Monday, August 26, 2013

Weeding the Garden of my Mind

Vis a vis that last post: I think a lot about biases and faulty judgement, because I'm of the opinion that all human beings possess them. Some will, once revealed, cling to them and deny evidence that there is anything faulty about them in the first place. Having seen this several times, I resolved to always try and rid myself of them without regard for my own pride. Even assuming that I'm able to do that in each case, I first need to be made aware of them in order to excise them from my thinking.

This always leads me to wonder what sort of biases still lurk in my mind, completely unknown to me...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How Will My Writing Age?

I've been reading some Heinlein, lately. He's one of my favorite Science Fiction writers and I realized that there is still far too much of his portfolio I have yet to experience, and set out to fix that.

He's the sort of writer who, even for his less well-received works, I'm likely to come away glad I read it. He dwells upon many of the issues I find interesting, he was extremely smart, and did not seem to hold any ideals to absolutism (though there are many who would argue otherwise), so even when things get a little clunky in the execution I enjoy his work.

While reading Methuselah's Children, though, I find myself noting how the customs of his time have made their way into the future in a way that I would now find laughable. For instance, language that betrays the far more standardized gender roles of fifty or so years ago persists, even in a society he seems to be positing as possessing greater equality.

All this makes me wonder how my writing will eventually show the differences between my time and whenever the reader is from (assuming - with cheerful and unwarranted optimism - that people will be interested in reading my books after any significant span of time). What mores will it reveal that I myself don't even consciously know about? What assumptions? What biases?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Still Flirting With Validation

For a time, just after I made the decision to treat self-publishing as my main avenue, I wondered if I'd even bother to submit things to any traditional venue. I was pretty much done with the large publishers and the agents that basically enabled one to pursue them, but what about smaller publications - in other words, the magazines?

Well, apparently I'm not done with them yet. I've decided to rack up a few more rejections and have been sending some short work off to such prestigious rejectors (shut up, it's a word now) as Asimov's and Clarkesworld. I'll probably stick to a smaller number of reliable and successful magazines. Researching the others bulk of the sector, with many magazines which tend to rise and fall pretty quickly, takes more time than I'm willing to give it. And each one will have separate formatting preferences. If there's one thing the industry needs to standardize...

In any case, I'm aiming for maximum efficiency in time, even if the trade off is minimum likelihood of acceptance. Now that I've relegated traditional channels to the backburner, I can afford to keep my standards high. The time I'd otherwise spend researching and sending off story after story can be better spent writing.

There is one other project I'm looking at submitting to, though. Antimatter press is running a little novelette pitch contest, and given the (relative) success of my Wandering Tale series I think dabbling a little more in the short-form pool couldn't hurt. Only problem is, now I have to look through my catalog of "stories-to-tell" and figure out which one would work best as a series of novelettes, rather than as a novel. Though as I found with the Wandering Tale, switching the format can be rather invigorating to the story, so I'm looking forward to the experiment.