Five Minute Rant

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
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Alex Kane
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Alex Kane » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:49 am

My girlfriend refuses to read virtually everything I write, as well as any books I recommend to her. wotf017
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby gower21 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:19 am

Tyler (my husband) reads almost everything I write. Warning: I'm going to be that person that when in a crowded room filled with people who just had a dog puke on their rug, will go on and on about their dog who has never ever puked on their rug.

My husband points out a lot of flaws, but I don't take it at all personal. He knows my weaknesses and what I'm looking to improve and he's all about delivering on those types of comments. If I have a good story and good characters he gets excited about that and sometimes will brainstorm with me what will make it better. It might be short five minute bursts of conversation, but it's more than most people get and I'm thankful for that. I do write a lot of things he's just flat not interested in and I can tell when that is the case, so I take that into consideration. We both love science fiction and some fantasy, but our tastes differ sometimes. He is still just one data point when I collecting opinions on a story.

My pet peeves are people who want to read my stories and I know they wont like them (based on their reading preferences)--the other pet peeve (and I've never had this problem on here, but in real life) is I used to have some friends and acquaintances read my stories and get feedback and they gave some really great feedback. Then since I've published they only give "this is great" or "I liked it" type of feedback and it is as if they're afraid to give criticism.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby bobsandiego » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:36 am

My sweetie-wife reads everything I write, but provides very little editorial feedback. It's all proof-read feedback -- for which I an very grateful -- but for editorial I have to rely on others and to some extend my writers group ere in san diego.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:34 am

wotf019 Finally got my rejection from IGMS at 93 days. When I queried yesterday I was told it was being considered by an assistant editor (rather than, say, the editor), so no surprise that it's a form.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Kevin Ikenberry » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:58 pm

wotf020 That's two "didn't quite work for me" rejections in a row from Lightspeed. Maybe one day I'll find the magical elixir what will identify "what works" everytime!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:21 pm

dantzel wrote:Well, he is bored by almost every science fiction and fantasy story he has ever read, including my own. So you'd think I'd just stop asking his opinion. But he's a scientist, so he really catches the scientific flaws. He just happens to try to explain my mistakes OVER AND OVER again - as well as any word choices that he disagrees with. And then 20 minutes later he comes back and says 'hey I just read this article about that guy you're writing about, and he had no actual involvement with the project he's known for, so your story is invalid.' He doesn't say the invalid part but that's the feeling. And then he goes on a monologue about how boring and illogical my stories and everyone else's stories are, and by then I'm deciding where to hide his body.

I should stick to my brother and sister, who ARE interested in sci-fi and fantasy, and still give good critiques with smothering me.


If he's a scientist, then present it to him as a formal experiment. Precisely state the variables you're testing for ("Does the science work?") and the things you're holding constant ("Don't touch my word choices if you know what's good for you.")

As for the guy in question not really being involved in the project... Show him "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance". Then repeat until he gets the message: it's fiction, so "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

There are some people who really don't grasp the point of fiction. I understand that. But I have to believe you can set parameters he can work with.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:19 am

I just realized: Dantzel's husband is... Sheldon Cooper! wotf013
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby T. Thulander » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:16 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:I just realized: Dantzel's husband is... Sheldon Cooper! wotf013


He can't be, because I'm positive that Sheldon Cooper is my boss. The whole office has a vision of pulling a Penny and slamming the door in his face.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:08 am

T. Thulander wrote:
Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:I just realized: Dantzel's husband is... Sheldon Cooper! wotf013


He can't be, because I'm positive that Sheldon Cooper is my boss. The whole office has a vision of pulling a Penny and slamming the door in his face.


wotf015 Dantzel is your boss's wife?!

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:25 am

Personally, I would never give one of my stories to a first reader that didn't read in the genre. I was in a writing group a number of years ago and I was the only sci-fi/fantasy writer. They were great people and good writers, but the difference in genres (they were mostly romance or inspirational non-fiction) made the feedback almost comical at time, both ways.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby dantzel » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:41 am

Ah, yes, the boss's wife. Muaha! Muaha!

I think my sick compulsion to ask my husband to read them is:

1) He IS logical, so when I'm trying to figure out science, he is very helpful. I don't really ask his opinion on straight fantasy pieces now.

2) He's the only one in the house with me, so when I need validation, I keep thinking he'll give it. You know, lie a little. I always make myself be actually interested in what he's talking about, and I assume he'll return the favor, but... well, I'll just say it, however much I love him, he is selfish with certain things. If what I'm talking about is boring, he stops listening. Apparently it physically hurts him (not exaggerating) to watch movies he's not extremely interested in. And so on. So while everyone else, family (my older brother, in particular) or friends, gives me critiques that both validate me and help me improve the story, my husband is emotionally unable to give me that. It sucks, and I love him, but we all have problems, and he's mine. :)
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Alex Kane » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:28 am

Sorry to hear that, Dantzel. I'm in exactly the same boat. My girlfriend acts that way on a daily basis--including giving me regular "guilt trips" for wanting to write in stead of, say, watch How I Met Your Mother. It's exhausting.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby dantzel » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:02 am

I feel ya. The one thing he's pretty good about is me writing - he knows I want to do it so he supports me from a distance - as in, he doesn't try to get me to stop writing, unless he's super super bugged about how the house is looking. But at least I get to write in peace.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morshana » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:12 am

dantzel wrote:I feel ya. The one thing he's pretty good about is me writing - he knows I want to do it so he supports me from a distance - as in, he doesn't try to get me to stop writing, unless he's super super bugged about how the house is looking. But at least I get to write in peace.


Same here. My husband understands and respects my need to write. But he loves to give suggestions. Why not write about this? Or that? I keep telling him those are his ideas and he should write them. wotf007

He complains about the state of the house, yes. I don't like it messy, either. But it's not my mess. I can have the house spotless and as soon as the kids get home, it doesn't look like I just spent hours on it. Gets pretty tiring trying to keep up with those two whirlwinds. Only thing I can think of is to reduce the toy load.

ETA: Then I'd be mean Mommy. The opposite of Santa... wotf005
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby dantzel » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:31 am

I know mommies that do reduce the toy load, and are happier for it. Lots of them have had the kids pick the toys they don't want anymore to donate to charity - making it a doubly good thing.

I shudder to imagine my life when my baby is born. It'll work out eventually, yes, but...
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morshana » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:38 am

dantzel wrote:I know mommies that do reduce the toy load, and are happier for it. Lots of them have had the kids pick the toys they don't want anymore to donate to charity - making it a doubly good thing.

I shudder to imagine my life when my baby is born. It'll work out eventually, yes, but...


Yeah. We have the Rotation Bins, too. The Pick-up-after-yourself training was looking good there for a while. But it gets tiring being a task master, too. Guess I just got lazy about it? wotf017

It's okay, so long as I'm not writing too much. If I'm sucked into a longer story, then the house looks like a disaster for a week while I write. This is also one of the reasons (lame one, yes) that I haven't started another novel yet. Haven't written one since I had kids. I know what I'm like when I vanish into another world and the real world doesn't look pretty. I'm protecting the family, I really am.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:49 am

dantzel wrote:he doesn't try to get me to stop writing, unless he's super super bugged about how the house is looking


I thought you worked insane hours?

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby dantzel » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:10 pm

Oh, I do. Mon-Wed I teach 11-12 hours. Thursday 5, and Saturday 3-5, depending. And private lessons here or there. I finally got my boss to stop scheduling me for Thursday mornings like she'd promised. But when I'm home late at night and typing, or (trying) to write Thursday and Friday, he's almost always pretty good about leaving me in peace. Unless the OCD kicks in, then it's time to clean for awhile.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:08 pm

Alex Kane wrote:Sorry to hear that, Dantzel. I'm in exactly the same boat. My girlfriend acts that way on a daily basis--including giving me regular "guilt trips" for wanting to write in stead of, say, watch How I Met Your Mother. It's exhausting.


Boo!

She should understand that writing is your job. A low paying one right now, but the upside is HUGE! wotf007
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morshana » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:14 pm

Disclaimer: I hope people realize many of my posts are tongue-in-cheek... I'd hate to be taken too seriously. I don't think I'm in danger of that here, but still felt the need to say something. wotf007

ETA: For instance, I'm not writing a book right now just because I'm afraid the house will be messy (though that is a very real side-effect). I'm planning to start one again very soon, and very excited about it. I just have to make sure to balance everything so the kids don't lose their mommy.

Now, back to the rant thread: Trying to juggle everything is so hard sometimes!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby gower21 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:34 pm

Second on the toy reduction. It works for us.

morshana wrote: Trying to juggle everything is so hard sometimes!


Oh man, I could give a worldly rant worthy of awards on this one.

--Begin Rant--

I just wrote 4K today and instead of doing a happy dance I'm feeling extremely guilty. Fridays I get one hour of writing time, so sometimes I try to force writing time in the day where I shouldn't and slowly I'm seeing a change in my kids. Their extremely emotional. Crying a lot and needy. On Wednesday, my youngest basically sat on the steps and cried through her whole swim lesson. I attribute this to being mostly absent (emotionally) the last month. I'm apparently not good at compartmentalizing my novel and leaving it alone when I close the computer down for the day. And I want to do 4 short stories for the month and then also today I decided to apply as a non-ficiton writer in the heath field (So part of my 4K today was a cover letter and a sample piece). I feel very guilty for being an "at-home" mom who is home but never available for them and now I'm seeing the result behaviorally.

I hope I can organize myself better soon, so we all get the time we need (including them and me).

--End Rant--

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morshana » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:18 pm

gower21 wrote:Second on the toy reduction. It works for us.

morshana wrote: Trying to juggle everything is so hard sometimes!


Oh man, I could give a worldly rant worthy of awards on this one.

--Begin Rant--

I just wrote 4K today and instead of doing a happy dance I'm feeling extremely guilty. Fridays I get one hour of writing time, so sometimes I try to force writing time in the day where I shouldn't and slowly I'm seeing a change in my kids. Their extremely emotional. Crying a lot and needy. On Wednesday, my youngest basically sat on the steps and cried through her whole swim lesson. I attribute this to being mostly absent (emotionally) the last month. I'm apparently not good at compartmentalizing my novel and leaving it alone when I close the computer down for the day. And I want to do 4 short stories for the month and then also today I decided to apply as a non-ficiton writer in the heath field (So part of my 4K today was a cover letter and a sample piece). I feel very guilty for being an "at-home" mom who is home but never available for them and now I'm seeing the result behaviorally.

I hope I can organize myself better soon, so we all get the time we need (including them and me).

--End Rant--


Yes, Tina! That is me, too. Exactly what I'm talking about. I notice a change in my children when I'm writing a lot. This is why I've been delaying the novels. I don't just work when I'm writing...my stories consume all the rest of my time and I just want to write or think about writing. Short stories? That's fine. A few hours, a few days, or even a month. Then I come back to the real world and my kids have their mom back. It's not like I'm not here. I'm a stay-at-home mom, too, but I'm not fully present. They all notice, my husband included. But with a novel, that takes months or even a year to write...? The guilt. I'm trying to learn how to just work on a story during specified times and be really disciplined about it. Perhaps as it becomes more regular, I won't have those obsessive story flares. I hope to maintain a low burn, over a longer time. Still struggling, but getting closer, I think.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby katsincommand » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:57 am

Dantzel, I also have to watch what I hand my hubby. The only reason I keep doing it is because every now and then he actually comes up with something really helpful. He doesn't read much (he tends to game instead) so as someone else has said, he's not my audience. But the amount of genre stuff he's seen through his gaming is helpful -- it's a side of the genre I haven't been exposed to.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:14 pm

Since the subject has switched to spouses...most seem to be husbands but I'm adding a wife...I decided to add a word or three.



My wife doesn't read my stuff at all. With her online crafts she doesn't really have time right now. She did fix a few--many--mistakes and made suggestions in one a couple of years ago but it didn't do any better than my usual writing. She couldn't understand why. With no way of knowing what was wrong with the story she didn't want to do anymore.

Actually, certain stories I'm not sure if I would want her to read. She may not approve even though her work inspired one story I would really like to get published.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ember » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:17 am

Jeanette and Tina - I'm totally there too. That whole there but not fully present thing can be insidious and I have to watch it. My kids are really young still. I am trying to seggregate the writing to specific times per week (when one is at kindy and the other asleep which is 2 x 2hrs per week.) It's not really enough though!

My husband is my first reader. He is a really good writer who had a novel published before he met me and I value his opinion (yes, that's right, before he met me. Some ten years ago. Nothing since. He hasn't even submitted anything anywhere since. I am known as the anti-muse around here wotf012 ) That said I get more out of the crits of some of the people around here, maybe because we are all focused on the same thing at the same time? My husband has a very different writing style to mine.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:59 pm

Besides my last rant on Stephen Mazur not ever liking any of my stories so I gave up on him, I have an old rant.

Probably not alone.

Analog....

They got it 8-12 so this is 10-21 over three months. Of course they had a change of editors but the new guy was suppose to take over the day after Stanley's last day as I understood it. Of course whether he did or not is another matter.

And I know the date they received it because I checked(Found the E-mail by accident) the status--open and it's under the category of Received.


By nice if there was a good reason for it being so long: since I couldn't be one of Stanley's last buys, being one of the new guy's first buys would be almost as good....but it's my writing and I've been disappointed before when it's taken longer than usual.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby dantzel » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:36 am

In the case of Analog, they're running way behind. If you check Duotrope I'm sure you'll see pretty long wait times right now.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby preston » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:50 pm

Okay, this is my first official rant. I've had plenty reasons to rant earlier, but I've held back. No longer!
I've been submitting to WOTF for a while, but just started submitting to the mags about 3 months ago. I wanted to be sure I wasn't wasting my time writing horrible stories, so I decided not to submit to the mags until I rcvd at least an HM from WOTF. Yes, I used the contest as a measuring stick: How good am I? I rcvd my HM, but was still leery. I rcvd 2 more and thought...okay, maybe I do have at least some speck of talent. Then I found out I have a secret identity known as "Topanga Canyon", (that's a long story itself, which many of you already know) and I decided...okay...it's time!
Anyway, I've been submitting furiously since August and last week just got my first personal rejection (14 days) from Flash Fiction Online. Yay! I mean, Darn! I mean, Yay! No...darn! I can't decide!
And right on the heels of that (today!) came my second personal rejection. This one was from Daily Science Fiction (21 days). Thought it was a form rejection until I saw the PS: "Made our second round."
Woot-woot! That's 2 personal rejections. Yay! I mean, darn! I mean, yay! Yes...yay!
Hopefully I'll be able to post in the Success thread real soon because...dare I say it?...yes, I will! I am currently in the second round with another story in another magazine. I can feel myself getting better with each story I write.
I'm getting close. The suspense is building. Wait for it...
Fingers crossed!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morshana » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:46 pm

That's great, Preston!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:05 pm

dantzel wrote:In the case of Analog, they're running way behind. If you check Duotrope I'm sure you'll see pretty long wait times right now.



Does that imply some people have gotten rejections since the new guy took over--sorry I forget his name.
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