17 March 2015

reddit takeaways

As I mentioned last week, we did a reddit AMA. Here's the link. I thought I'd give a recap here of the AMA and our accompanying offline discussion for folks who want to know more about Electric Spec.

We started the ezine about a decade ago because we love writing and wanted to support writers. All the editors are speculative fiction writers and avid readers (and members of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers). We also enjoy speculative TV and movies. Although we don't have any formal training as editors, there are some English degrees among the editors.

It should be pretty clear from the AMA that we all enjoy humor. If Editor Betsy and Editor Dave had to pick a favorite genre I believe they would pick epic fantasy. Editor Betsy in particular enjoys dark stories. My favorite genre is SF, although I really enjoy urban fantasy as well. Horror/macabre is tricky; we tend to get a lot of men murdering women stories. This gets tiresome. Give us something original.

In terms of length, flash is hard to do well, particularly stories of less than 1000 words. This is because it's difficult to make the reader care about the character in such a short amount of time. If your story is over 5,000 words, conversely, it's likely it needs slashing. You don't believe me? Well, if you have multiple point-of-view characters, more than one subplot, or multiple timelines you probably need at least 5,000 words. But if not, cut it.

We had differing opinions on cover letters. Editor Dave liked it if an author mention Electric Spec in his cover letter. I admitted I don't read them. (!) Editor Betsy said her opinions on cover letters have evolved over the years. We agreed it's annoying when authors don't submit an *rtf as requested. Or if they don't put "SUBMISSION" in the subject line of their email.

Probably the number one takeaway of the experience was: it was a blast! We had a lot of fun. I highly recommend reddit for readers and writers.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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