Monday, February 28, 2011

Finding The John Market

A typical science fiction or fantasy plot goes something like this.
  1. A sympathetic protagonist experiences a precipitating event which threatens everything he (in this case) loves.
  2. He tries to fix things the way he's fixed them before but it makes the problem worse.
  3. He tries something new and digs himself in deeper.
  4. Thinking out of the box, and risking all...
    • He either triumphs (The Enterprise Crew all laugh) or
    • he becomes a tragic hero (A Greek Chorus sings )
  5. The End
I'm somewhere at step four with my writing.  I've been doing what writers do, which is writing and submitting stories.  This means that I've been receiving rejection letters.

A lot of rejection letters.  (Yeah, yeah; welcome to the club....)

At some point it has crossed my mind that maybe I'm doing something wrong, like writing stories then submitting them to the wrong markets.  So I'm trying to think out of the box.

Could it be that somewhere out there there is a professional market that is a "John Market" and I don't know about it -- either because I'm not recognizing an essential difference between a John Story and a science fiction or fantasy story, or else because there's a market I haven't heard of.  (Okay, it's also crossed my mind that my fiction is mediocre, or that I'm Einstein's fish trying to climb a tree.)

So here's where I'm going to use Social Networking and The Power of The Internet.  For those of you familiar with my fiction, can you think of the Ultimate John Market?  For those of you unfamiliar with my fiction here are some links:

Briallan Dreaming of Myrmidons (

≟Love (

The View from the Top (

Up (written before the movie of the same name -- -- Unfortunately, this archive has no internal links, so you'll have to search for "Burridge" to get to my story.)

Micro Fiction / "Twitterature" at Thaumatrope (

To avoid duplicates here's the markets I've been working with:

Abyss & Apex
Analog Science Fiction & Fact
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
Asimov's Science Fiction
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Clarkesworld Magazine Delete
Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness
Daily Science Fiction
Electric Velocipede
Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF)
Fantasy Magazine
GUD: Greatest Uncommon Denominator
Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine
Pedestal Magazine
Realms of Fantasy
Strange Horizons
Whidbey Writers Workshop

So what do you think? Is there a market you think is a good match that is not in the above list? Should I just direct-release to EPUB format? Should I hang onto that day... job...?

...and, back to writing fiction.
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