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Wednesday , 22 July 2015 , 11 : 27 PM
by Matthew Sylvester   Burke ripped his revolver from his holster, diving into cover as his prey opened fire. Rounds sent chips of concrete flying through the air. Ducking round his cover, he blazed away until the hammer clicked home on an empty chamber. Not the best way to ensure a hit, but a good way to keep an opponent's head down. Quickly he popped another clip into the pistol.  Taking a deep breath, he popped his head round the cover and straight back. It took less than a second, but that was all that he needed.  There were two men further down the corridor both armed with AK47 machine guns. +++++ Many people who write about firearms don't know much about firearms. Many probably haven't even handled one. Many of them will have watched films, which look awesome but are not entirely accurate in their depiction of firearms and the effects that they have, and based their writing upon that. Unfortunately, many content editors and test readers will compound the issue by using the same inexperience to affirm the author’s writing. The above excerpt featuring Burke is full of errors, which I shall cover below.    Rounds and Bullets The first mistake, and one which many people make, is mistaking rounds for bullets. As you can see from the picture below, the bullet is what is actually fired. The round is what houses the bullet, the propellant, and which is fed into the chamber.      *Parts of a round, also demonstrating the difference between rimfire and centre fire. Now that you know what a round is, the line "Rounds sent chips of concrete flying through the air," is now an impossibility, and also sounds faintly ridiculous.   Is that a revolver in your pocket, or are you pleased...
Wednesday , 14 January 2015 , 09 : 22 PM
We've all been there as writers. You knock out a short story, crack yourself a celebratory beer and know -- JUST KNOW -- that you are getting this piece published in that ezine you've been targeting. There's no way they can say "no" this time. No. fucking. Way. A few weeks later: rejection. Shit. Because Grimdark Magazine's finances aren't quite at the level where we can afford a large amount of stories (yet!), we're restricted to buying a select few. Perhaps 15 a year AT MOST. With guys like R. Scott Bakker, Mark Lawrence and Adrian Tchaikovsky jumping in to take a few of those slots, the available positions are even less. We've had to say "sorry, but no thank you" to some stories that I nearly cried to let slip through my grasp. The team and I got together over a Facebook post one day and thought about what else we could do to help The Lifeblood (submitting authors, being The Lifeblood of the short fiction ezine industry. I've coined the term. Let's make it spread) get into our heads and know what we're after to increase their chances of getting published here. We've put together a few little hints and tips based on what we've seen in the last 6 months since we opened for submissions. For the love of the writing gods, PLEASE read our submission guidelines before submitting. That 4,100 word unsolicited short story that is a perfect fit for us... well, it isn't. It's too long. Our submissions guidelines are non-negotiable for unsolicited submissions. This is Grimdark Magazine. If it's not grim and dark, we're not interested. To us, morally grey/ambiguous protagonists, antagonists and supporting characters are synonymous with grimdark. If your hero is a square-jawed angel whose worst evil is eating her friend's Mars Bar after a...