12 June 2018

great first page

We've finally stopped basking in the glow of the marvelous May issue of Electric Spec and have begun thinking about the upcoming awesome August issue. We've gotten back into the slush pile. Thank you for sending us your art! I'm constantly amazed that so many talented people send us their works of art. Since we get so many, though, that means we can't publish them all.

How do you get your story in our 'zine? You create a great first page. Sadly, and honestly, you usually get only one short page to entice us. What's a writer to do?

  • Do obey submission rules, including file format, word-length. Do not have excessive grammar/spelling problems. Generally, not doing this will not get you an automatic reject but it makes editors grumpy, so we're predisposed to reject.
  • Carefully consider if you want to do something less common like using present tense. You can do it but does it serve your art or is it just annoying?
  • Don't doing anything cliched like waking up, driving in a car, characters looking at themselves in the mirror, etc.
  • Do create a unique realistic voice--this is the number one thing that draws me into a story.
  • Do create an intriguing premise. Often this is where your speculative element comes in. What is amazing about your story?
  • Do create a fully-fleshed out world. Even on planet Earth everyone's world is different. Show us the world of your characters.
  • Speaking of showing, do show us something. A full first page of telling is a tough sell.
Is all this difficult to do on page one? Yes!
If you're struggling, consider reading the first pages of some published Electric Spec stories and analyzing what those authors did.

Good luck!

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