22 September 2020

Ordinary Life

The submission deadline for the notable November 2020 issue of Electric Spec is coming up soon: October 15, 2020! Get those stories in!

The approaching deadline means we're working hard on the submissions in the slush pile. I read a couple stories that did a good job of starting in media res--in the midst of things. This means the plot has already started and the story is off to a very fast start. In general, this is a good thing, unless...
Unless the reader doesn't get a chance to get to know the protagonist at all before he/she/it is robbed/shot/thrown off a cliff/cursed/etc. If the reader doesn't get to know the protag, it's hard for the reader to care if he/she/it is robbed/shot/etc.

Consider starting your story with a little ordinary life. Show the reader the protag before the dire events start, and if he/she/it saves a puppy or a baby, so much the better. :)
And, yes, I fully realize it's tricky to show ordinary life and still craft an interesting opening. But, that's why we writers get the big bucks (ha ha), fame, and satisfaction for art well-done.

Good luck!

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