22 January 2019

the lens of personality

We, the editors, are working hard on the fabulous February issue of Electric Spec. The submission deadline for stories has passed. That means we are hip deep in slush. We have about one more week for the associate editors and editors to get through their slush piles, so if you've submitted, keep an eye out for an email. Then, we have about a week for the editors to peruse the finalists in the hold-for-voting pile. Our production meeting is scheduled for the first weekend of February. Thus, all authors should hear back from us soon after that.
(We are currently accepting submissions for the marvelous May 2019 issue.)

From reading slush I have a few tips...
It's probably not a good idea to open your story with a page of descriptions. It's probably not a good idea for said descriptions to read like a laundry list, e.g. She had brown hair, brown eyes, tan skin, purple pants, etc.
Every description needs to be expressed through the lens of your character's personality. I don't care what the description is. I don't care who the character is. I do care if the description is unrelated to the character.
Here's a description from a master's page one: I'm blond and blue-eyed and twenty-five, and my legs are strong and my bosom is substantial, and I have a waspy waistline. This is a bit laundry-listy but it has so much personality, it works.

Incidentally, the first line of this book is: I'd been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar. Wow!
This is an excellent telling first line. Among other things, it's chock-full of personality.
And, yes, this is from Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.

Stay tuned for more info on the fabulous February issue!

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