You have questions. Ask away.

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your humble host

This blog has long been a friendly place to come and learn, and what better way to learn than to ask?

You have questions. Writer stuff, marketing, motivation, you name it.

ASK ME

Your questions. Your challenges. Your issues.

If I don’t know, we’ll put it out to my vast network of author friends and get an answer. Or I’ll make something up.

 

Many people helped me when I was starting out because I was willing to ask what I needed to know.

That shortened my learning curve substantially.

– Dan Alatorre

So go ahead. Ask me anything.

What’s the best thing here?

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your humble host

I have this writing contest going on, and it’s tricky what to say about it.

I’ve seen these contests change people’s lives!

More or less.

If I say, “Hey, we are getting more entries to date than ever before!” – does that scare people away because they think they’ll have less of a chance to win?

If I say, “Wow, we aren’t getting many entries so far” – does that scare people away because they think, well, if the contest isn’t getting a lot of entries, it’s a dud and I shouldn’t waste my time?

It’s a dilemma.

I’ll say this.

Yes, so far it appears we are getting more entries TO DATE than in prior contests.

That doesn’t really mean anything, though, because most of you guys wait until the last minute to send your stuff in, so right now I have no idea if I’m about to get a flash flood or a dry river bed.

I could say that overall the stories are better so far and it looks like our best group yet

…except for fairness reasons, I haven’t started reading them yet.  That’s not me being a procrastinator (although that’s always a potential factor) but rather, if I read a story on July 2 and another one on July 31, it’s harder for me to remember the first one and compare them evenly. So even though it seems like procrastination, and to a certain degree it is (possibly a large degree), it’s also the best way for me to be fair.

Do I expect the contest to change your life? Hard to say, but let’s go with yes. Because it kinda has for quite a few people who’ve entered/

I think.

So I’ll say everything looks good.

The stories I’ve sneaked a peek at look good.

The quality of the writing by people in the Private Critique Group is through the roof. I’m loving working with you guys. (That’s a totally separate issue, and not related to the contest at all, but still worth sharing.)

Okay that’s it.

Enter the contest. It will change your life.

Probably. 

WRITING CONTEST

Word Weaver logi FINAL trimmed

over $400 in prizes

Darkwater 1

sponsored by Darkwater Syndicate, a Florida publisher

PRIZES! FAME! FORTUNE

(maybe; it could happen)

Don’t miss out! Click HERE for details and to enter!

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Your amazing piece of writing could be the one to take the top prize and be published in in our horror anthology called “VOODOO.”

ENTER NOW!

Go, Dan, Go! (Part 2)

Featured Image -- 72779I said I’d never ask you guys to do something I wouldn’t do…

Okay, I might.

But not about this.

You guys are supposed to be writing a story – a short story or part of a bigger novel, whatever – for the writing contest and anthology.

So I wrote one.

(A quick ad before I continue.)


WRITING CONTEST

Word Weaver logi FINAL trimmed

over $400 in prizes

Darkwater 1

sponsored by Darkwater Syndicate, a Florida publusher

PRIZES! FAME! FORTUNE

(maybe; it could happen)

Don’t miss out! Click HERE for details and to enter!

halloween-1787545_1920

Your amazing piece of writing could be the one to take the top prize and be published in in our horror anthology called “VOODOO.”

ENTER NOW!


(Okay, I’m back – but you should totally enter that writing contest!)

I’ve been writing a murder mystery for a collection of whole books for a different anthology.

So I decided since it was almost due, I’d better start.

Here’s my progress so far:

1 2142 July 2, 2018
2 1592 July 2, 2018
3 2233 July 3, 2018
4 2882 July 4, 2018
5 1801 July 5, 2018
6 1922 July 6, 2018
7 1335 July 6, 2018
8 1383 July 7, 2018
9 1539 July 7, 2018
10 1797 July 8, 2018
11 1698 July 11, 2018
12 2632 July 12, 2018
13 2045 July 13, 2018

Subtotal: 25001

That’s all words written in July so far, and I plan on writing the whole thing before midnight July 31st.

That’s the plan.

We’ll see how it turns out. But I feel confident so far.

With 37% of the month gone, I have 38% of the story finished (as of midday Friday July 13)

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This is going to be where my story ends up: a whole new book by ME, in an massive anthology with a bunch of other whole books. Like 25 or more.

PLEASE  preorder the whole book anthology, it’s called Death and Damages and it’s on sale in preorder for $0.99 right now. My book alone is worth that! This thing is a steal!

Order your copy today and I’ll post periodically about my progress.

Feel free to cheer me on and to enjoy Death And Damages when in gets released!

Should YOU enter your story in the Writing Contest?

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your humble host

Recently, we had a reader of the blog voice a concern about sending in their story. It went something like this:

Dear Dan,

I’m kind of interested in entering your writing contest, BUT

…my ghost story isn’t scary – does that disqualify it?

Signed,

Nervous Writer

Good question!

Here’s the answer:

You should send it!

The CONTEST is very lenient about what we’ll accept. GOOD WRITING is the key there.

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proposed TBUTB book 2 cover

The resulting ANTHOLOGY will also have a wide margin for stories we accept, and the majority I choose will be in the scary realm.

But!

Once I feel we have enough scary/strict horror stories for the anthology, I will allow people to join who have other stories that might be sentimental or even funny, but that aren’t strictly scary and still fall under the general banner of scary/Horror.

Why?

The rationale there (in the anthology) is, while we want to serve the target in the genre, I still like variety in an anthology. Once 50% or 75% of the stories have done that (say 15 or 16, maybe more) – then why not open the doors to other stuff that’s generally in the genre but not strictly scary?

After all,

scary is relative.

  • If I want to scare Jenny with my story, I have a big hairy spider crawl over the lip of a sleeping woman.

  • If I want to scare Harvey, I mention his ex-wife.

Scary is relative; HORROR is a genre under which scary falls, usually, so HORROR is the theme of the contest and the anthology, but

NOT every story must be scary to get in.

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#1 bestseller

We learned last time in the Box Under The Bed that saying “scary” put a few reviewers off. Saying “horror” should alleviate some of that.

If they are scared, so much the better.

The CONTEST serves as a vehicle for writer types to try something new or send in something they want considered, possibly to get a lot of eyeballs and publicity, definitely to get a helpful critique, but also to generate stories for an anthology – because we have so many talented writers out there!

SO ENTER YOUR STORY NOW!

Click HERE to learn more and enter.