Five Minute Rant

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
LDWriter2
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:57 pm

Been meaning to post here for over a week.

Had two rejections as I predicted now there is a third.

They were suppose to be good, solid stories using what I have learned recently. Same results as usual-total rejections. Well, the last one wasn't quite total but I haven't been able to get any higher than that stage so it just as well be. So nothing no how, no when.
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Ishmael
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:33 am

amoskalik wrote:It seems a strange strategy to reduce the number of submissions by extending the wait time. The end result is only getting picked over stories. If they just pay less, they'd get the same stories by being at the top of the semipro list with less expense. I wonder why they do it this way?


I think they're probably resting on their laurels. It has been the case for a long time that publication in Analog marks your arrival on the Sci Fi writing scene. Everyone used to want that accolade. Old Timers like me still do. But you're right in saying that such a long wait for a one-liner is a pretty big turn off. You can try half a dozen other major professional markets in the time it takes Analog to get round to noticing your existence nowadays and as Dawn says you're likely to demote them in your order of submission priority if you think the story has real potential.

At the other end of the scale, I don't feel very happy with more or less instant turnarounds either. I always tend to think that the average slush reader is likely to be nervous of sending forward anything that doesn't fit his guidelines and that makes it easier for unoriginal stories and harder for original ones to progress. Call it hubris if you like, but I don't think I write rubbish these days, so if a market bounces a submission really fast I tend to feel there's at least some chance that the error is theirs.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby bobsandiego » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:17 am

Oh brothers and sister you must deny the Dark lord, the Lord of Lies, that fallen angel.
He whispers in you ear but they are lies meant to deceive you.
Reject the dark arts.
reject the rejecotmancy
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MattDovey
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby MattDovey » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:57 pm

I'm normally pretty good with rejections, but this one got to me.

I've won a quarter here! My writing is Good Enough! Things are on the up for me! So when I have a story that I _know_ is a perfect fit for a market, and I get excited to send it in because _this will be the one_, it's a good concept, presented with a plot and not just in a vignette, manages a twist and all under 1k words... and then it comes back form rejection in only ten days? I feel stupid and worthless and like my radar for these things is all wrong, because I thought they were good and they're bouncing straight off places I thought would love it and I was all wrong, so very wrong that it didn't even make it out of slush and aaaaargh.

I am starting to feel like I will be the only one out there in April with no other sales to my name and everyone will look down with pity and condescension and go "aaaw, it's ok, at least you had that one good idea". Obviously that's ludicrous, but none of this is particularly logical of me anyway and goddammit I'm allowed to be melodramatic about these things once in a while I think.

SIGH

Right. Enough procrastinating here. I have another story I need to be revising to send to Mike Resnick...
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:53 pm

Hey Matt, there is a market out there that not only rejects you in less than one day but also informs you they knew your story was not for them by page one. Even if you formatted properly and started half way down page one. They knew your story was not for them inside a hundred words.

And me with professional sales and all.

You see, when someone tells me something like that I ignore everything else they say because their judgement is so poor.

And just wait until I sell that story. And just wait until I'm FAMOUS! That'll show 'em, huh?

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby rharp » Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:36 pm

MattDovey wrote:I'm normally pretty good with rejections, but this one got to me.

I've won a quarter here! My writing is Good Enough! Things are on the up for me! So when I have a story that I _know_ is a perfect fit for a market, and I get excited to send it in because _this will be the one_, it's a good concept, presented with a plot and not just in a vignette, manages a twist and all under 1k words... and then it comes back form rejection in only ten days? I feel stupid and worthless and like my radar for these things is all wrong, because I thought they were good and they're bouncing straight off places I thought would love it and I was all wrong, so very wrong that it didn't even make it out of slush and aaaaargh.

I am starting to feel like I will be the only one out there in April with no other sales to my name and everyone will look down with pity and condescension and go "aaaw, it's ok, at least you had that one good idea". Obviously that's ludicrous, but none of this is particularly logical of me anyway and goddammit I'm allowed to be melodramatic about these things once in a while I think.

SIGH

Right. Enough procrastinating here. I have another story I need to be revising to send to Mike Resnick...



So sorry, Matt. They'll kick themselves one day!! Good luck with the story for Mike Resnick. That would be awesome!!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby amoskalik » Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:58 pm

MattDovey wrote:I'm normally pretty good with rejections, but this one got to me.

I've won a quarter here! My writing is Good Enough! Things are on the up for me! So when I have a story that I _know_ is a perfect fit for a market, and I get excited to send it in because _this will be the one_, it's a good concept, presented with a plot and not just in a vignette, manages a twist and all under 1k words... and then it comes back form rejection in only ten days? I feel stupid and worthless and like my radar for these things is all wrong, because I thought they were good and they're bouncing straight off places I thought would love it and I was all wrong, so very wrong that it didn't even make it out of slush and aaaaargh.

I am starting to feel like I will be the only one out there in April with no other sales to my name and everyone will look down with pity and condescension and go "aaaw, it's ok, at least you had that one good idea". Obviously that's ludicrous, but none of this is particularly logical of me anyway and goddammit I'm allowed to be melodramatic about these things once in a while I think.

SIGH

Right. Enough procrastinating here. I have another story I need to be revising to send to Mike Resnick...



The first few rejections for any story are the hardest. Right after you write it, it's the BEST STORY EVER WRITTEN. That is one reason I like to submit to WOTF first. I don't get the rejection for a month or two and my love for the story cools, then I can send it to Clarkesworld and get the one day rejection without flinching. After that, it's easy sailing. The story is a mere abstraction and the rejections a form of street cred.

Of course now, you'll have to substitute Tor or Analog for WOTF...
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby MattDovey » Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:27 am

This one was a year old, so really shouldn't get to me (I wrote a contest winning story in the intervening gap, after all!), but I was certain one of Nature, DSF or FFO would find it a perfect fit, and, well, no, evidently not. It's the frustration at misunderstanding a market so thoroughly as much as anything.

Ah well, it's out again now with Analog, where it's sure to be rejected so that won't sting. There's another three out on top of that as well; I try and keep more than one piece out under sub at any one time, so it doesn't matter when I get a rejection because there's others in the running elsewhere. The only time this plan falls down is when three rejections land in the space of two days... that can sting.

Onwards and upwards!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:33 am

I am just ever so slightly miffed that an improved version of my silver HM got spun in two days by F&SF. Didn't grab me in spite of having enough in the first two pages for Dave? Seriously?

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:08 am

Ishmael wrote:I am just ever so slightly miffed that an improved version of my silver HM got spun in two days by F&SF. Didn't grab me in spite of having enough in the first two pages for Dave? Seriously?

wotf23


Different people have different tastes. Don't let it get to you. *patpatpat*
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
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby alpha » Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:43 pm

Argh! Why can I write a 7,000 word story that I'm in love with, but can't come up with two or three words for a title that I don't despise? Someone should start a service where you can send them a story, and they'll come up with an awesome title for it. I would be their best customer.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:29 pm

alpha wrote:Argh! Why can I write a 7,000 word story that I'm in love with, but can't come up with two or three words for a title that I don't despise? Someone should start a service where you can send them a story, and they'll come up with an awesome title for it. I would be their best customer.


I'm in the same boat at the moment. wotf012 Some stories are just easier to title than others.
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
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MattDovey
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby MattDovey » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:27 am

alpha wrote:Argh! Why can I write a 7,000 word story that I'm in love with, but can't come up with two or three words for a title that I don't despise? Someone should start a service where you can send them a story, and they'll come up with an awesome title for it. I would be their best customer.


Stop trying to make it two or three words then :) try and come up with ridiculous fifteen word title, then another, then another, then try and chop them down. Then take random quotes out of your story and try them. Then find a Random Quotations page. Come up with titles that tell you about the setting, then titles that are based on the moral question at the heart of your story, then try titles that set the mood. When you can't get a title to work, you need to try half a dozen different approaches, because even if one of them doesn't work it might spark an idea that does.

I am similarly rubbish at titling, so go through all this.
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Randy Hulshizer
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Randy Hulshizer » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:09 am

alpha wrote:Argh! Why can I write a 7,000 word story that I'm in love with, but can't come up with two or three words for a title that I don't despise? Someone should start a service where you can send them a story, and they'll come up with an awesome title for it. I would be their best customer.


There's also a thread over in the Contest forum with some discussion of titling:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2219
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby bobsandiego » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:15 am

alpha wrote:Argh! Why can I write a 7,000 word story that I'm in love with, but can't come up with two or three words for a title that I don't despise? Someone should start a service where you can send them a story, and they'll come up with an awesome title for it. I would be their best customer.

My wall is bloody from where I beat my head for character names and titles....
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby dbeavers » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:18 pm

alpha wrote:Argh! Why can I write a 7,000 word story that I'm in love with, but can't come up with two or three words for a title that I don't despise? Someone should start a service where you can send them a story, and they'll come up with an awesome title for it. I would be their best customer.


I love coming up with titles. It's almost the only thing reviewers like about my stories. wotf001 If you're up for it, I'd be intrigued to see if I could help. "Titles That Titillate" - how's that for a service name?
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:25 pm

This is helpful sometimes for names: http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/

And I haven't really tried these but: http://mdbenoit.com/rtg.htm is a random title generator.

Whilst this one is actually supposed to produce SF titles: http://www.kitt.net/php/title-scifi-fantasy.php

And so's this: http://www.mcoorlim.com/random.html

In fact the net is full of these things. Whether they're any use is a completely different matter, but it might save more damage to the wall. wotf011
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby MattDovey » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:27 am

You know what, it might be an interesting exercise one day to see if I can write a story to one of those random titles. Assuming I have any time left by the time I've gotten through my current list of ideas, of course...

But you never know. Maybe The Thoughts's Waves is my Hugo nominee in waiting! A philosophical discourse on the tidal nature of consciousness, how it rushes in and out and sweeps up all detritus before it, carrying hope and thought and memory out into the great wide ocean of communal experience and how culture and society are a floating island borne upon all that human existence. Narrated by Gollum.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby disgruntledpeony » Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:25 am

I know four rejections on a story is peanuts (and it's only rejection number five in my fledgling career) but a form rejection within 24 hours is apparently incredibly frustrating.

Ahh well. Back to NaNo and my Q1 entry.
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
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:35 am

disgruntledpeony wrote:I know four rejections on a story is peanuts (and it's only rejection number five in my fledgling career) but a form rejection within 24 hours is apparently incredibly frustrating.


I believe Stewart and I share the experience of a sixteenth time lucky submission. There's neither rhyme nor reason to it. It's all down to personal taste.

And even worse than a form in under 24 hours is a personal in under twenty four hours that begins 'We knew this was not for us on page one.'

Just for the record: (2015 to date)

submissions 263 - forms 195 - personals 41 - acceptances 8

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:17 am

And for Grinder subscribers casting a wary eye at today's clutch of 168 day forms from Tor.com, yes, one of them was mine. At least I've graduated to 'send mores' and am not still languishing on the bottom tier. I really did think that I might at least have cracked the personals after such a long wait!

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Athena » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:36 am

alpha wrote:Argh! Why can I write a 7,000 word story that I'm in love with, but can't come up with two or three words for a title that I don't despise? Someone should start a service where you can send them a story, and they'll come up with an awesome title for it. I would be their best customer.


This is the story of my life. I can't seem to name a story for anything. It makes me completely nuts.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby kentagions » Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:41 pm


alpha
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby alpha » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:17 pm

Hey, editors! Don't start rejection letters with the word "congratulations!" I understand you're trying to engage in a polite and positive interaction with me, and I appreciate that, but some of us crave publication success badly enough that it gives us fragile psyches okay?

Damn, that messed with me.

Oh well, back to the revision I was working on.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:21 pm

alpha wrote:Hey, editors! Don't start rejection letters with the word "congratulations!"


That... is terrifying.
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
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:01 pm

I have been having problems with titles lately. Seems that at one time I usually didn't have such problems-one story or two but over all I had titles. Now though it seems just the opposite.

Out of frustration I am working on making my titles as short as possible down to the one word titles that seem to be the in thing these days with a lot of writers.




I almost posted here a while back for another reason after receiving even more complete rejections even on my new stories but didn't quite get around to it.
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

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby AliceBrook » Sat Dec 19, 2015 8:28 am

Dammit, I have to ask.

I got a rejection from a magazine I absolutely adore/respect/swoon at.
It said the story was ambitious and that they'd like me to submit more stories with that kind of ambition.

That...that was a damn near perfect rejection. Nonetheless, I'm confused about the meaning of 'ambitious,' or at least how it applies to that particular story. I'd just like some clarification - I mean, if they were a teacher, I'd badger them until they told me exactly what they meant.
Do you guys have any ideas how I should understand the 'ambitious' bit? [feeling like a grandmaster of rejectomancy at the moment]
Also, have you ever received... unclear rejections?

alpha wrote:Hey, editors! Don't start rejection letters with the word "congratulations!"


Now, alpha's - that one's just....nasty

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby orbivillein » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:20 am

"Ambitious," in a declined submission context, and school paper assessment, means daring, bold, reaches for a greatness peak though falls short in some problematic yet promising way. Possibly matters of content and organization craft, or grammar and mannerism, maybe expression. Audience appeal? Less likely -- enough appeal to rate an "ambitious" qualification and a request for more ambition.

Never received an understandable submission decline. Had to figure out for myself why: what I didn't know I didn't know.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby alpha » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:45 pm

Alice, my guess would be something like, "Kick-ass idea, but it fell short somewhere in the execution. But I'd love to see more of your kick-ass ideas in the hopes that next time you execute better."

But it's just a guess. I have even less information to go on than you.

And yeah, that "congratulations" rejection stung a bit. I've gotten pretty thick-skinned about rejections, but that one slipped through the old defenses.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Ishmael » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:42 am

And ... 165 day form from Analog. Slower and slower and slower. Shall I make allowances for the holidays? I know they probably still have an enormous slush pile despite everything but...
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