TICK TOCK: Update on the WRITING CONTEST, the ANTHOLOGY, and maybe some other stuff.

  1. MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, March 31, 2018, Eastern Standard Time, is the deadline for your story if it’s going in the March 2018 Word Weaver Writing Contest.

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Prizes, fame, and a critique of your writing by me – but not if you don’t enter.

2. If you are interested in being in the upcoming anthology, please let me know by clicking the Contact Me button and telling me. You don’t have to have your story finished, just tell me you’re interested in joining the team. (Newbies: this could be your chance to get published with some famous folks!) We’ll go from there.

I’ve accepted stories from several authors and have commitments from several others, but

there’s not a door that slams shut when we reach 20 stories or anything.

SEND ME YOUR STORY.

If we get “too many” good stories, it’ll just be a big, fat book. Or we’ll have two volumes. Don’t not send me a story because of any concerns like that.

Is YOUR story good enough to be in the anthology? Well, I won’t know that until you send it, will I? (If it’s not, I’ll let you down easy and might even work with you on how to fix it.)

3. YES, stories from the prior/current Word Weaver Writing Contests (April’s and now July’s) will be considered for the anthology

– why wouldn’t I? I’m not big on turning away talent or making extra work for myself.

What else?

4. If you are wondering if you should try to be in the anthology, the answer is yes. Try. What do you have to lose?

5. Oh, the anthology entries don’t really have a set length. Mine will be about 3000 words, but a few from other authors are just several hundred words and one is longer than 3k.

6. Yes, you can have several stories of yours go into the anthology. See #3. Again, one author has several. I might have two. (And if we get so many stories we need two volumes, I’ll put one of my stories in each. How’s that?)

7. We will probably create a private Facebook group or something to discuss important anthology stuff, so stay tuned for that.

Okay, I have to go get ready to read more of the zillion Word Weaver Writing Contest entries.

If you have any questions about anything, let me know.

Put Your Characters Up A Tree And Throw Rocks At Them. And Then More Rocks. And Then Some More…

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your humble host

It can’t be easy or convenient for good storytelling.

I was watching Back To The Future last night, and there are soooo many little places where they put one more obstacle in between character and the goal.

It’s amazing.

That’s why that movie is so much fun to watch. Nothing, or almost nothing, happens without yet another obstacle – or two or three – getting in the way.

Even at the end, when Doc Brown is going have a lightning bolt run down from the clock tower on a wire and hit the DeLorean at exactly the right moment, we have hurdle after hurdle:

  • Marty is late,
  • the cord becomes unplugged,
  • then Doc Brown goes up to fix the cord – and it’s snagged on a tree and it won’t reach,
  • then he falls and has to hang onto the clock hands to make it happen.

That all takes place in ONE scene over about two minutes! That’s more obstacles in one scene than are in most books.

I mean, who thinks of that???

I would think of one or two of those things but not all four – and I may have left a few other hurdles out of my list.

That’s great storytelling.

Nothing should happen easily.

Put your characters up a tree and just pelt the living daylights out of them.


If you find little suggestions like this helpful, you can get a bunch of them. Simply enter my Word Weaver Writing Contest, and each entry gets a critique by ME!

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For details on how to enter and get your critique, click HERE

 

Blurb Wars! Writer Friends Try Their Hand At Water Castle’s Blurb. (Wanna Give It A Shot Yourself?)

Too long! Too short! Wrong girl!

That’s the hardest part/parts of getting a cover and getting a blurb. It can drive you crazy!

Luckily, I am surrounded by lots and lots of smart writer types who can step up and help.

Like our good friend Marie Malo (check out her blog at www.MarieMalo.com) who did a blurb rewrite for me, and came up with this:

On the tenth anniversary of her father’s death, fourteen-year-old Gina Martin finds herself drawn the park where he used to take her.

There, Gina discovers a portal that delivers her to the 1700’s where she meets a young Noble tasked with settling Spain’s La Florida territory. Compelled to spend time with him and the fascinating world she has found, Gina finds herself sneaking off after school and appearing in La Florida more and more – much to the ire of Philip’s counselor, Cero.

Falling for her prince, Gina ignores Cero, unfriendly natives, and the obvious discrepancies in her new friend, Summer. It isn’t until she discovers that Florida’s history, in her present day textbook, changes to reflect her actions the old world. These changes not only can rewrite the fate of her prince, but also set the modern world on a different path.

When a warring tribe attacks the Spanish settlement, Gina makes a risky escape through the portal. Back home, she is devastated to discover the tower housing the portal is slated for demolition.

Gina must choose between her life in the modern world, or her new life in the past – but the mysterious Cero’s books contain secrets that could change everything.

204 words

I like it! (But I like them all. I also hate them all. Except this one. I don’t hate it. Or the others, really. Sigh.)

And you know what? This is good practice for you guys, too.

Blurb writing might be like everything else: the more you do it, the better you get. I’d say my covers are better than when I started (but that’s not saying much, trust me). So it stands to reason blurb writing will improve with repetition.

Have a go at it!

Post your rewritten blurb for The Water Castle below!

Blurb me again! How ’bout one of these for The Water Castle? Better?

Yesterday I rolled out a first-draft blurb for this book.

aaa TWC BLUE 39 BEST v 1

Today, I’ve tweaked it. (Three blurbs follow)

Is one of the following blurbs better than the others? Which elements do you need in a blurb so you’ll feel compelled to check it out further? What puts you off?

BLURB 1:

On the tenth anniversary of her father’s death, fourteen-year-old Gina Martin finds herself inexplicably drawn to the run-down old park where he used to take her. There, while exploring an eerie abandoned water tower, Gina accidentally discovers a portal that takes her to the 1700’s where she meets and falls for a young Noble tasked with settling Spain’s La Florida territory. Each day, Gina goes to school, then sneaks off to spend time in the old world with Prince Philip. Befriending a matronly handmaiden named Summer, who is skilled in the mystical nature of local plants, Gina learns to love the ways of the old world – to the ire of Philip’s counselor Cero, a practitioner of a darker mysticism who wants Gina gone.

But as she studies history in school, Gina notices her textbook changing to reflect the things she does in Old Florida – possibly sending the modern world onto a new path and rewriting the fate of the prince! As her relationship with Philip intensifies, a warring native tribe rises up to attack and demolish the Spanish settlement; at home, the crumbling portal tower is scheduled for demolition! Summer may have plans for Gina and the Prince, and Gina realizes she must soon choose between her life in the modern world or her new life in the past – but the mysterious Cero’s books contain secrets that change everything for all involved.

233 words

BLURB 2:

On the tenth anniversary of her father’s death, fourteen-year-old Gina Martin finds herself inexplicably drawn to the run-down old park where he used to take her. There, while exploring an eerie abandoned water tower, Gina accidentally discovers a portal that takes her to the 1700’s where she meets and falls for a young Noble tasked with settling Spain’s La Florida territory. Each day, Gina goes to school, then sneaks off to spend time in the old world with Prince Philip. Befriending a matronly handmaiden who is skilled in the mystical nature of local plants, Gina learns to love the ways of the old world – to the ire of Philip’s counselor Cero, a practitioner of a darker mysticism who wants Gina gone.

But as she studies history in school, Gina notices her textbook changing to reflect the things she does in Old Florida – possibly sending the modern world onto a new path and rewriting the fate of the prince! As her relationship with Philip intensifies, a warring native tribe rises up to finally demolish the Spanish settlement, and at home, the crumbling portal tower is scheduled for demolition! Gina realizes she must choose between her life in the modern world or her new life in the past, but the mysterious Cero’s books contain secrets that change everything for all involved.

216 words

BLURB 3:

Fourteen-year-old Gina and lives in modern Tampa, but accidentally discovers a portal that takes her to the 1700’s where she meets and falls for a young Noble tasked with settling Spain’s La Florida territory. Each day she goes to school, then sneaks off (to the portal) to spend time in the old world with Prince Philip. But as she studies history in school, she sees her textbook change each day to reflect things she did in Old Florida – possibly sending the modern world onto a new path and rewriting history for (the fate of) the prince! As her fondness for Philip intensifies, native tribes are rising up to demolish the Spanish settlement – and Gina realizes she must choose between staying in the modern world or living in the past.

128 words

Is one of the blurbs better than the others? Which elements do you need to feel compelled to check it it further? What puts you off? What intrigues you?

Comment below!

Blurb me! Tentative blurb for The Water Castle – give me your thoughts!

Here’s my tentative blurb for my new novel The Water Castle. Give me your thoughts!

but first a brief commercial


WRITING CONTEST!

Don’t miss out!

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Great prizes and each entry gets a critique from ME!

Details and entry info HERE

HURRY! Entry deadline is March 31, 2018


aaa TWC BLUE 39 BEST v 1
 

tentative cover design

 

233 words:

On the tenth anniversary of her father’s death, fourteen-year-old Gina Martin finds herself inexplicably drawn to the run-down old park where he used to take her. There, while exploring an eerie abandoned water tower, Gina accidentally discovers a portal that takes her to the 1700’s where she meets and falls for a young Noble tasked with settling Spain’s La Florida territory. Each day, Gina goes to school, then sneaks off to spend time in the old world with Prince Philip. Befriending a matronly handmaiden named Summer, who is skilled in the mystical nature of local plants, Gina learns to love the ways of the old world – to the ire of Philip’s counselor Cero, a practitioner of a darker mysticism who wants Gina gone.

But as she studies history in school, Gina notices her textbook changing to reflect the things she does in Old Florida – possibly sending the modern world onto a new path and rewriting the fate of the prince! As her relationship with Philip intensifies, a warring native tribe rises up to attack and demolish the Spanish settlement; at home, the crumbling portal tower is scheduled for demolition! Summer may have plans for Gina and the Prince, and Gina realizes she must soon choose between her life in the modern world or her new life in the past – but the mysterious Cero’s books contain secrets that change everything for all involved.

 

Does this blurb give you enough information to make you want to read the story?

Too much?

Put your comments below and let me know!