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Why aren't my stories good enough: a critique group

Discussion in 'Writing Groups' started by buyjupiter, May 3, 2015.

  1. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    I'm probably one of the lone Scribes here that is sending a ton of stuff out to the professional short story market, but in case anyone else is doing the same thing I thought I'd throw this idea out there...

    I'm not getting ANY feedback from editors on why my short stories aren't making the cut. I've only gotten the form rejection letters.

    I'm making two assumptions from this lack of feedback:

    1. My grammar and over all story telling isn't to blame (most of the time)
    2. It's a matter of taste (I'm either waaaay behind the curve or so far ahead of it, but either way my taste is not the market's taste)

    I know editors are not responsible for telling me anything about my story, which is why I'd like to find a group/make a group that does just that.

    I'm not looking for general critiques, as most of the time I can find the spots that are iffy and make them better. I'm looking for specific reasons this short story may not be salable, so I can fix it and sell it. I'm, of course, willing to do the same in return for short stories and/or novel queries (the first five to ten pages that an agent would see).

    Is anyone else interested in doing this kind of put on an imaginary editor's hat and give reasons for why something might be rejected?

    I should point out that I'm not the bitter type, even as I am frustrated by my lack of feedback. I will say "but what's wrong with this one?" without attacking the person providing the feedback or justifying (too much) the choices I made within the story. I'm looking for similarly minded people.

    Also, if something like this exists out there, please let me know!
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I don't know that I have the chutzpah even to pretend to wear an editor's hat. But if all you get is crickets, drop me a line.

    Some questions occur to me. How many makes a ton? Five? Fifty? To how many magazines? Have you submitted to non-paying short story sites?

    Apologies in advance if you have already done this, but have you read the stories in the target magazines? Does your story fit? IOW, maybe you could play editor yourself and look at your own stories with an objective eye. Most magazines have guidelines that are fairly specific, and editors will toss out anything that doesn't hit all the bases.
     
  3. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    I've sent out something like 20+ pieces to varying short story markets. I've done some cross-over of pieces to different venues as there are very few magazines that out and out say what they want beyond "character driven stories" and maybe a list of things NOT to do (if you're very lucky). In the case of the magazines that say they want things like Neil Gaiman writes or things like Seanan McGuire writes, I look critically at my own stories and theirs and find what elements are in both. (For instance, sense of humor or narrative distance. Or subject matter within the story or character archetypes. You get my drift.) If I don't find those things in my own work I look for a different market.

    I always read the latest issue, to find out if taste has shifted among the editors, if my story is too similar to what was published recently, etc etc. But I can't seem to work out what the criteria are beyond some general stuff like more diverse characters and character problems and "did I,the editor, like it?" Which, as I don't know these people and as issue to issue can vary drastically, can be problematic.

    I *am* able to look at my own work critically. What I am not able to do is go "ok, but is that risk worth it and is it working for OR against me? Will taking that risk kill the story in the editor's eyes?"

    For example: I have a story that was just rejected by F&SF, with the line "great hook, lost me in the middle". Now in the middle is the bit about shape shifting dinosaur-esque alien hitmen. *looks slightly embarrassed* I think they're effing hilarious, but they might be a bit on the retro-SF side and they curse A LOT. This might be a taste thing, or this might be that in five years the market will be ready for that kind of story...but I don't know. (This is what I mean by "risks worth it". I know where they might be within my work, I don't know if those risks [or other factors] are what's the issue.)

    I have not submitted my stories (nor will I) to non-paying markets. From what I hear, that makes me look desperate to the pro markets I'm trying to get into. And I already have a blog where I can put up and take down my stories for free. (The only reason they get put up on the blog is if they are too out there genre-wise or have been through the rejection cycle. And sometimes not even then. Depends on the story and what I want to do with it, post-rejection.)

    I realize that I've barely hit the iceberg of rejections, which is fine, but I can't learn if I don't know what's "wrong". And I'd rather not repeat the same mistakes over and over again if there's any other option on the table. And I've always found that I learn best by analyzing other people's work (so there's less emotional attachment) and then taking those lessons back to my own. Especially when it comes to endings (I've learned that it's always best to leave the reader longing for just a little bit more than have the reader ask "is this thing ever going to end?").
     
  4. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    I also want to clarify that the reason I'm not going the self-publish route or working with small presses on a collection of short stories is because that is not the direction for most of these short stories.

    Re: self-publish them without going the traditional short story magazine route: I could. But then I have to put out money on a cover artist and an editor to make sure they are professional level quality (as I'm not putting subpar work out there on the market--that's something that's hard to recover from) and then spend money to advertise them (there's a lot of stuff out there), when most short story collections are being given away for free as buildup for a novel release.

    And these short stories are not interconnected enough to put into a collection for buildup for my novel release. They are much like many other published author's collections of short stories, oddities and curiosities that exist outside of the worlds of their novels.

    Which is why going the small-press route would also be problematic. One author I know of, Amelia Gray, is working with a small press and they have published a book of her short stories. BUT. They were all interconnected pieces and worked as an overarching narrative without being a novel.

    This is a completely different strategy from what I will be trying for the novellas and novels I'm writing.
     
  5. cupiscent

    cupiscent Sage

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    I can't be any help to you here, unfortunately, because I don't read short fiction. However, if you don't get a lot of joy with the group here, there's always The Critters Workshop, which I participated in for a while (I left because, as mentioned, short fiction isn't my area). It's free, and I think there's probably as much to be gained in putting on the editor hat and critiquing someone else's work as there is in getting many and varied views on your own work.
     
  6. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I do think it's a hard road for people who want to focus on short fiction. Firstly, because the market is smaller for people wanting to read short fiction. Secondly, you have to impress an editor or group of editors to even get in the first wave of submissions for many of these markets. Having read your work, I would suggest markets that look for more unconventional stories. This may put you out of range of some mainstream pro markets. That's just the reality of it. I've not gotten much feedback on my rejections either, and it does seem unlikely for certain markets that have a load of submissions. My suggestion would be if you're not hitting any pro markets, try semi-pro. They pay less, but they may accept more work or take a chance on something unconventional.

    I'm going the "release short story" route because I'm trying to build up the brand of Splatter Elf. I have no idea if there is even a market for the kind of stuff I'm writing. But the only way to find out is to put it out there and see. Publishing is very much a trial and error kind of business. If one method isn't working, try something else. But I can't really just release one story and say "Oh well, that didn't work." I have to build something up first. Luckily, I also have a cover artist that is happy to "take the journey with me." Meaning he doesn't feel he's a pro, so he is happily doing art for no payment at the moment. Which allows me more freedom. I've also heard because the short story market is smaller than the novel market, you have less competition in that regard. Which means you're working more inside a niche. You may not make loads of money going this route, but you may find loyal fans. And I've always heard if you can make 100 or 1,000 fans (I forget the number, probably 1,000) then you're set as far as making a living as a writer. Or at least consistently selling.

    So the best route you'd probably have is to keep sending out stories like you're doing, but also widen your net some. Try new markets. Research what they want. Release some of your fiction on a blog and see if you get some feedback. It's hard to get attention these days, so I think trying stuff outside your comfort zone may help.

    I was an editor before in a couple of instances, and it's never easy to reject people. But editors also have a lot of stuff to do. So they may not have time to say specifically why they didn't think something worked. That's why the suggestion to join Critters or some of these other online groups would help. You'll get feedback because you're giving feedback. But that's one thing about feedback. You can't control what people will focus on. And sometimes they may not get what your vision is. So it's best to take it and keep on moving and see what else you can do.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
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  7. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    Heh. I left Critters to join MS...I'd had enough of the Special Snowflake Syndrome (or as I recently saw it spelled: Speciul Snowflakke). There were a lot of people who weren't "oh my god you just don't understand my genius or my work. I hate you!" But there were enough that it made it a drag to want to critique *anything*, especially if you hadn't previously critiqued their work so you didn't know how they'd be.

    I'll use one of the worst pieces I've ever critiqued as an example of what I would be looking to do. One of the last short stories I critiqued was a total and blatant reference to Star Trek's teleportation system. Without the Star Trek. This wasn't done in the John Scalzi "Redshirt" fashion either, nor done in a "Galaxy Quest" humorous sort of take either. It was completely serious.

    And it was terrible. The writing, in and of itself, was fine. The pacing and characters--from what I can remember--were fine. But the idea, as if Star Trek hadn't existed for the last 50 years, was horrible.

    If I were an editor giving feedback, I'd say something along the lines of: "decent writing, but you do know Star Trek is a thing, right? If this had been written as fan fiction, say a piece about the early development in the transporter technology, I would have been more interested. I would advise either tailoring it to that market or reworking the idea into something that is less Star Trek-y."

    I did NOT say anything like that to the writer, because I didn't know how this person might respond and I don't need my email filling up with threats or the like (and I understand this is why editors generally do not say anything about why the story doesn't work or how to fix it).

    There's a difference between asking your reader over several emails back and forth about how certain aspects came across and/or explaining what the intent was (as I and my critique partners do) and going full-on internet HULK on someone for not understanding the story/their genius (which I do not do, nor do my crit partners).
     
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    The reason why I asked about free sites is that you might get better feedback. I certainly did and I was pleasantly surprised at its quality. I have a story at Bewildering Stories. They accept *a lot* of works and I was not expecting the critique. I had to go back and rewrite some bits.

    I am skeptical that getting published there is a negative. Heck, I don't even need to put it on my resume, right? For me, just the process of getting from "I'm finished writing this" to "it's actually published" was a valuable learning experience. That's a bigger step than one might think.

    Another reason to consider free or self-published is that those works can become freebies you give to prospective readers. It's an introduction. An aperitif. I'm not trying to persuade you here. I simply realized I had not given any sort of explanation about this topic.

    You said you got rejected with no feedback, but you *did* get feedback. And from F&SF! Count yourself lucky, comrade. A great many of us get only No. If that editor said you lost him/her in the middle, to me that would be a cue to try to get a couple of beta readers and ask them that specific question: if the middle loses you, please say why. A fragmentary comment from a professional editor should be mined for all its worth.

    I have not read your stuff, but I'd be happy to offer some quid for some pro.
     
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  9. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Is it possible for you to send letters to the publishers that have rejected you, asking if they can give you even a clue as to why you're not getting accepted? I agree, it's harder not to know what you're doing wrong. Not sure if that's even an option, but it's the first thing that came to my mind. Granted, my experience with sending submissions to publishers is small (and left a bad taste in my mouth lol, so biased here).

    Anyway, all you can do is to keep at it. New ideas, revision of old work, continue to submit. Also, have you considered or tried Scribophile? It's a professional website and the critiques I have received have all been helpful and respectful. I've been learning a lot on that site, definitely recommend it as maybe a new avenue to post your work.

    Lastly, constant rejection is just the way of the publishing business. I know you feel that 20+ submissions is a lot, but really, it isn't. People go at this for years and years. Some of the famous writers we know today were rejected an incredible amount of times. At some point, you have to get lucky and get a hit. If no one is giving you a reason as to why they are rejecting your work, then find other avenues that will help you get a fresh perspective on it. Best of luck to you!
     
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  10. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    @Phil: I have tried a few semi-pro markets, but again this gets back to my "putting my best foot forward and guessing that I'm not making any missteps" thing. Some editors are ok with seeing pub credits in semi-pro, others are not. I don't know which is which, unless I follow all the editors on twitter (I do some) and happen to catch every tweet about publishing biz (which I know I don't).

    I don't want to shoot myself in the foot professionally, before I've even started, if that makes sense. Also, a lot of the semi-pro markets have a ridiculously long turn around time--some around the six month mark--and that doesn't make sense to me to submit to those markets, when I also know I can't submit the same piece to other places (one of the BIG no-nos). Especially as the market shifts suddenly/quickly. Which was why I've mainly focused on markets pro or semi-pro (and closer to the pro market than the token payment/contrib copy side), as they have quick turn around time and I can submit the same story (with minor tweaks) to different markets.

    Mind you, I'm reading *everything* that Chuck Wendig, Holly Lisle, Katherine Rusch, Alan Dean Smith, etc have been saying about traditional and indie publishing, so I can avoid some of the newbie writer mistakes without having to go through them myself. Also, as a way to know what options are out there and some personal experience with those options.

    A lot of what you see is my "unconventional" stuff because I'm not quite sure something's working, which is why I ask for opinions. Not all of what you see gets submitted and not all of what gets submitted is what you see. I don't want to overload any of my crit partners because I write waaaaaay more than what any one person gets to take a peek at. So my crit partners only see my "unconventional" and "problematic" pieces. :)
     
  11. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    I had four separate stories out and two came back with rejections yesterday (this is from the original six sent out the week before last, some of which have already come in rejected and a couple of new ones have been added into the mix). One of which was a form letter, the other was a personalized form letter from the editor of F&SF. The latter had me dancing around the house going "ok if I take out the aliens and make it more Twilight Zone-y it might be a better piece. I'd hate to lose the aliens, cuz they're fun, but they might have to go." And I do so want to print it out and put it on my wall to remind me that I'm close. Maybe not this week or this month, but I'm close.

    Despite thinking that I'm close, I still think I need to see why people might like/dislike or buy/not buy a piece. So I can avoid those things in the future (if I get an overwhelming NO response from people to an idea and they can clearly express why) or fix structural issues if that's what the problem is. I can fix a mushy middle, maybe, but I can't fix not knowing what the issue is that's causing my work to not get bought. I know I can't solve the dislike thing, but I can use an overwhelming indication of dislike to write things that are more in fashion--at least to sell to market. (I can always put the stories that I love into a collection that I publish myself, which I probably will.)

    To be clearer about my publication ideas/plans thus far, once I regain rights to short stories (after I sell them of course), I plan on putting them together into a book that I then put up for free on Amazon. But I'll only be doing that when I have the novel ready to go, so I have the freebie tease up and a book to buy if they like my style, rather than making people try to remember me based on a good collection of shorts and having to wait six months for the novel. (I'd prefer to have a couple of the novels written before I put anything up on Amazon, but that may not be what happens. I don't want to be impatient and then have to try to salvage my writer reputation because I put out sub-par work.)
     
  12. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    Nope. BIG no-no. I did, knowingly in error, ask one of the editors when I submitted a short story if he could give me any feedback on why it didn't work for him. (You're not supposed to ask at all, but I've been banging my head up against the wall and have been frustrated by not knowing why I'm getting rejected. I can accept "didn't like", but I'm not getting that vibe.) I still haven't heard back on that story, and I have the feeling I won't get any feedback on it...and I'm definitely going to wait a fair bit to send anything else his way again.

    I am rather calm when I get the rejection emails, I add them to the list of "what didn't work" and then I see if I have anything else ready to submit to that market. Sometimes I have to wait a few days, but I have it queued up in my calendar when I do my submissions for the week.

    I think having multiple things out in the market at the same time and continuing to stay the course of submitting over and over again to the same markets is the best strategy at this point...as sooner or later a piece might tickle the editor's fancy. I'm sure the more I do this, the more I'll learn about each individual's taste and I can cater to that better in the future. But right now I feel like I'm flailing around in the dark and I have no clue what I'm doing. Or if I'm doing it wrong.

    And that's where my nervous nelly writer-ish quirks come in...if I feel I'm doing it wrong, I have to figure out what it is I'm doing wrong and then fix it. (This is how I've become stronger at description and dialogue, I focused on those things until I felt like I had figured them out.) It's why I did a boat load of research into how to submit before I even submitted. It's why I've networked with other authors and sometimes ask them weird questions at 3AM about editor/submission quirks. It's why, if I've read the guidelines and the editor prefers courier over new times roman, I'll go back and redo the whole manuscript in courier editing the page count labeling, making sure everything looks nice and pretty, because I'm not going to have the only reason my story is rejected be a result of incorrect formatting.
     
  13. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Over the Holidaze, I subscribed to F&SF along with Asimov's, and have gotten several issues of each since then. Three things kind of stuck out:

    1) Many or even most of those stories are by 'name' authors, people with a novel or ten published traditionally.

    2) The stories are good...but I have seen better, including here in Showcase and in the various challenges. For that matter, a few of my tales are probably 'that good.'

    3) One of my reasons for subscribing was to take a peek at the adds from small press outfits touting new books. Those, however, tend to be few and far between - the adds are mostly for 'name' books by 'name' publishers. Not much small press stuff. And when it comes to the self pub world...well, you can almost hear the crickets chirping. I read one comment piece that mentioned them; the guy seemed...puzzled. He was sure there was plenty of good stuff, but didn't have a clue how to find it.

    I attribute this to a combination of built in bias towards 'established authors' and fundamental shifts in the publishing world. Once or twice, the thought has crossed my mind we might end up loosing one or more of the really big name publishers.

    That said, I hope to finally start sending off some of my shorts to the digital pulps this year.
     
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  14. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I can't really speak from too much experience because I've gotten about half and half accepted/rejected. This is probably out of like 20 submissions in my whole life. Meaning I'm not really the type to submit things that often. Being that I seem to function that way, I don't know if I see myself ultimately going the traditional route in any aspect, although I've said that for a long time. Scratch that. I do see it, but just not any time soon.

    From my limited experience as an editor, I can tell you what I would look for (and other editors may not be too far off-base):

    1. Interesting characters or at least a character whose voice shines
    2. An easy to follow plot that carries along at a good pace. I've sometimes found that shorts feel like they're written by novelists.
    3. Not anything that takes too much time to "figure out." Meaning I need to know what the world is, what kind of characters I'm going to be dealing with, and the beginning of a plot right out of the gate.
    4. Something that doesn't feel too familiar, but feels marketable at the same time. I'd recommend reading stories on Tor.com for this. They publish a lot of strange fantasy and SF that I wouldn't see in a lot of places. But it works because it's offering something slightly familiar but with a new slant.

    I do think having a group like this would be beneficial. Mostly because I think being "accepted" or "rejected" by a critique partner is an interesting way to critique. Of course it wouldn't be for the thin-skinned, but it could be a great way to see how your work is perceived.
     
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  15. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I second what ThinkerX says about Asimov and F&SF. Analog, as well. In case after case, I read the story and think it was terrible. A surprising number of them appear pointless--a story with no conflict, or else conflict but no resolution. It astonishes me to read a professional story and feel like I've wasted my time. I've heard better stories told over the water cooler.

    The short story market is brutal. The backlog is so huge, publishers have the luxury of picking only name authors. They do this because of us. We will pick up a magazine if we recognize the names. We don't buy the titles, we buy the names. And sometimes the cover art. The magazine might, depending on the editor, insert a new author, but chances are that author's name won't be appearing on the cover. And anyway, the mag has an enormous backlog of stories by new authors. All the fantasy and sf mags put together (the paying ones) could probably publish for a decade, never buy a new story, and still not burn through their backlog.

    As I said, it's brutal.
     
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  16. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I agree with Skip in some ways. You may get lucky and be in a mag with a well-known author and then you'll get some notoriety that way. Otherwise it's a tough climb as far as that goes. One thing would be to look at markets like Daily Science Fiction that publish loads of stuff. Their rejection rate is high, but they have less of a backlog I think because they have less to read since they publish flash. Places like Asimov's probably have huge backlogs. Sometimes they'll even solicit work from writers who are currently buzzing, which bypasses the submission process altogether. So sometimes it's best to find what that specific group of editors seems to be looking for.

    I've also heard, after telling people I planned to submit to a market, that they though some of the stories were kind of amateurish and pointless. I can say some of what I've read tends to be more toward "literary fantasy." Meaning it doesn't seem to always have a clear conventional plot. Although what I've seemed to notice over the years is that writers who tend to write more for the mainstream (like a Sanderson or a Butcher) stick to writing novels with the occasional shorter work sold individually from a market. On the other hand, more literary style fantasy seems to flourish more in the short story market. I'm not saying one style is better than the other, but I've seen these kind of comparisons before. I happen to like a lot of literary fantasy when I give it a chance, but I think I'll always err more towards stories with a more straightforward plot. Guess that's the pulp in my bones.
     
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  17. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    I know that the likelihood of getting into F&SF, Asimov's, or Analog is: NOT GOOD. Doesn't mean I can't try, if and when I have stories that fit into those markets (like I did with the Twitter hit men--not the real title--story I sent into F&SF). I'm also aware that some of the stuff they publish isn't what I would call "good" or "innovative", maybe because of that preference for previously pubbed trad authors? I don't know.

    I'll probably try the more established markets again when I get my "Miss Marple in Faerie" story cleaned up (not the real title, either). And I know I'll be trying Asimov's when I finish the SF novella (which I do have a great title for, thank goodness), because it'll be perfect for their market.

    Send 'em! From what I've seen of your writing, I think you are ready. And besides, I can then pass along the shoddy award for "first rejection letter" and a bottle of virtual alcohol and we can have a party. :)
     
  18. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    OH. As to #3, oops? *mutters: something something post-modernist lit something something ART*

    Sometimes I don't really have "characters" beyond some opinionated narrator and I know these high concept stories are harder to sell, which is why I keep 'em flash fictiony. I've found some markets for that, and I'm trying them out. But most of the time, I have good characters, complex characters (at least in my head). I'm probably good at pacing (most of the time) but easy to follow might not be my forte, especially as I looooove my twist endings. (Curse you Ray Bradbury and Neil Gaiman for teaching me that trick. *shakes fist*)

    And I think that #4 may be part of my issue as well. I sometimes think to myself, oh gosh this is the most [insert author here] piece I've ever written. Not that I'm intentionally copying, but I am heavily influenced by some of the more radically innovative authors within SFF. And anytime you try humor in SFF, there are inevitable comparisons to Pratchett, Terry Brooks, Doug Adams, Asimov, etc.

    As I see some of my work that way, and as a creator I'm perhaps not the most unbiased of opinions, I think it would be helpful to see if some of my most [insert author here] work comes across like that to other readers. If it's an intentional homage to an author, that's one thing, but if it's "you just took this character from this work and this setting from the author's other series and put them together"...I need to know that.

    I think another way of framing the "accepted" or "rejected" critiques would be to say that I'm looking for feedback along the lines of:

    "Is [insert author here] trying out a new pseudonym? Because, if not, this piece is too similar to [title] by [author]."

    OR:

    "I just read a news story about this thing and I've read a handful of other stories in the last six months that tackle this very thing."

    OR:

    "This is really political and as such...eh. Can't publish it."

    (And in a slightly unrelated note, I think a year is long enough to go between submissions to Tor.com...my first submission to them was right for their kind of market--go me!--but a horribly written version of a good idea. I'm a bit embarrassed that I thought that was good enough to send out. [And that was my first submission a year and a half ago. I've grown a lot as a writer since then.])
     
  19. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Looking over the notes going with the listing on 'Ralan.com,' I came to much the same conclusion a couple years ago. Lots and lots of notations to the effect of 'no longer accepting new submissions until...'

    Given the nature of my material, and that I don't see myself making a living from writing, I'm thinking of focusing mostly on the more obscure digital publications - they don't pay as much, but name authors don't bother with them as much either. But yes, I'll try F&SF and the other major names as well.

    Side note: Overall, I find the stories in F&SF to be much more readable than those in Asimov's.
     
  20. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

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    I can vouch from my own experience that publishers tend to, uh, take their time (e.g. a few months) to read your stories and get back to you. Perhaps I'd take this better if I had much more patience (finishing stories makes me excitable), but I imagine they're swamped with several million submissions on a daily basis. It's probably even worse with shorts than novels since they're much smaller investments of time and effort by definition, so it's easier for the writing community to spam them in unbearably copious quantities. With that comes the increased risk that not all these submitters have the OP's gracious attitude when it comes to receiving critique.

    But with one recent rejection, even though it was that same kind of generically polite "form rejection", I couldn't help but wonder whether my story had somehow...offended the publishers' sensibilities. This company was Tor.com, and the story I'd sent them was my Cultural Contamination from last fall. Since Tor has recently been accused of a "SJW" political agenda, I had a feeling my story's handling of race relations and inter-cultural exchange (the titular "cultural contamination") somehow pressed a wrong button. Not that I know for sure which button it would be, but it wouldn't have been the first time people have read racism and sexism where none was intended in my creative productions, for goodness knows why. :confused:

    P.S. I wouldn't mind critiquing some of your shorts sometime in the future. :) I need to scrape the rust off my critiquing skills anyway.
     
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