Format Changes are Coming to The Chamber

On October 1, the appearance of The Chamber will change. Instead of having a rolling blog on the homepage, there will be a large cover, which has been the image in the upper right of the website. In place of that small cover will be three images of spooky doorways each with a figure of a person leading the way inside. The doorways will be labeled Short Stories, Flash Fiction, and Poetry. Clicking on a door will take you to that page. These pages will, of course, also be listed on the primary menu. The widgets in the right-hand column will also change but to a minor, yet-to-be-determined degree. This will make The Chamber a tad more traditional in its appearance by making it appear more like a magazine cover on its homepage. No changes are planned for the other pages, except, of course, for the additions of a poetry and a short fiction page.

The primary reasons for this change are a matter of space and time (in a manner of speaking).

The original intent of the blog format was to enable submissions to be published with relative speed as they came in. All types of submissions, short stories, flash fiction, and poetry were published together in a column of five posts that changed weekly in order to address the amount of submissions coming in. Subjectively, five seemed to be the optimal number of posts to show yet keep the page short so that readers did not have to scroll down a long list and to keep the appearance of the homepage clean, tidy, and organized.

Then the number of submissions increased, particularly poetry. However, poetry is naturally shorter than most short fiction. So, whenever one or more poems was/were published, that meant that the reader had fewer words to read than with five short stories, which, assuming a minimal word count of about 2,000 words/short story, meant that the reader was reading about 10,000 words if no poems were published and considerably less if more than one post was poetry. The same is also true of flash fiction, which The Chamber defines as stories of 1,000 words or less.

For the time being, the solution seems to be to give each type of submission its own page and on the homepage make the changes described in the first paragraph above. New issues will continue to be published on Fridays, although going to a monthly at some point has not been ruled out. The Chamber does like to give its writers as much exposure and publicity as possible, which is why bios appear as excerpts and and not synopses of the submissions. The Chamber still wants to publicize the writers in an issue on the homepage, but how to do this in the new format is still being worked out. So, expect to see more changes as time progresses.

Some of you may be wondering why not just work on a format until it is perfect and then publish it versus changing it sporadically?

Answer:

  • The publisher, being an amateur military historian, agrees with General Patton’s philosophy that a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
  • No matter what format is decided upon, it will always be changed eventually.
  • Always having some change, even minor ones, keeps the magazine fresh and the reader on his/her toes as to what to expect. In a sense, it makes the magazine more exciting and mysterious than sticking with the same cover for years, watching it become dated and stale. Change is the nature of the universe. People become bored if nothing changes.
  • Of course, people also take comfort in some things remaining the same and in knowing what to expect. Therefore, the excitement of change must be balanced with the comfort of knowing what to expect. This is why The Chamber is making this announcement about a major change to its format and will not announce minor changes.

Please leave contact The Chamber with any suggestions, questions, or constructive criticism.

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