Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Links & The Week in #storyeachnight: March 25, 2012 Edition

The last two days saw (among quite a few rejection emails) a pair of very exciting emails. The first, on Friday, was one from Nature indicating that they were interested in buying one of my stories for their "Futures" feature. This was exciting for any number of reasons, three of the chief ones being that this will easily be the largest readership any of my writing has ever been exposed to, it will be my first print publication in my return to writing, and it will be my first sale to a Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) qualifying market, making me eligible to join as an Associate member. Needless to say, I'm happy.

Saturday, I received an email from a semi-pro market indicating that they were interested in buying one of my stories as well. I've been asked to make some minor revisions, which I have agreed in principal to do and will be working on later today. This one is exciting to me because it's my first non-flash sale in my return to writing and it represents the sale of a story which I am particularly fond of -- it's easily my favorite of the stories I wrote towards the tail end of last summer. I'm not naming the market yet since the revisions still need to be made and accepted. I've no reason to expect this will pose difficulty, but since it would be awkward for both parties if it did pose difficulty, I'll wait to share any more details on this until the revisions are accepted and the contract signed.

It's certainly nice to have some good news to share here!

Here are the stories I read for #storyeachnight this week; I did get a nice string of four nights in a row, though it's been far from "each" night recently:

3/18 - None
3/19 - "Ride-Along" by Brendan Dubois from THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2011. I was a bit underwhelmed by this one. Lots of it felt too heavily telegraphed. Writing was good enough that it was still decent but I wasn't wowed.
3/20 - "Memories of My Mother" by Ken Liu from DAILY SCIENCE FICTION. Well-told story of relativistic travel and one family. That said, I've read several relativistic travel stories recently & am not in a rush to read another. No fault of the author. (* My favorite of the week.)
3/21 - "I Am Nano" by Sean Monaghan from ASIM #52. A story of nanobots gaining sentience.
3/22 - "Who Killed Skippy?" by Paul D Brazill from NOIR NATION #1. Entertaining story about a family business & a dead kangaroo.
3/23 - None
3/24 - None

And now, here are this week's links:

"The Making of a Bestselling eBook Cover" (Jen Talty at The Writer's Guide to e-Publishing) - A nicely-detailed post with a lot of thoughts on how to go about creating a good cover for an eBook. Lots of people comment that having a quality cover design is critical to getting eBook sales for less-well-known writers. I can certainly buy the argument that a cruddy-looking cover does not give potential readers much confidence in the quality of what will be inside.

"Your Story's Time Line: Cut It Up" (Darcy Pattison at Fiction Notes) - Darcy talks about telling stories in a non-linear fashion. This is something which I think can work very well, but there are also times when it works against a story. As Darcy points out, it can confuse readers if not handled well. There's also the fact that, if done poorly it can diminish tension. After all, if you know a character is reminiscing back on something that happened in their younger days, you also know they survive the events.

"Ordinary People Are Just Plain Boring" (C. S. Lakin at Live Write Thrive) - C. S. talks about creating characters who are relatable but not "ordinary." I thought her comments on characters' potential "greatness" were interesting as well.

Finally, here's a recap of the posts from this week on my blog:

"Monday March 19th #writemotivation Goal Status" - Monday, I wrote about my progress towards this month's goals.

"How Twitter Works For Writers" - Thursday, I wrote about how Twitter can be used by writers to build valuable (and enjoyable) connections with other writers.

One more week in March -- let's make it a good one!


  1. Congratulations Michael! Great news about the story! You must be beaming - and rightly so. Look forward to hearing more as the revisions are approved and publication nears. Very great news indeed!

  2. Way to go, Michael! That is some seriously awesome news! :D

  3. Thanks, Jo-Anne and Andrew!

    I'll definitely keep people posted and put up links here as soon as there's something to link to. :)