Strange Horizons | Re-opening 7th August

sh-logoStrange Horizons
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Submissions Re-open: 7th August 2017
Length: Up to 10,000 words (under 5000 preferred)
Payment: 8¢/word USD

“We want good speculative fiction. If your story doesn’t have a speculative element, or strong speculative-fiction sensibilities, it’s probably not for us.

Some particular things we love, or are interested in:

  • Fiction from or about diverse perspectives and traditionally under-represented groups, settings, and cultures, written from a non-exoticizing and well-researched position.
  • Unusual yet readable styles and inventive structures and narratives.
  • Stories that address political issues in complex and nuanced ways, resisting oversimplification.
  • Hypertext fiction. If you have a work of hyperfiction you think might be a good fit for Strange Horizons, please query us to discuss how to submit it.”

Read more via Strange Horizons

Advertisements

Rewriting the 7 Rules of Dialogue

StoryTrumpsStructure-196x300“Rewriting the 7 Rules of Dialogue” by Steven James | 28th June 2016 | Writer’s Digest: The Writer’s Dig.

“Most of us have heard the typical advice about writing dialogue—make sure your characters don’t all sound the same, include only what’s essential, opt for the word said over other dialogue tags, and so on.

While these blanket suggestions can get you headed in the right direction, they don’t take into account the subtleties of subtext, characterization, digressions, placement of speaker attributions, and the potentially detrimental effect of “proper” punctuation.

So, let’s delve into the well-intentioned advice you’ll most commonly hear, and what you need to know instead.”

  1. Dialogue should stay on topic.
  2. Use dialogue as you would actual speech.
  3. Opt for the speaker attribution said over all others.
  4. Avoid long speeches.
  5. Be grammatically correct.
  6. Show what the characters are doing while they’re talking.
  7. Keep characters’ speech consistent.

Read more via Rewriting the 7 Rules of Dialogue

The Ward Room – Military and Technical Assistance for Authors

The Ward Room – Military and Technical Assistance for Authors

wardroomThe Ward Room Mission Statement

To provide accurate and concise information about the confusing world of the US Military. The Ward Room’s main goal is to assist authors, editors and others who are working on a military themed written project that have a desire to enhance the detail to be as authentic as possible.

Topics covered under Writer Resources

  • Gun Versus Weapon, rifle, sidearm, or firearm
  • Magazine Versus Clip
  • Silencers Versus Suppressors
  • Bullet, Cartridge, and Round
  • Vehicles

Read more via The Ward Room

Ask the Editor: Geoff Brown (Cohesion Press)

Geoff_Brown_Featured-767x311“Ask the Editor: Geoff Brown (Cohesion Press)” | 12th June, 2017 | AutoCrit.

“To many of us, especially if you’ve rarely (or never!) worked with your own personal editor, the ins, outs, expectations and daily frustrations of the editing life can feel like a bit of a mystery.

A strange land the writer just isn’t fully equipped to traverse unscathed.

Which of your possible submissions are likely to satisfy a particular editor’s needs? What do editors want to see when your information lands in their inbox? Will developmental editors take on any writer who’s willing to pay enough? And what exactly are they doing while the bill totals up?

To put an end to the confusion – and to arm all our beloved AutoCrit readers with the tools they need to transform that hard climb to the top into a chauffeured 4×4 experience – we bring you… Ask the Editor!

Throughout this new series, we’ll be enlisting the no holds barred expertise of editors from many corners of the publishing industry, and extracting as much gold from their waggling tongues as we can.

And our first guest is no holds barred, indeed!

Meet Geoff Brown, Co-director and Acquisitions Editor of Australia’s Cohesion Press.

Since chronicling his rocky history with his debut book, Hammered: Memoir of an Addict, Geoff has gone on to develop Cohesion Press into an award-winning small press, boasting some of his niche’s biggest names in genre fiction amongst his stable, including Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Joseph Nassise, and Greig Beck.

He even hosts haunted asylum tours!

Focused on military horror (think big guns and big monsters), with Geoff at the reins Cohesion Press has grown from strength to strength throughout the ongoing publishing of its flagship anthology series, SNAFU, and beyond. In fact, the release of SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest even managed to beat genre titan Stephen King out of first place on the Amazon US horror chart.

Not being one to mince words, Geoff came to the table with some brutal (yet tender) honesty and the lively language to match. If you’re repulsed by the odd bout of profanity, consider yourself warned…

But we think you’ll find the insights he has to offer will be of great value to you.”

Read more via Ask the Editor: Geoff Brown (Cohesion Press)

5 Things Breaking Bad Can Teach Us About Writing

TV_BB_bl“5 Things Breaking Bad Can Teach Us About Writing” by Cris Freese | 26th November 26, 2016 | Writer’s Digest.

“I think the general consensus among those writers who teach the craft is that you must read—and read widely—about the craft of writing, particularly those authors who write in your genre. But I think there’s a lot you can learn about writing from other mediums, too. Specifically television. Every other week, I’ll bring you takeaways from some of the best television shows out there. These are meant to be specific concepts, themes, techniques, etc., that a writer can learn from the show. This post will help you understand the intricacies of plot.

This week we’ll take a look at Breaking Bad. Potential spoilers follow. This post will focus specifically on some crucial elements of storytelling, and how you can use them to develop an excellent plot. Each one of these elements is used successfully in the hit show Breaking Bad. I’ll show you how each one is used in this show, and provide a potential application for your own plot.”

1. Craft Unique Character Motivations
The number one thing you need for a successful and compelling plot is character motivation. Every character in Breaking Bad has terrific motivation for their actions.”

2. Develop Multiple Conflicts
Good plots are nothing without good conflict. With multiple characters who all have unique motivations, you can create conflicts between each of these characters.”

3. How to Use Foreshadowing Effectively
Breaking Bad uses foreshadowing throughout the plot. Sometimes it’s more heavy-handed than other times.”

4. Utilize Flashbacks and Flash Forwards
I don’t recommend using these two techniques often in fiction, but using them sparingly can be effective in creating suspense in your plot.”

5. The Importance of Recurring Plot Elements
Recurring elements are important because they draw plot lines together. They connect stories and people, and they recall to earlier points in a story, or point to something in the future.”

Read more via 5 Things Breaking Bad Can Teach Us About Writing

Do You Need an Author Platform?

author_platforms“Do You Need an Author Platform” by Mia Botha | 16th July, 2014 | Writers Write.

Is it important to have a platform?

An author needs an author platform. It generates sales, it creates awareness, and it builds relationships for future sales. It also gives you credibility and establishes you as a serious writer.It is not only for authors who wish to self-publish. Authors who publish traditionally are also required to have an online presence. Social media interaction and blogging are large parts of the publicity strategy for the publisher. eBooks and eReaders have played a huge role in this.

For any aspiring author it is something you need to establish as soon as possible. Your online presence is where you will direct publishers in your query letters and how you will reach readers if you wish to self-publish. Basically you want to build your following before you publish.

How do you start?

Your blog is your base; which other sites you choose to use is up to you. Spend some time on each one before you decide. You use your social media pages to direct your readers to your blog or website. You can set up a blog using any of the sites. It is free and easy. So easy even I could do it. I got stuck at stages, but Google, or a friend, could always help me out. For your author platform you should think carefully about the topic of your blog or website. You can use it as a showcase, as an informative site for other writers, as a place to express your creativity, or as a window into a writer’s life.

 

Read more via Do You Need an Author Platform?

Scout | Ongoing Submissions

ScoutScout
Genre: Science Fiction – vignettes and short stories
Ongoing Submissions
Length: 250 – 2,000 words
Payment: 8 cents a word

Scout.ai, an online community that combines science fiction and journalism, is seeking speculative and science fiction vignettes that illustrate the social impacts of emerging technologies.”

“We’re especially interested in character-driven vignettes that explore the near-term impacts of artificial intelligence, automation, genetic augmentation, and space travel, and the impacts of technology on governance, climate, and social structures. We also enjoy being surprised by original or unexpected topics.

Thoughtful but accessible fiction will constitute the majority of our purchases, but there’s always room for humor. Also, a note that when we say near-term, we’re looking for vignettes that portray what you think will be viable or probable in the next 1-7 years. We realize there’s plenty of variability in that range based on human optimism and pessimism and we’re OK with that.

We often pair fiction with existing Scout reporting, but we’ve also been known to build Scout’s journalistic product around particularly compelling speculative or science fiction vignettes.”

Read more via Scout

Perihelion Science Fiction Magazine | Ongoing Submissions

logo-moonPerihelion: Online Science Fiction Magazine
Looking for: Fiction, Articles, Artwork
Ongoing Submissions
Length: 2,500 – 7,000 words
Payment: 1 cent a word up to a maximum of $75 per story
Artwork: 520 pixels wide by 1000 pixels high – $60 per image

“WE ARE LOOKING for well-written, original science fiction, that is, science fiction with a solid plot, a beginning, a middle, and an end (but not necessarily in that order). No fantasy. No horror. No fan fiction. No poetry. Alternate history, not entirely taboo, is a difficult sale. Stories do not necessarily have to restrict themselves to robots, rocket ships, and extraterrestrials. However, the science and/or technology must be integral to the story; if you remove the science, the story falls apart, or disappears altogether. If the plot can be easily reconstituted as a western, a swashbuckler, or a bodice-ripper, it is probably not for us, either. We aren’t fixated on political correctness. We don’t object to explicit language, violence, or sexual situations, as long as it is necessary to the plot. We like humor and satire. We really don’t care if you are a minority, transgendered, or purple; the story is the focus and not the author.”

Read more via Perihelion Science Fiction Magazine

5 Elements You Need In Chapter One To Hook Your Reader

“Write Your Novel In A Year – Week 48: 5 Elements You Need In Chapter One To Hook Your Reader” by Anthony Ehlers | 2nd December, 2016 | Writers Write.

WRITE_YOUR_NOVEL_Week_48_5_Elements_You_Need_In_Chapter_One_to_Hook_Your_ReaderGoal setting

  1. Focus on polishing your first chapter.

Breaking it down

Your first chapter is the window to a showroom, beckoning us with a display of shiny new cars that promise adventure, an exquisite new dress in a shop window that hints at romance, or a candy display at a market promising the best sugar high ever.

How do you make sure you entice the reader in? How do you make that first critical chapter a moment of seduction, one the reader will never forget? In short, how do you get them hooked?

①  The first line is your last chance to grab the reader.

②  The world on the first page.

③  An unforgettable character or characters.

④ A challenging or thought-provoking question.

⑤ A last page that promises more.

Read more via 5 Elements You Need In Chapter One To Hook Your Reader