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[Comments] (4) : Is short fiction devalued by being available for free? Hey, here's the elephant in the room that keeps being pointed out and yet remains elephant-shaped: there's way more short fiction than there is market for it. In my writing group we critique 2-3 stories a month. Half of 'em are a rewrite away from publication quality. They're also likely years away from publication, because the market is so small and response times so long.

Why do the markets pay so poorly? That's the natural result of massive oversupply. Why is there so much bad free stuff online? My portfolio shows the problem in miniature. My old crappy stories are online because I didn't know any better. My dynamite new stuff circulates endlessly through snail and electronic mail. Sure, I'm bitter, but it seems pointless to complain about this because the solution is obvious.

Seriously, what am I doing? I don't care about money--there's not enough to care about. If I wanted an audience I'd split my stories into RSS-feed cliffhangers and put them in syndication once they passed writing group muster. All that's left is the feeling that there are dues I ought to be paying. I've got a bad case of professionalism.

Who needs it? Life is too short. I know what position I'm sliding towards and I keep resisting it. Maybe I'll start writing novels instead; those take a lot longer to crank out, at least.

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Posted by Evan at Mon Aug 25 2008 20:42

"The truth is, reading is always more important than writing"
- Roberto Bolano

"writing is better than waiting"
- Roberto Bolano

Posted by kirkjerk at Mon Aug 25 2008 23:26

I'm starting to wonder some of the same things about indy games...

Posted by Brendan at Tue Aug 26 2008 12:14

I'm writing a blog response, but I'm curious as to whether you dealt with the same awkward intragroup tension and politics at VP as Nora seems to have done. You weren't at the same session, were you?

Posted by Leonard at Tue Aug 26 2008 13:42

I am famously oblivious to intragroup tension, but I didn't notice any. I think my class (which was a couple years after Nora's) got along pretty well. I was happy with my preselected 1:1 choices, so I didn't need to try and wheedle my way into additional ones, but I can see how someone might resort to tricks to grab instructor time.

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