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Monday, April 11, 2011

Masochistic writing challenge, or "Breakin' th' Law"

So I was perusing submission guidelines, as I am sometimes known to do, and came across this from Clarkesworld Magazine:

Though no particular setting, theme, or plot is anathema to us, the following are likely hard sells:

•stories in which a milquetoast civilian government is depicted as the sole obstacle to either catching some depraved criminal or to an uncomplicated military victory
•stories in which the words "thou" or "thine" appear
•talking cats
•talking swords
•stories where the climax is dependent on the spilling of intestines
•stories where FTL travel is as easy as is it on television shows or movies
•time travel too
•stories that depend on some vestigial belief in Judeo-Christian mythology in order to be frightening (i.e., Cain and Abel are vampires, the End Times are a' comin', Communion wine turns to Christ's literal blood and it's HIV positive, Satan's gonna getcha, etc.)
•stories about rapist-murderer-cannibals
•stories about young kids playing in some field and discovering ANYTHING. (a body, an alien craft, Excalibur, ANYTHING).
•stories about the stuff we all read in Scientific American three months ago
•stories where the Republicans, or Democrats, or Libertarians, or the Spartacist League, etc. take over the world and either save or ruin it
•your AD&D game
•"funny" stories that depend on, or even include, puns
•sexy vampires, wanton werewolves, or lusty pirates
•zombies or zombie-wannabes
•stories originally intended for someone's upcoming theme anthology or issue
•stories where the protagonist is either widely despised or widely admired simply because he or she is just so smart and/or strange
•stories that take place within an artsy-fartsy bohemia as written by an author who has clearly never experienced one
•your trunk stories

Now I have this voice in my head. No, not that one. The other one, the one that makes me want to do things just because somebody told me 'don't do that'. And right now it's telling me I really, really wanna write a story with as many of the above elements as I can possibly jam in and still have a good story.

Who's in?


Anthony said...

Basically it sounds like all you are allowed to write is "The Bridges of Madison County"...erghh

Michael McClung said...

Funnily enough, they want sci fi, fantasy and horror. They must have gotten some real stinkers in their submissions in the past that left them scarred :)

Isabella said...

But sexy vampires are ALWAYS a hit. I mean. You know. Twilight. Ugh.

And how about talking um... I apologize in advance but it's one of my guilty pleasures:

Michael McClung said...

I'll have to look at it once the childrenhave gone off :P

expat@large said...

dude, gimme a break, I have been working on my 500 words on one of the photos below...

Michael McClung said...

We could collaborate! :)

expat@large said...

WE could indeed. Note that my piece had FTL travel, well implied.

How do we work this guest blogging thing?

S. Williams said...

What? No "lusty pirates" !

Putting "lusty pirates" is like salt on food, just makes it better.