Category: Dubious Writing Advice

Submissions: No Accounting for Taste

The old saying goes one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. That’s applicable to a wide variety of creative endeavors, and writing is no exception. What I mean is that when you send out submissions, whether or not you get published is due to… Continue Reading “Submissions: No Accounting for Taste”

Good Stories Get Rejected Too

Rejections are tough, and getting bummed out is a perfectly reasonable reaction to being told your story isn’t going to be published, but it’s important to have a little perspective on rejections. This is the very core of rejectomancy, understanding that a rejection probably… Continue Reading “Good Stories Get Rejected Too”

Watch Out. That First Line is a Doozy

I’ve written a couple posts about the importance of the first line in a short story. The idea being that a great first line sets the tone, instantly engages the reader, gets them asking questions about the story, and, hopefully, keeps them reading. These posts… Continue Reading “Watch Out. That First Line is a Doozy”

Go for the Goal: 100 Submissions

This year I set a goal to send 100 short story submissions. It’s similar to the 100 rejections goal, but the focus is a bit different. Let me explain why I’m doing it and subjecting myself to all those rejections. 🙂 Why 100 submissions?… Continue Reading “Go for the Goal: 100 Submissions”

Submission Protocol: When to Withdraw

Withdrawing a story from a publisher is an oft-discussed topic in writer circles, and there are a lot of opinions on when and if you should do it. My views have evolved on this subject over the years, so I thought it might be… Continue Reading “Submission Protocol: When to Withdraw”

New Author Starter Kit – Submission Prep

If you’re a new author and you want to submit your work to magazines, literary journals, anthologies, contests, and the like, it can seem a daunting process. I mean, where do you submit? How do you submit? A lot of us simply learned by… Continue Reading “New Author Starter Kit – Submission Prep”

A Day in the Life of a First Draft

As you know, writing requires extreme dedication to the craft, unswerving discipline, and nigh-supernatural resistance to distraction. To shed some light on this magical process, I present a semi-fictionalized account of a single day in in the creation of a first draft. 8:00 a.m.… Continue Reading “A Day in the Life of a First Draft”

Even Good Stories Get Rejected

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. You finish a story, and you know it’s just the best damn thing you’ve ever written. Proud of your shiny new word baby, you send it out to a publisher you’re pretty sure will dig it. You… Continue Reading “Even Good Stories Get Rejected”

Hook, Line & Sinker: Fine-Tuning the First Sentence

Last year, I wrote a blog post inspired by one of my favorite essays by Stephen King, “Great Hookers I Have Known,” from his collection Secret Windows. The title of the essay is, of course, not what it sounds like. It’s about crafting a… Continue Reading “Hook, Line & Sinker: Fine-Tuning the First Sentence”

AFSG (Always Follow the Submission Guidelines)

Recently, I committed the nigh-unforgivable writerly sin of failing to follow the submission guidelines. I will pause a moment to soak in your righteous and fully justified finger-wagging. Ouch. Okay, my particular sin was submitting a story that did not meet the word count… Continue Reading “AFSG (Always Follow the Submission Guidelines)”

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