24 April 2018


We, the Editors, are working hard on the marvelous May 2018 issue of Electric Spec. In particular we are finishing up the fiction in the so-called slush pile. I've read quite a few stories recently and have to say Wow. I came across many stories in which the protagonist dies or kills others at the end.

Whenever we get several stories with similarities it makes me wonder what's going on with our cultural zeitgeist. While stories involving death have existed as long as stories have existed, we seem to be getting more. Should we be worried?

I agree that death is dramatic. But it's hard to make a reader care about death in a short story because your tools, i.e. words, are limited in number. (Speaking of zeitgeist, are we all getting too accustomed to death in culture? I don't know.) But, recall, the number one goal of an author should be to affect the emotions of a reader.

A good way to affect reader emotions is to show characters in the story being affected. If the characters care, I'll be more likely to care as a reader.
The bottom line is if your story requires death, make sure it is effective.

Good luck!

Next time I'll discuss the production meeting.

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