitting there waiting.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

User avatar
morganb
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:11 am
Location: Tiffin, Ohio

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morganb » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:01 am

I totally feel your pain, LD. You meet that one editor and the two of you totally connect and they really like what they're seeing in your work, but your work isn't selling at THEIR OWN MAGAZINE. Argh!

Workshops are unique because it's a smaller group of writers and the workshop leader -- in this case DWS -- gets a chance to see everyone's stories firsthand. Only trouble is that outside that workshop setting, out in the real world, you have to pass through the slush readers, and their tastes may be much different than the editor's, and they are usually reading stories blind, meaning they have no idea who the author is. Not only that, but your story is up against hundreds of weekly submissions. And since there is limited space in a magazine, the publishing staff has to be very selective in what they choose.

There are so many reasons why good stories aren't selected for publication with a particular venue at a particular moment from a particular reader. Keep writing, keep submitting, and when a story doesn't make it through one magazine, send it out to the next, and the next, and the next. I keep telling myself that my stories will eventually find a home. Seven years now and I'm still telling myself that. I know I'm getting close though because I'm starting to collect personal rejections, which probably frustrate me more than form rejections because I'm close . . . so CLOSE . . . just not quite good enough.

Keep writing new stories and keep improving your craft. You'll get there!

~Morgan
"If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."
- Stephen King

Infrequent posts about this whole writing experience thing...http://mbroadhead.blogspot.com/

R, R, HM

LDWriter2
Posts: 3368
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: Central Cailf.
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:19 pm

Just wanted to say that I responded a day ago, but must have clicked the wrong button because it isn't here. Or it showed up on another thread. But among other things I said Thanks for the response.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

LDWriter2
Posts: 3368
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: Central Cailf.
Contact:

Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:14 pm

It had been so long I forgot. The system that Analog, Asimov's and the two mystery mag, use for the online submissions does not like my version of .doc files. It always says it's too long no matter how short the story. With Asimov's I can use .rtf but my current WP doesn't do that format. I have an older version that still does so I tried that one. But if I recall right, they won't be able to read it even though it went through. And now my first Mystery to Ellery Queen is stalled for they only take .doc files.


Pardon me as I pound my computer desk.

If I recall correct, a second time, Analog will work for me but I need to finish revising of those four stories to be able to check on that. Somehow I got a couple of stories to Sheila William but they may have just been 500 words and less, or I did something I forget. ug Ug UG.


Drum fingers...

Same with Analog. They only take .doc files even though I am still sure I sent them stories somehow.
So the story went to IGMS instead. And after I revise another story a bunch I will send it to BCS. Oops, forgot I have a fantasy on my laptop. hmm another fantasy mag someplace?
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html


Return to “Writing: Craft, Talent, Technique”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest