Monday, November 19, 2012

What to do After a Story Goes Bust

Expecting one of those 'Keep Calm' images?

Stay productive.

After being out of the loop for a good long while, I am researching short fiction markets, places where my completed stories can find a home. Before, this meant marking favorites on Duotrope. (You more seasoned authors are now looking upon me with incredulity.) This time, I'm keeping an Excel doc with all the relevant details and notes on my impressions of the publication plus which of my stories might fit in there.

Running a search on Duotrope can only tell you so much about a publication. To get a better feel, I, of course, must read the stories published there. Sometimes I’ll get through 2 and know it’s not right for me. Other times I’ll recline in my seat at my computer and realize I’ve just gone through 6 in one sitting—even if the magazine still isn’t right for my story. I did find some potential homes for my current manuscript, but I found many more great stories.

And that's the upside to this tedious task: I am reading more short fiction and rediscovering what I love so much about genre. So, before I go back to being productive, I'll leave you with three stories that appealed to me on different levels—psychological and emotional, enigmatic and probing, fun and adventurous.

Clarkesworld Magazine
(To See the Other) Whole Against the Sky by E. Catherine Tobler (I listened to the podcast version.)
Aquatica by Maggie Clark

Apex Magazine
Weaving Dreams by Mary Robinette Kowal

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