All-Purpose Writing Thread!


That’s a killer concept, Crusis. Thanks for sharing it!


Awesome cover, too.


I wrapped up a little humorous cosmic horror story centered on a software engineer who encounters code so twisted it threatens to raise a horror beyond mortal ken earlier, having begrudgingly made my editor’s last few changes, and I’m now engaged in shopping it to magazines. I started with The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, on the assumption that targeting the magazines well above my station first is the best way to avoid winding up in a magazine below my station. <.<


Also to the good, Charlie is fast with rejections (unless you get held forever on second look) and he might possibly deliver a useful personal too. Next on the prestige ladder is Clarkesworld which is even faster than F&SF but for which a personal is highly unlikely. Just don’t try Analog unless you feel like waiting a year for the response…


The fast turnaround and personal note percentage at Submission Grinder pushed me to go for F&SF first. Thanks for that link, and the tips.


NaNoWriMo, anyone? November starts Tuesday.

I failed in my Camp NaNoWriMo attempt in August (I’ve had successful tries in years prior). I then intended to spend September and October doing detailed outlining in hopes that less pantsing would make November a success. But then I ended up frittering those two months away, in part by playing video games.

So now… either I skip NaNoWriMo in order to avoid Mo failure, or I dive back into pantsing the damn thing.


Have you successfully plotted a book out before? In my experience, the authors I have worked with that are typically one aren’t really able to tie the other approach very easily.

Regardless, good luck!


Tyler, pantsing? I have never heard that in this context. Does it mean plotting out the structure of a book?

Good luck. I have never been able to do a Nanowrimo. I have been able to do ~15k words for one story in a few weeks, which for me felt pretty fast. I admire people who can blaze those things out, but my process just doesn’t allow for it, I suppose. Or at least, not so far.


Does it mean plotting out the structure of a book?

No, it means the opposite…writing by the seat of one’s pants. As I mentioned above, writers I have worked with tend to be one or the other: pantsers or plotters.


I desperately want to give this a proper shot–some of my favorite memories from college and the first year of two after are of NaNoWriMo!–but I have so utterly over dedicated myself for the rest of the year that I just know I’ll peter out at 5-10k again and flame out like I have the last 5 years or so. I haven’t ever done a proper outline, and this would not be the year to start… Alas.


Since you’re headed to Comp Sci, why not try NaNoGenMo 2016 instead? I threw my hat in the ring for it. :)


Not gonna lie, that REALLY hurts my brain, man. I know it’s more or less already a thing, but still…


It’s more about being creative with code than generating something worth reading.


Hey, I never thought to look for NaNoWriMo folks on Qt3. I’m out of the running for the real deal this year as I’m too busy with work stuff and school and life, but I’m hoping to dip into some NaNoGenMo stuff instead.

And @tylertoo, I say go for it even if you don’t have a plan. I’ve only finished NaNoWriMo successfully once, but even the failures were worth the time. For my successful year I picked a structural device to prompt me and move me along and it helped a lot, so maybe something like that could help? In my case, I decided to do a road trip book in the vein of The Talisman, and so I used a map and picked weird out-of-the-way towns as plot beats and then researched them to see what kind of interesting stuff might happen there. Not saying it turned out well, but it definitely gave me a way to dig up interesting threads when I would have otherwise struggled with an empty page for the day :)


I’m giving NaNoWriMo a shot this year. A few of my friends were asking each other about it. I think we were all a little too chicken to just take the plunge without some support. So I was like “Heck yeah I’m doing it!” and everybody else got on board. So now I kind of have to. And I’m glad.


Awesome! Good luck.


So, I’ve been shopping a story around, and after outright rejections at F&SF, Clarkesworld, and Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, I’m at least getting a second look at Shimmer, notification about which I received from an assistant editor in a personal note from the main submissions email account. Is it kosher to write back, or would I be violating some unspoken rule of etiquette?


Duh! Now that you explain, it seems obvious. Of course! Thank you Misguided!


Generally speaking you don’t have to reply to editorial notes unless they include a question like “will you rewrite” or better yet include a contract for you to sign. But it’s not a gross breach of etiquette unless it’s a reply to a rejection which you should never do no matter how idiotic the rejection note may be. Most of the time the slusher or first reader who sent you a hold note won’t be making the final decision anyway.

But grats on the second look! Shimmer is hard to get into. Keep in mind absolute odds are usually still against you on second look, but they will have dropped from something like 100:1 to much more acceptable odds like 4 or 5 to 1.


Alright, that’s what I figured.

Thanks! I’m still at the quality of magazine where I’m not expecting much, so 4:1 or 5:1 is plenty to make me happy.