Monday, May 14, 2007

Three short stories sent out

So, after years of sending out very few short stories, this past weekend I compiled a list of a dozen stories to send out. Three of them were sent. The rest are still waiting to find a home.

So, good for me, but I have a writer's typical frustrations.

Maybe I'm just being naive because I haven't sent anything out in a while, but ... there are NO markets! Or, the few there are have so many friggin' qualifications that you can't send them anything.

And by qualifications, I don't mean formatting or being able to spell or any of the expected stuff. No, I take all that for granted.

But there are just so many stipulations. Stuff like "Yes, we print fantasy short stories, but only about cats with wings." Or, we only accept stories that are exactly 1,875 words long. Or, we read stories 11 months out of the year, and the one month we're off is YOUR month.

Just griping. I'm not shattered or anything, but it just seems silly to me there are all these print and online publications out there that are constantly going under, yet it's no wonder with a lot of their silly stipulations. I mean, how many 1,875 word stories about flying cats can you expect to receive?

I understand editors have to keep their back log from getting too big, and that they have their own personal interests. I get all that.

But come on. Whatever happened to a general fantasy magazine that would accept stories between 1,000 and 8,000 words? The few magazines I can find that come close to my description are either A.) dark fantasy mags with strong leanings toward gore and horror, or B.) soft fantasy with lots of stories without plot but plenty of fluffy little elves, nice trolls and unicorns.

Am I becoming bitter in my old age?


cyn said...

good for you, ty!

and good luck!!

Howard von Darkmoor said...

Nah - you've been bitter; age has nothing to do with it!

You're complaints sound no diff to me than all the ones I've been hearing since I started short storying in 2005. So someone wasn't paying attention as he struggled over his trilogy. ;)

It's a good thing there's a new market for quality fantasy (and I suppose I should mention sci-fi as well) out there. What would you do otherwise?

Ty said...

I've been hearing similar complaints for 20 years, but today's market seems a little different. Everything seems so much more compartmentalized. Everything seems to be some extremely exact theme with very limiting word counts.

In ye olden days (I'm thinking 15 to 20 years ago), there were generally fewer genre publications than today (or at least that I knew of back then), but then they seemed much more open to subject matter and word counts, at least as long as a story wasn't too long, say over 10,000 words.

Nowadays, it's all so pigeonholed. I mentioned the different genres of fantasy in another post, and nowadays it seems you can't just have a story about a guy with a sword fighting some guy with a spell. No, no. You have to go into writing styles and character motivations and all kinds of stuff. You have to know the differences between heroic fantasy, epic fantasy, dark fantasy, sword and sorcery ... ah geez.

Heck, I even saw a market for writing about sports-related fantasy. Holy Jumpin' Geezus, do we need a publication specifically for golfing goblins? Or howabout bowling balrogs? Yeah, a story or two might be fun, but a whole publication?!?

Geez, I just want a fantasy publication that isn't washed down or filled with explicit gore.

And HvD, yes, thank the gods there is a new market for good fantasy.

Howard von Darkmoor said...

I saw that sports fantasy theme, too, and just about choked on my coffee! That's one I won't be reading.

Sorry if I didn't comment on your 'types of fantasy' post - I enjoyed reading it and followed your link to wiki and cut and paste emailed to myself the definitions of the few I think I(and want to)write.

You do a good job on posting interesting subjects here. Except for that very weird listing interlude you went on . . . . ;)

Ty said...

Oh ye of little faith, have your chuckles at the expense of list all you want.

I know one thing, since I put that list up, the number of hits on my blog have jumped big time.

Next up: Every album I've ever listened to!
Yee ha! Let's start with Southern rock:

1.) Alabama Turkeys -- by Skinnard Linnard
2.) Jet Streams over Savannah -- by Hatchet of Molly
3.) ...

Just kidding. I wouldn't put you guys through that.

Anonymous said...

Thank the Lord Almighty! -HvD

Jordan Lapp said...

I've tried to solve this by "writing to a market". If it gets rejected, then send it out into general circulation. If it's good enough, someone will pick it up, but at least you have ONE guaranteed market