science fiction and fantasy writer

Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page

On Step 2

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2013 at 9:49 pm

A common question that crops up at writing workshops is “How do you go about getting stories published?” So much so that I’ve started building the short version of the answer into my workshop introductions. The short answer goes like this:

McHugh’s 3-step Guide to Getting Published

1 Write the damn thing.

2 Submit the damn thing.

3 Repeat.

Then I add in a Step 1a – Good.

Step 1a – writing the damn thing good – is the real trick. As Donald Maass says, “Ninety-five percent of a story’s success is in the manuscript.” Put most of your energy into Step 1a. But pulling off a good story isn’t going to get you anywhere if you don’t send the damn thing out into the world for editors to read.

So, how about that? Where do you even start with Step 2?

Approaching the market with your work is daunting. Actually, it’s fucking terrifying when you’re freshly starting out. But having some understanding of how it all works can help get you past that.

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Eep! My name’s on the cover of Asimov’s!

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2013 at 9:03 pm

See here!

It’s very exciting.

Actually, I ran around the house like Ruprecht in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. (Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma!)

This also means I’ve run out of forthcoming stories. Best pull my finger out.