Week 163 – Fun With Answers And Fudfucks With Perfect Rolled Up Sleeves

Thanks for the questions folks, they are posted at the end of the reviews. We all had a lot of fun answering them.

So not too much wittering from me.

Only one wee observation. And absolutely nothing do with the questions and answers!

I had the news on whilst I was writing this and became a tad angry.

There is a vision that makes my stomach churn and my blood boil.

I don’t know if it’s the same in other countries but here in Britain when the Fudfucks of politicians visit hospitals or any work-place, they have their sleeves rolled up. Oh and not normally rolled up, they are exactly rolled up with both skinny, pale arms just showing enough of a rolled up cuff. They look like the paedophile lying bastards that most of them are. If this is for them to emphasise that they understand work and that they are there to get a job done, they should be taken out flogged and their nipples paper-cut.

The politician in question was our Health Secretary – Jeremy Hunt. His name is rhyming slang for what he is! Look him up. Honestly…There is no-one alive who would say anything to the contrary!

Sorry folks, that didn’t have much to do with writing…But we use paper so there is a very anorexic reference. It’s just that I hate them so much it makes me want to share!!

OK, back to what we are here for!

We had four new writers for you this week and me.

To Steve, Arthur, Noah and Robert we offer a warm welcome. Their stories have been a joy to read. We hope that they all have fun on the site and continue to send us their work.

Our topics include; windmill infidelity, watches, a mutual understanding, a purchase in a forest and hookers for the disabled.

As always, our initial comments follow.

 

On Monday, Steve Loschi was first up with ‘I Would Tell You What Time It Was.’

‘As the story goes on you realise what a damaged soul he is.’

‘To go from dry humour to something so tragic is very skilful.’

‘Great writing.’

 

Arthur Davis was the next new writer to grace our site. His story, ‘An Eye For An Eye‘ was published on Tuesday.

‘I’m a sucker for a revenge story.’

‘I like the unusual style.’

‘The reveal through dialogue is very well done.’

 

The middle of the week is still Wednesday. ‘Low Pressure Terracotta‘ by Robert Kaye was our next offering.

‘A bit weird, but a clever mix up.’

‘Well constructed and the setting is interesting.’

‘I was left with a sense of dread.’

 

On Thursday we published our last new author. Noah Lemelson’s, ‘That, Which Was Bought‘ nearly finished the week.

‘There is something familiar about this style that I can’t quite put my finger on. That adds to the intrigue!’

‘I really loved the journey that this took you on.’

‘This was a great idea very well executed.’

 

And to finish us off on Friday, it was my turn with ‘Supply And Demand.’

The magazine article mentioned in this story, I did read. That was the catalyst.

As always, a thanks to my fellow editors for their continual support, help and belief.

 

We should be back to normal next week until we can come up with some other audience participation. We had thought of doing a questionnaire for the readers so watch this space.

Now as promised, here are our answers to your questions.

***

Hugh’s Answers

As asked by Dave Henson:

  1. What is the darkest thought that has instigated a story for you?

A – Romance!

  1. Do you need to be in the same mood as the tone of your story to write well?

A- Due to my usual subject matter, I really couldn’t be in that place for too long. I do try to make a reasonable fist of those subjects that I know nothing about.

  1. What do you enjoy most; researching, writing or finishing?

A – I enjoy writing. On the few occasions where I have had to research, I was normally In the middle of writing and had to check something. I found this intrusive!

  1. Have any stories clearly given you an off topic idea that you wondered where it came from?

A – I go off on so many tangents so when I read something, I normally am thinking one thing but I go off on another!

  1. What could you not bring yourself to write about and please explain why?

A – Romance. It’s all bollocks!

Being thoughtful, reliable and knowing a person is all that you need to do.

All the gazing, misunderstanding, wanting and angst before they finally realise that they are just meant to be together is just Hollywood shit!! If it is that difficult, either kill them or preferably, kill your fucking self!!

  1. If your story has been refused elsewhere, why do you think we accepted it?

A – I’ve only ever submitted here and on an old site which would accept anything.

For Literally Stories, we go through the same selection as everyone else. I have been bombed out many a time.

My acceptances always amaze me. There are some, I believe have no chance but my fellow editors see beyond the subject matter and see the story. Their acceptance is something I will always appreciate as they know I am nothing to do with the subject matter, I’m only a story teller who looks at the darker side of life.

Adam Klugers Question:

What now?

A – Nothing exciting, just same as.

I hope that we can continue to publish a story a day.

I want to read all that comes in to us and choose for the site.

And most of all I want to support all our writers. Our old guard, I continue to be privileged to share a website with. And for our new folks, I will help if needed and encourage without a doubt!!

Elizabeth Hertings queries:

  1. Where do you do your best writing?

A – In my head! On paper it can turn to shit!!

  1. Do you have any cool writing rituals?

A – Not rituals more habit. I could say that alcohol stimulates my creative process, but I reckon I just have a habit of drinking while I write!

  1. How do you all decide what stories will be published on Literally stories?

We are all very different people with different lives and literally preferences. So it is easy if we all like something, that looks after itself.

If we have a difference of opinion we do fall back on each of us who has a particular love or knowledge of that genre. Even though Diane is a bit non-plussed about historical fiction, she has a vast knowledge and love of the Great War. Diane is also well versed in the mechanics and ideas of CMT.

Nik is our fantasy and Science Fiction go to. He can point out to us if something is stereotypical or something that has a different slant on a particular well trodden theme.

And I can normally smell out anything contrived with some of our more colourful topics.

But basically it comes down to two things.

  1. Is it well written?
  2. Is the story any good?

We still argue what is more important but to be truthful, with a cracking story, you can forgive it not being perfectly smooth. If you have perfect writing and the story is pants, well, the story is pants!

One of the most difficult decisions we have to make is when one of us hates the genre. We need to try and decide whether or not it would appeal to the many rather than the few. I think we all struggle with this, and hopefully through some debate and guidance from each other, we don’t get many that wrong.

  1. What are your favourite foods and why?

A – Any I haven’t tasted. Life is all about experience!

But I am a compassionate meat eater. I would hate for the beasties to have died in vain. It’s their fault that they are delicious.

Rich Ferri’s Question:

I read submission guidelines for another magazine and they stated that it must be clear what the story is about in the first 500words – How important is that to the editors at LS? How far into the story do you get before impatience sets in, wondering what the story is about?

A- I don’t agree that a story has to be clear early on. But it has to catch my interest. Sometimes even one line can make me read all the way through as I am intrigued where that line is either going to fit in or where it takes the story.

We have published many ‘slice of life’ stories (Adam Kluger is one of the best at doing this.) These stories don’t particularly go anywhere, they just give you a taste, and that can be a wonderful voyeuristic experience.

But if I come across longer works, it has to catch my interest very early on. I don’t want to read two thousand words of description before it gets to the crux of the story.

Leila Allison Question:

What kind of tree are you?

A- I’m a space in Brazil.

***

Diane

As asked by Dave Henson:

What is the darkest thought that has instigated a story for you?

A) There are quite a few, bullying is probably one that led to the story Corners But nasty, cruel things are where a lot of inspiration comes from I guess.

Do you need to be in the same mood as the tone of your story to write well?

A) I find it works the other way around and the story dictates my mood, a strong character particularly will make me speak differently from my usual way and even sit in a different position at my desk and I will ‘feel’ different when I am writing, editing etc.

What do you enjoy most; researching, writing or finishing?

A) I enjoy writing most but lately for a series of novels I have embarked upon I have had to do some extensive research and that’s fun with the internet. When I wrote a novel about Edinburgh I used Google Earth street view to walk along the locations and that was brilliant.

Have any stories clearly given you an off topic idea that you wondered where it came from?

A) I never know where any of it comes from I really don’t.

What could you not bring yourself to write about and please explain why?

A) I will write about anything although my very few fantasy stories were set in the old days of Vampires and I don’t think I could write a modern version of that subject. My problem, and Nik and Hugh know about this, is strong language. I do read it in many of the stories and have to put aside my own feelings to do that, but I can’t write it.

I did find writing a particularly violent rape scene for one of my books left me quite drained and there was one particularly gruesome novella that I had to cut short because it was so dark but I would still go back and do the same subjects again. I think that if writing something has a profound effect on you that is good for the finished piece.

If your story has been refused elsewhere, why do you think we accepted it?

A) Like Hugh mostly my short stories have been submitted here and I have had quite a number rejected by the guys and I have small wax dolls which I poke with pins – I make no apology for this! The other site accepted everything and I truly believe that in the end that was its downfall.

Adam Klugers Question:

What now?

A) I think in terms of the site I am more than happy for it to go on pretty much as is for a while at least. We have discussed some facelifts and so on and we will probably get around to that at some stage. But, it is such a privilege to receive the submissions and help writers to get their work out there and we meet such lovely people, so for me it’s a bit a case of if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

Elizabeth Hertings queries:

Where do you do your best writing?

A) I have a desk in front of a window in the house in France with a wonderful view of an ancient farm and the forest. In the UK I have a desk in front of a fairly new wall painted Magnolia!!! It doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference, if it’s going to work it works and if it’s going to be garbage that’s what it is. I think the most important thing is to see the difference.

Do you have any cool writing rituals?

A) No – I just sit down and type. Sometimes I will delete everything I’ve done and sometimes I keep it just for me and sometimes I give it a go at having it published. I do have to fit it in with everything else and that is sometimes a challenge but I am fortunate that, now I don’t have to go to work for other people any more, I usually find some time every day to write.

How do you all decide what stories will be published on Literally stories?

A) Every story, whether it’s from a new writer to us or one of our old friends, is a new story and is taken on its merits. I like energy and passion in any story. Sometimes it’s obvious from the first sentence that a work is good and will be published and sometimes it may take a couple of readings to convince myself. I love the debates we have between us and I think that between the editors we have a fairly wide range of preferences.

Being completely honest I do sometimes look at a piece that has been submitted and groan inwardly when I see the formatting but if the story is good then I try and put aside any other issues. I think this sets us apart because many sites won’t even consider work that isn’t formatted correctly.

What are your favourite foods and why?

A) I do a lot of cooking and living part of the year in France we have wonderful fresh ingredients even in the small local supermarkets. I don’t have a very sweet tooth, but I do like chocolate. At the moment I think our favourite is Poulet Breton which is chicken cooked in a creamy leek and courgette sauce and I am working at perfecting my recipe, but I love egg and chips and bacon sandwiches and pork pies! Though I have to make the pies myself here as they don’t really exist in France.

Rich Ferri’s Question:

I read submission guidelines for another magazine and they stated that it must be clear what the story is about in the first 500words – How important is that to the editors at LS? How far into the story do you get before impatience sets in, wondering what the story is about?

A) Well I don’t think that is the way that we work here. Unless a story is obviously far from ready for publishing with poor grammar etc then it will be discounted quickly but otherwise I for one am happy to read along and sometimes it’s only after I’ve finished that I think – Yeah that’s good.

I think because we are all writers we maybe have a more relaxed attitude and that is why we have such an eclectic mix of work on the site and that’s something that I am really proud of. Having said that, if a story drones on and on with no hook and no direction, just what my old granny would have called blather, pointless verbiage, and I find myself skimming then it’s probably not going to get a yes from me.

Leila – I would love to say I am a gently waving willow, gazing in peace at a rippling brook – alas I am a wind blasted thorn with gnarly branches. Ah well.

***

Nik

As asked by Dave Henson:

What is the darkest thought that has instigated a story for you?

A) Two thoughts with a common theme – something happening to my children – have both inspired stories. The first was my son climbing on to the roof of our house when he was two years old and the other was him crossing a road where a car drove obliviously over the crossing. I found myself haunted by the fragility of his life and how easily tragedy can strike. Writing fictional pieces to explore the fear helped me to put them to bed.

Do you need to be in the same mood as the tone of your story to write well?

A) I think in certain pieces it helps. I wrote a story a few years ago called The Adamant Carbonisation Of Henry Spiller which was a direct product of being under immense pressure at work. More often than not I tend to remember a feeling or a time and place to align myself with the mood of a piece.

What do you enjoy most; researching, writing or finishing?

A) I like each aspect for different reasons. It’s all part of the process and I think as a writer you have to embrace all three elements. The finishing process calls for less wine than the other two.

Have any stories clearly given you an off topic idea that you wondered where it came from?

A) There’s a box under the lemon tree in my garden where all the ideas live. Occasionally they get out…

What could you not bring yourself to write about and please explain why?

A) I haven’t yet come across a story idea that I’ve rejected in my mind because it would be too hard to write. I like to think that there’s a degree of subtlety to the pieces I write – so I think I’d struggle with extreme violence or sex.

If your story has been refused elsewhere, why do you think we accepted it?

A) I think the eclectic nature of LS fits well with my somewhat eclectic approach to writing, but also having worked on the site and with Diane and Hugh for so long I’ve got a good sense of what will appeal to them. I don’t submit to other places as often as I should – when I have been rejected elsewhere the feedback has generally been about a story not being a good fit and with LS being so open to different styles it’s a little easier to find a home.

My extra trick is to put up all the crap stuff I write on my blog and save the best stuff for LS!

Adam Klugers Question:

What now?

A) Certainly more of the same. I feel like LS is held in high regard with the writers who form its wider community (much as we as LS hold those writers in high regard also). I’m keen to revamp the site a bit but it’s a new dress rather than a heart transplant.

Elizabeth Hertings queries:

Where do you do your best writing?

A) In my mind at about 3am.

Do you have any cool writing rituals?

A) I’d love to have a brilliant answer to this…but I don’t. Wait, does pouring a cool beer count?

How do you all decide what stories will be published on Literally stories?

A) Like Hugh and Diane I’m very much a “story first” kind of a person, so ultimately all the pretty words in the world don’t amount to much if the story is weak. I love originality and I love simple, well-constructed dialogue. When I write my own pieces I put a lot of time and effort into making it the best that it can be – not only from a story point of view but also from an editing perspective. Generally it’s easy to tell very quickly if a story has had the right amount of love put into the whole process – and that really counts for a lot. Back to the point about originality – I have no problem with someone walking a well-trodden path, but at least do it wearing a new pair of boots.

Or clown shoes.

What are your favourite foods and why?

A) I love food. The main reason I run is so that I can avoid having to diet or watch my intake. I love anything my wife makes…damn this is a hard question! OK…welsh cakes because they remind me of childhood and home, chili con carne because it was my staple one pot wonder in college and anything with spicy heat because it lifts my mood, fends off sickness and laughs in the face of hangovers.

Rich Ferri’s Question:

I read submission guidelines for another magazine and they stated that it must be clear what the story is about in the first 500words – How important is that to the editors at LS? How far into the story do you get before impatience sets in, wondering what the story is about?

A) It isn’t very important to me. I’m quite a fan of slice of life or scene based stories where you feel like you are parachuting into the lives of people and then leaving again a few hundred words later. For me it’s far more important that I connect with a scene or a style or a character. I don’t have to know what they are doing but I do have to care

Leila – I’m probably a lemon tree. Prickly and sour most of the time but amazingly sweet under the right conditions!

 

***

12 thoughts on “Week 163 – Fun With Answers And Fudfucks With Perfect Rolled Up Sleeves

  1. Interesting answers. I am going to take it on myself to develop a composite LS Ed. This profile will have no gender and this mind will be derived from the answers. Who knows what we’ll get. Will it be an entity as good newsy as Glenda the Good Witch of the North? Or will I find that which slouches toward Bethlehem to get itself born?

    Like

    • Thanks Dave,
      This was a lot of fun to do.
      It was maybe a wee bit self-indulgent but what the hell we had a lot of fun with itl!!
      Hugh

      Like

    • Thanks Fred,
      We try to be as transparent as possible.
      I hope that we have a slight idea about our writers and not just know them through their stories. I think that, apart from an initial standard email, the personal touch comes out with all our contact.
      All the very best my friend.
      Hugh on behalf of Literally Stories.

      Like

  2. Success! It’s Alive! It’s Alive! Igor’s been paid and the stuff rented from the Mad Scientist store has been returned. Oddly, my Golem has turned into a tree. The HughDianeNik tree is mighty to behold. Tears of joy streak my lab coat. And it’s not just another sap, either. Blessed with an IQ over 800, my tree knows when an author stoops to shameless, unvarnished butt kissing to further her standing. If I could be this 🌲…Sigh… I guess I’ll have to stand in it’s shadow.
    Leila Allison

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s