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Showing posts from July, 2012

There's a new blog in town: Short Fiction Spotlight

Dear Short Fiction Fans and Writers,

There's a new short story review/feature blog in town called Short Fiction Spotlight.  It's run by fellow short story writer, Jason Varrone.

Jason really liked the idea behind Book Brouhaha and Short Story Symposium and wanted to take his own stab at it.  I told him to go for it!  There are a ton of novel review blogs but very few short story friendly ones.  There definitely needs to be more places where short story authors can submit their work and not fear a scathing "so short it's a waste of time" type of review.

For reviews Jason has a strict 10,000 and under word count cap.  If you want to just have an excerpt from your story featured, he allows any story/collection that's 40,000 words and under.  For more information check out his submission guidelines.

So definitely take a moment to go over and check out this new site!

Review of "Tell Us Everything," a single story in a collection by Randy Attwood

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Summary: 3 Very Quirky Tales

In Tell Us Everything a Goth girl discovers how to plug herself into the world of the real and tell its secrets, much to the dismay of those who populate the world.

Timothy Thomas, driving home from work, looks at the driver in the next car and sees himself, not the person he is today, but the person he was 30 years ago. Are there start overs? In It Was Me (I) Timothy is about to find out.

The Notebook: When Jeremy stops by the house were he had an apartment when he was a college student and asks if he might look in the attic to see if a notebook he left there still exists, Sarah lets him in. They both discover truths they had rather not known.

Review: What an absolutely delightful piece!  What started out for me as a "what the heck..." story ended up unfolding into a genuine chuckle of a conclusion.
There was quite a lot to take at the beginning of "Tell Us Everything."  It started mid-action and had a plethora of names/characters (for …

Review of "Child of Chaos," short story by Ron Leighton

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Summary: In the town of Kaiyeth on the edge of Birviod wood, Kenhesho discovers the power of fear. A Tale of the Shining Lands.
Review: **May contain spoilers**
I have read/reviewed other work by Leighton and I have to say that his short story writing skills have vastly improved.  He's really done a good job changing the feel of his stories from "rambling" to "concise" without losing any of the fun fantasy feeling.
On that note, Leighton continues to impress with his grasp of fantasy language.  Often times you read stories in this genre and the only reason why you know it's fantasy is from the fact that they are killing orcs.  Not so with Leighton.  And he does it all without doing the "Old English" type of speech.  The end result is that you are immediately pulled into a rich other world of high fantasy.
My only gripe about this story is the end.  The death of the main character felt a little abrupt.  I get where Leighton was going with it. Kenhesh…

Dean Wesley Smith on Making a Living With Short Stories

For those of you that missed the bandwagon, Dean Wesley Smith wrote a blog post that spelled out the math behind making a living with short stories.  It's an interesting post.  Well worth the read.  It's also the same thing I said six months ago but it's always nice to know others support your theory =)

The general gist of his post as that you have to bank on both quality and quantity.  As a short story writer, you have to crank out new stories constantly and be versatile enough to spread yourself out to different genres.  I agree with all of that.  What I didn't agree with was that he suggested pricing standalone short stories around 5,000 words at $2.99.

Which is why it was interesting to me that he followed that up with another post on book pricing.  He talks about consumer expectation.  People have been conditioned to pay $5 for a coffee.  Whereas in ebook land we have a whole crowd of authors that essentially know nothing about pricing models so we shoot ourselves…