Tuesday, January 29, 2013

on writing - short fiction

Tips/wisdom from Apex Magazine slush readers on submitting and
writing short fiction:

Hooks are the primary reason many stories fail.  You've got to
hook a reader at the beginning, not forget to keep the momentum
building throughout the middle, and offer a sense of closure by the
end.  The end should conclude the journey, but leave a reader
wanting more.  And be wary of surprise endings.

Utilize point of view and narrative style to convey a great deal of
background  information without actually having to talk about it

As you build your world, don't get caught in providing detail.  Add
just enough salt for readers to get the flavor - a springboard for
their imaginations to take over.

By Liis Klammer

Obviously, avoid cliches.  A list of overused cliches available here.

Don't preach.  Morality should be a faint breeze in the story and
not a gale.

Phrases Apex slush readers are sick of:
It was as if...
There was, it was

Leave the unimportant details out!  Do readers really need to
know a character's eye color was some specific shade of blue?

And this should be obvious: spend time reading a magazine's
submission guidelines, as well as the work it has published of late.
Whether for the sake of peer awareness or scouting out territory,
reading successfully published short stories will help you.
(Based on information found on Sarah E. Olson's blog)

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