24 September 2019

Slush Recommendation

We, the Electric Spec Editors, are starting to get into slush reading in a big way in preparation for the notorious November 2019 issue. Thus I have a particular recommendation...

When you've finished your story, take a step back and ask: What is this story about? What's the main point? You should be able to summarize your story succinctly.

I've read some stories which didn't go anywhere, were muddled, or anticlimactic. Basically, I couldn't have told you what the story was about. It doesn't have to be a big external plot arc. It could be a small internal character arc, such as a decision is reached or a person changes their opinion. The point is: it needs to be something.

Thus, consider asking one of your friends or family to read your story. Can they then tell you what the story is? If not, you may have a problem. But I'm sure it's easily fixable. We all know writing is rewriting.

Good luck!

17 September 2019

Slush Suggestions

We, the Electric Spec Editors, have started the first steps to create our notable November issue. Job one is going through slush. Thus, I have some suggestions...
  • Do follow our rules.
    • Submit an rtf file as an attachment.
    • Do include a cover letter.
    • Do include some variant of 'Submission' on the subject line.
  • Consider length. What is the perfect length for your story.
    • Even though we accept flash, it's very difficult to tell a story in less than a thousand words.
    • Editors don't like long stories because it's more work for us.
    • I don't think readers like stories over six thousand words, either. It's a big committment.
  • Make your page one awesome! This includes
    • minimal spelling mistakes,
    • minimal grammar mistakes.
    • Consider an attention-grabbing, possibly telling, first sentence.
    • Make sure your writing is smooth, not awkward.
    Sadly, if page one isn't good...we don't always read to page two.
A very helpful writing tip I received some time ago is: consider reading your work out loud. You can read it to yourself, or someone else can read it to you. This can really pinpoint where a story is working and where it's not. Where does the reader stumble? That might be a grammar problem. Does the story sound smooth? If not, how can you modify it?

Whatever your writing method(s), thank you for submitting your stories! Good luck!

10 September 2019

Keep Learning

I spent the weekend at the 2019 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (rmfw.org) annual conference. It was an amazing and exhausting experience. I got a bunch of great writing-related ideas, from craft to writing-business topics.

I'm not saying you should go to this particular conference, but I am saying: keep learning about writing. You can get this via writing conferences, but they don't need to be big national ones. Many local libraries or colleges have smaller conferences or programs. There are also tons of online resources, including videos, virtual conferences, online writing groups and the like. Of course, there are also lots of awesome books about writing. Figure out what you need to work on and find a book about that.

Reading carefully in your genre is also super helpful. What works? What doesn't? What can you steal, er, borrow, for your work?
No matter how long you've been writing, there's always more to learn...
Good luck learning!

03 September 2019

Awesome August Issue!

We're still enjoying the awesome August 31, 2019 issue of Electric Spec! Awesome! Thanks again, to all the authors. Thanks, Readers!

I think this is one of our most diverse issues, with a large variety of genres.

  • Live Fast, Die Young by J.L. Shioshita
  • A Warrior Still by Shelly Campbell
  • Red Zone by Harry Pauff
  • A Partial Record of the Early Life of Lys by E. Saxey
  • Ten Cents to See the Unicorn by Meredith Morgenstern
  • Editor's Corner Story: Lusca Bait by Minta Monroe

What do you think?