Things Aren't The Way They Used To Be

I don't understand what happened to the Varney the Vampire type market. I've written much worse fiction than that but you don't see anybody in the distant future talking about my stories while being unable to conclusively determine their author. The Hollywood hogwash-soaked world we find ourselves in makes it easy to think that all you have to do to be a struggling writer is write a lot of awful stories and then sell them for a pittance while you work on your real writing, a novel opening with a man who wakes up in an unfamiliar place and asks the timeless question: "What?" They don't tell you that to be a struggling writer is actually to write a ton of awful stories and a few pounds of good stories and sell two of them in total and give some away and make the larger bills teaching children how to play a fun, fun boardgame that doesn't even require literacy to be good at believe it or not.

According to an editor of some crappy online encyclopedia, "In a fiction-writing context, the term [hack writer] is used to describe writers who are paid to churn out sensational, lower-quality 'pulp' fiction such as 'true crime' novels or 'bodice ripping' paperbacks." My only question is sign me up. Thomas P. Prest, one of the possible authors of Varney the Vampire, falls via general consensus into that category of hack writer, and he also died in 1859. Don't tell me that my only hope of writing a lot for little pay and only possible recognition went extinct 155 years ago. Now all that's left for me is to write a lot for no pay and only possible recognition. To get the ball rolling everything that I've ever written might have actually been written by Shadow Traffic's Randy Chepigan.

My plan was to shoot off a quick story about someone getting trapped in an oubliette and then just sell it for some quick grocery money, since of course that's square one in professional fiction writing, and not a situation that millions of writers would murder anybody on earth to find themselves in. Unfortunately mine is an 1859 mindset apparently and I can't even get a buck for a trashy oubliette story so I won't bother until I just guilt myself into writing it anyway. I was going to put the lyrics to all my band's songs on this site but that would probably piss everybody else off. We have so many songs we have yet to really pin down, like "Jefferson Sabbath," "Gremloins," and you can guess what else, so I doubt my beautiful 'rics about an oubliette that I wrote instead of the story will get off the queue very soon. Maybe it couldn't hurt to give it away for free right now. Recite it aloud already!:

Kept By The Belial-Worshippers, or The Oubliette

I've been imprisoned many times.
Of all the vaults I can't forget
that I've encountered for my crimes,
the worst one was the oubliette.
Held by Belial's cult, they sulked
therein. They sought to freedom mulct
from any soul who drew too near
the oubliette I hate and fear.
Revolting bread one day, one day
revolting meat they fed me. Black
my horrid cell was always. Hay
to sleep on, half demoniac.
The ceiling-hatch, the maddening gloom,
but none was worse than the very room.
The cold, the pain, the mortal threat
but worst of all, the oubliette.

Now the question is, how much is that worth to you? Zero of nothing is fine; my emotions are impervious to honest criticism, but then my question is, how much is a dozen of contents like that worth to you? I understand mathematics in principle: if the value of x is zero, then the value of 12x is zero. But I think we can all agree that the human brain gives value to groups of things which individually it finds totally worthless, like (worthless thing people buy a lot of).

I don't get it: WHYY employs people to consistently deliver traffic reports, the various newspapers you can name have a staff of vetted writers who ideally dive into today's most pressing local to global issues, but literary magazine editors are more likely to complain about the big fat slush pile of unsolicited manuscripts (some of them from me!!) that they have to wade through every week or half-year, depending on their promised response time. Unless I'm totally out of my mind, it seems like these people would rather complain about all the awful stories they receive than simply hire people to consistently churn out astounding tales of terror every month just like a non-fiction magazine. If you are the editor of a literary magazine and you would like to explain to me why a giant pile of unsolicited manuscripts with all kinds of insanely formatted stories is preferable to a reliable staff of college educated fiction writers like moi you can email me at this hyperlink or just hire me.

All others can become a part of my own personal traffic report