Where to submit short-stories: The one stop shop to submit your work.

Check out https://www.submittable.com/. Here you can easy discover magazines and track your submissions. It is free for the writer. (Save for paid submissions.)

I have about four short stories finished and I wanted to submit them. After searching through dozens of articles I collected a long list of magazines. But, alas, the articles were outdated. Countless magazines advertised were on hiatus or weren’t soliciting short-story submissions at the time. In short:

All of my sleuthing was wasted effort.

The Black Static magazine (whom I’ve proud submitted to) used a little website called Submittable to collect their submissions. I’ve been using Submittable ever since.

To my great annoyance no other writing blog has recommended this website. I doubt I’m the first but nonetheless I am happy to recommend a website that makes the submission process easy.

I use it by searching short-story and clicking no fee. I submit any short story that isn’t currently being considered. Like casting lines for fish.

This website is a writers one stop shop for discovering and submitting short stories.

Character Article is up

I am becoming proud of my website. Piece by piece the original idea is coming together. I wanted to take about the art of fiction in a precise way. A first attempt at 2 out of 7 articles are up.

Both are the articles are quite good. They distill dozens of books and hundreds of articles into a single 5 minute read. You can understand fiction characters better than all your friends (and a few humanities majors) by a single five minute read.

As the years pass, I hope to have all seven articles polished and illustrated.

What are you waiting for. Read the thing!

That’s all. 😜

Photo Credit: John Evjen

Some thoughts on Contrast

I am convinced the next level of story understanding is in contrast. Contrast creates interest.

As I’m reading books on how to write a story, every analysis is punctuated with alternating bad and good fortune. With the largest swings at the end.

This dovetails well into Kurt Vonnegut’s idea of the shape of stories.

Just part of the problem is I’m not sure how contrast meshes with conflict. I know both exist in a story. I think that contrast is swings in the conflict. Victories or defeats and the like.

The Character has to have opinions on the world. A world with strawberries must be better than one without. So the Contrast between the two worlds, whatever it is, needs noticing and needs to be meaningful.

Photo Credit: John Evjen

Update. Back to regular Blogging

I finished a hard fought draft of Space-Farm. I sent it off to my brother who is a literary critic–with the promise of a beer or three. While I wait for his opinion I have moved on to short stories.

I created this blog with the intention of creating writing advice. On the internet you can find hundreds of words lists and the like. I’m trying to figure out what sets my website apart. I reckon I should draft up the contrast article. Or the context article. Both are equally interesting to me, are vitally important for writing well, and aren’t discussed often.

There are hundreds of how-to write books of which I’ve read most. Recommending four or five also seems like a good step forward.

But why should you trust my writing advice? You don’t see my work on Barnes and Noble’s shelves.

I am submitting my short stories for publication in mags or such. If one gets printed I will be sure to link you too it. And if I get bored submitting a particular one, I’ll publish it here.

There are two short stories. A horror short-story with a supernatural monster that appears at low-tide. Inspired by my childhood prancing in tide pools. (Now with a higher body count) The second is a wedding guest who meets with the Pale Rider Death on the road, and goes to warn Death’s mark that Death is outside his door.

I intend to write two novels next year. Perhaps three if one of them proves easy. And I’ve written two, both have been wonderful struggles. The two I’m interested in are, one, a court artist who bears witness to the misery and wonder of magic and medieval barbarism. Two, a resurrected skeleton of the dark lord gains autonomy and works to go back to heaven by burning the grimoire he was resurrected with.

Another story is peculating. I don’t think I’m ready for it yet. Inspired by Brandon Sanderson, I am creating a magic system, two infact, and I have the perfect hero to wield them to unite warring clans in the far north. I reckon that one would be larger. Two books if not three. I want to settle my writing process before I attempt a double sized project.

All told, I am happily writing and live is going well.

That’s all.

As promised–the first two chapters.

Tada!

I have a bet with my friends, if they can critique me so it hurts my feelings I owe them a drink.

Obviously, I can’t make the same bet here. I must make a smaller one. If you critique my work so cruelly it hurts my feelings, I will put you in the acknowledgements as a beta-reader. I might put you in the beta-readers regardless, haha, but you will know you are the best. 😉

Space-Farming in the age of the Disco-pirates is now in Third draft

Finished the third draft of Space-farming in the age of the Disco-pirates.

I got some fantastic criticism of the first chapter. Things that were clear to me were opaque to my reader. It is my job to make it clear.

I’m moving onto the fourth draft which should make the prose to be extremely clear. I fear I’m losing a bit of the tone, I would like my story to be absurd but absurdist digressions tend to kill narrative momentum. I think if I read some Pratchett I can see how he does it.

I’ll post the first two chapters after I complete a fourth draft version of both.

After completing this book, I intend to remove the free download to Jacob’s Quest. So get the PDF now. Blog post with download link. It will become a reward for joining my email list. Why email list? My business is in providing stories to readers. I don’t want to rely on Amazon, word-press, or any other social media for that. If I can email directly to you, I can provide stories on an on rolling basis.

But I like free books, so Space-farming will become free. Available only on this website.

That’s all.

Writing update

Space-farming in the age of the disco-pirates has 9,999 more words to be edited. Yes that’s right, only four digits. 97959 words had been edited into a second draft. I am happy to say the book is readable. A reasonable person can follow the plot from word one to word 100k.

I’ll finish up this second draft soon and get started on the third draft. Once I edit chapter one again I will re-post it explaining changes from the previous version.

The third draft will see to clarity. Many setups are vague, I want to play those notes louder earlier. In particular, a biker gang (space-bikers) loses trust in their leader, but right now it comes out of nowhere. Putting some work into that will be good.

I feel that the third and fourth drafts will be lightning fast. Especially compared to the second draft. I deleted 15000-ish words of first draft material. And wrote 20,000 words of fresh material. The book is at 108331 words. I am hoping to bring down the word count slightly. 108k words isn’t bad, but I have a feeling the narrative is a bit bloated.

I love the settled title for the book, Space-farming in the Age of the Disco-Pirates. I am really happy that I got a lot of fun things in there. Food-tyrants, Gambling, Heists, Drug running, and of course Disco-Pirates. They are the first and last villains of the book. I love how my initial idea of having one villain, the Pirate Queen Dina, grew into a cast of four villains. Mr. Paulo–casino owner, Prime-President Macka–leader of the free world, and Xercan–the universe’s primary food supplier. I take a great bit of pride in my villains. No by the numbers evil here.

Anyhow, thanks for your continued interest.

That’s all.