Jul. 1st, 2012

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I subscribe to David Farland's email list called "Daily Kick" though (which, truth to tell, I sometimes read and sometimes don't, depending on my time), and he had an interesting post on June 20th, "Why Editors Reject Your Story."  I did read this one, and turns out, it was about his judging in Writers of the Future contest.  

Here's his take on Honorable Mentions and what will get him to read beyond the first two pages:

Why do I feel that I have to read this particular story? First off, it has an engaging idea at its core. I know that from the first page. Second, the author is writing with clarity and grace. Third, the pacing is just right. In short, there are a lot of good things happening here for a first page.

Stories that keep me reading all the way through will almost always get an Honorable Mention. That’s my way of saying, “You’re writing almost at a professional level, but this one didn’t quite do it for me.” Or better yet, “I’d really like to see more from you. Keep trying!”

He then goes on to list (and expand upon) four reasons why a story may not rise above an Honorable Mention:
1) The idea for the story isn’t particularly fresh or interesting.
2) If the idea is good, then it may be that your execution is off.
3) The story may have plotting problems.
4) The story has missing elements. This is the most frequent problem, and the hardest to solve.

Very insightful, and good advice, not only for WotF subbers.  If you don't subscribe, and would like a copy of the article, and can't find it elsewhere, let me know, and I'll be happy to send it to you.


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July 2012

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