Five Minute Rant

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

Postby morshana » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:36 am

wotf019

Well, how about exhaustion-inspired zen? I was exhausted yesterday and yet I still didn't care about my rejection. Should I? I felt I should. wotf021
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby austinDm » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:02 pm

morshana wrote:Well, how about exhaustion-inspired zen? I was exhausted yesterday and yet I still didn't care about my rejection. Should I? I felt I should. wotf021


Meh. Rejections.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:32 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
LDWriter2 wrote:Exhaustion and Zen ain't the same thing. wotf011


How should I credit you when I steal that line? wotf013



Well, if you steal it, you won't be crediting anyone but yourself.


Borrowing it? Well, then L.E.D.

Just make sure it's returned in as good a shape. wotf011
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:43 pm

Hmmm,

This may be a different rant but still related to how various markets react.


It's been said and re-said that we all have about one million words of crap before we start writing the good stuff.

I estimated I'm around one point five million words written.


It's also been said by editors that production is important. The more often an editor sees your name the more they notice it. So five to ten stories in five to ten weeks they think you are working at your craft so they read your stories more carefully. That's when you start getting personal notes. Two editors have been impressed with my consistency.


Neither saying has worked for me--which probably says something about my writing.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby austinDm » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:03 am

LDWriter2 wrote:Neither saying has worked for me--which probably says something about my writing.


Or about the sayings. wotf010 As with everything else, I think these are simply guidelines.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:02 am

LDWriter2 wrote:
Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
LDWriter2 wrote:Exhaustion and Zen ain't the same thing. wotf011


How should I credit you when I steal that line? wotf013



Well, if you steal it, you won't be crediting anyone but yourself.


Borrowing it? Well, then L.E.D.

Just make sure it's returned in as good a shape. wotf011


Done! I think it will give some people a chuckle. Thanks!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:57 pm

austinDm wrote:
LDWriter2 wrote:Neither saying has worked for me--which probably says something about my writing.


Or about the sayings. wotf010 As with everything else, I think these are simply guidelines.



Yeah, the numbers probably are not exact but at the same time after five years and story after story being sent out, sometimes every two weeks for three to four months straight, with F&SF make that nine to twelve weeks in a row, I think many editors should know my name.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:00 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
Done! I think it will give some people a chuckle. Thanks!



Hey, that means I could quote myself. wotf007


I thought about making it L.E.Doggett but very few people know that name. And some that did probably have forgotten it by now.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:15 pm

Oh Stephen Mazur! What must I do? Write better fiction, you say? wotf012 Right.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:01 pm

LDWriter2 wrote:
Speaking of this rant, I wanted to send out a story to F&SF tomorrow--among other reasons it could tell me if that line is the new guy's normal rejection or not--but I've been busy with Dean's Online workshop and didn't get to getting a story ready. Thinking of which story to send next tonight brought me here to ask a question. I didn't want to start a new thread for one question and probably up to half a dozen responses.

So does anyone know Gordon's sweet spot when it comes to word count. The guidelines say anything under 25,000 but there are usually numbers they prefer. I ask because I have one story of 200 words and one of 501. The 200 word story is a lengthened version of my 50 word story at onthepremises.com. If I get an answer tonight I might be able to get the 501 word one ready in time.



Okay I sent in the 501 word story today. Actually, I added the five human senses and cleared up who the MC was so it is now 565 words. Kinda ironic though. Last week I sent them a story significantly longer than my usual just under 11,000 words. This week it's significantly shorter.

Oh, I know this time I know the response will be rather longer than normal but under the circumstances I don't mind. Unless it's two months like one year at this time. And I expect that last week's story could very well take longer to get back to me. So far it has but not that much.

I wonder what they would think of a 285 word story?
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:11 am

Still at Clarkesworld "under review" after 11 days. Will I still be there when Duotrope goes paid I wonder? If I am, what will I do with myself all day when I won't be able to check responses 500 times a day! wotf23
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:34 am

E.CaimanSands wrote:Still at Clarkesworld "under review" after 11 days. Will I still be there when Duotrope goes paid I wonder? If I am, what will I do with myself all day when I won't be able to check responses 500 times a day! wotf23


Can I take this back? wotf004

I just got my rejection, but it's a nice, fluffy, Christmas-cheer themed rejection that says my "story was close" and expressed the hope that I'll "send us another story soon." wotf007 wotf007 wotf007

And I can send this on to Asimov's, Analog etc! When they clear their backlog that is. wotf005
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby liz » Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:17 pm

E.CaimanSands wrote:
E.CaimanSands wrote:Still at Clarkesworld "under review" after 11 days. Will I still be there when Duotrope goes paid I wonder? If I am, what will I do with myself all day when I won't be able to check responses 500 times a day! wotf23


Can I take this back? wotf004

I just got my rejection, but it's a nice, fluffy, Christmas-cheer themed rejection that says my "story was close" and expressed the hope that I'll "send us another story soon." wotf007 wotf007 wotf007

And I can send this on to Asimov's, Analog etc! When they clear their backlog that is. wotf005


Awesome!

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:02 pm

Can't find my post about the new guy at F&SF but it looks like that is his normal rejection. "I'm afraid the story didn't pan out as I had hoped".



He must be expecting good writing on each new story.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Jeffrey » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:10 pm

LDWriter2 wrote:Can't find my post about the new guy at F&SF but it looks like that is his normal rejection. "I'm afraid the story didn't pan out as I had hoped".



He must be expecting good writing on each new story.


Seems like a silly question, but I submitted to F&SF for the first time recently & I'm wondering if the rejections comes in the snail mail or email. I'm on travel for the holidays & want to know if I get to open my mailbox when I get back like a Christmas present or if the possible rejection will hunt me down on travel.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:44 pm

Jeffrey wrote:
LDWriter2 wrote:Can't find my post about the new guy at F&SF but it looks like that is his normal rejection. "I'm afraid the story didn't pan out as I had hoped".



He must be expecting good writing on each new story.


Seems like a silly question, but I submitted to F&SF for the first time recently & I'm wondering if the rejections comes in the snail mail or email. I'm on travel for the holidays & want to know if I get to open my mailbox when I get back like a Christmas present or if the possible rejection will hunt me down on travel.



They come though snail mail if you included a SASE. If you didn't I don't know, I've never not included one so I don't know if they would use E-mail.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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The latest was Q1'12
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:23 am

Jeffrey wrote:
LDWriter2 wrote:Can't find my post about the new guy at F&SF but it looks like that is his normal rejection. "I'm afraid the story didn't pan out as I had hoped".



He must be expecting good writing on each new story.


Seems like a silly question, but I submitted to F&SF for the first time recently & I'm wondering if the rejections comes in the snail mail or email. I'm on travel for the holidays & want to know if I get to open my mailbox when I get back like a Christmas present or if the possible rejection will hunt me down on travel.


They don't routinely reply by email, so you need to include a SASE I believe. I live in the UK where it's no longer possible to get international reply coupons so I had to email them to make special arrangements for my submissions. Now that I've done that they email me all my rejections.

Merry Christmas, by the way!

And although this is my favourite thread, it's officially shut for the rest of the day. wotf001
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby austinDm » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:41 am

LDWriter2 wrote:Can't find my post about the new guy at F&SF but it looks like that is his normal rejection. "I'm afraid the story didn't pan out as I had hoped".



He must be expecting good writing on each new story.


I got a reject recently from the new guy, and this is what it said. I guess it means he read the whole way through but didn't find the ending (or some other element) satisfying enough? wotf017 HM equivalent? Then again, I'm probably reading too much into it and should just send another story.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:26 am

Got the latest reject from IGMS yesterday...someone was working there late last night. Even later if they are in a different time zone than Pacific. Not a nice Christmas eve present even though expected and not as nearly as bad as some people have gotten this year.

But do they have any note that says you got further than usual? JJA, and some at F&SF have a couple responses.




E.CaimanSands wrote:
And although this is my favourite thread, it's officially shut for the rest of the day. wotf001



Evidently a couple of us didn't get the memo in time.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby dantzel » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:26 am

I get either a basic form rejection from IGMS or else a detailed personal response. So I'm not sure if they actually have tiered form letters. wotf017
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:14 pm

dantzel wrote:I get either a basic form rejection from IGMS or else a detailed personal response. So I'm not sure if they actually have tiered form letters. wotf017




So the detailed personal response might be it. Two levels.


Not surprising that you would get one.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:22 pm

LDWriter2 wrote:Got the latest reject from IGMS yesterday...someone was working there late last night. Even later if they are in a different time zone than Pacific. Not a nice Christmas eve present even though expected and not as nearly as bad as some people have gotten this year.

But do they have any note that says you got further than usual? JJA, and some at F&SF have a couple responses.




E.CaimanSands wrote:
And although this is my favourite thread, it's officially shut for the rest of the day. wotf001



Evidently a couple of us didn't get the memo in time.


This thread is shut, shut I say! wotf016 Snap! Chomp!

Oooh, she means it. wotf005 Not sure anyone is listening though.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:08 am

Okay, you can all start ranting again now. wotf040




Hmm, Gator, I think maybe you're taking your job of Adminigator Overlordess of the Swampy Forum a little too seriously... wotf005


Huh? wotf021
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:06 pm

E.CaimanSands wrote:Okay, you can all start ranting again now. wotf040




Hmm, Gator, I think maybe you're taking your job of Adminigator Overlordess of the Swampy Forum a little too seriously... wotf005


Huh? wotf021




Good good but too bad I don't have time to rant tonight.



OH, and does that smile mean you are entertained by our venting???!!!
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:56 am

LDWriter2 wrote:
E.CaimanSands wrote:Okay, you can all start ranting again now. wotf040




Hmm, Gator, I think maybe you're taking your job of Adminigator Overlordess of the Swampy Forum a little too seriously... wotf005


Huh? wotf021




Good good but too bad I don't have time to rant tonight.



OH, and does that smile mean you are entertained by our venting???!!!


Absolutely! wotf007 This is the best thread on the forum. wotf007
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:11 pm

LDWriter2 wrote:
It's also been said by editors that production is important. The more often an editor sees your name the more they notice it. So five to ten stories in five to ten weeks they think you are working at your craft so they read your stories more carefully. That's when you start getting personal notes. Two editors have been impressed with my consistency.


Neither saying has worked for me--which probably says something about my writing.



I'm going to be sending out another story to F&SF tomorrow, and one next week. I don't if he would or not but maybe Scott, the new guy, will send a personal note after a few more stories. I wonder if anyone warned him about the many writers like me who are constantly sending stories. "What out for the L.E. guy he needs to learn to write better" or "You may get tired seeing some names like that L. E. guy but you may get good story form one of them."
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Jackie B. » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:07 pm

Well, my Q3 finalist got a lightning fast form reject from F&SF. I figured they wouldn't want it because its rather long (and would be expensive for them to buy) but really, that was a FAST rejection. Rant over. Back out it goes...
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:31 pm

F&SF is always quick, well the vast majority of the time that is.

I've heard that it can take longer if your story goes up to the next level but there's no proof that any of my late stories went beyond the usual level.

Some of their stories are long though so they do buy them at times.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby jeeohn » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:31 pm

Edit: I forced myself to read the story start to finish. It's actually not too bad. I need a section of exposition to break up the narrative at one or two points in order to clarify a few things, but other than that I should be fine. Not sure why all the stress. Feel free to read what's below if you'd like!



May I take a moment to rant about a story I just finished?

I wrote this in a marathon session of nine straight hours. Roughly 4,250 words.

I hate it. I just finished this story and I hate its guts. Don't get me wrong, it came out of my hands fine like the stories I consider "good," so its not a lack of inspiration or a matter of writer's block. That's what confounds me, really. Usually I have this supernatural sense that warns me away from duds, and I quit after about a thousand words. But not this time! No, this time I slaved away over my notebook for nine hours and--you know I'm not really that upset because I don't really know what I wrote. I haven't even read it start to finish.

Have you ever written something and said to yourself, "This prose isn't up to my standard, but it fits the story?" That's how I feel about this. It's a horror story, I guess. Summary: a ship's crew on leave on a vacation planet is systematically drugged and emotionally castrated by the planet's caretakers as a warning for humanity to leave them alone.

My writing style is such that I'm not satisfied if my prose lacks complexity. This story is decidedly uncomplicated. It unravels in a linear fashion and ends when you expect it to end. For some reason, I think this is bad.

I'll tell you why I think this is bad: a year ago I wrote two very linear, very awful short stories. Fast forward a year later, I've transitioned to a more non-linear style of scenes and vignettes and have had much more success. The concept of traditional storytelling frightens me. Maybe this sounds ridiculous. Like, instead of saying, "Bob went to the store and bought some bread," I would say, "There's bread on the kitchen counter. (next scene) Bob went outside, a grocery list in his pocket. The counter is devoid of bread." That's not precisely what I'm talking about, but it gets my point across.

I'm sure that, in the morning, when I bring myself to read it over, that it won't be that bad. I have a general feeling about what information needs to be added and where to put that information. I don't feel that the pacing is bad. I gathered a general idea of what sections need rephrasing. I don't think that it's unoriginal (feel free to prove me wrong so I can light it on fire), or that it's even poorly written.

Someone tell me how I'm feeling, because I'm confused.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Jackie B. » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:54 pm

I heard once that if you want to know if a chef is really good, order the simplest thing on the menu. It is hard to cook simple dishes super well. There is no sauce slathered everywhere to cover up the over-cooked meat, for example.

I think writing linear, "simplistic" stories is very difficult. You have to really work at it. I get frustrated sometimes with stories like this, because there is nothing to cover up any mistakes I've made. The story seems so raw. Maybe that's what you're feeling?

In any case, remember writers are the worst judges of their own work. It is likely not as bad as you fear. wotf008
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