29 September 2020

avoid loose threads

The deadline for the next issue of Electric Spec is fast approaching: October 15, 2020. Send us your story!

I had an interesting discussion with one of the other Electric Spec editors lately. We both had an opportunity to read a new short story. I was charmed by the characters and steampunk world. The other editor did not enjoy the story. He essentially said, 'There's a loose thread, an unresolved story point.' I realized he was right. The protagonist released something into the world that had the potential to destroy said world, and didn't get it back. I'd been so distracted by other story elements I hadn't even noticed! Usually, I'm a better reader than that.

So, my advice to authors: avoid loose threads. Don't inadvertently, accidentally, destroy your world. Of course, if it's intentional, that's another matter entirely. :)

Good luck with your writing!

22 September 2020

Ordinary Life

The submission deadline for the notable November 2020 issue of Electric Spec is coming up soon: October 15, 2020! Get those stories in!

The approaching deadline means we're working hard on the submissions in the slush pile. I read a couple stories that did a good job of starting in media res--in the midst of things. This means the plot has already started and the story is off to a very fast start. In general, this is a good thing, unless...
Unless the reader doesn't get a chance to get to know the protagonist at all before he/she/it is robbed/shot/thrown off a cliff/cursed/etc. If the reader doesn't get to know the protag, it's hard for the reader to care if he/she/it is robbed/shot/etc.

Consider starting your story with a little ordinary life. Show the reader the protag before the dire events start, and if he/she/it saves a puppy or a baby, so much the better. :)
And, yes, I fully realize it's tricky to show ordinary life and still craft an interesting opening. But, that's why we writers get the big bucks (ha ha), fame, and satisfaction for art well-done.

Good luck!

15 September 2020

Colorado Writers Collaborative!

Usually at this time of year I go to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers annual convention. Electric Spec editors have taught various workshops here in years past. This year Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers has joined forces with Northern Colorado Writers and Pikes Peak Writers to create a month long virtual conference free for everyone to attend!

This joint venture hits YouTube September 1-30, 2020. Check out free video presentations from agents, editors, and authors on the craft, business, and life of writing as well as current hot topics all writers should pay attention to. You’ll learn from NYT bestselling authors and awesome editors. Over twenty-five contributors have volunteered their time and effort to provide the writing world with some education, inspiration, and motivation during this time of safer-at-home.

If you're a writer or want to know more about writing, check it out here!

08 September 2020

basking in the glow

Ah. At Electric Spec we're still basking in the glow of the awesome August 2020 issue. What's your favorite story?
  • "Smithsonian Soldiers" by E.A.Lawrence -- An illustration of the power of friendship and human persistence in an apocalyptic world.
  • "Nobody Gets Out Alive" by George R. Galuschak -- Tune into the livestream of a game where the stakes even higher than life or death.
  • "Glass and Ashes" by Raven McAllister -- Hard times make for fast friends, but what happens when a life is on the line?
  • "After the Fee-Fi-Fo" by Maureen Bowden -- What really happens after the fairy tale ends?
  • "Hot Crow and Paper Lion" by MJ Francis -- Fantasy and mythology mix with two very unlikely friends on an even more unlikely mission.
  • Or, maybe the bonus story, "The Mandelbrot Scheme" by Mark Everglade?

So many shockingly-good stories!