Thursday, April 29, 2010

Short Stories, Short Stories


I have self-evicted myself from Twitter after a much traumatizing realization that my university schedule does not integrate completely with my work schedule. So I have to figure out semantics and get my brain into 'serious' thinking. However, I did manage to squeeze out a re-submition of the most recent and the best story I have written up to date. I am not bragging, but I do think a writer feels, when he/she discovers the first really good story.The one, which still hasn't lost its charm and power. In my eyes "From Behind Empty Eyes" is that story.

Yes, I can't say if it is publishable or if it can be fit into what magazines are looking for, but I know that this is the story to mark my maturing into the craft. Not bragging. Again, I feel that writers feel this milestone. But I am straying away from the topic. Several days ago I received a rejection from the magazine I initially sent it. I am pretty much used to them, so this is not the story I am about to tell. I polished it. Added a three or four sentences to tighten up things as far as concept and world-building goes and resubmitted. Now thatI did all the submission steps and hunted down a well paying semi-professional magazine, I have opened myself towards the topic at hand.

I got to thinking about short story rates. Where to submit. How to query after the response time has elapsed. How many times to submit, before taking the story off the rounds. There have been posts on this before as I have read them, but I also wish to think out loud on the blog and add my own humble two cents to the table.

Any suggestions on where to start?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Because Publishing REALLY works like that...


Today in Economic Psychology class we had to analyze a case in order to practice what we learned about conflicts. This particular conflict occurred between two CEOs from different imprints of the same publishing house. The cause?

An author [of a book, I suspect not a well-known one] had spoken to the CEO of the whole house [I will call him Big Boss] about signing with them. The Big Boss redirects the author to CEO1, but the CEO is not present and CEO2 happened to spot the author and from ''Hi, what are you doing here at CEO1's office?'' went to CEO2 signing the author. The conflict arose, when CEO1 learned about this heinous act against him...

So, while I did the task [which was to resolve the conflict between the CEOs], I couldn't stop thinking how insane this is. I know it is a hypothetical situation and this case is ancient and from the archives, so maybe in the earlier years things may have been done a bit differently, I am still kinda stunned this is how people [or this person in particular; who wrote it] perceive publishing.

You write a book, slap it in front of someone and it gets instantly recognized as something that would win big money.

If this is how people see publishing, then it is no wonder that so many people want it and that so many people swamp agents and editors with manuscripts [and usually with no regard to the submission guidelines]. Scary, is it not?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

[Currently Reading] 'Evolve' edited by Nancy Kilpatrick


I am almost half-way through 'Evolve', an anthology edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and featuring Canadian authors. I am not sure why, but the fact that all authors are Canadian makes this an exotic experience.

Initial Thoughts: I had a hideous start with the anthology, because of Kelley Armstrong's opening story. Armstrong and my reading preferences did not click, more like my reading preferences had an allergic reaction to her writing. I prayed the following stories were not in the same vein. They were not and now I find 'Evolve', eerily addictive. Kilpatrick promises vampires delivered in a new light, re-imagined and re-invented and she delivers.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Internet: The Silent Addiction


As a continuation from yesterday's post, where I have unmasked the spell checker as a possible instigator of embarrassing spelling crimes, I am know admitting my serious Internet addiction, which was highlighted recently by my Internet provider's incompetent service.

Supposedly, in the 21st century the simple matter of maintaining a stable connection should not pose an issue to the technical prowess and progress of Internet providers. However, as always, my modest home PC has to make an exception. What makes this bizarre beyond reality should allow is that the instability is seasonal. Every year [for three years now] around May/June the network comes and goes as if shrouded by magical mists and I have to restart the modem from 10 to 30 times a session on the PC... And this continues for months. Supposedly October is the month, when this shit stops, but I am not paying every month for a non-existent connection, so I am pissed all the time, because I need the Internet.

The story continues... I call the provider, they say things that do not really come. Technicians come and the Internet is at its model behavior, but the second they leave it crashes as fast as you can say 'fudge'. Because right now, Internet is vital to me [in the middle of a complicated paper for university] and because there is no other supplier near me [lucky me] I have cornered the provider and the quest continues. Tomorrow I think that I will have another visit, because it is not the modem, it is not the software and I am murderous.

Which I shouldn't be, because after all, Internet is not THAT important to get all worked up for and apart from the project for what other vital reason do I need the Internet. None. There is Twitter, there is Google Reader, there is blogging and the inbox, but these are meant for fun use or at least I do not work such a job, where these are the tools of my trade. While everything is fine with the connection, I can think that I am not really dependent on the Internet, but when it crashed, boy, I realize how dependent I am.

So what now? Well, I am going to get thing fixed as far as it allows, because I think I am way too addicted to rest, until in my subconscious mind I know all is fine.

By the way, do you think you are addicted to the Internet?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spell Checkers: Evil in Disguise


I am not possibly sure about whether others have experienced or experience the same, but I am having a problem with spelling. Mind you, I am not devolving, but while writing on paper I find a few words elusive. I am unsure as to whether I wrote them right, which online is instantly signaled by spell checkers, both on MS Word and enabled on blog posts and comment boxes. Convenient if in a hurry, but it might make your brain a lazy slacker. I know my brain has.

While Machiavellian, Renaissance & Milwaukee might be tough ones to nail sometimes [I am typing super fast, so I usually eat a letter or two], I suggest you learn from my fail and not rely entirely on the spell checker and write by hand often. I also admit that for me spelling is something that may creep on me at any time, because I am not a native speaker. Not enough usage of all the vocabulary I know [I possess eloquence, when required] can cause for some serious bloopers.

Similar sounding words [It's a lot more logical to say "Does this look good on my waist" and not use the word 'waste'] are always silent killers of your dignity, when you least expect. Also the exposure to both US & UK spelling has muddled things a bit with me. Not that I am complaining much. I studied the UK spelling and then converted to the American manner. I think I studied the differences and remembered them for awhile. Right now, however, I am stretched between the two countries and content written according to both sets of rules and the color or colour debate starts right up again.

Peculiar what a few observations can bring you to contemplate about.

Subliminal message: Beware of the Spell Checker. :P

Friday, April 23, 2010

[Blog Spot] "Help! I Need a Publisher!"


After you’ve covered the essentials, read the books editors, agents and authors hold as staples in publishing, I suggest visiting “Help, I Need a Publisher!” owned by Nicola Morgan. This is the proverbial well of online wisdom. At least as far as my experience is concerned. Nicola is a crabbit old bat [self-proclaimed] and is here to save you from the mediocrity or the atrocities posted around as advice for writers, looking publication and let’s be honest, we all want to be published and done so right.

Nicola Morgan’s mission statement:

Nicola Morgan is proud to be the first Google result for "Crabbit Old Bat" and offers crabbitly honest expertise to writers with talent and a burning need to be published.

And she couldn’t be more accurate. Morgan knows what she is talking about. She is brutally honest and just plain brutal, when it comes to debriefing about the industry. If you think you are ready to hunt down that agent and sign that three book deal contract, then I suggest you get through the “Help, I need a publisher!” experience. It was a wake-up call for me. I knew from following authors that getting published is hard and this was solidified once again with Morgan’s insight.

Nicola is a thriller writer, which to a SFF genre writer may not sound like the best resource out there. However, this boot-wearing, chocolate-adoring and wine-loving Scottish woman has a gift to understand how publishing is a business and as such it functions for high return on investment. Her advice is mostly oriented towards making a presentable asset that any agent and then publisher would like to employ. However, she also acknowledges the fact that this is a game of chance and that writing is an individual undertaking and how no novel is the same as another. Her content is divided between highly reinforced rules about the etiquette during the publishing seeking stage [query, cover letters and how to avoid FAIL moments] and insight on the act of writing, which lets the writer’s individuality and ability manifest.

New commenters are always welcome and despite opening pen2publication [consulting agency] and scoring a book deal on writing a guide for writers, Nicola remains by her blog and dishes out priceless advice. “Help, I Need a Publisher!” is a must-follow.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

[Currently Reading] 'On Writing' by Stephen King


Currently, I have discarded the heavy weight list I announced a week or so before. The epic To Be Read list, which stretches well beyond a human's natural life span, has been pushed as far away as possible. After all, these are books I want to read, not books I should, have to or must read [though if they are featured in the TBR, then they are a must]. I was involved in the previous picks with 20 or so pages, so the sacrifice wasn't hard on me.

What I am now reading [actually re-reading] is 'On Writing' by Stephen King. This is the only guide I have ever read, mostly because it's the only guide I found on the Bulgarian book market [and as much as I am addicted, ordering from other countries is a homicide to my finances]. Therefore, I clutch it as if it is the Holy Grail.

Right now as uncertain as I am about 'Forged in Blood' [don't you just hate those middles], this chic booklet is boosting the morale, adding new perspective and urging me to adopt a new game plan. I am also planning to run a series of posts with excerpts from the book [translated by me, I am afraid] with my own thoughts and examples. As novice as I am, I doubt that I will discover anything new or not said before by successful authors, but I am interested in the discussion.

Monday, April 19, 2010

[April 19th] Chaos Gets Lazy, Order Sucker-Punches


Project: “Forged in Blood”
New Words Written: 1,000
Present Total Word Count: 35,608
Goal: 100,000 by End May

Percent Reached: 35%

Things Accomplished in Fiction:

“Forged in Blood” is pretty much moving at a slow pace. It has a lot to do with the personal factors listed below, but it’s moving. This week I am picking up the pace and installing one very stable regime. Even if I keep this pace for two weeks it will be a blessing, because it will produce 20,000 words, which will cross over the middle and enter the last third of the book. I sure hope so. Thank you all for addressing the dialogue problem I am having. Currently I am moving things and when the editing phase occurs the middle will need most reconstruction. I am not a middle-person apparently. I can deliver endings and whip up beginnings, but I am so not good with the middle. So, this is not an issue.

On a different note, ‘Cosmic Love’ [or ‘A Girl Made of Stars’] has passed the first third with around 15-16 pages in the small moleskine journal. No actual wordcount there and I am very much in love with the writing of a fairy tale, although I am not sure whether or not what my mind is piecing together is a fairy tale or comes close. I am eager to read Angela Slatter and see how a master does it.

Things Accomplished in Real Life:

I made the healthy decision to stop review blogging for awhile, because it soured in a way I’d never have imagined. The self-imposed deadlines to read & review & be entertaining & be as active as possible on Twitter, which is me losing control over something I generally enjoy in order to receive instant glorification. The strain pretty much interfered my writing and that is a thing that should never ever happen. Reading is the support beam of writing and it should never come to an either/or situation. With this out of the way and my foraging into new and oh so delicious books, I feel better.

In more boring news, I am swamped with university deadlines and will need to get some job related papers. April is busy.

And oh, the volcanic cloud reached Bulgaria. We are crippled like the rest of Europe, too.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What Do You Talk About, When You Have To Talk


I am not about to talk with that wise tone, as if I know everything there is to be known about the art of composing a fictitious tale [though the said tone I use for contemplation and reflection upon a said topic]. Recently, while almost hitting the middle of the novel [not quite there yet] I am more and more aware that I am not as good as I would like to be at crafting dialogue. There is not much of a dialogue to begin with or so I believe and whenever I start a conversation, I am at a loss about how exactly to start it. Prompt an organic feel to the situation.

My instinct is to slap 'so' + a question and see where it goes. Usually, it all goes into a distinct monotonous question - answer pattern, which makes the whole dialogue seem forced and staged for the purpose of informing the reader or the character of something. Not to mention how much I loathe wise cracking and how often I fall into that pitfall, when the story itself is not supposed to be one. I am seriously fighting the inner instinct to imitate life-audience sitcoms and their laugh-out-loud pauses, every time someone delivers a punch line and boy, did they deliver the punch lines. Felt like a comedic boxing tournament.

But I digress. The conclusion is one. I need to pay attention how dialogue is constructed in other books and become slightly schizophrenic in order to hear my characters better. Oh, I also would like to read and contemplate more on dialogue as well.

So the question stands: "What Do You Talk About, When You Have To Talk?" [via your protagonists]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Not Much Writing Done


Project: “Forged in Blood”
Present Total Word Count: 32,608
Goal: 100,000 by End May
Percent Reached: 33%

Things Accomplished in Fiction:

Oh boy, how the heck did the week sped by without leaving me any time to do me some writing? I am beyond puzzled, how I dropped the neat schedules and completed almost nothing. There is a new idea, fluttering in my head [another tie-in with the Justice League and one of my future projects] and to be honest I am also brainstorming for "Lungs", so the chaos must not be a great surprise. What I did do however, marked the start of the action, so here goes to dismembering demons.

Things Accomplished in Real Life:

I passed the first test today. Am hoping for 80-90% score, but I had no idea how one problem should be solved and that may steal more points than I would have liked. In the mean time, I spent Friday and the weekend, working as a receptionist [the hotel was open for a meeting of the Bulgarian Psychologists & the lobby music consisted of Tom Jones The Very Best, which can kill anybody's creativity after listening to him for 36 hours] to make some money and bought the textbooks I need, which I should have bought ages ago.

So this is it in a nutshell.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

[Terra Mythica] Bestiary I


The experiment continues. If you are interested about Terra Mythica, then feel free to say so in the comments or if you decide to hunt me down on Twitter, ask away anything you want with the #TerraMythica and I will dedicate a short post for it with definitions and/or a longer essay for kicks. Ideally a short story, but that may come after I complete the rewrites.

For this post I have some random beasts, ghouls, demons and critters that are to be found in the supernatural ecosystem and in "Forged in Blood".

Bodysnatcher: Minor demonic spirit. Inhabits recently deceased corpses. Feeds on flesh.

Hellhounds: Minor demonic spirits. Resemble canines. Hunt in packs -- scourges. Accute sense for dying magic.

Primordeal: Elemental spirit. The accumulated spirits of the deceased, victims of a nature disaster.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Lungs" -- A Short Story Cycle


Standard edition

1. "Dog Days Are Over" – 4:12
2. "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)" – 3:52
3. "I'm Not Calling You a Liar" – 3:05
4. "Howl" - 3:34 5. "Kiss with a Fist" – 2:04
6. "Girl with One Eye" – 3:38 7. "Drumming Song" – 3:43
8. "Between Two Lungs"– 4:09
9. "Cosmic Love" – 4:15 10. "My Boy Builds Coffins" – 2:56
11. "Hurricane Drunk" – 3:13
12. "Blinding" – 4:40
13. "You've Got the Love" – 2:48


As you have already guessed, ''Lungs'' -- A Short Story Cycle will be based on "Lungs", an album by the British 'Florence + The Machine'. I am rarely inspired by music. Music is my music font. It is responsible for extracting the feelings I need for a scene and translating them into my writing, but never so far have a song, much less an album give birth to a whole pantheon of ideas for a cycle.

'Florence + The Machine' has elevated my creativity beyond what I imagined and while I am not actively working on "Forged in Blood", I felt ideas swirl in and out of my consciousness. I started writing them down and I found myself, entering worlds, which I could do a lot with. As illogical as it is, since I am working on a novel right about now, I decided to start working on this short story cycle.

I am fairly open about my projects, which may or may not be the best decision in my career, since intellectual theft is the current bogeyman and it can happen to anybody. But then again, I cannot always speak about 'Sekrit Projects' [Kaz Mahoney has perfected the practice], so here is the gist of it. The play list will be the short story arrangement. Most short stories will be surreal fantasy, steampunk and urban fantasy. Perhaps a few, even a bit gothic. I am currently drafting out "Cosmic Love" [B-Side title -- "Andromeda"].

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

[Blog Spot] Arin i Asolde


It's Wednesday. The week reaches it's second busiest height for me, so I am going to spare my profound* thoughts on all that is writing, publishing and artsy. Instead, every Wednesday I will showcase** one blog, dedicated to making your journey as an under-appreciated starving artist*** a touch more sensible and comfortable. First stop in this sparkling, citrus fresh feature is:

This is a fairly obscure blog. The owner does not do much to spread the word. At least I have not encountered her attempts to put the blog out there. I am not sure how I stumbled across this one, but this is a keeper. The archives go back to 2003 with several posts a day and almost complete calender. Whatever thinking outside the box, attention to detail, worldbuilding and skill involved in creating a work I have, I owe it to reading Limyaael's**** fantasy rants.

You want characterization? Perhaps not making a cookie cutter character? Perhaps giving your villain a motivation apart from being 'evil' for evil's sake? Characters clashing? No, problem. Her rants will give you a brand new perspective. Maybe, you are having trouble with the world. You want a rocking new race? Nonhumans? A culture, which is dazzling? No worries, it's all there and you will learn to question whether our given set of constants [seasons, 24 hour day, expressions] applies and whether you need to tweak it.

History, magic and its application outside cool battles, dynamics, culture, politics, long winded series, gender, protagonists, secondary characters, empathy, subgenres and rants on people, who do it wrong and examples of people, who do it right. It's almost like attending writing classes and if you really want to write fantasy, the this is the way to go. Also, it pretty much applies to other subgenres such as steampunk, urban fantasy and science fiction, where aliens and world traveling comes in the picture.

* - I wish, but let's pretend I am a well of Wisdom
** - In a short and composed manner
*** - Which abbreviated oddly spells USA {weird, much?}
**** - For the record, she is an English graduate student [possibly with a Ph.D by now] and she has written an impressive amounts of books, though I am not sure whether she is published or not. The woman is a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, encased in a Rubic's Cube.

[Terra Mythica] The Basics


Each week, about four days, I will posts these short posts about Terra Mythica, which is the name for my Urban Fantasy world. Because I have planned several series and standalones to take place within this world, I decided to tease a bit with some short definitions of concepts, titles, animals and what not, you can encounter in Terra Mythica. Not too much, though. Here are the basics. These teasers will appear on Twitter with #TerraMythica and a link to this post. So stay tuned.

The Warrior: Speculated divine being, who through his death on Earth has fathered magic and the first generation of gods.

Sanguis Spiritus: Blood of the Soul, Soul Shard. Nestles in the soul of a human soul and enables the use of magic.

Spellcaster: Human with a Soul Shard, who is enabled to interact with reality, altering it through spells and rituals.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

And I am in a Reading Mess, again


Yes, last week I listed that I had numerous books started and while I crossed out two from the list I am still not done with 'Happy Hour of the Damned'. There is something about PDFs as a format, which triggers Murphy's Laws and prohibits me from reading. Apart from the prologue, I have not had the time to sit down and focus on 'Gardens of the Moon', which by the way I will read, while taking notes and review, so that I do not forget things. Messy and tedious, but ingenuous and fun.

Now, I also forgot that I have this started:

and I am thinking of tackling this one, which is an epic in its own right:

Monday, April 5, 2010

[Update] April 5th


Project: “Forged in Blood”
New Words Written: 1, 000
Present Total Word Count: 30,608
Goal: 100,000 by End May
Percent Reached: 31% [one third, yoopie]

Things Accomplished in Fiction:

Breakthrough with Syringe as a character. Map out the novel scene by scene, though some, I imagine, will break down in the process. I am doing good time and with persistence the draft will be completed by May. I changed the deadline, because I spent February being a lazy ass and May’s going to be busy as hell, so I’m going for something more manageable. The action has yet to come, but I did push through a scene, where Syringe shows her vulnerable side. As we are speaking [mostly I am speaking], I am redefining the character. It’s a messy job to be honest, because I envisioned her differently and she defies me in a manner, which pleases me, so I am not totally against Syringe having a meltdown in her own way.

Things Accomplished in Real Life:

Oh, not much. As the introverted type, I did the mandatory stay inside my head time. It was a fun experience, thinking about the project, some other minor shorts and also what the next big goal will be, when I finish with ‘Forged in Blood’.

However, I did have some fun time with a Zombie March. The idea was to march dressed and masked like zombies to shock and provoke. As an event it was aimed to break the stereotype about the young person and the negative explicative words used in connection. I think that we will be featured on TV sometime soon. Here is how I looked with my make-up. This is the first time my friend worked to create a zombie look, so there is some room for improvement, but this is by far the best make-up at the event.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Writer's Prerogative


I’ve had a bad case of the headaches, so I was behind the scenes recuperating, but also have been actively thinking about writing, agent hunting, the industry in general and all that has to do with the craft. It comes, when I am deep in a project and after my amazing UK beta reader supplied me with wonderful and encouraging news [which mean nothing in reality apart from the fuel to get my head in the game], I am way deeper.


Publication is the Holy Grail for a writer. The Alpha and the Omega; with it a writer can start calling himself an author. When you get that first short story featured in a magazine with pro rates or get that dream contract for a novel, you know that this is the first day of your career. It can be a short lived career, but I am confident that we all start with the battle plan that we will clutch into whatever foothold we have earned and then ascend. Perhaps, it is not my place to talk about publication, as I have yet to reach that stage, but I share the need to be published and have my work out there for the world to see and acknowledge.

Bluntly put the desire to be published breeds desperation, which more often than not results in bloopers, sometimes without consequences, but with a chance for catastrophe. Right now the times are ruled by immediacy. We want shortcuts. We beat around the rules. We undershoot to secure success. We deviate from the well established procedure, which takes time and does not ensure that our work will see the light of day. And technology has progressed to aid in the quest for publication. You can self-publish. You can serialize your novel through a blog or via a podcast. In my country we have a saying, which goes a little bit like this: ‘Who wants will accomplish.’

Frankly, it’s a writer’s prerogative to choose how to approach publishing. Christopher Paolini self-published, promoted and after a lucky meeting signed a profitable contract. On the same note there is also Todd Newton, who also self-published and because of the good buzz had his debut picked and soon to be re-released. J.L. Bourne serialized his novel on a website, started a forum and after his ‘Day by Day Armageddon’ picked an underground momentum did he sign a contract. Cory Doctrow is another prime example of successful novel serialization, but it actually occurred after his debut. J.C. Hutchins [if memory serves] garnered thousands of an audience with his ‘7th Son’ as free audio, which led to a contract. You may recognize some of these names. Some are well known. Some are not, but these all testify that you can start at an obscure destination and then work forward.

[BIAS] However, these are exceptions to the rule and it’s the exceptions that people pay most attention too, and it’s the exceptions that most aspiring writers count on. Because, we are all snowflakes. This is an argument I had with a friend, who has no understanding of how things are. She is a case of ‘I-have-heard-I-think-I-am-well-informed-so-I-know’. According to her I had to do everything in my power to get published. No matter what. Without caring whether it is read or not. Liked or not. It is art. If it doesn’t make it, then it is simply misunderstood and I have nothing to lose. She would not accept that I did not find these methods as best strategies. According to her I was picky, when I was not in a position to be picky.

In theory, yeah, sure I can everything that is not listed as the common practice. Possibly I win some, possibly I lose some. Chance is unpredictable. But to me the right way to get published for me is finish a book, revise a book, find me an agent, then find me an editor and then start me a career. I am not trying to sell propaganda or preach about the One Holy Truth. How one gets published is a writer’s prerogative.

Nevertheless, I am going to say why the traditional, well-trodden combo of steps is the right way for me and how speeding things in order to achieve momentary self-satisfaction will [or maybe not, who am I to say] cause you more headaches and possibly weed out chances to get in the business as an author.

Publishing is dual, therefore treacherous. First, we publish to celebrate the artistry and skill of the human mind to fabricate wondrous tales. Yet, we do it to make money. And as such we do our best to pick the right book, the right audience and the right moment, when the mood is [yup] right to celebrate the art. It’s a business and most writers are not business bloodhounds, so that is why we have agents and editors. Through our interactions with these people, writers can learn to approach the manuscript from the needed distance to administer the modifications required to become published and stay published. I am looking forward to a career. The way I see it with me, this is going to happen with navigation by professionals, who got the business aspects covered.

Pushing it is bound to give reasons for regrets later on rather than the other way around. Here is some wisdom from the ever professional and helpful Editorial Ass:

This is hard news to swallow, so I'm going to type it in boldface. It's better not to be published at all than to get published in an inferior way. Doors begin to close if you try to take shortcuts. Instead, take your time to do things right. Accept no compromises.

and Nicola Morgan:

Successful publishing is not just about this one book: it's about you as a writer, and you will carry your first book with you for the rest of your writing life. Yes, if you go on to be stunningly successful, you may not mind too much, but a poor first book nowadays can make it difficult to go forward, partly because poor sales figures can no longer be hidden.

I agree with their opinions. Having a bad track record is worse than having none at all, because publishing takes time, efforts and resources without a promise for the publisher that there will be a return of investment. The logic here is that if your work is only good enough for short lived unknown magazines and small publishers, who can’t even hire a decent cover artist, then maybe your work is not publishing material at all and in general, so nobody will bother with you. While agents, editors and publishers will give you the benefit of the doubt as a nobody, because who knows.

Does this mean I discredit people, who have chosen otherwise? No. Because, how one gets published is a writer’s prerogative and I feel ecstatic, when I hear about a story with a happy ending after a writer has self-published, podcasted or serialized. More power to these people. In the end it all boils down to personal convictions, estimations of their own strengths and, I believe most important, thinking long-term rather than short-term.