Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ravencon coming up

I will be in Williamsburg, Virginia, for RavenCon April 29 through May 1st. Here is my tentative schedule:

Friday:
5 pm (Panel) Guilty Pleasure: The “B” Movie / Room G
7 pm (Opening Ceremony) Large Auditorium

Saturday:
6 pm - 8 pm (Panel) Ask SWFA / Room G

Sunday:
10 am (Signing) Dealers Room - John Teehan of The Merry Blacksmith Press will be in the Dealers Room, so copies of "Letters from Gardner" and "Texas & Other Planets" will be available for purchase.
Noon (Panel) Learning to Write: Workshops, Books & Classes / Room 8
2 pm (Reading) Room J - I will be reading my short story which is included in the Decision Points YA anthology being releasednext month, "The Milky Way Dance Hall".

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Some feedback on a rejection

"It is really well-written, but far too predictable. I knew exactly what was going to happen on almost every page that the story held no "interest for me other than the good writing. But I can't buy a story on that basis alone.

"Also, this is one of those overused plotlines in the same vein as "let's go back in time and kill Hitler." I kept waiting for the narrative to take an intriguing new direction, but it never happened."

I've joked in the past that, with my background in journalism, I have a decent grasp of the English language, and I've never been told a story was poorly written - just that it had other minor problems such as plot, pacing, characterization and so forth. This is a good example.

I've said in the past any feedback from an editor is good, and this is valid criticism. It's nice to see normal feedback with a rejection, and not all the bad faith hatchet jobs myself and a lot of Hugo nominees had to endure last year. This example of feedback starts off by highlighting the positive aspects of the story, but then segues into the problems - which is always a valid approach. Last year most of the reviews of Hugo-nominated stories skipped the positives, went straight to the negatives, and usually segued into personal attacks. Not all, but most. Which is why, unfortunately, I'm grateful when an editor sends honest feedback with a rejection.

Not that all my feedback are rejections. I should have between one and three acceptances to announces soon.

Slush Pile Mambo

Right now I have a dozen short stories sitting in various slushpiles awaiting decisions, and eight stories accepted and pending publication...