30 July 2014

behind the scenes

We're working hard behind the scenes at Electric Spec preparing for the production meeting next week. I thought I'd give you a little peek behind the curtain...
We try to be objective when choosing stories to go in hold-for-voting. I even have a kind of check-list I use. Some items on the list include:
    Does the story have the following within the first 2 pages:
  • speculative fiction?
  • protagonist?
  • a problem?
  • is it hooky? am I intrigued? drawn in?
  • is the writing reasonably good? --meaning it's NOT distracting me.
  • does the author have a unique voice?
    Does the story have the following by the end:
  • the protagonist acts?
  • something happens?
  • things are resolved?
Note not all these things are required--but if they're there, that story will get in hold-for-voting.

After stories are in hold-for-voting the editors rank them in numerical order. I then compile the total score of each story for the production meeting. The total score is just the sum of the individual editor's rankings--so a lower score is better. For example, if all three editors think a story is #1 among those in hold-for-voting it gets a total score of 3. And incidentally that story would be in the issue. (We've never had a story get a score of 3.) Notice, with all these numbers we're trying to be objective here as well.

However, when I decide on my personal rankings I'm not objective. I do take into account if I like the story or not. I don't know if this is good or bad, but it's how I do my rankings. Generally, each editor's favorite story, their #1, does make it into the issue.

Next week I'll let you know what happens at the production meeting.

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