Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The Doc On Writing: Over in the sff.net newsgroup for Writers of the Future (sff.writing.writersofthefuture), a debate rages on about whether the contest needs more judges, since the current judging will be tilted towards the sole coordinating judge's personal tastes.

This, to me, is a crack-up and sour grapes. It's a way for people who haven't written winning stories to rationalize that theirs was, in fact, good enough, but the judge's taste was simply different from theirs.

This, of course, is nonsense, the mantra of writers who have no interest in writing good stories, only in being told they're good writers. These writers do not seek to entertain, but seek validation. They join writer's groups not to see how to better reach an audience, but to find an audience to sing their praises.

There's a saying in Hollywood--write a killer script, and it would be filmed even if it was kept locked in the trunk of a car. I firmly believe this. I will be published regularly when I deserve to be, and not before. My job is to become that good.

So enough with the websites full of rejection letters for great works, as if that somehow means that my hackneyed, warmed-over, recycled Heinlein or Anne Tyler could possibly be great literature. Enough with the lists of "tricks" and "tips" and "insights into the editors mind." Those help with pitches, but not with individual stories.

Write a fantastic story, and no editor will be able to resist publishing it.


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