With The Town Drunk opening to submissions yesterday, I got my first taste of slush reading. And y'know what? I liked it! How twisted is that? It might be the giddy flush of an exciting new project, but I'm finding it to be both an enlightening and enjoyable experience--no doubt due in great part to the awesome submission system britzkrieg set up. I can understand how slushing could be overwhelming, as I only went through around half a dozen manuscripts yesterday before deciding I wanted to switch gears, which is a pretty small number compared to what folks like JJA or Douglas Cohen doubtless wade through on a daily basis. But I'm all fresh-faced and eager now.
Reading slush is different from reading to critique or review, or reading for pleasure for that matter. With critiques, I'm trying to analyze what worked and what didn't, and suggest fixes, often reaching into the "what Eugie would do if she'd written this" bin. When reviewing, I'm again focusing on the what worked/didn't work aspect--without the fix suggestions obviously--and dissecting the story's component pieces in an effort to convey to an audience the rationale behind my impressions. When I'm reading for enjoyment, I try to distance myself from the mechanics and assorted elements of a story and strive to immerse myself into the tale. If I do pause to consider the technical aspects, it's usually to admire, appreciate, and catalog them for my future writing consideration. (If I'm picking out what's wrong with a story I'm reading for pleasure, it's usually a sign that it's stopped being pleasurable and I'm about to put it down.) But slushing sort of falls between pleasure reading and review reading. While it's either a "yes, I liked this" or "nope, pass," I'm also evaluating whether I think a story will be enjoyed by a larger audience and if it fits into a market's mission statement/goals. And I've begun to have "this writer shows promise even though this story didn't float my socks. I wonder what their next submission will be like?" thoughts flit through my head, which is pretty cool.
New Words: Did a pair of editing passes on "Beauty's Folly," culling about three-hundred words, and packaged it up. Decided not to send it through Critters because I'm feeling cocky--probably a decision I shall regret later. But for now, I'm winging it out to market.
Club 100 For Writers