I'm currently taking a class in how to write short fiction stories for magazines, specifically the ones sold in grocery stores, not ones like "The New Yorker". Our instructor suggested we purchase the magazines to see what they buy - which I did. Multiple issues so I could get the flavor over a period of time.
What I saw was interesting. The magazine guidelines for one lists the demographics as blue collar, stay-at-home women. Okay, no problem there. But when I read the issues (three of them), I saw stories about college and professional people. The non-fiction articles were about things everyone could use - and they did not dumb down the vocabulary. The crossword puzzle and other "brain games" were a challenge - and I'm someone who does the New York Times puzzle in ink!
I (and many of my writing friends) have been rejected by this magazine as writing too educated. And yet, they break their own rules in the magazine. So is the vocabulary different for non-fiction and fiction? Obviously so.
When I read the fiction stories, I was bored. I didn't see what the "wow" factor was for the editors. They were fluff with no body, no substance. But they were published. I guess they think the people who read the stories have fewer brain cells than those who read the rest of the magazine.
Hopefully this class will show me the error of my ways and I'll begin to understand why the editors want higher level material for the majority of the issue but not for the entertainment section.
Today's author birthdays: Pierre De Marivaux, George Lillo, Jacques Prevert, MacKinly Kantor, Uys Krige, Betty Friedan, Robert Coover, Georg Brandes
Today's thought: "Writing is a series of permissions you give yourself to be expressive in certain ways. To invent. To leap. To fly. To fall." - Susan Sontag
Today's teaser: Your house is haunted. Who is haunting you and why? What do they do? How do they manifest themselves?