Extra Tips

Here are some tips on the sort of things we like in our stories and the sort of things we don't really like. Some of these are a little more written in stone than others.

Stuff we like

  • a good old tale of a character who wants something and tries to get it, meeting obstacles along the way

  • prose that grabs us and moves us and makes us feel for and with the character

  • supernatural elements (established as early as possible). While we personally like a good serial killer or coming-of-age story, Dream of Shadows is all about that supernatural stuff

Stuff we're not too fond of

  • stories where the character doesn't want anything or woe-is-me stories where the character spends most of the time complaining, without doing anything to change it

  • second-person narration. It just sounds too much like meditation tapes or choose-your-own-adventure games to us. Sorry

  • pieces that are too experimental, like stream-of-consciousness stories or stories told from really odd points of view (like a flower or a walking stick) or stories that are basically just descriptions or just dialogue

  • twists at the expense of story. While we like a good twist, this shouldn't come at the expense of the story. If we can see the author at work trying to hide the clues, it's not for us. Think of The Sixth Sense or Psycho (the novel probably more than the film), where the twist was hidden in plain sight

  • romance. We don't mind if love or a relationship is used to drive the inner conflict, as long as the romance doesn't overshadow the darker elements

  • light stories. While we're happy to consider a story with a happy ending if the rest was a struggle, we probably won't go for a story that's all light and fluffy or, dare we say it, humourous

The best suggestion we can give you is to read a couple of the stories on the site (or get a copy of our magazine, if you have some spare change in your pocket) to get a feel for the stories we choose. Good luck!