August 3, 2010

I’d like to bring to your attention a few glaringly obvious facts:  A story unread is little more than a collection of ink-stained paper.  Or electrons locked into a pattern of zeroes and ones, only visited by the occasional system utility.  Sad, isn’t it?  That’s why we need your help.  For only $1.99 every two months — That’s less than 3.3 cents per day–  you can become a “Save the Stories” sponsor. You can keep an entire issue of stories for less than the cost of a thimble-full of half-caff double-mocha skinny with extra whipped cream.  Do it for them.  Do it for your family, your country, and your planet-  No, wait, I’m not here to write about the electrons.  As poor as they are, and they don’t have a penny to their name, nor names to have pennies to, I want to talk to you, the reader about you, the reader.

You see, you’re the most important part of this enterprise.  If you’re not reading or listening to the words and pictures, we’re doing this for nothing.  Not just in a monetary sense, though that is true too.  Stories need to be told to someone or they are simply mad ramblings about a world that does not exist.  So you readers keep the authors sane.  Except in some cases….  But you still justify their existence, or make it worthwhile.  Actors live for the applause, and stand-up comics for the laughter.  Authors live for their stories to be told, and their worlds to be shared and explored.  They live for you, the reader, to have that moment where you are no longer in front of a sheaf of paper, computer, or listening to a music player, but are in their world, watching their characters, and wondering in amazement at the impossibilities made so real.

Authors want feedback.  They want to know what they did right, what touched your soul and had you thinking and talking to your friends and family for days after reading it.  They want to know what they did wrong, too.  They want to know when their villain was too likable or their ingenious super-trap could have been bested by an eight-year-old with a yo-yo. They want to be better the next time.  I’ve never met a serious writer that didn’t feel there was room for improvement in their personal abilities.  Oh, sure, everyone likes the pat on the back, but face it, anyone can say “that’s great, kid!” without even looking at the story.

I’m proud of the fact that every story submitted gets read and that feedback is sent to the authors.  It would be easy to open a file, hit the “word count’ button, and send a form rejection letter if it is outside the prescribed size limits, for example.  That could be automated, and not even need a human, but that only would tell the author that their effort in writing was not worth our effort to read.  So the authors get valid, human feedback from the editors.

Now, no matter how good or talented the editors are, or what their pedigree is, you readers are the bottom line.  You’re who the stories are written for.  You’re who the stories are edited for.  You’re who the stories are read and recorded for.  You’re the one whose feedback means the most to us. We want your feedback.  We crave your feedback.  We long for you to let us know what we did wrong, what we did right, and what was missing.  We want to hear your rants, your gripes, your requests, and even your praise.  Let us know what we can do better to great stories into your hands.

There’s a comment link right below.  Go ahead, make a comment.  You know you want to.