Tuesday, March 10, 2009

25 Reasons Why You're Stuck In The Slush Pile

Between blogging, novel writing and freelance projects, I don't have much time for reading online magazines, much less submitting to them. However, after reading Douglas A. Van Belle's essay via Colleen Lindsay on Twitter (who got the link from spec writer Brandon Bell), I just might have to subscribe to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.

It is, without a doubt, one of the greatest essays on the craft of writing I've ever read. Seriously. It's freakin' brilliant. Every writer should have a copy of it bookmarked under their favorite websites and refer to it at least once a month. I'm quite certain that at least 90 percent of the writing population suffers from at least five or six (or ten) of the 25 ailments listed, if not all of them. I know for a fact that I'm totally guilty of Problems #1, 2, 10, 11, 12...um, let's just say I have a lot of work to do.

Anyway. Read it. Think about it. Did Van Belle hit the mark, miss it completely or something in between? Why do YOU think most writers never leave the slush pile? We'll go ahead and eliminate not following directions, since I've already written a post about that. Let the discussion begin!


  1. I love it, I think I'm going to go through this list before I edit every chapter from now on... seriously. It is dead on and I have problems LOL :)

  2. Sounds intriguing! Off to read it now...

  3. I also enjoyed this article. Douglas Van Belle, by the way, has an excellent novella upcoming in issue #3 of my zine M-BRANE SF (info at www.mbranesf.blogspot.com) due out April 1.

  4. Jenn,
    That's a really good idea! It's a great article to give you perspective throughout the editing process.

    Many times I'll know something in my WIP isn't working but I won't know why. The essay nails all those little things I could never put my finger on before.

  5. Angie,
    Most definitely. "Show, don't tell" never gets old for me. I probably struggle with that simple concept more than any other.

  6. Melissa,
    Be prepared: it's a long read, but totally worth it! There's a lot of good stuff in there. You'll want time to process it all.

  7. Christopher,
    Hello! Thanks so much for commenting, and for the link to your e-zine. I'll be sure to check it out. Take care, and don't be a stranger!