Archive for September, 2012

Write or don’t write… there is no ‘try’.

Posted in My Opinion, love it or leave it, Writing with tags , , , , on September 20, 2012 by tgmreynolds

One of the many topics our writing group beats about the head and shoulders with a verbal stick is which short story markets to write for. Paying? Non-paying? Established? Newbie? Electronic only? Print only?

My opinion is simple: Writing short stories only for paying markets is like making only movies that will win Oscars or singing only songs that will be on a commercial album. A waste of time. Write because you have a story to tell, not a story to sell.

The Shelf of Tim Reynolds

My digitally-rendered bookshelf, including mock covers for a couple ePub-only sales.

“What if I write a great story and give it to a no-pay market when I could have been patient and sold it to a major market?” So what. Write another one. In the past year I have written 18 short stories and two poems, so I’m not particularly sympathetic when someone whines about where to sell their one short story. If your story sold to a small market but you want to sell to a major market (one which pays pro rates or anything at all), then write another story. Then write another one. And another one. Don’t stop writing and don’t stop submitting.

Another reason to keep writing short after short is that it’s highly unlikely that the first story out of your head will be the best thing you EVER write. Most writers get better when they write more. When I look at what I wrote a year ago compared to now, eighteen stories later, I can see a difference, a level of polish developed in twelve months.

Make each story a little different, a little better than the last one, and write a lot. I get sad when I speak to writers who have one or two short stories that they have been working on and polishing for a year or two (or more!) and never submit anywhere. Write the best story you can, have someone with experience critique it, do your revisions, then submit it. While the editors are looking at it, start the next story. Create new characters to fall in love with and keep the ball rolling. Personally, I have no time to stress over what an editor might say because I have at least one short story and two novels on the go at all times. At least.

If you want to call yourself a writer, at some point you have to gather all of your research, brainstorming notes, and brilliant ideas, and write. It doesn’t even have to be good. That’s one of the biggest mistakes rookie writers make — thinking that what they write must be good. They’re dead wrong. It just has to be written. It’s in the proofreading, revising, and editing that the greatness comes out.

Write crap then revise brilliantly.

The more you write, though, the better your first drafts will get and soon you won’t be writing crap and revising/editing won’t be so tedious. Writing is a craft. Or a sport. Tiger Woods did not walk out onto a golf course and win his first championship without hitting bucket after bucket of balls with his dad. There’s a reason there are driving ranges and batting cages and backyard ice rinks. Skill comes from repetition. Anyone can throw a football. Whether it’s 50 yards or 5 inches, it’s thrown, by definition. But to go from 5 inches of a floppy toss at age 2 to pin-point accuracy in the rain with four three-hundred-pounders of the Packers D-Line bearing down on you… that takes throwing and throwing and throwing. Years of practice and more bruises than you can count.

Writing is the same. If your stories suck, don’t stop writing, just stop showing your work to other people until you think it’s ready. Write. Write. Write more. Then, dammit, write until your brain wants to explode from the sheer magnitude of the ideas busting to get out. It will happen.

Do I guarantee it? No. But I can guarantee one thing: You will never be a great writer if you don’t write.

That’s it, that’s all folks.

Ciao for now.



A Short Summary of Tim Reynolds’ Published Short Fiction Since 9-2011

Posted in Books, Books Books Books, My Opinion, love it or leave it, Short Fiction, Writing with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2012 by tgmreynolds


It has been a busy 12 months for my suddenly-alive short story writing and I thought I’d quickly toss up the covers of the projects done and the ones scheduled before the end of 2012. Let’s start with the Photoshopped writer’s shelf.

My Writer's Shelf

Writer’s Tears with writer’s cheers (covers).

Imaginarium 2012

Imaginarium 2012: Containing “Hawkwood’s Folly” by Tim Reynolds.

In Places Between 2012

In Places Between 2012: Contains “Lyoshka & the Steam Butterfly” by Tim Reynolds.

Mytherium: Tales of Mythical and Magical Creatures

Mytherium: Tales of Mythical and Magical Creatures. Contains “Dragons in Suburbia” by Tim Reynolds.

Cavalcade Of Terror

Cavalcade Of Terror: Contains “Of Monsters and Men” by Tim Reynolds.

Danse Macabre: Encounters with the Reaper

Danse Macabre: Encounters with the Reaper. Contains “Blue-Black Night” by Tim Reynolds.

Shanghai Steam

Shanghai Steam: Contains “The Ability of Lightness” by Tim Reynolds

I'll Never Go Away 2

I’ll Never Go Away 2: Contains “Danny in the Dark” by Tim Reynolds.

20001: A Steampunk Odyssey

20001: A Steampunk Odyssey: Contains “Hawkwood’s Folly” by Tim Reynolds.

That’s it, so far. There are a couple web-based publications without cover art and there are some pending projects, but these are the anthologies from the last year, up to the end of October 2012.

More information can be found at or on at my Author Central Page:

It’s Friday night and I needs food, so

Ciao for now.


Shanghai Steam (a Wuxia Steam Punk anthology)

Posted in Books, Short Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2012 by tgmreynolds
Shanghai Steam from Absolute Xpress

Shanghai Steam, due October 2012.

From my blurb on the Shanghai Steam Facebook Page:

By blending actual martial arts with the mythical and science-fictional, and then setting it all in a real place in a specific time, I tried to make ‘The Ability of Lightness’ feel like a true story that no one had told before. From the research into tai chi movements, to the Chinese calendar for that exact year, to the layout of Galden Namgey Lahtse monastery, I wanted the story to not just entertain the average reader, but to ring true with anyone familiar with t’ai chi or even the monastery itself. Of course, the dragon cave and the dragon are fictional, but a reader should be able to use my story to actually find their way through some of the monastery, or even replicate the motions Yu makes as he’s practicing his t’ai chi. As for developing the ability of lightness, we all have the capability, if we just reach deep down inside ourselves…”

That’s it, that’s all. More to come later, I suppose.

Ciao for now,