"If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster." --Isaac Asimov

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Problems with writing fiction

While researching some knotty points of technique for a short story, I stumbled upon (not using Stumbleupon, though) a collection of advice from several editors at Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (ASIN). I'd read it a while ago, but it's so good that it's worth reading several times over:

A Comprehensive and Totally Universal Listing of Every Problem a Story Has Ever Had

In case you're wondering, I've had the honor of a rejection from ASIN. It was one of my early attempts at flash fiction that made it past the first round of scrutiny, but was ultimately rejected by their reviewing panel. The reviewers were nice enough to include personal notes, and although one called it "creepy and delightful" (which is the best thing anyone's ever said about my flash fiction), what sunk it was "Too slow to start--too much backstory." In other words, I violated rule #1.

The story did make into an anthology after some rewriting. But having it published in ASIN, with a 96% rejection rate, would have been way cooler. If only I'd read the above-mentioned list of problems earlier...

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