Ego board

Discussion in 'General Writing Discussion' started by Mouse, Dec 8, 2010.

  1.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    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.
     
  2.  
    J Riff

    J Riff The Ants are my friends..

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    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.:D
     
  3.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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

    Always avoid reality! Reality sucks. ;)
     
  4.  
    J Riff

    J Riff The Ants are my friends..

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    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.
     
  5.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    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!
     
  6.  
    J Riff

    J Riff The Ants are my friends..

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    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.
     
  7.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    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!
     
  8.  
    chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo Staff Member

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    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…
     
  9.  
    HareBrain

    HareBrain Lagomorphing Staff Member

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    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.
     
  10.  
    iansales

    iansales Active Member

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    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.
     
  11.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    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/wickedeastpress.com/wicked-east-press/open-submissions

    Sounds like a plan! I might go for a similar thing...

    I'm at work, but I'll have a look at those when I get home, Ian! Do you print any of them out?
     
  12.  
    Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Former Comment Giver

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    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!
     
  13.  
    iansales

    iansales Active Member

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    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).
     
  14.  
    Boneman

    Boneman Well-Known Member

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    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...
     
  15.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    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.

    I'd so do that too. :)


    Boneman, I didn't know you did all that stuff! Very impressive!
     
  16.  
    Boneman

    Boneman Well-Known Member

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    'twas a long time ago... in a lifetime far, far away. Even though I still work on my scripts very very occasionally, I'm concentrating on the trilogy...
     
  17.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    I don't reckon I could write a script!

    Just heard back that I've made it onto the short list for something. I'm pleased... but last time I was on a short list, I dropped off it towards the end, so I'm now wary of short lists!
     
  18.  
    HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Iago with a Blackberry

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    Hey! Some of us know some stuff! :p

    I don't think I've ever formed an opinion about my writing, whatsoever. My creative writing leader seemed to like my stuff, which was cool, although there was never any real, solid feedback. The 75 word story thingy here has certainly helped to give me a bit more confidence about my writing. I'd like to start doing something with my work. I was going to ask to about the places you submit to, Mouse, as you seemed quite knowledgeable about such, so thanks for putting the links here. I've got a couple of short horror bits that might be able to find a home somewhere, perhaps.

    I used to think that I'd never be able to write a script, then I randomly decided to write one for my undergraduate dissertation, having never written one before, and now I can't get enough of them. I've also written a feature length horror script for my Masters dissertation. I think I'd like to edit the crap (literally) out of both of these and find something to do with them.

    Other than that, the only thing I've ever really done is get a poem into an anthology waaaay back in the day. It was technically a school thing, but I just randomly submitted to it, so I'm actually first in the book because I wasn't under a school name. Poetry's not really my thing though, so I don't think there'll be a repeat of that...
     
  19.  
    Boneman

    Boneman Well-Known Member

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    Apologies Hoopy! 'Twasn't meant as a slur on English graduates, only those who work for the BBC, and haven't got a clue about films... please don't tell me you work for the Beeb?
     
  20.  
    TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Ninja agent Staff Member

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    I know just what you mean! I haven't sent anything anywhere in 20 years, and back then only a few stories, but I still have a rejection letter from Stanley Schmidt, in which he said he couldn't use that story but he "rather liked my style." I still get a grin when I think of that, and I bounced around for weeks when I got it, telling everyone, "he likes my style. I have a style!"
     

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