Jeff James


Recommending new TV shows to your friends is a social faux pas at this point. Everyone already has plenty of shows to watch, and who are you to insist they give up even more of their precious time?

It doesn't help when it's a show like Get Shorty, which airs on EPIX, the premium movie channel that nobody has heard of even if they already have it. I can't just tell you to add it to your Netflix watchlist so that you can feel guilty about not watching it for the next five years; I have to somehow convince you to either pay for EPIX or buy the first season on iTunes. I did the latter, and if EPIX had a stand-alone app, I'd probably already have a subscription. UPDATE: Get Shorty season one is now available on Netflix, so GET ON THAT!

That's all a roundabout way of saying that Get Shorty is one of the few shows I want to recommend to people. The Good Place was the last show I could recommend without reservations, and if Get Shorty was available on any popular streaming service, I'd be shouting it to the rooftops. Instead, I just have to describe it to people and hope that they bite.

Why do I like the show so much? One explanation is that I'm predisposed to like it because Elmore Leonard is one of my favorite authors. This came about in high school because I watched the one-two punch of Get Shorty and Out of Sight in theaters and wanted to find out where my favorite filmmakers got their inspiration. I spent the next few years checking out his work, but I didn't read my favorite of his books, Bandits, until more recently.

That could go the other way, too; Get Shorty was one of my favorite movies when I was at an impressionable age, and it's likely that a new adaptation could never live up to the original. Fortunately, this version of Get Shorty takes its cues from Fargo on FX and only follows the loosest outlines of the original story.

Instead of including a poor imitation of Travolta's career-best performance as the eternally cool Chili Palmer, the show invents a whole new cast of characters, with Chris O'Dowd taking the lead as Miles Daly, who we first meet disposing of bodies with his partner, Louis.

Where Chili was a chill, genial presence, and only threatened obvious bad guys with a punch to the nose or some rough-housing, Miles doesn't bat an eye at murder and dismemberment, and oftentimes seems right on the edge of flipping out. It's kind of amazing watching O'Dowd, who usually plays more laconic characters like Roy from The IT Crowd, play someone so undeniably dangerous.

Ray Romano plays low-rent movie producer Rick Moreweather, and I've never liked him more. Everybody Loves Raymond made me want to grind my teeth, but Romano has done some amazing, nuanced work since then. His facial expressions here are a master class in acting, letting you see each individual thought go through his character's head as he realizes what horrible new mistake he's just made.

The show surrounds them with a murderer's row of fascinating characters, which is definitely a signature of Leonard's work. One of the benefits of television is that those characters get so much more time to breathe and develop. Sean Bridgers is especially good as Miles' partner, Louis, a Mormon who doesn't believe in premarital sex, but who has no problem killing people when they become inconvenient or annoying.

The show is hilarious, but it also feels darker than the movie or the book. The Travolta movie was pretty close to the book, from what I remember; they both have a breezy, satirical tone, and nothing truly horrible happens. The TV version is a satire, but it's also a pitch-black comedy, willing to let its protagonist do much more terrible things that you could include in a 1990s star vehicle. Maybe it's just par for the course with modern prestige television.

The second season just started airing on EPIX, and I'm tempted to add the channel to my cable package (which I only keep because it's cheaper than paying for internet by itself,) but I may wait a month or two until it finishes airing so that we can binge it. Now I just have to convince more people to watch it so that it keeps getting renewed.

I've had a tough year so far.

When I last checked in on my writing goals back in December, I talked about how the US election did a number on my motivation and ability to focus.

I sort of recovered from the post-election blues in January and February of this year… but then my cat, Jackson, got very sick. I ultimately had to put him to sleep on March 16th.

Jackson was sick for a while - since at least the middle of 2016 - but he took a turn in February and went downhill very fast. The whole thing was incredibly stressful and absolutely devastating, even though I knew on an intellectual level that my cats were reaching the age where health problems could be a concern.

Needless to say, I was pretty much useless while he was sick and after he died.

At the moment, I'm doing okay. I miss him a little bit every day, but I'm not a weepy mess. I did completely lose it when the vet's office sent me a card with his paw-prints on it, but other than that I'm on a fairly even keel.

I've slowly managed to get back into writing now and then, but I haven't come anywhere close to a regular daily habit for a while now.

It doesn't help that April is a busy month. We were out of town the first two weekends (first to Palm Springs, then to Denver for a wedding), and then this past weekend we hosted game night on Saturday and went to an Easter potluck. Next weekend my parents are coming to town.

Needless to say, I haven't had much downtime to sit down and focus on writing. Weeknights are almost always a bust on a good day, but I've been extra tired thanks to those busy weekends.

That said, I am ever-so-close to finishing a project I've been working on for a very long time now. I've got an outline and about a third of the actual writing done, and I've been picking at it whenever I have a spare moment. I probably won't manage to finish it this month, but the end is in sight.

Once I finish that, I'd like to start work on something completely new. I'm tempted to take another crack at my long-gestating short story from last year, but it feels like I need to diversify.

I spent 2016 working on the same two projects without much forward momentum, and it was a bit of a drag. I feel like I don't have anything concrete to show for all of that effort. If I'd been more prolific, it might not feel like such a waste of time.

Well, I had a good run while it lasted. I managed to write almost every day for more than half a year. No matter how you look at it, that's a major accomplishment, especially compared to every other time I've tried to write every day.

I started missing days in the middle of the summer - first because we went on vacation, and then later for less compelling reasons - but I didn't completely blow it until November.

First, however, I spent most of October working on a script. It was hard work, and I wrote a lot of pages in a fairly short amount of time. I delivered my draft at the end of the month, but I haven't gone back to it since.

I fully intended to keep working on the script, but I lost momentum and haven't quite managed to get it back yet. The election was a big part of the problem. After the results came in, it was hard to focus on anything but the unrelenting horror, and I didn't really feel like trying to write for a good long time.

In the end, I only wrote a handful of days in November. The most substantial thing I wrote was a book review. Before long, I decided that my writing goal was done for the year and I didn't really try too hard to get back into it.

That said, I am hoping I can finish a rewrite of my script before the end of the year along with drafts of two more scripts. I'd like to get that work off my plate so that I can start fresh next year.

I also still have my short story knocking around. Somehow I spent most of the year working on that damn story. I submitted it three times since I last posted - twice in August, and once in October - and the last place offered feedback, which was crucial. Unfortunately, addressing their notes will require gutting and re-working the whole thing yet another time.

I definitely don't want to abandon it after all of that work, but it's starting to feel like a bit of an albatross. I want to feel like it's finished so that I can move on to something new, but I don't want to re-submit without addressing that feedback. I think for now I'm going to let it lay fallow until I finish those scripts.

As for next year, I've decided to track journaling separately from other non-fiction. I want to get a better idea of how many days I used the "escape hatch" instead of working on something more substantial.

I'm definitely going to rededicate myself to my goal, however. I think it was really positive in a lot of ways, even if it was occasionally frustrating or demoralizing. Maybe next year I can break this year's record.

For now, I'm going to do what I can to be productive before the holidays, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't finish my projects in the time I have left this year.

Final counts for August 2016:

  • 6 hours of related work
  • 0 script pages
  • 2450 words of fiction
  • 4421 words of non-fiction
  • 6871 total words

Final counts for September 2016:

  • 7.5 hours of related work
  • 0 script pages
  • 0 words of fiction
  • 3334 words of non-fiction
  • 3334 total words

Final counts for October 2016:

  • 0.5 hours of related work
  • 52 script pages
  • 0 words of fiction
  • 1853 words of non-fiction
  • 1853 total words

Final counts for November 2016:

  • 1 hour of related work
  • 0 script pages
  • 300 words of fiction
  • 1300 words of non-fiction
  • 1600 total words

If you thought my last post in this series was belated, this one takes the cake!

I just barely stuck to my writing goals in June and July. I had more than one day where I seriously considered throwing in the towel and calling the whole thing off, but I still managed to soldier on (for the most part)

We went to Palm Springs in the middle of June, right after Amy's job ended. I gave myself permission to skip writing for those days since it was a vacation. I knew I'd have a hard time getting anything done after hanging out poolside all day, and I wasn't wrong.

I also gave myself the day off when we went to Santa Barbara in July for Amy's job interview at UCSB. I drove both ways, and our day in town on Saturday was pretty jam-packed. I was completely exhausted by the time we got home, so I definitely needed another day off.

However, I did finally miss a day of writing on July 24th. I was so exhausted that I didn't even have the energy to write a journal entry. I could have declared that the end of my writing streak, but when I thought about it, I realized that the most important thing was that I at least try to write every day.

If I reach the end of the year and I managed to write on all but a handful of days, I would still consider that a huge win. With that in mind, I decided to add a new rule to my daily goal to help me keep things going: if I miss a day, it doesn't count as long as I work on one of my projects the next day.

I can't count a journal entry or a blog post as my makeup writing, but if I write fiction, scripts pages or do some outlining, I'm good to go. That way I can still recover even if I miss a single day. If I miss two days in a row and it isn't a vacation, that's when I'll need to restart my writing streak.

In between journal entries, I did do a little bit of productive work these past two months. I spend a good amount of time brainstorming and outlining for an ongoing project. I also finally managed to resubmit my story at the end of July. I think I'm finally happy with the state of my story, so I don't plan on rewriting it if I end up submitting again.

I've made a lot of positive steps these last two months, but I still beat myself up when it feels like I've done nothing but write journal entries for weeks. Maybe I should try to do more writing exercises so that I won't have to resort to journal entries. The main issue is, as always, finding the time to write.

Final counts for June 2016:

  • 18.5 hours of related work
  • 0 script pages
  • 74 words of fiction
  • 4347 words of non-fiction
  • 4421 total words

Final counts for July 2016:

  • 17 hours of related work
  • 0 script pages
  • 378 words of fiction
  • 4434 words of non-fiction
  • 4812 total words

These were my goals for June:

  1. Ideally I want to finish the outline for my current project, but we're already halfway through the month as I write this, so it might be a tall order.
  2. I'd like to write a blog post for Full of Words that isn't another book review. It's been a while since I've written one of those.
  3. Spend some time researching or brainstorming for Hops Arcana.

Here's how those goals played out:

  1. I'm really damn close on this. I just need one more brainstorming session and then I should be able to knock out the final part of the outline.
  2. I did write two book reviews in July, but I didn't manage to write anything else for Full of Words. Maybe this month?
  3. I haven't looked at Hops Arcana since my screenwriting class ended.

Here are my goals for August:

  1. Have one final brainstorming session for my ongoing project, then finish my outline and start writing. Ideally, finish a first draft by the end of August.
  2. Write at least three posts for Full of Words - reviews or otherwise.
  3. Finish a rough draft of a new short story.

Well, here it is, halfway through the month of June, and I'm just now getting around to posting about my writing progress for May. That tells you a lot about what kind of month it was, and how my writing is going in general.

The most significant thing I did last month was re-submit Ghost of a Friend after it was rejected several times. I ended up rewriting it a little bit every time I submitted, which got a little nerve-wracking after a certain point. I started worrying that my changes weren't actually improving the story.

Before I submitted that last time, I cut around 800 words. The story was starting to feel a little bloated, so I decided that cuts were in order. I also discovered that there aren't many markets willing to accept a story longer than 5000 words. I didn't manage to get it under 4000 words like I'd hoped, but I did cut out a few superfluous scenes.

I received my fourth rejection a few days ago, but I haven't gotten around to resubmitting yet. It's definitely a bit demoralizing, sending your work out into the world only to get back nothing but rejections. That said, I don't know if I'm quite ready to send it to somewhere a bit less challenging. I'd like to keep shooting for the stars.

However, it turns out that the best way to keep myself from obsessively rewriting is to submit the story to a slow-moving market. I'm planning on tweaking a few small things before I submit again, but I'll probably pick another slow market. It was kind of a relief to be able to put the story out of my mind for a few weeks while I waited for a response.

As for the rest of my time last month, there were a lot of days where I wrote in my journal as a last resort. That's probably why it feels like I didn't do enough. I didn't make any inroads on another short story, but I did write a handful of blog posts.

The biggest bright spot came near the end of the month when I had a very productive brainstorming session for another project. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before I can dig in and start writing.

My final counts for May 2016 were:

  • 14 hours of related work
  • 1 script page
  • 565 words of fiction
  • 6548 words of non-fiction
  • 7113 total words

Definitely an anemic showing for new fiction, but that's probably because I spent so much time deleting words from my story. I wrote a bit more non-fiction during the month, but it was mostly journal entries rather than blog posts.

Overall not a terrible word count, and I did finally spend a little bit of time working on a script, so I'll count that in the win column.

These were my goals for May:

  1. Start something new, whether it's a short story or a script for a new web series.
  2. Spend some time working on the outline for my screenplay. Don't let it lay fallow for too long.
  3. Don't leave writing until the end of the day. Write more before work or during my lunch break. Take time to write at the library or a coffee shop.

Here's how those goals played out:

  1. Nope. No luck here.
  2. Hops Arcana isn't getting much love in these parts, but I did spend some serious time brainstorming for another project.
  3. Man, I struggle with this one. I'm never awake enough to write first thing in the morning, I never feel like writing on my breaks at work, and I'm tired in the evenings. It's a no-win scenario. The good news is that I'm on such a streak these days that the momentum forces me to at least write something before I go to sleep at night.

Here are my goals for June:

  1. Ideally I want to finish the outline for my current project, but we're already halfway through the month as I write this, so it might be a tall order.
  2. I'd like to write a blog post for Full of Words that isn't another book review. It's been a while since I've written one of those.
  3. Spend some time researching or brainstorming for Hops Arcana.

As of this writing, I've submitted Ghost of a Friend to three markets and received three rejections, each one quicker than the last.

After I received a rejection from Fireside, I looked for other places to submit, prioritizing markets that paid a pro rate (more than 5 cents a word) and had a quick average response time.

I definitely don't want to submit somewhere that would keep it for months without responding. I also refuse to do any submissions by mail. The idea of mailing out a story feels like abandoning it to the mercies of a black hole.

The three markets I've submitted to so far all have acceptance rates of less than one percent according to Duotrope:

Those are some pretty long odds. Knowing that helped take away most of the sting of rejection, but after I heard back from Fantasy & Science Fiction, I did wonder if I really was sending out the best possible version of my story.

When I sent the story to Fireside, it was exactly 5000 words long - their maximum - but I felt like there were a few moments I cut short to stay under that limit. As soon as it was rejected, I added another 150 or so words to beef up those scenes. That's the version I sent to Clarkesworld and F&SF.

Problem is, I'm starting to think that Ghost of a Friend might be a little bloated at 5000+ words. I've looked through submission requirements for a lot of markets, and it seems like very few places accept stories that length. 4000 or 3000 word limits are very common.

After my third draft, I swore that I wasn't going to do any more major revisions because I don't want to get stuck working on the same damn story forever. Putting all of my eggs into a single basket is not a great idea, especially because short stories aren't particularly lucrative on their own. Even still, it seems like I might be doing myself a disservice if I keep submitting this version of the story.

My new goal is to get the story under 4000 words. I think I can tighten up the first few scenes and get to the good stuff much sooner.

That means I'm going to hold off on submitting for a fourth time until I've made yet another pass. Hopefully it won't take too long to cut it down as much as possible.

As an aside, I just re-read Burning Love to try and remember how I managed to write and sell a short story four years ago on my very first attempt. The story definitely holds up, but I had completely forgotten that I named the main character Nate… which is also one of the names I used in Ghost of a Friend. I should probably change that, haha.

April was a good month for writing. I finally managed to buckle down and finish a third draft of Ghost of a Friend, and I did it with enough time left to submit to Fireside during their open period. I worked on the newest draft in small chunks throughout April, writing 100 or 200 words here and there until I finished it in a rush of more than 1200 words at the end of the month.

I've wanted to submit to Fireside ever since the magazine first launched a few years ago, so I'm glad the timing worked out. My submission was one of 2,393 stories they received during the month of April, so the probability of my story getting accepted is pretty low (Duotrope says they currently have a .51% acceptance rate!), but at least I made the effort.

If my story is rejected, my plan is to submit it to all of the pro-level markets on Duotrope one by one starting with the quickest to respond. I've resolved to keep submitting Ghost of a Friend until it finds a home.

I may tweak it a bit before I send it to another market, however. I had to cut a few words to come in under 5000 for Fireside, and I think the final conversation scene came out a little rushed as a result. That said, I don't think the story should be much longer than it currently is, so it might be best if I cut from scenes earlier in the story to make more room for that conversation.

Now that I've submitted the story, I need to decide what I want to write next. Ideally I should have more than one piece ready for submission at all times, but I also want to work on my screenplay before I lose any more steam on that idea. As soon as I started focusing on other projects, the screenplay just sort of fell by the wayside.

Right now the story idea that appeals to me the most is called Drones: A Love Story. I wrote a draft of Drones a few years ago when Amazon first announced their drone delivery program. I finished it in a very short amount of time and then ultimately abandoned the story when I was unhappy with the results.

I recently came up with a new approach to Drones that I think will fix a lot of the issues I had with the original draft. It'll be a page one rewrite, but the story feels fairly complete in my head, so it's just a matter of sitting down and knocking it out.

I think the main thing I need to do in May is prioritize my time. It's likely I'll have to split my writing time between projects for myself and projects for others, so I'll have limited bandwidth for something completely new. Knowing that, I should probably try to get started on something soon so that I can have a few irons in the fire.

I could technically still submit to the Austin Film Festival if I get something ready by May 20th, but I think the only category I could pull off at this point is the Scripted Digital Series. That category allows for "1-3 scripted episodes, totaling no more than 30 pages in length", which is totally a doable amount of writing if I break out the stories really well. All I'd need to do is decide on a series concept.

My final counts for April 2016 were:

  • 13 hours of related work
  • 0 script pages
  • 3712 words of fiction
  • 4146 words of non-fiction
  • 7858 total words

This is what I would consider a pretty good balance for an average month. My total word count was higher than last month, and the work was spread pretty evenly between categories. The only category that continues to get short shrift is script pages, but May might change that.

These were my goals for April:

  1. Finish my final rewrite of Ghost of a Friend and submit it to at least one market by the end of the month.
  2. Create my outline board (i.e. draw lines on the board and lay out the sections) and outline at least one sequence of my screenplay.
  3. Find more ways to get concrete wins that make me feel like I'm progressing as a writer.

Here's how those goals played out:

  1. I waited until pretty close to the last minute, but I ultimately nailed this goal. I finished my story and submitted it to Fireside on April 30th with half a day to spare.
  2. I didn't touch anything related to my screenplay during the month of April, so I'll have to revisit this goal in May.
  3. In retrospect, this goal was pretty vague. I think for my purposes, finishing my story counts. It also counts that I spent more days working on fiction in April.

Here are my goals for May:

  1. Start something new, whether it's a short story or a script for a new web series.
  2. Spend some time working on the outline for my screenplay. Don't let it lay fallow for too long.
  3. Don't leave writing until the end of the day. Write more before work or during my lunch break. Take time to write at the library or a coffee shop.

Tracking your writing can be kind of brutal after a while, especially if you have a month where it feels like you didn't hit your goals. March was one of those months despite the fact that I was actually very productive in a few important ways.

First off, a lot of my writing time in March was devoted to several weeks of my screenwriting class. We read scripts (written by class members) and watched a few movies to understand their structures. We were also given the occasional homework assignment specific to our script ideas.

I counted my time spent in class or working on assignments under the "Related Work" column of my spreadsheet, because it was a valuable use of my time that required a decent amount of mental energy. That time spent also tended to preclude any other kind of writing work.

Additionally, because I needed to devote my time to class (I did pay for it, after all), I made a point of setting aside my short stories until class was finished. This meant that my fictional output was almost non-existent in March.

As for my non-fiction writing, I published four book reviews over at Full of Words and four posts on this site. Those eight posts amount to 4171 words altogether, which means I did around 1552 words of journal-writing.

I'm actually pretty proud of myself for writing eight posts in one month - that's an average of two posts a week. It's a rare month when I blog that consistently, so good on me.

Even though I wrote a good number of blog posts and spent a lot of time working on assignments for class, I felt like I wasn't productive enough because my fiction word count was so low.

Maybe it's just a psychological hang-up that I need to get over, but it doesn't really feel like I'm achieving my writing goals if I'm not producing a quantifiable number of words (or pages).

Fiction writing feels like a more achievable goal than screenwriting, so that's probably why I'm so focused on word count as a metric.

I don't really want to start producing screenplay pages before I have an outline ironed out. I know for a fact that I'd have to throw out a bunch of work if I started writing without planning. I know it's a delaying tactic, but that doesn't mean it's wrong.

Ghost of a Friend is a good example of what happens when I write without planning. I've reworked it significantly after every rewrite, and I don't think I discovered the core of the story until after multiple rounds of feedback and rewrites. That's kind of an inefficient process… but somehow it produces results, flawed as they may be.

I know in my heart of hearts that outlining improves my writing, but for some reason I still freeze up at the thought of planning out a story. Some stubborn idiot part of my brain rebels and I don't get anything done.

I'm not really sure where to go from here other than trying to tip the balance towards outlining instead of just pantsing everything.

My final counts for March 2016 were:

  • 26.5 hours of related work
  • 0 script pages
  • 559 words of fiction
  • 5723 words of non-fiction
  • 6282 total words

To recap, these were my goals for March:

  1. Finish a draft of an outline for my screenplay.
  2. Do a final pass on my newest short story and submit it for publication.
  3. Fewer journal entries and more fiction.

Here's how those goals actually played out:

  1. I didn't draft an outline, but I did come up with a list of ten set-pieces that feel really solid. I can see a potential through-line for the movie in those pieces, so it's just a matter of formalizing it. I made measurable progress, but I didn't end up with a finished product like I'd hoped.
  2. I made it halfway through a final pass on Ghost of a Friend. I stopped at the point when I realized that I needed to rewrite a huge chunk of the story. I'd also spent almost four hours working on the rewrite and it was time to leave the coffee shop.
  3. I feel like I whiffed on this one. My only attempts at fiction-writing were fitful stabs at starting a new short story. I'm not really happy with any of those fragments, so it's back to the drawing board with my new ideas. I also resorted to writing in my journal way too many nights.

Here are my goals for April:

  1. Finish my final rewrite of Ghost of a Friend and submit it to at least one market by the end of the month.
  2. Create my outline board (i.e. draw lines on the board and lay out the sections) and outline at least one sequence of my screenplay.
  3. Find more ways to get concrete wins that make me feel like I'm progressing as a writer.

As an experiment, I decided to start using Hemingway to proof my blog posts and work assignments. Hemingway is a free web-based tool that catches a few common grammatical sins and rates the "readability" of your text.

My corporate writing is meant for a wide audience known for their short attention span, so making sure that my newsletters and documentation are clear and simple is a priority. Hemingway works really well in this scenario, and it's okay if the results come out a little bland.

As for my blog, the most common posts I make are book reviews meant for a general audience. If someone finds my site from a Google search, it's important that my content be accessible. That said, I do tend to make the occasional rhetorical flourish when I'm passionate about a book, and those are oftentimes my favorite posts. I'm confident that my best writing would never pass Hemingway's readability standards.

After a few days of using Hemingway for my writing, I started feeling stifled by its rules. I need all the help I can get when it comes to avoiding passive voice, but I'm not sure I think that complex sentences are such a big deal, and adverbs do have their place now and then.

Unfortunately, whenever Hemingway highlights something in my writing, my instinct is to rewrite that section obsessively until the highlight is gone. This means that I massage complex sentences until they are uniform in length and simplicity. This might make my writing easier to read, but I also think it removes a lot of what makes me unique and interesting as a writer.

When the app first launched, one of the first things people pointed out is that even Hemingway wouldn't pass all the app's rules 100% of the time. The dirty little secret of English grammar is that a lot of the rules are just suggestions to ignore whenever your writing style calls for it.

For example, I recently read You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine, which has such a high rate of adverbs per paragraph that it was clearly a conscious stylistic choice by the author. Whether that choice was successful is another question entirely.

For now, I've stopped running my day-to-day writing through Hemingway. I suppose I could always use it to check for passive voice and ignore all its other suggestions, but that would take a bit of restraint on my part.

I've Kickstarted a few things over the years, but I'm much slower on the trigger these days. There aren't any projects I regret funding, but there are definitely categories I don't fund any more.

I have more than enough games to play, for example, and I've barely scratched the surface of the ones I funded through Kickstarter. Instead, I put most of my funding dollars towards fiction magazines and anthologies. They always seem like worthy causes even if I never get around to reading the stories. Also, magazines tend to deliver their rewards on time.

I've also shifted most of my funding towards Patreon instead of Kickstarter. Most of the creators I want to support release content on a regular schedule. They've all realized that it makes way more sense to send them a few dollars every month instead of hoping they reach full funding for their newest campaign.

One of the first people I supported on Patreon was Jeph Jacques, who created Questionable Content, the only webcomic I still follow.

When I first started reading QC, I read maybe a decade of his strips in a few days' time. I enjoyed them so much that I bought the collected editions as a way to pay him back for all of that entertainment. Patreon is actually a much better way to support him because his comics never really looked right in print. I can also show my support on an ongoing basis instead of whenever I decide to order a book from him.

One of the creators I've supported on both Kickstarter and Patreon is Fireside Fiction, a magazine that has been around for a few years now. I support Fireside because they pay really nice professional rates, and they publish authors I enjoy. I want Fireside to stick around long enough that I have the chance to submit a story.

When they were doing yearly Kickstarters, there was always the danger they might miss their target and close up shop. Now that they've transitioned over to Patreon and reached a sustainable level, there's a much better chance they'll stick around for a good long time.

The final creator I'm funding is Strange Horizons, another magazine. If I remember correctly, I started funding them because they were having a fund drive and authors I follow on Twitter were advocating for them. I really just like supporting fiction markets because I want more chances to submit my stuff to some cool places. Also I always want to read more good short fiction.

In the future, I'll probably favor Patreon over any new Kickstarters. I think the only project I've funded over there recently is a blu-ray collection of Don Hertzfeldt's short films, which seemed like a worthwhile thing to own.

I think I'd rather put my money towards things I'm already enjoying instead of projects that might pay off two years down the line.