Tag Archives: short story

Coming Soon–A Novel and a Short Story


Over the next two weeks, I am going to PUSH to get the editing finished on the novel, so that I can put it into the hands of an editor. Also, I have a 8,000 word short story that I also want to release about the same time as the novel as a $.99 special on Amazon.com.

The short story is titled “Strange.” I am thinking of a marketing teaser that goes something like this:

Everything in this story is strange, from the name of the town to the personality of the male character to the abnormal fear of the female character to the strangely fatal  miscommunication between them.

If you were a reader, how would that strike you? Does it make you curious about the content? Are you tempted to read the story? Let me hear from you. Your feedback is helpful to me. Thanks.

My goal for getting the short story onto Amazon.com is the end of June. There is much to do between now and then. I’ll share my learning curve–and mistakes–with you. Better you learn from my mistakes than have to make your own.

There will be cover art to commission, editing and formatting to accomplish, and finally uploading the manuscript. Then comes the marketing. If I come across as a little overwhelmed in the next few weeks, the impression will be accurate.

Flash, Micro, Sudden, 55-Word Fiction–a Mental Disciple


Not many every-day folks know about the world of abridged, compressed or ultra lean writing known to some as the short short story. It is a lovely genre for its intensity, poetry of language, and voice. There are different sub-genres that include exactly 33-word, 55-word or 100-word renditions of a story. A  laxer variation says anything under 300 words qualifies as a shortie.

The concept is to write a story (beginning, middle and ending) with a few, well-chosen words. It’s like smelting ore to refine for gold. Usually, the story, once distilled, packs a wallop.

Practicing writing ultra-short stories is a mental disciple. Take 15 minutes now to try it. Using the words “sentimental,” “pool,” and “sandals,” write a short story of 55-words (exactly).

I did the exercise, too. Here’s what I came up with:

Think of You

by Fay Moore © 2013

 You left. The air is as blistering as my emotions. I turn off the radio as I sit by the pool. No sentimental songs today. Illusory reflections in the water conjure your face. Your sandals, carelessly tossed into the grass, elicit memories of playful times. Damn it. In spite of myself,  I think of you.


Fifty-five word short stories, or shorties, are excellent writing exercises to focus one’s thoughts, word choice, imagery and more. Unlike poetry, a 55-worder must have a beginning, middle and end to the story. Like poetry, the impact is precise.

My fifty-five word stories tend toward the serious. I have a friend who has mastered using the 55-worder to zing the reader with the unexpected ending, using either humor or shock. The 55-worder is his domain.

To tip my hat in homage to him and our friendship, I present you with a symbolic fifty-five word story. It’s about a writer with writer’s block stuck in a desert town wondering if she will ever finish her novel.

Morning in a Desert

by Fay Moore (c) 2013

I awaken to drumming outside the window. It must be the madman across the street on his drum set. He’s getting an early start on  practicing, I think.  I arise and peek through the venetian blinds, wondering, Will it be a good day in this desert town? Yes. In a parched place, it is raining.

Here’s a second copyrighted example on the same theme. I sent an e-mail to my daughter using the following almost verbatim. That was the inspiration for the piece above. It’s funny how inspiration strikes:

It’s raining in the desert. I was awakened this morning to drumming outside my window. I thought it was the madman across the street with his garage drum set. He’s starting early, I thought. I peeked outside. No drummer. It’s raining!  How symbolic. Here I am in the midst of dusty barrenness,  yet there’s rain.

Here’s the Link to Preview the Anthology


http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Desert-Cafe-An-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00ARYTOYC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1356216202&sr=1-1&keywords=writers+of+the+desert+rose+cafe#_

Clicking on the link takes you to the cover and a brief look inside the first few pages of the new Anthology. Coincidentally, my work appears first in the book, so it is my work that is open to be read as part of  a free preview. Talk about pressure. If my work doesn’t nab a reader, then the rest of the authors may never get read. My work has to convince the site visitor to buy the book.

We priced the book at an affordable $2.99 because we want many people to take the chance to buy the book, then read it.

Remember, if you purchase a copy of the book and have constructive feedback for any of the authors, please share it here. The book is the first product of our writers group, reflecting our growing as writers. You, as reader, matter to us and we want to hear what you think, good or bad. Just make the critique constructive so an author can improve based on what you say.

 

 

The Anthology Is Going to Press


Within the week, the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe Anthology will be in the hands of Acorn Book Services for formatting. Within the month, the e-book will be available for sale on Amazon.com.

The anthology integrates the varied writing interests of the authors into a fast and easy read.  There’s something for everyone: young adult to inspirational to fantasy to adult fiction to poetry to ultra-short story (such as 33- or 55-word stories). Whatever your tastes in reading, the anthology offers enough variety to satisfy.

Sound like an advertisement? It is.

Naturally, I hope you will read the anthology and share feedback with me. Your feedback helps the writers of Desert Rose Cafe to improve and grow. Criticism is welcomed when it is meant to help.

The project itself drove several of the authors out of a comfort zone. Writing within a group setting is very different from writing alone. For a couple of the writers, the process of publication is a first experience. Others have years of creative expertise. One of our own developed the book cover with group input. Members assumed varying responsibilities such as editing, content organization, setting timelines and the like. The satisfaction of bringing the projection to completion is almost at hand.

As an aside, one of our authors has Asperger’s Syndrome, a developmental disability that affects one’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Can you imagine the huge satisfaction that writer is feeling right now?

Now the marketing begins, along with the next learning curve for some of us. When the e-book is available to purchase, I’ll share where to buy it.

As I learn what works and what doesn’t on the marketing side of the venture, I’ll share those lessons, too.

Later, ‘gator.

Writing Contests that Pay the Winners


Stuart Aken has painstakingly collected and stored in .pdf spreadsheet format a list of writing contests. The list tells a bit about the contest, the length of story required, the amount of money paid to the winner, etcetera.

In the past, I have ignored contests because so many seemed to be a ruse used to sell something. However, there are legitimate organizations that pay a handsome sum, such as Glittertrain, that can help a writer launch a career.

So, in that vein, I am providing a link to Aken’s list. Please use common sense and do your research about the organizations. I am not recommending any of them, but offer the opportunity for you to pursue as you see fit.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B709lVx9l5_mSF9HMHNvMWdaSzg/edit?pli=1

or

http://stuartaken.blogspot.com/p/writing-contests.html?spref=tw

High Winds–or A Lot of Hot Air


By now you have figured out that Hubby and I are what some might call hobby farmers: we farm, but at least one of us holds a job to pay the bills. And my husband’s pet project on the farm is hen husbandry–er, I mean, he likes his hens–er, what I really mean is he likes to eat eggs, and he thinks having hens around is comical, and he likes taking care of the chickens.

Anyway, in the midst of Hurricane Sandy, a friend from Arkansas called my husband and asked how his hens were faring. Hubby told the following whopper:

I wrapped myself up, being sure to wear my hard hat in case of any flying debris, and went outside to check on the chickens. Fay, who doesn’t enjoy the chicken chores, forgot to close the side screened window on the chicken house as well as the back hatch door that opens into the fenced yard. With all the wind, I was a bit worried about what may be churning in the hen house. When I opened the main door to the roost area, you’ll never believe what those hens were doing!

The wind was screaming through the house, coming in the open window and blowing out the rear hatch, sending sawdust and feathers flying like a rocket flame. But those hens had it under control. They were flying in place and in formation over the roost bars. Whenever they needed to give their wing muscles a rest, they grabbed the roost bars with their toes, kept their wings spread, and wind surfed.

Why there was so much wind funneling through the house that the eggs were floating in a helix formation in the vortex! I just stuck my goldfish net into the jetstream and nabbed me an egg, one at a time. Those hens didn’t even blink an eye!

And you thought only fishermen told tall tales.

Short Story from Hurricane Sandy


The televisions are blaring in both the bedroom and kitchen with non-stop weather reports as Hurricane Sandy closes the gap between riding north on the Gulf Stream and slamming ashore at the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Outside the kitchen window, wind is howling and rain is pelting the house. Dark clouds obscure nature’s light.

The missus surveys the collection of flashlights, candles, oil lamps, hand-cranked L.E.D. lanterns, matches and other emergency notions lined up neatly on the linen-cloaked dining room table. She is drying her hands after scouring the bathtub, then filling it with water. The water can be used to drink, to flush toilets, to water dogs or wash dishes if the power goes out, taking the well pump with it. In the kitchen, a pot of boiling water cooks spaghetti noodles. Garlic Texas toast browns in the oven. A freshly made pan of homemade sauce steams beside the spaghetti pot. The kitchen timer buzzes, calling the missus to attention.

She spears a noodle with a fork, runs it under cold water to cool, and pops it in her mouth. Perfect al dente. She turns off the oven and pulls the cookie sheet holding the savory bread from the rack, setting it on the countertop to cool. The noodles are draining in the colander when she calls her husband. It’s meal time.

He stands from a reclining position in his easy chair. She sets plates beside the stove and fetches grated parmesan cheese from the refrigerator.

Pop. Blink. Flicker. Whoosh. Out go the lights. It’s not the candlelight dinner she imagined.

Readers Want A “Fun, Fast Read”


E-reader owners share a common characteristic: as a group, they want a fun, fast read. Consequently, the length of the traditional novel is shrinking for e-books, from the print book standard of 80,000 to 120,000 words to the shorter e-book equivalent of 50,000 to 60,000.

E-reader owners often read on the fly–on the beach, on the plane, in the car, on the train, on vacation. These readers, as a group, prefer books that can be read quickly, in a day or two.

The new author who figures this out has a couple of advantages.

First, traditional print publishers are slow to offer titles in e-format. Print publishers dislike the e-publishing industry and resist aiding its development. Only best sellers in tree books get quickly converted to e-books. New authors who contract themselves to a traditional print publisher may never see their titles in e-format until their contract expires, reducing the writer’s exposure in the marketplace.

In negotiating terms with the traditional print publisher, new writers should retain e-book rights or require the return of the rights to the author if the print publisher doesn’t exercise the option to e-publish the book within a set time frame.

Second, an author can produce more material for sale in the e-book environment. In theory, a writer can produce two 50,000 word books in the same time it takes to create one 100,000 word manuscript. A smart writer will find a way to cut a longer manuscript into two connected stories, and have two stand alone books for sale simultaneously. Readers who like one book are going to buy the other.  It doubles the creator’s income.

Finally, readers who own electronic devices also buy short stories. A typical 7,000 word short story can be sold via e-booksellers like Amazon.com.

I hope you have found a few helpful strategies here for your own book business.

Sell Your Short Story–Boost Your Book Sales


Are you working on a novel? Is it taking forever to complete? Are you growing weary of working on it?

Take a break and write a short story with one or more of the same characters in your book. You may find it helpful in more ways than you think possible. First, it is a diversion from your novel, yet keeps the characters of the novel fresh in your mind. Second, sale of the short story assists the sales of your novel when you release it. Third, you can sell your short story for supplemental income.

West Virginia author Lauren Carr created a 7,000 word short story called “Lucky Dog.” The dog in the story, named Gnarly, is a regular character in her Mac Faraday mystery series. She intended to print the story as a promotional giveaway during book fairs.  A series of fortunate events led her to e-publish the story for $.99. Since then, her short story sales have pushed her novel sales up in multiples. (Visit her web page at http://mysterylady.net/Mac_Faraday_Books.html.)

The short story, sold at a low price point, gets your work into the hands of readers unfamiliar with you. If they like your story, they will look for more works written by you. In Carr’s experience, readers who liked Gnarly, the” Lucky Dog,” bought her mystery books that featured Gnarly. The sale of the short story ended up boosting the sales of her novels.

That’s called smart marketing!