21 March 2008

Tips for authors

I went through a bunch of submissions yesterday. Thank you for submitting to Electric Spec! Since we can't do personalized rejections, I have some general tips for authors:
  • your story should not consist of ONLY dialog
  • your story should contain some dialog
  • your story should make sense and the reader should be able to understand it, e.g. What is the point of the story? Or: Why does the protag have super powers? Or: Is the protag attacked by a vampire or an alien? etc.
  • your story should have a plot arc (something needs to happen, and hopefully the protag makes it happen)
  • your story should not have really bizarre formatting
  • your story should not be a cliche. This means vampires, werewolves, aliens, other planets, space operas, robots, androids, genetic experiments, transformations, ghosts, magic, witches/wizards, etc. MUST HAVE A NEW TWIST.
  • the ending of your story should not be obvious in the first paragraph

I could go on, but I don't want to seem overly negative. The quality of our submissions is generally good.
We've said it before, but it's worth saying again. A good story combines at least two things and they mesh perfectly. This could be an internal and external plot, or a "cliched" story with humor to make a spoof, or a combination of "cliches", or your-idea-here.
Good luck!

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