Why Yes, I WOULD Cut Off My Nose to Spite My Face, Why Do You Ask?

 Anyone can be a published writer if all you want to do is make ebook versions of your stories/novels and put them up on Kindle/Nook/iBook/Whatever. I’m not slagging on the idea. I’ll grant you, there’s a time I would have, but times change and it’s adapt or die. Now I do it myself when doing so makes sense to me. However, if you still want to sell stories to professional  science fiction and fantasy (SF/F) markets in the traditional way, deciding between Garamond vs Bookman Old Style is no longer your concern. It’s also no longer about whether your stories please you. Before you see print/online publication, you’ve got to please someone else–the editor.

The traditional SF/F short fiction market is a buyer’s market. Always has been and probably always will be. Even with the explosion of online venues, there are more good stories than there are decent homes for them, for varying values of “decent” and, let’s be honest, varying values of “good.” Fortunately there are enough variances in editorial taste that eventually things usually work out. “Eventually” meaning just that–it can take years to place some stories. “Usually” meaning, sigh, not always. But I’m not here to lament this sad fact, merely to state it, to place what follows in context–The Sh*tlist  Continue reading

Patience, Grasshopper

Patience. Probably one of the most ignored and overlooked items in a writer’s toolbox. Not unrelated to the subject of stubbornness (see persistence), but a different commodity. New writers especially don’t have much use for it. On another board a new writer asked, “If I send in a story now, does it appear in the next issue? How soon do I get paid?” The sound you doubtless heard was a thousand shiny pins forming a queue to pop that lovely balloon. After the realities were explained, you could practically see the fallen crest. “Oh. I didn’t know it was so complicated.” Continue reading