Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

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dantzel
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby dantzel » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:40 pm

WOOT!
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:45 pm

Brad R. Torgersen wrote:Martin, you really don't have to do this.


Have to? No. But I can't resist a running joke, especially one that's also full of good news for you and inspiration for the rest of us to try to follow your example.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby dantzel » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:58 pm

Agreed with Martin!
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:37 am

Although at some point, the "See, folks, you can do this" message becomes less plausible. Not to discourage anyone around here (myself included!), but a lot of talented writers who win this contest never go anywhere with their writing afterwards. Brad is NOT one of them. Where they have talent and a victory, Brad has talent PLUS an insane work ethic and a dedication to treat every success as a stepping stone, not an end point. No, folks, you can NOT do what Brad has done unless you're willing to work as hard as Brad has. And even the hard work is no guarantee; so like Brad, you also have to have a "never say die" attitude. To some people, rejection is a reason to give up; to Brad, it's a reason to fight harder. THAT is how you make 7 sales to Analog. Talent and skill isn't enough. The key elements are persistence and hard work.

The number one target of this pep talk, by the way, is myself. I'll bet Brad's accepted word count for this year exceeds my TOTAL word count by a lot; and his total word count leaves me in the dust, I'm sure.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby austinDm » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:12 am

^This. Very much this.

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:49 pm

Martin has it: there is no replacement for WANTING IT.

if you WANT IT, then a thousand rejections will not stop you. Just ask Kevin J. Anderson.

If you do not want it . . . there are far less time-consuming and easier ways to make money, or have fun. Or both.

Being a pro writer requires a peculiar kind of functional insanity. wotf011

I'll also say this: being a pro means having a pro plan even prior to publication. A lot of WOTF winners spend all their time focused on winning, and not enough time making plans for what they'll do after the win. Hence a lot of people got to the Contest week, go home, and . . . just don't do much of anything. Life reasserts itself, to include distractions, work, etc. Patterns fall immediately back into place, and unless you're prepared to shoehorn your writing into your life as a bona-fide, legit use of your time, you're going to fall off the map.

The thing I feared most, after I won, was disappearing. By the time I won I'd already built a good head of production steam, and I just kept on going. I knew my target markets (such as Analog) and I wrote with those markets in mind. I continue to write with those markets in mind. I am not casting about willy nilly hoping to find purchase. I see a target, I turn the target into the goal, I plan steps to reach the goal, I refuse to let setbacks stop me, and I bust my ass.

All of which is academic by the standards of the Contest judges, who will all more or less tell you that this is just the way to do it. None of them did it any other way, practically. So that's been my path as well, and so far, everything the Contest judges have told me, has been correct. In terms of breaking in and staying in.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:31 pm

Received payment today for my latest Analog sale. Four digits to the left of the decimal. I have a tradition of keeping my largest writing paycheck pinned on my cork board over my writing desk. As a reminder: this writing thing? It can pay pretty decently.

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:39 pm

YEEEE-FREAKIN'-HAAAAA, WARRANT OFFICER TORGERSEN!!!!!

And yes, that just added a great big nugget of motivation to my pile.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby soulmirror » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:14 pm

Perhaps the forum needs to organize some sort of an "intervention" for Mr. Torgersen ?!? What if this "sales of stories to Analog" becomes some sort of on-going, life-altering addiction, and he just keeps writing more and more stories, and keeps selling more and more ?!?

Oh, wait ... That would be great. Nevermind. Carry on!

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby liz » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:06 am

soulmirror wrote:Perhaps the forum needs to organize some sort of an "intervention" for Mr. Torgersen ?!? What if this "sales of stories to Analog" becomes some sort of on-going, life-altering addiction, and he just keeps writing more and more stories, and keeps selling more and more ?!?

Oh, wait ... That would be great. Nevermind. Carry on!

wotf011


wotf019

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:47 am

soulmirror wrote:Perhaps the forum needs to organize some sort of an "intervention" for Mr. Torgersen ?!? What if this "sales of stories to Analog" becomes some sort of on-going, life-altering addiction, and he just keeps writing more and more stories, and keeps selling more and more ?!?

Oh, wait ... That would be great. Nevermind. Carry on!

wotf011


Way too late. Not only is he an addict, but it appears the readers are as well.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:46 pm

Jonesing for Analog.

Sounds like a band name.

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Dustin Adams » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:18 am

Brad's in your Brad's Analog thread, spreading the Brad.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Alex Kane » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:30 pm

I somehow missed "The Exchange Officers," but won't let the same happen with "Chaplain's Legacy"--the first Chaplain story was too good. Especially since, if I recall correctly, it'll be your first novella-length work? Too awesome to pass up.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby jeeohn » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:23 am

I have a quick question: what does it mean exactly to write for a market? I've heard this a lot over the past few years, but what does that entail? Does it mean sacrificing your own (for lack of a less pretentious phrase) "artistic vision?"

For instance, what does it mean to write for Analog? Is it aping the work that's already appeared in the magazine? I know that every market has their expectations and their niche--is it simply worming your way into that corner?

I'm still very new at this, so I'd appreciate any feedback.

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:39 am

jeeohn wrote:I have a quick question: what does it mean exactly to write for a market? I've heard this a lot over the past few years, but what does that entail? Does it mean sacrificing your own (for lack of a less pretentious phrase) "artistic vision?"

For instance, what does it mean to write for Analog? Is it aping the work that's already appeared in the magazine? I know that every market has their expectations and their niche--is it simply worming your way into that corner?

I'm still very new at this, so I'd appreciate any feedback.


I wish I had an answer for you. I pretty much do the opposite: write for me, look for a market. The one time I deliberately wrote for a market, they gave me a personal rejection saying they liked it but it was too much like other stuff they had accepted recently and they were trying to get more variety. That kinda disillusioned me on the whole idea of writing for a market. As several editors have observed, they always find themselves buying things that AREN'T "for their market" because the stories are good enough to overcome a mismatch.

That being said, of course, some stories are just wrong for some markets. Don't waste your time sending a quest fantasy to Analog, for example.

On the other hand, I do sometimes find a piece starts to have a natural market, in my subjective judgment. I would say that for Analog, ruthlessly logical extrapolation from known facts and new ideas is something they value in a story. It so happens that ruthlessly logical extrapolation is something I tend to enjoy writing. I like to answer the question "So what would happen if..." even when it completely derails what I thought the plot would be. And when I find myself doing that in a story, I start to see it as an Analog story.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:01 am

My answer:

When I was trying to win Writers of the Future, the best homework I ever did was to a) read past volumes of the Contest anthology so that I could b) tailor my entries to have a better chance of winning. When I submitted just any old story to WOTF I got HMs. When I began writing stories with WOTF explicitly in mind, I got Finalists.

Now, one of those Finalists wound up being my first sale to Analog; because the kinds of stories I naturally write just happen to fit Analog most of the time. But here again, I did my homework: reading Analog. Knowing my market has helped me to almost unconsciously understand that market's needs, such that my probability of sale is much better than if I just randomly send stories into the world willy-nilly.

This is, of course, advice coming from someone who is three years out of the box. My viewpoint in 2013 is a bit different than it was in 2009. Back then, I did send things out more randomly, hoping to snag interest wherever I could. Now that I have receptive editors at Analog and IGMS I can afford to be a bit more focused on the types and kinds of stories I write, because I know which pairs of eyes will be looking at those stories.

As Martin said: do not send epic fantasy to Analog. Likewise, do not send space opera to Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

Having some market awareness is a big plus. If an editor keeps seeing grossly wrong material from you (meaning, it's the wrong genre, wrong type, etc.) then (s)he is liable to conclude that you a) don't read the market, ever, and that b) you don't understand his/her needs at all, and are just blindly pushing stories into his/her in-box. This happens to the Contest all the time. Dave Wolverton will tell you. They get some of the most insanely not-appropriate stuff: cooking recipes, sex confessionals, advice columns, etc.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby jeeohn » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:42 am

Those are some good answers, and definitely clarified some things. I suppose, then, that it just boils down to common sense.

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby E.CaimanSands » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:02 pm

Brad R. Torgersen wrote:Having some market awareness is a big plus. If an editor keeps seeing grossly wrong material from you (meaning, it's the wrong genre, wrong type, etc.) then (s)he is liable to conclude that you a) don't read the market, ever, and that b) you don't understand his/her needs at all, and are just blindly pushing stories into his/her in-box. This happens to the Contest all the time. Dave Wolverton will tell you. They get some of the most insanely not-appropriate stuff: cooking recipes, sex confessionals, advice columns, etc.


Yes, I've been wondering a lot about market awareness lately, as my stuff is seeming to get more disparate, not less so. I've had a downbeat literary hard sf story get a nice personal rejection from Clarkesworld with the always encouraging "send more" note, but would they want to see a funny literary fantasy from me? (I don't remember them publishing any humour). Or would they want to see a not very literary SF? Maybe sending a story that isn't really their style would do me more harm than good? So maybe it's better to wait until I really have something I think might suit them? Tricky stuff!

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby bobsandiego » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:03 am

I just read Brad's story in Analog and I quite enjoyed it. It certainly made my time in the E.R. more pleasant while I waited on doctors and tests.
Thanks Brad for the pick me up.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:39 pm

bobsandiego wrote:I just read Brad's story in Analog and I quite enjoyed it. It certainly made my time in the E.R. more pleasant while I waited on doctors and tests.
Thanks Brad for the pick me up.


No, thank you for taking the time to let me know you found my material worth your time!

Much obliged.

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Wed May 29, 2013 10:40 am

Quick update: my 15,000 word novelette "Life Flight" just got picked up, for Analog.

That's story #8 to that market, for me.

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby s_c_baker » Wed May 29, 2013 10:54 am

Brad R. Torgersen wrote:Quick update: my 15,000 word novelette "Life Flight" just got picked up, for Analog.

That's story #8 to that market, for me.

wotf054

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby preston » Wed May 29, 2013 6:30 pm

Yay, Brad!

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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed May 29, 2013 6:41 pm

Congratulations! How long was the wait? Was it an immediate sale, or was there a rewrite request in there?
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby s_c_baker » Wed May 29, 2013 7:23 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:Congratulations! How long was the wait? Was it an immediate sale, or was there a rewrite request in there?

I think I saw elsewhere that it was something like 80 days, with no rewrite request.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Wed May 29, 2013 7:48 pm

82 days, with no edits. Just a contract! A first, for me. Usually Stan and/or Trevor have at least a few little comments or changes. Not this time, apparently.
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby E.CaimanSands » Thu May 30, 2013 3:55 am

Brad R. Torgersen wrote:
That's story #8 to that market, for me.



Now that's what I call a pro writer. wotf033
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby bobsandiego » Thu May 30, 2013 8:18 am

Congrats Brad on the no edit sale
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Re: Brad's in Analog AGAIN...

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Thu May 30, 2013 10:01 am

Late development: Trevor sent edits, just one day later than the contract.

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