Five Minute Rant

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

Postby Kary English » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:22 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
Alex Kane wrote:Form rejection from ASIM less than 24 hours after submitting. Sigh.

The story's up at Baen's Universe Slush, if anyone's interested in having a look. Was my Q3 '11 HM, and remains one of my favorite stories . . . but yeah, she's been rejected a lot. In other news, I am guilty of Duotropery and need to cut that shit out.


24 hours? OW! I've never seen anything come back that fast.


I have an under-24 from Clarkesworld. wotf002
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:37 am

Kary James wrote:
Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
Alex Kane wrote:Form rejection from ASIM less than 24 hours after submitting. Sigh.

The story's up at Baen's Universe Slush, if anyone's interested in having a look. Was my Q3 '11 HM, and remains one of my favorite stories . . . but yeah, she's been rejected a lot. In other news, I am guilty of Duotropery and need to cut that shit out.


24 hours? OW! I've never seen anything come back that fast.


I have an under-24 from Clarkesworld. wotf002


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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morshana » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:06 pm

Lightspeed is pretty quick, too. Just got a less than 24-hour response. I got a second tier rejection at the 3 day mark a few months ago.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby gower21 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:14 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
Kary James wrote:Who sends frikken rejections on Easter Sunday?? (not WOTF) Sheesh!

Ok, it'll go back out as soon as WT or S&S open again.

ETA: Yes, I know. I ranted about waiting, then turned right back around and ranted about hearing. wotf013


To each her/his own. I will gladly take results any day they choose to send them.


I know, right? I also got a rejection on Easter Sunday. Very funny!

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Solanavi77 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:02 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:Another rant. At myself, this time.

I've been struggling with this story since January. I knew the very broad outlines the whole time, and I always knew the nature of the climax. But I didn't know the details, so I did research. And I kept getting interrupted by other work. (Darned goats!)

A month ago, I realized a more detailed outline, and I knew what some of the major events would be along the way. But I still wasn't sure exactly what the ending was.

Then last week, I realized what the ending was. The perfect final scene. And I knew what the scenes would be leading up to it. I could finally see the whole shape of the story. AND I was pleasantly surprised: I was only 3,000 words in, so I said, "Hey, this is going to be really short compared to my usual stories." I figured if I could see the end at 3,000 words, it might end up at 4,000 or so. That fits a lot of markets.

Now, a week later, the whole story is in place. I'm within a page or two of the end. And the total so far is...

8,000 words.

Rant! Rant! Rant!

(On a positive note: 5,000 solid words in under a week is a better pace than I've managed lately...)

UPDATE: "within a page or two of the end"... Yeah, or more like 1,600 words, and not nearly enough sleep... Grrr...


I've got this really good story I've been working on for a couple months. I have most of the body finished and the conclusion done. But there are two scenes I need which will makes sense of the ending that I can't write. I've thought about those two scenes for hours, and they never come out right.

wotf020
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:12 pm

Solanavi77 wrote:I've got this really good story I've been working on for a couple months. I have most of the body finished and the conclusion done. But there are two scenes I need which will makes sense of the ending that I can't write. I've thought about those two scenes for hours, and they never come out right.

wotf020


I had this exact experience with my Q2. I ended up putting it away for a few weeks and writing something else. It was amazing how much easier it was to finish once I'd taken a break from beating my head over it. And then I found that the scenes I had struggled with ended up being a lot better then I had expected them to be. wotf017 Everyone's different, but you might consider taking a break.

[rant]

I have the idea, the characters, the conflict, the setting, and an outline. So why does this story in my head seem so daunting? Gahh. Damn it Strycher, just write the damn thing already! wotf016

[/rant]

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:18 pm

Strycher wrote:[rant]

I have the idea, the characters, the conflict, the setting, and an outline. So why does this story in my head seem so daunting? Gahh. Damn it Strycher, just write the damn thing already! wotf016

[/rant]


Great sympathies here. Great sympathies.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:22 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
Strycher wrote:[rant]

I have the idea, the characters, the conflict, the setting, and an outline. So why does this story in my head seem so daunting? Gahh. Damn it Strycher, just write the damn thing already! wotf016

[/rant]


Great sympathies here. Great sympathies.


XD Yeah, for me that normally means my subconscious is trying to warn me there's a plot hole. If I try to write it out, I'll end up having to rewrite at least part of it. But if I don't try to write it out, it means I'm just procrastinating. Blarg.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby gower21 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:24 pm

Yesh! I'm having a similar major issue with an idea I working with right now. I have character, setting, conflict and a really cool idea and I can't figure out what the climax and ending are going to be. I've made myself promise: no more starting stories until I know the end. My stories go so much better for me when I have the major events hammered out before I start.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby MJNL » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:25 pm

WriteToLive wrote:
MJNL wrote:
MJNL wrote:Hmm... I'd like to do a rant about writers who seek instant gratification and can't figure out why they're not published after two months of trying... but that might be inappropriate (dealing with someone like this on another forum--ugh).


Grrr, where is that 'somebody's wrong on the Internet' doodle?

Now people are saying some editors don't read slush--they just use it to find new subscribers. Blame Blame Blame! It's not my story's fault, obviously they just didn't read it.

/Rant end.


Hey, don't knock that. That helped me write one of my stories. Still looking for a home, though...


Ooh, please tell me the whining newbie gets a super-duper reality check in it!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Patrick S. McGinnity » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:22 pm

I've got a story with a setting that, for some reason, I am reluctant to write about. It has appeared in other iterations in other projects, but this time I feel this trepidation about "going there." The set piece at the end takes place there, so I know the setting is absolutely necessary. Maybe it is a fear that I am not going to be able to render it as originally or viscerally as I know it needs to be. My older versions were nothing special.

In the first plot outline, I had myself slated for three dips into this particular place, and I later tried to trim it back to two by compressing the first into narrative summary and snippets of flashback sprinkled into the second time in the setting. Now I've roughed in pretty much everything else, and I'm back to three scenes in there, but I still am resisting writing any of them.

I've even considered writing a sort of plotless tour of the place first to pin down the geography, terminology, images, and other details I will need. then I can butcher it and steal bits for the three scenes I need.

Wait, does that mean I now have to write about the f@%ker four times?

Arrgh! Well, I guess there's nothing for it.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:27 am

Grrr... My brilliant time travel story just came back from Asimov's. They had it in their "Under Review" status for a whopping two hours.

RANT! RANT! RANT!

Off to Duotrope...
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby MJNL » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:41 am

Aw, Martin, I'm right there with you. Just had a prequel to my first WotF finalist come back from them. They didn't want the actual finalist either, so I can't say I'm surprised.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:02 pm

MJNL wrote:Aw, Martin, I'm right there with you. Just had a prequel to my first WotF finalist come back from them. They didn't want the actual finalist either, so I can't say I'm surprised.


Yep. Dean says he just hit 250 straight rejections there, 0 acceptances. So I can't complain.

But for five minutes, I ranted!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby MJNL » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:08 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
Yep. Dean says he just hit 250 straight rejections there, 0 acceptances. So I can't complain.

But for five minutes, I ranted!


Ah, man, what I wouldn't give to have 250 Rs just from one place...because that would mean I had at least 250 stories written and submitted.
~Marina

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby katsincommand » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:34 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:Grrr... My brilliant time travel story just came back from Asimov's. They had it in their "Under Review" status for a whopping two hours.

RANT! RANT! RANT!

Off to Duotrope...


Oh Martin I was hoping for you! :( So sorry.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Dustin Adams » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:03 pm

Dean says he just hit 250 straight rejections there.

That's preposterous!

(5 second rant.)
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:18 pm

I should also note that this is a story I would never submit to WotF, because it's one that might easily be taken for non-speculative. It has four scenes, each progressively longer. The second scene has just a bare hint of mystery. The third scene is blatantly speculative IF YOU KNOW THE ENDING. I sprinkled it liberally with "Aha!" moments which suddenly make sense once you know time travel is involved (and to be fair, I also dropped hints that time was an important part of the story). And the fourth scene only reveals the time travel after a lengthy build-up. Up to that point, it's not clearly a speculative story at all. So it wouldn't surprise me if an editor looked at it and said, "Huh?"
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby dantzel » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:21 pm

I am intrigued... I want to read this, Martin.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:16 pm

dantzel wrote:I am intrigued... I want to read this, Martin.


Well, of course, now I've spoiled the surprise a little bit. But PM me an address, and I'll send you a copy if you'd like. It's surprisingly short, as my stories go: under 6,800 words.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:43 pm

RANT! RANT! RANT!

And just for good measure... RANT!

And sadly, this time I must rant about my absolute favorite writing tool... which is also for some of you a sad object of obsession (but that's not relevant here)... Yes, I'm talking about... Duotrope.

Now I want to be fair. They're only human. Nobody's perfect. And to quote Heinlein: "Anything free is worth what you pay for it. And to quote Shoemaker: "If you're lucky." In the case of Duotrope, I have paid a LOT for their free service. I honestly think it's worth more.

But... In this case...

I just read the submission guidelines for IGMS (emphasis added):

We are looking for stories of any length in the genres of science fiction and fantasy.

"Science fiction" includes hard sf, sf adventure, alternate history, near-future, far-future, psi, alien, and any other kind of sf you can think of.

"Fantasy" includes heroic fantasy (based on any culture's mythology), fairy tales, contemporary fantasy, and "horror" in the sense of supernatural suspense (not gory bloodfests, thanks).

Within these genres, we like to see well-developed milieus and believable, engaging characters. We also look for clear, unaffected writing. Asimov, Niven, Tolkien, Yolen, and Hobb are more likely to be our literary exemplars than James Joyce.

We pay 6 cents a word up to 7500 words and 5 cents a word thereafter.


So nowhere in there is a maximum length specified at all. Not even a hint of a maximum length, just a length where the rate changes. No instructions to check with them. Just "of any length".

But here's what Duotrope says about them (emphasis added):

Flash Fiction (up to 1000 words)
Short Story (1000 - 7500 words)
Novelette (approximately 7500 - 15000 words; check with publisher)


And if I do a Duotrope search for one of my longer stories, IGMS doesn't show up at all for anything above 7,500.

I've written to IGMS to see if there's something I'm misunderstanding here. But it looks to me like Duotrope has been accidentally closing off a market that might've taken some of my longer stories (assuming, of course that those stories were good enough).

RANT! RANT! RANT!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby dantzel » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:49 pm

Well, here's my preemptive rant - this could be my first week to receive three rejections for three different stories. That is, if IGMS ever gets back to me. They've had my story for 70 days but somehow I'm starting to expect the worst. wotf005

It's all part of the game and all, but darn it, I like these stories!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby DavidK » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:37 am

I decided to count my rejections, and chuckled because I get one or three a week - but not quite every week now, and I've had 181 rejections for the 75 stories I've written.

Of those 7 were WOTF rejections (and most have now been published) and I'm still waiting on 2 results like most folk.

I like to think that my stories are yellow mops, and I make the mistake of sending them to people who want yellow broom stories - darn it, why can't they see that my yellow mop is better? So, then I send my yellow mops to people who are after red mops, and they can't see that yellow is much better than red? Then I see red. Then I just go away and use it to mop up my tears wotf011

Keep writing new stories, keep sending the stories on, and understand that with each rejection there is something in us that registers that and helps write a better story next time.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:45 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:And sadly, this time I must rant about my absolute favorite writing tool... which is also for some of you a sad object of obsession (but that's not relevant here)... Yes, I'm talking about... Duotrope.


So you're just discovering not to rely on the Duotrope words counts too? Needless to say I'm not searching for novelettes, I've still never written one of those. But instead of writing my Q3 the Gator insisted on writing this stupid 900 word fantasy effort and if you put such a thing into Duotrope search Clarkesworld comes out among other things. But if you read their submission guidelines you need 1000 words...

Never mind, I added a few more words yesterday so it's now a round 1000. wotf024 now I can send it to most of the flash markets and short story markets. At least, according to Duotrope I can...
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby dantzel » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:28 am

David,

I'm not necessarily bemoaning three rejections in and of themselves- that's good because it means I have more stories out there, and I'm proud of that part. It's more the stress of the past week - flea invasion, taxes not finished, sick, impending party, too busy to write like I'd planned, being woman-sick, and a major fight with my husband - and knowing that even though I generally know what to expect from Clarkesworld and Daily Science Fiction, IGMS is stressing me out since I am a bootcamper and because of that I know I'm past the slush pile but how far, will that actually help me, yadda yadda yadda.

It's irrational but that's what this thread is for - of course I will go onward and upward and I'm writing new stories as quickly as I can. But we are all that different points in the submission process. I almost didn't even say I'd had three stories that were at their Duotropery ripeness because I knew so many other people had higher numbers and would inwardly scoff - but, oh well.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:31 am

Yes! Rationality is optional in this thread!

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby DavidK » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:07 am

dantzel wrote:David,

I'm not necessarily bemoaning three rejections in and of themselves- that's good because it means I have more stories out there, and I'm proud of that part. It's more the stress of the past week - flea invasion, taxes not finished, sick, impending party, too busy to write like I'd planned, being woman-sick, and a major fight with my husband - and knowing that even though I generally know what to expect from Clarkesworld and Daily Science Fiction, IGMS is stressing me out since I am a bootcamper and because of that I know I'm past the slush pile but how far, will that actually help me, yadda yadda yadda.



Wow - go and rant for 10 minutes - how aweful!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Kary English » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:02 am

<rant>

So there's this market, right? And the website says it will open for submissions in mid-April, but it doesn't give a date. Fine, I thought, here's this other market that opens on April 14 and answers back in a few days, so I'll submit to which ever one opens first and by the time I hear back, the other one will be open.

Well, the other market got back to me in 24 hrs with a nice personal rejection that said "I really liked this, and you'll sell it somewhere. Just not here." No problems there. Thank you, other market, for the kind words.

So, now, I'm sitting here refreshing the mid-April market because it's the last place I'm going to try this story before I take it to Amazon and I wish they would just freaking OPEN!! Dates, man, give me DATES.

</rant>
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:06 am

Kary James wrote:Dates, man, give me DATES.


It helps if you show a little leg. wotf013
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Kary English » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:18 am

Sorry, Martin. I saved the Angelina leg thing for the WOTF gala. You'll have to wait for next year. wotf006
WOTF: 1 HM, 1 Semi, 2 Finalists, 1 Winner
Q2,V31 - Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
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