“We don’t want your genre stories.”
I see this message more and more in the submission guidelines of writing journals and magazines, especially in those dedicated to fantasy and science fiction.
Speculative fiction is what we’re calling it nowadays. The Sword and Sorcery glory days are at an end. Writers and journals alike don’t want to be pigeon-holed in hopes they’ll reach a broader audience. And fantasy is fighting to be taken more seriously, which means intensified abrogation of the regular tropes. There’s still a place out there for the old classics, but that’s because they’re, well, classics. Continue reading
You’ve tried everything to get your writing published. You’ve accepted the rejection letter as part of the process and are using them as an excuse to be as creative and experimental as you want regardless of the consequences. After all, you have nothing to lose…
But when is enough enough? Continue reading
— Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars (p. 68) —
…”Maybe it’s in our genes,” [Maya] said. “Maybe they felt things going wrong on Earth. Felt an increased speed of mutation, or something like that.”
“So they struck out for a clean start,” [Frank said]
“The selfish gene theory. Intelligence only a tool to aid successful reproduction.”
“But this trip endangers successful reproduction,” Frank said. “It isn’t safe out here.”
“But it isn’t safe on Earth either. Waste, radiation, other people…”
Frank shook his head. “No. I don’t think the selfishness is in the genes. I think it’s somewhere else.” He reached out with a forefinger and tapped her between the breasts — a solid tap on the sternum, causing him to drift back to the floor. Staring at her the whole while, he touched himself in the same place. “Good night, Maya.”
I write this from experience. If I had known how many rejection letters I’d receive before I started writing, would I have taken the plunge? Good question. I’m not sure, and I don’t really want to look back, but here’s a hypothesis I heard this week: multiple rejection letters may actually hone your creative skills.
Let’s get one thing out on the table and make it clear. Receiving rejection letters – doesn’t matter how many – doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. The odds are against you. Really against you. Continue reading