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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Story: Missing for five weeks

I'm a member of the Critters web site, which is a critque/workshop site for SF/F/H writing. So far it's the most decent site I've seen (I was previously on Zoetrope, but wasn't getting enough responses, and was limited in what I could submit). I know a lot of us critcize how it's like a 5% success rate on getting published, but reading some of these things, I can see why. In the four or five weeks, I've crtiqued 9 stories, and only one was of real publishable quality. It's just that they don't know how to write, I haven't run into any that have real grammar, spelling, or such problems, so everyone has the mechanics down. But all their stories are... not stories. I just got done with one (the reason I'm venting), who had no sense of conflict, no sense of characterization, and it read like some B-movie you see on TBS late at night. It was boring. Nothing happened. Nothing was zippy. There's a thing such as writing, and then such a thing as _trying_. You can't just write what comes to mind, you have to try to make it entertaining. I think above all and else, you need to make it entertaining. And it's so stupid how some of these people can't even see the forest for the trees. Even if you are good enough to be published doesn't even mean you're going to make it. But you gotta get in that echelon first. Maybe what this guy was doing was free-writing. Maybe that doesn't work for everyone.
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