Bewildering Stories

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Bewildering Stories Editorial

by Jerry Wright

Building Stories

It happens on almost a weekly basis. We get a submission that is obviously written by an intelligent person. The sentences are clear. The characters are well drawn, and interesting. The milieu is well thought out. So what is wrong? There is no story.

About six months ago, I pointed to Robert Silverberg's essay in Asimov's SF magazine "Reflections: Toward A Theory Of Story". I said "Read this. It will make you a better writer." It was in Issue 87.

At the time, I posted a link to with the hope that they would create a "permalink" to this Silverberg essay. Well, no they didn't, and unfortunately, Googling around only gave me a link to the middle half of his three part invention. Still, what I found is worth repeating. You can find it here.

Now, does that mean that we require the conflict, etc., that Silverberg and I mention, to be printed in Bewildering Stories? Well, it does say "Stories", However, we have an out! The Challenges that Don created. Our guidelines specifically say that incomplete stories are allowed. That's fine, but so that what we print is enjoyable to read, we must allow our readers to complete the incomplete. It isn't required, obviously, but even if you don't "complete the story", perhaps just reading it will give you an idea, or a push for your OWN story.

Whatever works. We're here to help. We aren't the world's finest editors, but we know what we like, and if something doesn't work, perhaps we can give you a good swift kick in the proper direction. And isn't THAT a bewildering story, in and of itself?


Copyright © 2004 by Jerry Wright for Bewildering Stories

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