07 June 2016

Tips from Grayson

We hope you're still enjoying the marvelous May Electric Spec stories. While we rest up a bit, Editor Grayson Towler has something to tell our prospective authors.

Here are a few tips you may never have heard that can help you stand out in the slush pile:

  1. Don’t start the story with your character waking up. It seems an obvious place to begin—your hero gets out of bed and heads out into to a day of adventure. In fact, it’s so obvious we see it all the time! See if you can figure out a different starting spot for your tale.
  2. Don’t have your character look in the mirror. It’s tricky to get that all-important character description in, especially for first person stories, but having your hero admire her flowing chestnut locks in the mirror is pretty cliché. And speaking of chestnut locks…
  3. Don’t just rely on hair style and color for descriptions. It’s amazing how much we run into this trend. For some reason, in many stories we read hair style and color are not just the first details we hear about a character, but they end up being the only traits we see!
Even if your favorite bestselling story starts with a character waking up, looking in the mirror, and describing their hair, remember these are trends we’ve seen so often they make our eyes glaze over. Keep a lookout to see if you’re leaning too hard on these well-used writing tropes, and we’ll all be grateful.

Thanks Grayson!

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