Posts

Showing posts from August, 2013

Writing Every Day

So I've been reading Stephan King's "On Writing."  It's one of those books that every author needs to have read at least once.  The book is an autobiography of sorts mixed with writing advice.

In general I find the writing insufferable.  The entire work seems to drip with pompous self-assurance which, given the man's achievements, I don't entirely blame him for it's just annoying to read.  I just can't help but shake the feeling that he only issues the advice that he does because he's so successful.  Like it would have been interesting to me to read an autobiography by a young King and compare it to the style of established King.

But despite the moments of teeth grinding, there are quite a few gems littered around the book.  Sometimes you have to dig for them, but they're there.  In retrospect, I will probably be going back to reread the book.  It's the type of work that you'll just get different things out of at different times o…

Review of "Fallen Leaves," short story by Rachel Elizabeth Cole

Image
Summary: For as long as fifteen-year-old Grace Sather can remember, her great-grandmother has hated her mother. And now Mom wants Gran to move in with them. But before Mom can talk Gran into it, Gran has a bad fall and winds up in the hospital. Now a long buried secret is about to emerge. A secret that could shake the family to its very core.

Review: This story is good but for some reason left me dissatisfied.  The result was that I had to think about it for a few days before writing this review which is a quality I do appreciate in a short story.  I like having to digest a plot.
While the plot is from the point of view of a fifteen-year-old, it is mostly focused on the mother figure.  Grace is watching her mom react to the grandmother.  The point of view choice was excellent given the plot content.  It was just enough to make the details vague.  Grace is as in the dark as the reader so you want to keep reading to find out what the bad blood was between the mother and grandmother.
The …

Writing is Just So Sutble

Image
I find the lack of measurable progress in writing to be frustrating.

Let me explain: I'm a professional musician.  I also have a variety of hobbies that range from disc golf to beer making to archery.  In pretty much every area except for writing, there are clear markers to tell you if you're improving or not.

Can you play the hard section that old piece more easily?  What was your score at the end of 18 holes of golf?  Did that batch of beer taste better than the last batch?

Measurable progress.

If you make a stout three times and each time it tastes better, you know you're doing something right.  If your violin is making fewer glass-shattering squeaks, you know you're on the right track.

Writing doesn't have any markers like that.  Sure, you find yourself more easily forming scenes or maybe your vocabulary has expanded or even your story lines more complex.  But does that necessarily mean you're a better writer?

This problem is further compounded by the fact …

SFWG 2013 Flash Fiction Competition

Make it short and sweet! SFWG is looking forward to our 2013 Flash Fiction Competition!

Submission Guidelines:

Entries have a limit of 1,000 words. Stories beyond that will not be considered.Stories may be previously published.Any genre is accepted. The contest is about originality and depth of story given a limited number of words.Entries will be accepted beginning on August 5, 2013.Entry Deadline: September 2, 2013.All submissions should be sent as a PDF attachment to shortfictionwriters@gmail.com with “SFWG Contest” as the subject.
We will announce the winners by October 7, 2013.

First Place: Will be featured on the SFWG Blog, announced on various forums and websites, included in a future Anthology (with your approval), given an SFWG logo and winner image that can be used on your book cover, receive 10,000 words of free beta reading from both Book Brouhaha and Short Fiction Spotlight Beta Reading services (20,000 words total).

Second Place: Will be featured on the SFWG Blog and anno…