Friday, February 15, 2008

The "Just Doesn't Fit in Anywhere Story"

What do you do when you have an idea for a story but you pretty well know you're going to have a hard time placing it if you write it? Do you write it anyway if it's pretty well plotted in your head? What if it's a humorous story that really isn't all that dark. Most venues want dark. If I go the literary route, I'm screwed too because they just don't want people to die. Those crazy bastards. Sometimes people gotta die. Just in humorous or not too dark ways. It's not a cozy; it's not-hardboiled; its not suspense. It's just...well, it is what it is. I need a new zine for stories that just don't fit in other places.

12 comments:

Todd Mason said...

ONTARIO REVIEW, BOULEVARD, and WITNESS got no problem with characters dying...try BLACK CLOCK if it's odd enough. And TIN HOUSE if it's snarky. The biggest problem for the littles is that they have too many submission options for the limited space...something the more-commercial magazines feel less acutely. Or else surely MURDALAND would be calling every month, no?

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think those are a bit above my head. Even when I published all literary, I didm't get into any of those first tier journals.
I am supposed to have a story in Murdaland 3, but it's become the novel so I'm not sure how that will pan out. Thanks for suggesting Black Clock. Never heard of that one. Maybe I will try Ontario Review again. It's been years.

Todd Mason said...

MURDALAND has shown no fear of excerpts before, and if it was an accepted short story...that might even be a fine hook for selling the book.

Stephen D. Rogers said...

When a story needs to be told, I tell it, even if I can't think of an eventual market. Some of these I place, and some I don't, but I enjoy writing them all.

Stephen

Anonymous said...

What Stephen said...

B.t.w.--I see Jason Evans is starting another of his flash fiction contests next week: 250 [max] word story based on a photograph. Top entries get Amazon gift certificates. I can send details if you're interested.
John McAuley.

Keith Raffel said...

Just to be a bit contrarian, remember what Dr. Johnson said: "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." (Yeah, I'm a blockhead, too.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Todd, you are an optimist and a kind friend.
Stephen-I think the percentage of your stories accepted must be in the high nineties so you're being gracious and encouraging.
John-Have you done a 250 word story? I'm not sure I'd be able to be that terse.
Keith-Lucky is the writer who marries someone who supports them (or practically).

Sophie said...

There's some really wacky 'zines out there. I read the duotrope list as much for amusement sometimes as for new submission ideas. In the venn diagram of writing, I think there's a big overlap in stories/outlets - as long as the basics are in place (competence).

Also, weirdly, my biggest hit so far was with a story I thought was unplaceable. :)

Anonymous said...

"John-Have you done a 250 word story?"
Quite a few actually. [Of varying quality ,lol.]
Contributing to F.I.T.G., FlashPan Alley and participating in the Clarity Of Night contests got me hooked. [I think an occasional commenter here, Stephen Blackmoore, [?sp], picked up a first place and I've picked up a few seconds and thirds.]

I'll send you an e-mail later with the particulars on the one that's coming up in case you might have an interest in it or want to look around.
John McAuley

pattinase (abbott) said...

Sophie--I probably am not looking widely enough on Duutrope, figuring the ones listed in the second tier just profess to publish crime
Thanks, John. I'm going to go read some and see what people do in that short of space.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Sophie--I probably am not looking widely enough on Duutrope, figuring the ones listed in the second tier just profess to publish crime
Thanks, John. I'm going to go read some and see what people do in that short of space.

Josephine Damian said...

ZOETROPE? ELLERY QUEEN? ALFRED HITCHCOCK? THE STRAND?

You never know how you'll do with those mags until you send it - nothing ventured....

How about OUT OF THE GUTTER if it's especially violent? Hell, they're publishing me....