Author Topic: Loser's Lament  (Read 29867 times)

tatterbelle

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Reply #25 on: February 28, 2007, 02:09:11 AM
How so?



Rachel Swirsky

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1233
    • PodCastle
Reply #26 on: February 28, 2007, 02:31:20 AM
Posting them on your website, unless it's password protected, counts as first publication rights.



tatterbelle

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Reply #27 on: February 28, 2007, 02:43:02 AM
Ah, thanks for the warning. Good thing I didn't post them. Any suggestions on what I should do with them then?



Rachel Swirsky

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1233
    • PodCastle
Reply #28 on: February 28, 2007, 02:51:11 AM
There are a few online writers workshops that have password protected sites where writers share their work. They work with reciprocity systems so you make sure that you get feedback, and the communities will span from people just starting out, to people with a few sales, to sometimes people with distinguished records (like Ruth Nestvold, Elizabeth Bear, or Eugie Foster).

I highly recommend joining one. It's a great way to improve faster than most people can on their own. Plus, it yields a guaranteed amount of criticism, whereas by posting stuff on your site (for instance) you're not only giving away first publication rights, but also counting on people's good will to spend their time critiquing your work rather than working on their own stuff.

Here are two of the most popular online critique sites:

The Online Writers Workshop:

http://sff.onlinewritingworkshop.com/ - I like the system of this one better, but unfortunately it charges $50/yr to maintain the site and staff. Still, if you have the money, I think it's worth it.

Critters:

http://critters.critique.org  - Free! But a system that, IMO, works slightly less well.

If you have more questions about them, I'll be happy to answer.

Best,
P



ajames

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 358
Reply #29 on: February 28, 2007, 09:23:24 PM
I've already thoroughly reworked one of my stories [The Stranger], based largely upon seeing what worked and didn't work in the other stories I read and reading all the feedback on all of the stories.  I think it is a much, much better story now but I'd still like to get more feedback, so I am hoping something comes of the discussion of providing a mechanism for that here on this site.  Otherwise I may check out one of the sites palimpsest suggested.  As for the other two stories I submitted, one was solely written for the contest and the other had some ideas I will pursue at some point, but not in flash fiction and not immediately.

I do hope to see some form of Sunburn and Venus of the Station, and others, in print, and hope the authors give a shout out to the Escapepod.org community when this happens.



Tango Alpha Delta

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1778
    • Tad's Happy Funtime
Reply #30 on: March 01, 2007, 12:28:35 AM
The two pieces that I submitted (Bob: Employee of the Future and Metamorphosis) were the first things that I've submitted anywhere, and the feedback I got on them was great.  At this point, I don't have much interest in selling them, rather, I think that I need the feedback more than anything at this point, and so I decided to set up a site to post my stories.  When I first posted this, as a reply to one of my stories, I was reminded that it would constitute first publishing, but it still seems the right thing to do, for me, at least.  In addition to thanking the entire community who made this whole thing possible, I might as well give myself a shameless plug, so here it is.  http://pawnstorm.blogspot.com

It's spooky how close this was to verbatim "what I was going to say"!
My three: Rehab; Presence of Mind; Stage Fright
No interest in doing marketing.
Posted at Tad's Happy Funtime

As for the "cutting" process:
I wrote each of my four stories (I decided not to submit one called "Ask the Dust") purposely for the contest.  I knew I was shooting for <300 words, so I put the "important bits" down, and then tinkered with phrasing and such to get them within the limit.  Rehab suffered the most (as was reflected by its comments) from my decision to downplay the virtual reality part of the story; and Presence of Mind benefited, since I saved the "poetic" stuff in the middle for last.  I wrote the frame of the story, and then filled in the "grand, universal awareness" bit after I knew how much room I had to play with.

Stage Fright pretty much came out as is in about 45 minutes.

I have enjoyed seeing everyone's comments, and was extremely pleased with my modest vote counts.  This has been a real confidence builder, and has made me really think about doing more writing.  But, I'm far too busy with other things (four little kids, demanding/enjoyable job) to worry about selling what I write.  Another word for that is probably "lazy", but there you go.  Anyone volunteering to act as my agent is welcome to give it a whirl!

I know I've said it, and others have too, but thanks again to Steve, the Escape Pod staff, and the Mysterious Benefactor for making all of this possible.  And thanks to all of you who read AND write, and talk about reading and writing, for making this a community.

This Wiki Won't Wrangle Itself!

I finally published my book - Tad's Happy Funtime is on Amazon!


ClintMemo

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 680
Reply #31 on: March 01, 2007, 02:30:30 AM
Maybe you should start SF Flash blog network.

Life is a multiple choice test. Unfortunately, the answers are not provided.  You have to go and find them before picking the best one.


Heradel

  • Bill Peters, EP Assistant
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 2938
  • Part-Time Psychopomp.
Reply #32 on: March 01, 2007, 12:32:06 PM
I had two stories in the contest, one of which (The Truth) I've rewritten and have put aside for a few days to look back over.

The other one's idea I've decided is better suited to being a regular short story instead of flash. So now I have to think of a plot that'll work for a few dozen pages without becoming an excuse for a dog and pony show with the idea.

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


Gary

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Reply #33 on: March 07, 2007, 01:50:34 AM
I had initially thought I would rewrite my story "Happily Ever After, More or Less" to put some of the stuff back in, that had to be thrown out to get down to 300 words.

However, the short version was accepted well beyond my wildest expectations so I am now wondering if I should "mess with it".

I originally had more story to establish the prince as a "gallent, brave, and extremely shallow"  character  who is more embarrassed by the indignity of his final predicament then anything else.

I also had more story on how the presence of the "mad princess" was causing such a disturbance throughout the Prince's Castle and court.

Maybe it just doesn't need all that though.

I wonder if there is anything to be gained in rewritting this into a "proper" flash fiction piece of 600 to 900 words?

Maybe I should just retire it as is, basking in the glow of satisfaction that comes from creating something that others enjoyed!  :)



Tango Alpha Delta

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1778
    • Tad's Happy Funtime
Reply #34 on: March 07, 2007, 11:33:46 AM
I had initially thought I would rewrite my story "Happily Ever After, More or Less" to put some of the stuff back in, that had to be thrown out to get down to 300 words.

However, the short version was accepted well beyond my wildest expectations so I am now wondering if I should "mess with it".

I originally had more story to establish the prince as a "gallent, brave, and extremely shallow"  character  who is more embarrassed by the indignity of his final predicament then anything else.

I also had more story on how the presence of the "mad princess" was causing such a disturbance throughout the Prince's Castle and court.

Maybe it just doesn't need all that though.

I wonder if there is anything to be gained in rewritting this into a "proper" flash fiction piece of 600 to 900 words?

Maybe I should just retire it as is, basking in the glow of satisfaction that comes from creating something that others enjoyed!  :)

"It ain't what I play,
It's the way that I play it!"
-B.B.King, "The Power of the Blues"

This Wiki Won't Wrangle Itself!

I finally published my book - Tad's Happy Funtime is on Amazon!


Gary

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Reply #35 on: March 07, 2007, 04:53:33 PM
"It ain't what I play,
It's the way that I play it!"
-B.B.King, "The Power of the Blues"

"It ain't what I play,
It's the way that I play it!"

Nice ... B.B.  was just one line away from giving us a Haiku!

  ;D



Rachel Swirsky

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1233
    • PodCastle
Reply #36 on: March 07, 2007, 05:13:28 PM
Speaking personally, the story woudl have worked for me better if the narrative had taken a distinct stance in re: the prince. It seems to me that the goal in rewriting the fairy tales was to explore the character ramifications of the situation, and I didn't really get a sense of that from the story as it is.



GoodDamon

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 352
    • Speculations - My writing blog
Reply #37 on: March 12, 2007, 05:01:55 PM
Now that all the voting's over, it's time for some post-mortem analysis. First, the facts:

  • In the first rounds, it looks like an average of about ~65 (extremely rough estimate) people voted.
  • In the semi-finals, it looks more like ~75 (again, extremely rough estimate).
  • In the final round, a whopping 136 people voted.
  • Two of the three winners were contemporary/urban fantasy stories.
  • The first-place winner was a science fiction story.
  • There were a total of 21 stories in the finals.
  • By my count, 8.5 of them were science fiction and 12.5 of them were fantasy.
  • The half-and-half story is one I thought qualified as slipstream. Your results may vary. Take only as directed by a physician.

So what does all that tell us? I have some theories, but I'd like to hear yours.

Edit: OK, actually, never mind until I've had the time to finish gathering statistics. This'll take a while.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2007, 05:20:17 PM by GoodDamon »

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


Rachel Swirsky

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1233
    • PodCastle
Reply #38 on: March 12, 2007, 05:06:59 PM
Hard to analyze without knowing the initial counts for SF versus F.

What did you qualify as slipstream?



GoodDamon

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 352
    • Speculations - My writing blog
Reply #39 on: March 12, 2007, 05:16:24 PM
Hard to analyze without knowing the initial counts for SF versus F.

Whoops, didn't think of that. Eeurgh... It'll take a while...

Quote
What did you qualify as slipstream?

I thought "Hoarding Colored Rags" was ambiguous enough to fall in either category or neither.

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er


Rachel Swirsky

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1233
    • PodCastle
Reply #40 on: March 12, 2007, 05:25:01 PM
Ah! How interesting. I totally thought cyberpunk.



floatingtide

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 69
Reply #41 on: March 12, 2007, 07:09:36 PM
Quote
Quote
What did you qualify as slipstream?

I thought "Hoarding Colored Rags" was ambiguous enough to fall in either category or neither.

I could see "Hoarding Colored Rags" as being slipstream or cyberpunk in style, but I read it as SF enough that I wouldn't think it needed a new category.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2007, 11:01:53 PM by floatingtide »



GoodDamon

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 352
    • Speculations - My writing blog
Reply #42 on: March 12, 2007, 08:19:14 PM
Ah! How interesting. I totally thought cyberpunk.

Neat! I didn't get any sort of cyberpunk feel from it. I imagined the recordings of memories being the kinds of things we can do today: digital cameras, camcorders, etc.

But I think I like your interpretation better. :)

Damon Kaswell: Reader, writer, and arithmetic-er