Have a Little Faith, Will Ya?

Feeling dogmatic this morning, so avoid if you ain’t in the mood. Time again I hear two classic questions about writing and submitting stories, most recently on another board– how do you know when something is good enough to send to markets? How do you know when it’s time to take a story out of circulation and trunk it?

Considering how self-evident those answers are, I should be amazed that people keep asking them, and yet I can understand the frustration. The true answers may be obvious, but they’re next to impossible for a beginner to apply, by definition. It makes sense that they keep looking for easier, more relevant to their current state of development answers. Unfortunately, I don’t think there are any. Continue reading

Ringing the Changes

I was checking some articles on my old web site and was struck by how, well, for want of a better word, useless some older posts on the business of writing were. I mean, take the one on manuscript preparation, for example. Perfectly good advice…for 1997. Back when most venues were still paper-only and email was only good for querying, and not always then. Now it’s email attachments or online submission forms in all cases except a handful, though when I first started submitting the publishers were fighting those kind of changes tooth and nail and more teeth. That was then, and not everyone could wrap their heads around the notion that the way it was didn’t necessarily reflect the way it would be. Continue reading