27 September 2011

story premise

An author should be able to state the premise of every story he/she submits. By premise I mean the hypothesis or argument or assertion or insert-your-term here of the story. You should be able to summarize your story's essence in one sentence. For example, right now I'm working on a story which has the premise: a man has to travel to another planet to learn the true nature of love.

If you can't do this for your story then your story is not finished.

Now, I'll be honest with you. In my example that wasn't the exact idea I started with. My process (and everyone has a unique process) is I *think* I know the beginning, middle, and end of my story before I start writing and so I write the first draft. I read what the result says. Usually it says something somewhat different from what I thought it was going to say. I have to decide on the story premise. I revise, including cutting all the stuff that doesn't support the premise. Sometimes I have to add a bit. The point is to create a coherent story.
Your method will differ from this. But... you must ask yourself:

What is your story premise?

23 September 2011

faster than light?

I can't resist a another little science tidbit. The scientific world has been in an uproar lately because it appears a European experiment called OPERA has measured a neutrino travelling faster than the speed of light (186,282 miles per second)! The OPERA experiment observes a neutrino beam shot through the earth from CERN to Italy’s INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory 730 km away. See, for example, CERN's press release.

If true, this would be huge. HUGE. HUGE. Why, you ask? It was none other than Albert Einstein who hypothesized the speed of light is the fastest any particle can go. Since then (1905) numerous experiments have seemed to support Einstein. If Einstein's wrong some of the more speculative consequences include traveling to the stars, time travel, and the end of causality. See what I mean? HUGE.

I suspect, however, OPERA will be proved wrong.

20 September 2011

funny writing

Now that the excitement of the August 31 ElectricSpec Issue is abating, we editors are valiantly going through the slush pile. I came across a piece that was trying to be funny, I think. Sadly, it didn't quite work. Humor is tricky. I've blogged about it before, but the point is: humor is based on surprise. It's tricky because suprise is based on one's background and expectations--and these are different for everyone.

I did hear a joke at conference which will illustrate my point:

What's brown and sticky?

A stick.

This works because we don't think of a stick as gooey, but of course, it is stick-like. Our brain has to readjust because we end up somewhere we weren't expecting. :) The surprise is key. For example, What's white and frosty? Frost. isn't as funny because it's not as surprising.

Humor is very subjective. For example, our Editor's Corner story "The Dog that Broke the Camel's Back" was humorous to some, and annoying to some. Although, hopefully more the former than the latter.

So, I guess my point is, we enjoy humor here at ElectricSpec. Give it a try, but be careful. Good luck!

14 September 2011

potentially habitable planet?

Okay. I can't resist passing this article along from io9.com: Potentially habitable "Super-Earth" is among 50 newly discovered exoplanets. "HD 85512 b is a rocky planet about 3.6 times the mass of Earth, located right at the edge of its star's habitable zone. That means it's capable of supporting life... and the early results suggest it's a very real possibility."

Read more about the La Silla Observatory here.

13 September 2011

conference exhaustion

We trust you have been reading and enjoying the new issue of Electric Spec (now that we resolved the technical issues)!

We, the editors, all attended the fabulous annual Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers conference in Denver this past weekend. As editors, we hosted some events including the intensive short story workshop on Friday afternoon and "Literature and Liquor" in the bar Friday night. For your information, the story we picked to read and discuss was: Streetwise by Phil Emery. Check it out! :)

If you participated in either of these events: Thank you! If you came up to us and said "Hi!" or that you liked the ezine: Thank you!

As writers, we participated in some other events (I talked about my events here). Personally, I'm still exhausted! Phew. I guess my point is even though writers' conferences can be exhausting, they are very valuable. They are great opportunities to learn about writing, marketing, or whatever else you need to learn at this time (I know this evolves). They are great opportunities to network and connect with other writers and even editors and agents. They fire up your writing engine!

So, if you're a writer, I hope you take the time to go to writers' conferences. Possibly, consider going to the RMFW conference next September. And if you're a fan of speculative fiction, don't even get me started on the awesomeness of conferences like WorldCon or Comic-Con or World Fantasy.
Hope to see you at a con!

07 September 2011

we're okay

I think we're okay. The site is back up.
Thanks for your patience! :)

06 September 2011

bear with us

Greetings, readers! I hope you're having an easier time of things lately than we are. As you probably noticed, we're still having technical difficulties. Bummer! Obviously, the timing is very bad as we just published the fabulous new issue. Please bear with us as we get this sorted out. We will sort it as fast as humanly possible.

Interesting Electric Spec trivia: our website is hosted in the U.K. Why? This is kind of a long (and top-secret?) story. The short version is: a Famous Author who used to be a software guru set up our system when he still had a day job. That's all I can say. Sorry. If I tell you more, I'd have to kill you--and I don't want to do that!

In other news, our email still works. Please keep submitting stories for our next fabulous issue!

01 September 2011

New Issue Out!

As promised, the new issue of Electric Spec is out!
Thank you very much to everyone who contributed! We appreciate you!