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General Writing Discussion For aspiring writers of science fiction and fantasy to discuss issues of writing.

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Old 8th December 2010, 07:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ego board

Writers have to have pretty thick skins, right? And I'm sure we all get the 'what the hell is this drivel I've just written?!' moment. (Or I do, anyway!)

Part of why I write short stories for mags and whatnot, is because every time I get an acceptance it confirms that I'm not a useless dipstick and do actually had a smidgen of talent. (The second part is because I can't not write, so short stories fill the gap while I'm procrastinating over my longer stuff!)

Recently, I've been getting good comments, both on here and from editors and readers and whatnot, and I've been tempted to print some of them out and have a sort of 'ego board' so that when I'm pondering burning all my work up in a big fire, I can look at it and it'll make me feel better.

Does anybody use anything like that? Is it a good idea or stupid?

Or maybe we can share here the good comments we've received. Like, a little while ago I had a rejection where the editor said the story wasn't for her, but that I had a LOT of talent. (Her emphasis!) And even though it was a rejection, it made me smile.
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Old 8th December 2010, 08:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

Yup. I only ever got polite rejections based on the subject matter being inappropriate etc.
Now, I avoid reality and stick with SFF which is all I ever wanted anyway. Would be nice to know some details of what you are running into and esp. what mags are worth submitting to etc.
Suddenly, the frog exploded. Talent just oozes from that sentence.
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Old 8th December 2010, 08:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

Ha! Cheers, J Riff, you always make me grin.

Always avoid reality! Reality sucks.
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Old 8th December 2010, 09:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

It does. And seriously, I'd like to know what you are experiencing because it's time to submit a bunch of stuff and I don't really know what's happening cos I avoid reality most days.
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Old 8th December 2010, 09:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

Just check out Duotrope's Digest I'm always sifting through that for good places to send to!

I spoke to the editor of Murky Depths recently at the Bristol Con and he's looking for dark Sci Fi at the mo. He said he's getting too much horror and not enough sci fi. I was going to write something for him but haven't got around to it yet!
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Old 8th December 2010, 09:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

Thanks Mouse. I went through bad writer's block recently and now it's publisher block. Just keep looking at them all and never get around to sending stuff off.
Duotropes is great... but where do you send your funnier stuff and short stories? I have a few of those. I'm really averse to business dealings and will procrastinate forever if I can.
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Old 8th December 2010, 10:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

You could try Everyday Weirdness (December 8th 2010) for shorts under a thousand words. FREE Genre Short Stories by Pro Authors do lots of genres, and they pay.

For anthologies, I check Static Movement, Pill Hill Press, Library of the Living Dead, Blood Bound Books (I'm in all of those). Different genres there, although BBB and Pill Hill are horror.

I see what places are looking for at the mo and write something I think they'd like. My Athanasia story I wrote for Library of the Living Dead and they accepted it. My Frog Prince story I wrote for Wicked East Press's Twisted Fairytales anthology, but I'm still editing it so not submitted yet.

I'm working on an undertaker story too at the mo for a place called NorGus Press.

I sent a query to MayDecember publications, as I had three stories which worked as one, but they don't accept multiple subs, or stories over 10k (which this was if I put all three together), luckily, they liked the sound of it and asked to see it.

Editors are generally pretty nice, so no harm in asking any of them anything!
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Old 8th December 2010, 10:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

What are the restrictions on the twisted fairy tales? As my nephews and nieces could inform you, when I read a bedtime story, it always seems to come out differently from what other grownups find in the book…
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Old 9th December 2010, 07:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

When I get an acceptance, I shall hire a mob to stand outside the front of my house and yell their adoration. But I shall balance this by hiring Anton Lesser to stand silently in a corner of my room, holding a skull.
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Old 9th December 2010, 09:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

I had six stories, and one poem (actually a quartet), published in 2010, but I had four or five times as many rejections. I still have three stories and four poems out there that I've submitted to mags and am waiting for responses on. I know a sf author who's had 40 novels published, and yet his short stories typically get bounced once or twice before being accepted. You just have to persevere. And being prolific helps too. The more stories you write, the more you send out, the higher your chance of getting into print. And, of course, the more you write, the better you get since practice does indeed improve your craft. I wish I were more prolific...

But since this thread is all about egoboo... One of my stories was praised in the Guardian - see here. That made my day. Actually, that made my year. Other of my stories have been reviewed on sfcrowsnest.com (here), sfsite.com (here), locusmag.com (here), tangentonline.com (here and here), nextread.co.uk (here), libraryjournal.com (here), and sfrevu.com (here).

No one has reviewed my poems yet, though.
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Old 9th December 2010, 10:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispenycate View Post
What are the restrictions on the twisted fairy tales? As my nephews and nieces could inform you, when I read a bedtime story, it always seems to come out differently from what other grownups find in the book…
This is what they say:

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:
Imagine your favorite fairy tale and rewrite it in your favorite genre. Most all genres acceptable, as long as the story fits the anthology theme. This is a collection of stories to be enjoyed by everyone, please keep excessive cussing and sex out unless integral to your character. Mixed genres are acceptable as long as the story is well written and well plotted.
WHAT WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR:
Slash and hack, blood and gore for their own sake. Graphic rape, torture, child molestation, and animal torture have their place, but not here.

https://sites.google.com/a/wickedeas...en-submissions

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Originally Posted by HareBrain View Post
When I get an acceptance, I shall hire a mob to stand outside the front of my house and yell their adoration. But I shall balance this by hiring Anton Lesser to stand silently in a corner of my room, holding a skull.
Sounds like a plan! I might go for a similar thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by iansales View Post
But since this thread is all about egoboo... One of my stories was praised in the Guardian - see here. That made my day. Actually, that made my year. Other of my stories have been reviewed on sfcrowsnest.com (here), sfsite.com (here), locusmag.com (here), tangentonline.com (here and here), nextread.co.uk (here), libraryjournal.com (here), and sfrevu.com (here).
I'm at work, but I'll have a look at those when I get home, Ian! Do you print any of them out?
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Old 9th December 2010, 10:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

I like the idea of this thread!

It's interesting to see what other people are doing, and that there are those of you who get their work published!

For myself it's been far too long since I tried to write anything, my attempting to join in the 75 word challenge is a step to try and to correct this.

I have started to take an interest in writing again, and have learned that the few things which were 'published' online back when I was writing are still there - (except for the one I really wanted to find, it seems that the site not only stopped publishing, but has gone as well). So an advantage of getting your stuff in online magazines or whatever is longevity - it's still there five+ years later.

That being said I still remember the excitement when the first one was accepted, but my most thrilling moment was when I received an e-mail concerning one of the short stories. It had been read by a Japanese gentlemen, who told me that it was one of the best things he had ever read and he wanted to know if I would allow him to translate it into Japanese.

I've still got a copy of the manuscript in Japanese somewhere and everytime I see it, it makes me smile!
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Old 9th December 2010, 11:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
I'm at work, but I'll have a look at those when I get home, Ian! Do you print any of them out?
I haven't done, no. But I plan to frame the one from the Guardian (the review's not just online but also in the Reviews section of the actual newspaper for that day).
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Old 9th December 2010, 11:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

A long, long time ago... I wrote to 'Bike' magazine, suggesting I could write an article about the ergonomics/health of motorcycle riders, as I'd just done some research with Couriers. Incredibly the editor phoned me, and said he'd like a few different articles, but could I write them so they could be understood by your average biker? Apparently, some work had been done by the University of Loughborough and it was so scientific as to be unprintable... As many of you know, I have a perverse streak of humour, so it was ideally suited, and I actually had 5 monthly articles printed! To rush round to the newsagent each month and buy copies to see my name in print was great! There was even some letters about them...! Then a new editor arrived, and scrapped the other 7 that I'd already sent in, which was a bit of bummer... They lost one sale of the magazine overnight - petty revenge, but whattheheck?

Anyway, I decided to write to Horse and Rider, and they took two articles about muscle/posture in riding. Then Buildit magazine took two, as well! It was heady stuff, but all factual articles.

Later, I entered a script-writing competition, and was one of 10 winners, who were to be matched with Independent Producers. We met over four separate Mondays and pitched to each other to see which of the 10 we would get on with, then worked on a 'pitch' to industry professionals. Well, we didn't win, but the Producer I was with wanted to option my script, as he thought it could do all the way! Excited or what? We worked together for almost 4 years, and there were lots of ups and downs, and to be honest, it ended pretty acrimoniously.

But when I sent the script to some film companies I had a phone call from one of them out of the blue - they really should consider their actions, you know. I could have had a heart-attack! But he was only phoning me to reject it, but in a seriously positive way - he said that he hoped to live to regret the decision not to buy the script, because he felt it was that close. But money was tight in the industry, and they had to be 110% convinced. Then another film company said much the same sort of thing, that he really liked it, but there was no money to make films at the moment. Oh the BBC rejected it because, "I've never met a bunch of therapists (it was set in a Natural Health Centre) that I liked" This was the reader system they employ - Graduates with an English Degree who know naff-all about film making as their first filter.... Go figure! And guess what? It had elements of magic/fantasy within it, because the main character is besieged by a wise-cracking, sexy fairy. Logline: 'Annabelle desperately wants to bring Rob and Maria together, but it's very hard when you're three and a half inches tall, with wings, and nobody believes in you.'
Would you believe it took me about three months to come up with that logline?

Blimey, that's enough ego for now...
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Old 9th December 2010, 03:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Ego board

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perpetual Man View Post
That being said I still remember the excitement when the first one was accepted, but my most thrilling moment was when I received an e-mail concerning one of the short stories. It had been read by a Japanese gentlemen, who told me that it was one of the best things he had ever read and he wanted to know if I would allow him to translate it into Japanese.

I've still got a copy of the manuscript in Japanese somewhere and everytime I see it, it makes me smile!
That sounds pretty damn good! I'd love that! I did have some random person email me about a poem (which I wasn't overly impressed with, but I've had a couple of good things said about it since!) saying that he thought it was really good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iansales View Post
I haven't done, no. But I plan to frame the one from the Guardian (the review's not just online but also in the Reviews section of the actual newspaper for that day).
I'd so do that too.


Boneman, I didn't know you did all that stuff! Very impressive!
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