Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Traits

   
Author Topic: Traits
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is a lighthearted short story somewhere on the outskirts of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I'd love it if someone could read the whole thing and tell me where I might have a good chance of publishing it (I'm not sure if it's DSF material or better suited to another site). Here's the first 13 (I think):

The man holding the clipboard looked at her with a bored expression. “Ulyssa.”
“Ulyssa?!”
“That is correct.”
“I couldn’t have gotten Tara, Tess, or Tina?”
He pushed his glasses up his nose. “Sorry, can’t be helped. We’re into the ‘U’s now.”
“Can I at least go by ‘Lyssa’?”
He glanced back up from his clipboard with a frown. “Up to your Receivers. Move along, please.” He dismissed her with a wave.
Ulyssa, as she would be called now, sighed and returned to her place in the line of Potentials. Might as well get used to it, she thought. Ulyssa. Ulyssa. Nope, still not used to it.

Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oops, sorry, I forgot to mention that I'm looking for someone to critique the story.
Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
A Yeatts
Member
Member # 9500

 - posted      Profile for A Yeatts   Email A Yeatts         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll have a go at it for you. I love a bit of humor tossed in with my portal blasters and nanotech.
Anna
[Smile]

Posts: 205 | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Humour and a proton blaster can go a long way together. Arrrgh! (Spoken like a pirate, Jim lad)

And, all humour aside, I'll critique the story for you if you want a grumpy take on it.

Phil.

Posts: 582 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, both of you! I don't know how humorous it is. I think it reads like a certain genre that I didn't intend it to be, but I'll wait till after yall read it to tell you. I don't want to influence your impression of it. Story is coming your way.
Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've revised my story, but I'm not sure what the standard procedure is for 2nd draft critiques. Do I send it back to the people who said they'd critique it the first time, or do I ask for new readers?
Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
easterabbit
Member
Member # 9810

 - posted      Profile for easterabbit           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Politely enquire via email if the previous critiquers are interested in glancing at the new revised version.


Have you revised the intro? If you have you could re-post that and ask for readers...

Posts: 54 | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I changed the word "man" to "Official". That's it. But I will email those who were so kind as to critique my story. Thanks.
Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So, thanks to Anna, I'm planning on sending in this story (now titled "Potential") to Cricket magazine. I just need to get some envelopes since they require hard-copy submissions. I have some envelopes, but they're the shorter kind and I don't think they look very professional. This may be a stupid question, but do magazines/publishers take the little things into account? Like if my entry doesn't look professional (i.e. short envelopes, hand-written addresses), will that influence their decision? Or am I just over-thinking things?
(KDW, I wasn't sure whether to post my question here or in the general discussions, so I apologize if it's in the wrong place.)
Thanks, everyone, for all your help. Hooray for the treehouse! :)

Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A folded manuscript doesn't lay flat and thus compromises a reading experience. Nor can the top page be easily pulled out of its envelope and receive a first, perhaps last glance. Some houses are okay with a few pages folded in half. A twenty-five hundred word manuscript counts roughly ten pages. I believe that's a best practice upper limit for a folded manuscript.
Posts: 3402 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Extrinsic: My story is 1680 words. It's five pages on my computer. While that may be within the practiced limit you mentioned, the rest of what you said makes me think it might be best to keep the pages flat. I think I'll go with one of those flat rate envelopes. I'm not sure, but I think that kind is stiff enough to protect my MS from damage. Thanks for your comment; that was helpful.
Sorry for taking up your time with obsessing over the details. It's just that I keep thinking of the part in Little Women where Jo took her first story to the newspaper office and she'd tied it up in ribbon. Later in the novel, when she submits a second story, the editor notes that it wasn't tied up in ribbon like a novice would do. I don't want the Cricket folks to know that I'm a novice, not if that will hurt my chances of publication. I may be a novice, but they don't necessarily have to know that, do they? :)

Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The best approach is a flat envelope for the submission, and a business-sized (aka #10) envelope -- with your address already on it -- for the response (with enough postage for them to mail the response).

If you want the manuscript back, you can include another flat envelope (it will add to the postage on your submission, though), or you can hope they are willing to fold it up and put it in the business-sized envelope (be sure there's enough postage for the whole manuscript on the envelope).

Or, you could just tell them the manuscript is disposable, and provide a business-sized envelope with your address and one stamp on it for their response.

REMINDER: postage has gone up.

Posts: 7995 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SR Dev
Member
Member # 9986

 - posted      Profile for SR Dev   Email SR Dev         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd love to take a look at this. It looks amusing.
Posts: 37 | Registered: Dec 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
KDW: Thanks, that's very helpful. I've got some of those "Forever" stamps; I think they're first class or something, so maybe I won't have to worry about the price.
I checked the Cricket website, and it says they can't return manuscripts. It says something about sending my phone number and email address, but I don't know, that might just be for poetry submissions.
Is it customary to include some kind of cover letter? Or do I just stick the manuscript and SASE in the envelope and just send that?

Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A cover letter provides the editor with something to put her coffee cup on. [Smile]

And she can write notes to herself about the manuscript on it.

All you really need to say is something along the lines of "Please accept for your consideration 'Story Name Here.' I've enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope for your response. The manuscript is disposable. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon."

If the manuscript isn't disposable, then the self-addressed stamped envelope is "for the return of the manuscript with your response."

If you have some kind of education or background or experience relevant to the story, you can mention that, but it isn't necessary to say any more than the above.

Hope that helps.

Posts: 7995 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mayflower988:
Extrinsic: My story is 1680 words. It's five pages on my computer. While that may be within the practiced limit you mentioned, the rest of what you said makes me think it might be best to keep the pages flat. I think I'll go with one of those flat rate envelopes. I'm not sure, but I think that kind is stiff enough to protect my MS from damage. Thanks for your comment; that was helpful.
Sorry for taking up your time with obsessing over the details. It's just that I keep thinking of the part in Little Women where Jo took her first story to the newspaper office and she'd tied it up in ribbon. Later in the novel, when she submits a second story, the editor notes that it wasn't tied up in ribbon like a novice would do. I don't want the Cricket folks to know that I'm a novice, not if that will hurt my chances of publication. I may be a novice, but they don't necessarily have to know that, do they? [Smile]

I use inexpensive, plain manilla, letter-sized envelopes for mailing short manuscripts. Plain is a best practice. Someone sometime must have thought to ornament a submission and started a rumor calling attention to a submission was a best practice. The rumor persists in other variants. A recent one is use an extra dark typeface and extra bright paper. Calling undue attention is the consequence, regardless, like for a narrative's language as well, and a probable nix without even a glance because one might logically assume each reflects unfavorably upon the other.

The surest sign of a novice submitter is exhibitions of anxiety demonstrated by ornamentation or, conversely, sloppy packaging and formatting. A first glance at an envelope is sometimes all it takes to condemn a manuscript to the deep six. However, a plain, well-formatted submission package and manuscript might get a second glance due to establishing a mutual respect between screening reader and writer for the professional presentation of the writer. The writer has done the homework.

Part of that homework is appropriate packaging. Formatting appropriate to the publisher's guidelines is another. Another part is practice makes perfect. Submit your best effort. In no time at all, professional presentation will become second nature. If this is your first, consider the submission a full-dress rehearsal before a critical audience. Ignore the anxiety butterflies; full speed ahead toward success.

[ January 29, 2013, 11:43 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 3402 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah, those were both good pieces of advice. One final question (I hope), and this may be the silliest one yet - is it better to staple the pages or not? Or paper clip?
Okay, that's it. I'm not going to ask any more questions, because I know I've dawdled enough. It's time to take the plunge. I'm going to do it.

Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Stapling or fastening a manuscript in any manner is a no-no. Loose leaves allows for reading ease. Instead, format a header in the upper right page corner with identifying information, in case the manuscript topples from a pile onto the floor and gets mixed up with fellow landslide victims. If the submission is for a contest with a blind judging policy, like WoTF, do not include writer's name in the header. Suppress page numbering for cover letter and title page.

Otherwise, this header example illustrates;

<flush right line justification>> Ardis Artz - A Sum of Monkey Mischief - pg 5 of 7

For more comprehensive manuscript information, Vonda McIntyre's article on Standard Manuscript Format covers about all a writer needs to know about SMF.

http://www.vondanmcintyre.com/mssprep.pdf

For laughs and tears as to what happens to a manuscript after it goes in the mail, take a look at Tappan King's "The Sobering Saga of Myrtle the Manuscript."

http://www.sfwa.org/2009/06/the-sobering-saga-of-myrtle-the-manuscript

While visting SFWA's site, check into the "Turkey City Lexicon," a collection of writing wisdoms from a science fiction writing workshop. By all means, mail the manuscript before reading the Lexicon, though.

http://www.sfwa.org/2009/06/turkey-city-lexicon-a-primer-for-sf-workshops

Posts: 3402 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Amen!
Posts: 7995 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I surrendered my "baby" to the mercies of the U.S. postal system today. (The experience of which is a story in itself that I plan on telling over at Grist for the Mill.) Now I just have to wait six months for a response. Six. Months. That sounds like a very long time. I guess I'll know something around July/August. I hope so.
Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
A Yeatts
Member
Member # 9500

 - posted      Profile for A Yeatts   Email A Yeatts         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good for you! Now dive into the next story... Best of luck!
Posts: 205 | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for all your help, Anna!
Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SR Dev
Member
Member # 9986

 - posted      Profile for SR Dev   Email SR Dev         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd love to hear if this gets published. I loved it. [Smile]
Posts: 37 | Registered: Dec 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mayflower988
Member
Member # 9858

 - posted      Profile for mayflower988   Email mayflower988         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks! I can't wait to hear if they'll publish it, either. I think I've got oh, about 5 months left! Oh goodness, that feels like forever. I'll be sure to let yall know as soon as I hear back from Cricket.
Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2