Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Links and the Week in #storyeachnight: May 13, 2012 Edition

Has it really been a week since last Sunday? I guess it has. Things are hectic as ever around here, but I've been able to keep moving forward on various writing projects, so I'm feeling good about things.

A quick note: I've lagged behind on getting organized around doing a Dissecting the Short Story post for May. If I get a list of choices together in the next couple of days, then I'll still do one this month. Otherwise, I'll defer it to June.

In addition to my writing, I've been reading at least one story each day recently and tweeting about them under the hashtag #storyeachnight. I've noticed that several more people have joined into the #storyeachnight tweeting recently, which is cool to see. Here are this week's entries from my reading:

5/6 - "Out of the Storm" by William Hope Hodgson from 100 HAIR-RAISING LITTLE HORROR STORIES. Atmospheric story, told via telegraph, of nightmares out at sea.
5/7 - "Notes From The Apocalypse" by Stephen Graham Jones from WEIRD TALES 359. I don't say this often, but that was an interesting zombie story.
5/8 - "City League" from the 5/6-12 F&SF. Starts out a bit slow but it builds to a horrifying scenario. I'm glad that I kept with it. All sorts of themes of baseball, fathers and sons, memory & reality. The stuff that pushes my buttons. (* Despite the slow start, this was my favorite of the week.)
5/9 - "We Make Tea" by Meryl Ferguson from SHIMMER 14. A tea plantation's robots carry on in a post-apocalyptic world.
5/10 - "Liberty's Daughter" by Naomi Kritzer from the 5/6-12 F&SF. Engaging MC and interesting world-building. I had a bit of trouble buying the MC's job & her dad's role was a bit too mysterious for me but neither was a deal breaker. (As a fellow writer noted to me on Twitter, it felt somewhat like the first chapter/portion of a novel rather than a self-contained story. I would mostly agree with that. Still, we both enjoyed it.)
5/11 - "Asylum" by Albert E. Cowdrey from the 5-6/12 F&SF. A New Orleans ghost story, I basically enjoyed this. Two secondary characters were one of my favorite parts, though I wonder if they overshadowed the main character a bit at time.
5/12 - "Wrong World" by Steve J Myers from DAILY SCIENCE FICTION.

Now, on to this week's writing-related links:
"Unknown Outcome Does Not Lead to Unpredictable Story" (Moody Writing) - This post talks about how writing an exciting story requires more than the reader "just" not being able to guess what will happen next. There are times when misdirection is helpful as well. (Of course, you don't want to leave readers feeling like you've cheated/tricked them.)

"Knowing When It's Time to Let Go" (Jen J. Danna) - Jen writes about her temptation to tweak a manuscript when it's not currently out on submission and how that can hold you back from moving on to other projects. Well worth reading if you are struggling with getting (and keeping) work out the door.

"How To Keep Writing When the S*** Hits the Fan" (Nathan Bransford) - Those who keep a close eye on my posts, tweets, etc. will probably know that this particular topic has been meaningful to me of late. Fortunately, life seems to be (shhh...) settling down a bit. But mid-February through the start of May was a real whirlwind around here, emotionally and in terms of people learning to take on new roles. What Nathan writes about how to keep yourself moving forward with your writing during times like that felt very true to me.

"Schrodinger's Slush" (Kelly Lagor) - Kelly reads submissions for Apex, a notable dark SF publication. She talks a bit about what writers can "read into" rejections (not much) and reasons that stories end up not being chosen by her to be passed along for further review.

"Writing About Kissing" (Malinda Lo) - Obviously, some stories lend themselves to more writing about kissing than others do, but even if you're writing stories that never-ever have any kissing parts at all, this post which dissects kissing scenes of several very different natures might provide some insights into making sure that you're making the tone of your text fit the action of your story.

A much quieter week on my blog this week with only the regularly scheduled Monday and Tuesday posts.

"Monday May 7th #writemotivation Check In" - The #writemotivation folks are back at it this month with another goal check month. As part of this, every Monday those who are participating are asked to blog about their progress towards their goals. As of last Monday, I was making some nice progress already.

"Using Index Cards to Plan Short Fiction Submissions" - Tuesday I reviewed my goal status from April and set new goals for May.

Best of luck to everyone with their writing goals for the week!

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