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Unread 07-12-2004, 09:50 AM   #4
Hamelin
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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The best way for a new writer to get a short story published is to submit said story to writing journals.

Writer's Market is an excellent resource for this. If you're serious about getting your work published, I highly recommend that you buy the book. Most book stores always have this year's version of it. There are literally thousands apon thousands of different magazines, books, companies, scholarship programs and so forth listed in it.

My former English teacher swears by it and says it has helped her extensively in getting her short stories published. And as soon as I write something I feel is publish worthy, I'll have to go out and get this year's version as well.

It is all well and good to come out with a novel right off the bat, like Brian has, but he already has a large enough fanbase as to which he can sell his book and at least break even on the editing and publishing costs.

For the rest of us, we have to slowly build up recognition in the field, and the best way to do that is to get published in noted literaty magazines.

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Some other good advice:

- When writing short stories, unless you are submitting to specality publications, you must remeber in writing it that the average reader does not know you. They don't know the circumstances in which you write the story, nor the background of the story which you have set up in your mind. Don't go into too little detail.

Along that note, too much detail can make a story dull and drawn out, find a balance.

- Don't be afraid of proofreading and editing. I have this problem all too often. Everyone makes mistakes. It is very important to leave a story on the backburner for a day or two, only to come back to it later and give it a few run-overs for misspellings, improperly used words, grammer usage, and so forth. Other people are extremely helpful with this. It is a lot easier to find other people's mistakes then your own. In the end, you don't have to take their advice anyway, so what's the harm in getting a friend to read over your work.

Spellcheck is your friend, but don't abuse it, it isn't a perfect system. If you're serious about writing, you should be able to do it yourself anyway.

- Read dialogue aloud to yourself. I cannot stress this enough. If you read it and it doesn't sound like something an actual person would say, chances are it won't read very well either. Even characters with weird speech (lisps, heavy dialects, foreign accents) need to sound natural.
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