selfavowedgeek (selfavowedgeek) wrote,

Tales from the Slushfiles #2: Brief Stuff

Hey, folks.  First, note the new icon.  It’s the official Slushfile icon since someone associated with Farrago’s Wainscot has been know to call me Monkeyboy from time to time.  It’s all fun and games until someone gets hit by flying poo.

Just a few things, itemized and randomized for your convenience:

* The slush pile has been trounced this week, and we're only two weeks behind the most current subs.  So, turnaround times are well within the one to three month range and pretty doggone close to the one month mark.  

* I’ve noticed that we average two-three submissions a day, at least for the month of May.  Yes, that sentence contains internal rhyme.  And a  caesura for the bonus!  Thanks for noticing.

* Overall, the quality of stories is still better than average.  Please keep ‘em coming, folks.  

* Keep writing.  Keep submitting.  We are reading.  We control the vertical.  We control the horizontal.

* For a few folks who might be contemplating it: Please step away from the thesaurus entries containing those juicy, polysyllabic words.  You know, the ones that want to cosplay as Victorian diction and 12th Lit/Comp vocabulary lessons.  Just. Step. Away.

 For the newbies:

* Open strongly.  If the beginning of a story involves, for example, a character's waking up and getting dressed and walking through the house and . . . oh, crap, who are we kidding?  Don’t micromanage events unless the accretion of detail is so vital in advancing the plot that it can’t be avoided.  Conflict, explicit or implied, fuels the narrative.  What does the character want?  What’s in the way?  How’s the character going to get it?  But, daggum, something’s got to happen, dude, and forward the plot on all the stylistic cylinders you can manage.  If you waste your words on a lackluster opening, then you just killed your whole story. 

* Plain ol’ exposition for exposition’s sake elsewhere in the plot?  That’s just going to take a reader right out of the narrative, and that’s all well and good for a looooooooong work of fiction, but short fiction writers don’t have such luxury.  Plus, describing every little ever-lovin’ thing to the reader leaves just as little to his/her imagination.

* [finger-waggling] Minimum word count = 2000 words.  And, yes, I do copy-and-paste to a blank document sometimes to check.  And, no, if I venture to say, “Meh, 1900 words is okay,” then guess the frak what?  Somebody’ll think 1800 words is okay.  These things are like gateway drugs, these minimum word count tricks.  Before you know it, somebody’s going to submit microfiction or even place one word per page for a sentence-long piece of experimental fiction involving ducks and vanilla pudding.  Just be cool. [/finger-waggling]

Tags: slushfiles
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