Announcing Spire City

Short Fiction
I'm back from my longer-than-planned hiatus with some exciting news(so much of it, in fact, that I can't include it all in this post)! One of my favourite steampunk authors from my time at Musa Publishing, Daniel Ausema, and I are working together to spread the word about his serial fiction series, Spire City. Here's a little bit about the story: Spire City is home to mighty machines of steam power and clockwork, and giant beetles pull picturesque carriages over cobbled streets, but there is a darker secret behind these wonders. A deadly infection, created by a mad scientist, is spreading through the city, targeting the poor and powerless, turning them slowly into animals. A group of those infected by the serum join together to survive, to trick the wealthy…
Read More

Focus in on what really matters

Blog Stuff, Novels, Short Fiction, Writing
As a writer with a limitless imagination and an interesting life, it's easy to get caught up in too many projects at once and to end up abandoning things you really want to work on. It's something I do all the time, and this summer I've done it yet again, and realized that I need to change course to truly create the future I want. When you know exactly what you want, it's tempting to try to force it all at once, but life doesn't work like that. You need to choose two or three projects to focus on at a time, no more. You might even want to try focusing on one project at a time depending on your schedule and the kind of person you are. I don't…
Read More

Getting into the Writing Zone

Nanowrimo, Novels, Prompts, Workshops, Writing, Writing, Writing: The Process
Since you're planning to write a 50, 000 word novel next month--dividing into 1,667 words per day--it's a good idea to get warmed up by doing some writing exercises over the next few days. A good goal would be to write at least 400-500 words every day until Nanowrimo starts, so you're already in the writing groove on November first. This warms up your writing muscles without leading to burn out before Nanowrimo begins. Today I'd like to share three exercises designed to help you do just that. These exercises can be done with your Nanowrimo characters or completely different characters. I usually use them to flesh out the characters and world I've already started creating for my novel, because I find that you discover many things while writing that…
Read More

Author Interview: EJ Newman

Author Interviews, Reading Related, Short Fiction
Today I'm very proud to introduce EJ Newman, an author who I've been following online since a few months before she got her first publishing contract. A long, long time ago I discovered her blog, then I subscribed to her short story club, and now I'm subscribed to the Split Worlds stories. The short stories delivered to my inbox inspired me and made me fall in love with Newman's writing. A couple years later, I'm thrilled to say that she's decided to join us for an interview. 1. Can you tell us a bit about your novel, 20 Years Later? 20 Years Later is the first in a trilogy set in London twenty years after almost everyone was killed by something the survivors only refer to as 'It'. The city is…
Read More

Journal Prompt

Journalling, Prompts, Writing
Today's prompt is designed to be a journal entry. Sometimes fascinating things come out when we focus on ourselves. Whether it be inspiration for another story, a story in itself, or just the chance to examine ourselves on a deeper level, journalling is good for us. It doesn't have to be constant. My notebook doubles as an occasional journal, but I've never been able to sit down each day and write something about my life. Instead, I use simple prompts and questions to bring the focus back to myself. I use a place where I've been, a year, a question, an emotion--and I free write. This is the most cathartic writing, and sometimes, it even turns out to be entertaining. So, without further ado, I will send you to your…
Read More

Editing a Short Story in Five Steps

Short Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing
Over the last week of December and the first week of January, we worked on fairly long short stories. Now it's time to talk about editing. Editing a short story is a much less painful process than editing a novel. It's a shorter process, and if you go through each of these steps you can make it a lot easier for yourself. I recommend taking a day or two away from your short story before you start editing it. You don't want to stay away a long time. Particularly if your end goal is to make money, it's a good idea to have several of these on the market at one time. When I edit a short story, I usually follow these steps: 1. Proofread on the computer. Sure, you…
Read More

Fiction Prompt January 20th

Prompts, Short Fiction
While I am hoping to use several of these prompts to create standalone flash fiction, writing responses to these prompts from the PoV of one of my novel characters is a really good way to build character. Today I've got not only a prompt for you, but a small response to it that I wrote from the PoV (point of view, for those of you who don't know) of Riana, the main character in Moonshadow's Guardian. Today's prompt: Guilt My response: It's been thousands of years since I protected Eternia, but I will never forgive myself for failing her. She was just a little girl the first time we met. I remember her cute smile, her little head all covered in long black hair like a curtain. I remember her…
Read More

A Prompt for the New Year

Inspirational, Prompts, Short Fiction, Writing
The new year has just begun. This first week is a great time to set the tone for the rest of 2012. We all have our own goals, both writing related goals and completely separate goals, for the new year. If we take the first steps towards those goals now, we're ahead. Don't tell yourself you can wait to start working on something because you have the whole year. Start working on it now. Right now I'm finishing up Birth of a Vampire, a short-ish story that will probably end up a little less than 10K. I'm also formulating a plan to edit my novel. As part of my plan to write and submit twelve pieces of fiction this year, I'm going to be writing an actually short story that…
Read More

Working on a Longer Short Story

Inspirational, Short Fiction, Writing
Last week I challenged you to work on a longer short story. I'm going to spend 2012 working on writing stories shorter than anything I've written before--under 2, 500 words--but there's a short story that I wrote in the summer which I think will be better if I don't try to restrict its length. I'm working on a full rewrite of it now and considering extending the plot. A longer short story in this context is between 10, 000 and 15, 000 words. The word count allows you to cover a bit more ground without going into a complete novel. With the rise of ebooks, works of this length are becoming more and more viable. For me, whose short stories generally cover the span of a few days, aiming for…
Read More