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Showing posts from December, 2013

The Business Model for Pulp Fiction

I was having a really interesting discussion the other day about pulp fiction and the Golden Age of short stories.  The cheaper publishing costs plus the popularity of the magazine format plus the space exploration obsession of the age made for fertile grounds in the short form fiction arena.

So the argument in said discussion was that we are no longer living in the Golden Age for short stories.  The form isn't as mainstream as it used to be, which, therefore, means that you can't make a living as a short story writer.

This really got me thinking.  And you know what?  I call bull on that statement.

You know who really made the money during pulp fiction days?  The publishers.

You know how the authors made money?  By writing constantly.  Guys like Ray Bradbury were PROLIFIC writers.  They had to constantly churn out new stuff in order to make a living.  And even then it wasn't like most of them were making millions.  At best, most of these authors "got by."

So the…

Guest Blog: The Other Publishing Company Launch Innovative Weekend Short Story Competition – ‘The Lit Bits Weekend Challenge’

As part of their mission to bring the best short stories from new and established authors to keen readers around the world, The Other Publishing Company are running a series of weekend short story competitions, with winners receiving publication and a share of a £1000 prize pot.

Over the course of four consecutive weekends, starting on the 13th of December 2013, The Other Publishing Company are challenging writers to produce an entertaining short story of 1000 words. Each Friday morning they are giving writers a set story title to work with and challenging them to have it completed by Monday morning.

Each weekend three winners will receive £80 or $80 (depending on where they live), that’s 8p or 8c a word! At the end of the month twelve winning stories will share almost £1000 in prize money, and all winning stories will be published in special Lit Bits compilations. Entrants can enter as many stories each weekend as they wish, and from anywhere in the world, but they must be written in…

Review of "On the Clock in Vegas," short story by Brian Bergquist

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Summary:
Professional gambler Benny Delgano is in Las Vegas to compete in a high stakes fantasy football tournament for one hundred thousand dollars, only to run into a demented criminal from his past with revenge on his mind.

Forced into colluding with Tommy the Wolf at the fantasy football draft in order to spare his friend's life, Benny finds out the stakes were higher than he originally thought.

Review:
I'll admit, the subject material is not really my cup of tea.  I'm more of a Settlers of Catan gamer rather than high stakes gambling.  And I know just enough about football to follow a game.  But fantasy football?  Lost me there.

That disclaimer said, the writing was compelling enough that I still enjoyed the story.  Even though the terms and catchphrases thrown around sometimes sailed over my head, there was enough action and intrigue to compensate for that.

There's a very small twist at the end.  I won't spill the beans in this review but the twist hinges on t…

Adapting Short Fiction for the Screen, Guest Blog by Screenwriter Derek Ryan

Derek Ryan is the screenwriter of an independent adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's 2BR02B based in Vancouver B.C. 2BR02B was one of Mr. Vonnegut's early short stories, written before most of his novels. Since it is such a splendid example of Short Fiction, he is reaching out to the short fiction community hoping to drum up support for turning it into a film.
For me, this was my first time adapting a literary piece into a screenplay format. Luckily, since the short story is already so cinematic, I didn’t have a David-esque battle to fight in order to make it work for the screen. The biggest challenge for me was giving the audience knowledge about the world that the film inhabits without resorting to narration or some gross sequence of expository dialogue. I feel narration is somewhat of a cheat, so instead, we added an entirely new scene as a prequel to the events in the short story. This way, the audience gets to see more of the world, and infer from what is seen, as to what the …