Thursday, January 20, 2011


LIGHTSPEED took my story "Eliot Wrote" within five hours of my (finally) uploading it. Again, thank you all for your offers of help with my computer problems. For those who wanted to know how I found an alternate ending that worked, the process had three steps:

1) Go back to the last place you're excited about the story (in this case, 2/3 of the way through) and toss out everything after that.

2) Think of a different, but still logical, way for a secondary character to act. Secondary characters are, by definition, not as completely delineated as the point-of-view character and so the author has some wiggle room as to how they might behave. Change something major here.

3) Return to your protagonist -- how does he react to this change of behavior in someone important to him? If nothing sparks for you, try different behavior from the secondary character, or perhaps a different character.

This can sometimes veer the story in a more promising direction, and in this case, it did.

Another note on digital publishing: Sheila Williams has asked me to mention that ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION has just published its first digital anthology, ENTER A FUTURE: FANTASTIC TALES FROM ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION. Sheila is the editor and the anthology is for sale exclusively at It includes my story "Safeguard," as well as fiction by Connie Willis, Robert Silverberg, Ted Kosmatka, and others.

The Digital Age of Publishing marches on.


TK Kenyon said...



Lou said...

AND Happy Birthday!

Way to go on Clarkesworld!

Oz said...

And I stand by my earlier comment about "light speed" responses fro that magazine. Such a nice birthday present for you! Go JJA.

TheOFloinn said...

See? We knew you would.

But, wait. What is this about a birthday? Can it be true?

Bryan H. Bell said...

Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

Neil Vogler said...

Hi Nancy -- great story-finishing tips. And let me add my own belated birthday congrats!