Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pulp Modern Issue Two Notes

So I've started going over submissions for issue two.  Here some things to keep in mind:

1. Kill your fucking LY words.  Don't tell me SHE OPENED IT CAREFULLY.  Show me what that CAREFULLY looks like!  The constant use of adverbs (and a lot of adjectives as well) is very, very old fashioned.  While I dig the old fashioned stuff, we're writing new stuff, which means NO FUCKING -LY WORDS! (Unless it's absolutely necessary or an obvious part of your particular style)

2. Sentence variety!  SHE STEPPED INTO THE KICTHEN.  SHE NOTICED HER HUSBAND'S BODY ON THE FLOOR.  SARAH GRABBED A GLASS OF KOOL-AID AND SIPPED IT AS SHE STEPPED OVER HIM.  I want to see more sentence variety in the submissions I'm getting.  I have to sit in my MFA classes and listen to people bemoan genre fiction.  The only medicine is to make genre fiction better than literary fiction!

3. Please respect the word limit, which is 2000 to 5000.  A little bit over or a little bit under can be forgiven, but not by much.

4. Please send submissions in STANDARD MANUSCRIPT FORMAT.  Also, press 'RETURN' just ONCE after paragraphs.

5. Horror, science fiction and fantasy have been combined under the heading of fantasy.  I am looking for surreal stuff and stuff that scares YOU the writer so bad you almost can't write it.  Trolls and hobbits and stuff, I just don't see it happening.

Here's a big thing:  Make that first paragraph and that first page count.  I have to go through a lot of submissions.  Let me know RIGHT AWAY that you've sent me a story that I HAVE to read.

I don't mean to sound condescending.  I'm sure everybody knows everything I've written here already.  Just think of all of this as a friendly reminder.  I look forward to seeing what everybody comes up with.


  1. Very interesting observations, sir. Since they are so spontaneous, this is a very good schooling in query ethics.

    Thank you.

  2. Yeah, just some stuff that was on my mind as I started going over the submissions for issue two.