Tropes

A commenter on Nick Mamatas’ blog posted a link I wanted to share: “Literary Fiction is a Genre: A List” by Edan Lepucki. This article, obviously, is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I really like how it goes through and identifies tropes of literary fiction. And, yes, those are all legitimate tropes in the genre, just like we’ve got tropes in the spec fic world. And the post got me thinking. What’s wrong with a trope?

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Easier?

It’s been just about two years since the contributor’s copy of my first pro sale arrived in the mail. It was an amazing feeling, holding in my hands an actual, widely-circulated magazine with my byline and words in it (not to mention some spectacular artwork accompanying that  byline and those words). There is nothing like that first sale to set you on fire, to make you feel like you really can be a writer, after all those years of being an “aspiring” one. But at the same time, one myth held by many an aspiring writer gets shattered at that point: that all you need is that first sale to open the doors for you.

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Murphy Runs Strong in My Family

So, yesterday in the office, I took advantage of some down time to finish writing a story. Things were unusually quiet this week, both at work and with my classes, so I had a rare window for personal stuff. It had been a marathon writing effort. I culled research from over a dozen different sources and spun it all into a narrative in less than 48 hours. Feeling proud of myself, I shut my computer, putting it to sleep, to take care of some work that came in. When I was done, I went back to my computer.

And my computer was dead.

This is a long way of saying that there’s not going to be a meaningful blog post here this week, because everything I’ve been working on for the past week now exists only on a hard drive that is currently cooling its heels at the local Apple store. I’d love to give you the line about how the moral of the story is to back up regularly, but I do. Murphy’s Law trumps a regular backup schedule every time.

Hopefully, this is just the known issue with older MacBook Pro video cards. If so, I shouldn’t lose any data. But I’m dead in the water until it’s fixed. And I’m worried about how I’m going to do my homework this weekend.

Wish me luck.

What Does the Response Time Mean?

A writer I know recently intimated that he was feeling discouraged about his kick-ass steampunk story, because a market I’d recommended he try sending it to rejected it very quickly (compared to their Duotrope-reported average response time, and compared to response times I’ve endured experienced from them). When I was first starting out, a very wise writer told me not to engage in rejectomancy. I told this writer the same thing. But the truth is, though I try my best, it’s clear that we’re all at least occasionally guilty of it. So now that I’m (temporarily) on the other side of the desk, I feel empowered to address this issue. So what does the length of time a publication takes to respond mean?

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