No problem if the millie is already a fantasy or alien world, or deep space, or in the future. But for stories that starts off in our world and times, in particular where everyday people meet the speculative, this could prove difficult.
Anyone else find this challenging?
Is this why non-horror King or Koontz are usually found in non-genre sections of the bookstore?
Assuming I understand your post, it sounds to me like you just need to start the story in a different spot.
Charles de Lint is a master of contemporary urban fantasy. Take a look at some of his works and see how and when the fantasy element starts to kick in. Since they are novellas or novels (although I think he has some short stories also) the fantastical element might not kick in until a bit later, but at least you can look at his technique.
[This message has been edited by mikemunsil (edited November 03, 2005).]
WotF is just one of those markets. The slush reader, KD Wentworth, is wary of those stories that she receives that don't even seem to be genre. So, just for that particular market, it's best to make sure your speculative element appears on the first page. That can be a challenge, and it certainly isn't a requirement for all venues (though the sooner, I'd think, the better).
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I've been reading Charles de Lint's short stories to help me with the same issue. He may not start his short stories with a fantasy element, though sometimes he does, but his tone clearly shows that the characters are on the brink of something strange. Personally, I think his beginnings are so well crafted that they would get by the WOTF slush pile on the merit of their tone alone. However the fantasy elements of his story do reveal themselves in the form of characters or events very quickly after the first 13. I also enjoy the fact that he uses multiple POVs in his short stories, something I've been told is not a good thing to do. Isn't there a new WOTF slush reader?
[This message has been edited by Kickle (edited November 03, 2005).]