Keeping it Real

It’s December, and here in the northeastern U.S., that means it’s winter, whether we like it or not. (I don’t do winter. My summer soul can’t handle the cold.) But at least it’s Christmas season and that’s pretty rad.

How did you all do with NaNoWriMo last month? I didn’t write a whole novel, which I knew I wouldn’t, but I did complete that short story I told you about. And *drumroll*, I finished my short story collection! Yeah, bbbbooooiiii. It’s just about 50,000 words, total. It’s eight stories, which I’m a bit disappointed in. I’d like to have 10. I’m currently editing the thing, but if another story just suddenly strikes my fancy, well then I’ll probably end up adding it. It’s all speculative fiction—sci-fi, specifically.

I’ve sent several of the stories off to some magazines, too, in hopes of getting them published. I’d like to have some published in magazines or journals before I compile and self-publish the collection. Cross your fingers. I’ve already been rejected by one. Looking good already, folks! -.-

I’m starting to look at indie book publishers again, too. That old familiar feeling about my novel is coming back. You know: the one where you think “Well, god dammit, this is good! Why did I stop sending it out? I’ll try again!” before you again decide it’s complete shite and let it sit, buried beneath the piles of self-loathing and bitter cynicism, for a few more months before the whole damn cycle of pessimism-then-egoism starts over again…

*ehem

The problem with indie book publishers is that a lot of them started out indie and have since become, dare I say it, mainstream. (THE SHAME.) Many no longer accept unsolicited mss, or they now require agented communication. I understand why they’ve turned that route, but it’s awfully damn discouraging. Below are some of the lists I’ve been looking through. Maybe your pub. company match is on here…

Poets and Writers: http://bit.ly/2gVGlis

Independent Publisher: www.independentpublisher.com/gbpublishers.php

Every Writer’s Resource:  www.everywritersresource.com/bookpublishers/

Stay real, kids.

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Wr.Tu.Th.: The End?

This Writing Tutorial Thursday has been a long time coming. (My fault. Sorry.) Finally, we’ve reached….THE ENDING.

Writing Tutorial: The End?

Disclaimer: The information presented herein is based on what I, personally, have learned in my educational and professional careers. This tutorial is simply meant to offer some helpful tips.

INTRODUCTION: You’ve done it; you wrote your novel. You—wait a minute! What about the ending?

Admittedly, I have such a hard time with endings. And it’s one of the most important parts! It’s where you tie everything up; where your resolution happens; where everything comes together. So how do you write one? Here are some tips that have helped me in the ending-writing process.

1)As mentioned, the ending is where you resolve the central conflict. It’s also where you tie up loose ends. Make sure you’ve fixed the problems, solved the issues, etc. You shouldn’t leave your readers confused and wondering, “Wait, so what about….?”

2) Nothing new. The ending isn’t the time to introduce a new, surprise character or subplot. Unless these things were foreshadowed in early chapters, they shouldn’t be included. They just make things confusing.

3) Let your reader do the imagining. Try not to get carried away with descriptions of “what happens after.” You don’t have to write a neat and tidy ending; you can certainly let your reader figure it out.

4) Make sure your ending mirrors something in the beginning (or at least ties back to a crucial part of your story). Did your main character grow emotionally? Did he/she learn something since the beginning? Accomplish something? Do that one thing you wanted them to do? Be sure your reader can recognize that your ending somehow relates to an earlier theme or idea presented in your novel.

Hopefully these will help you craft some stellar endings. Do you have any other suggestions? Questions? Let me know!

Keep practicing and happy writing!

Negative Font +Prompt

I recently found this piece buried away. It was written in response to a prompt. I figured someone else might like to take a wack at it. The prompt word was simply “papyrus.” See what you can come up with. Comment with a link to your own work!

(Also, if anyone knows how to do specific fonts here on WordPress, let me know…)

Negative Font
JCD Kerwin

She wrote to you in p a p y r u s.

The typeface contradicts the bitter adieu written on the page. Each word makes you hate calligraphy. You imagine her sitting, her back against the ocean, listening to the wind within the reeds. She ran away to him and summer; you remain with nothing and the winter.

You rip pages from your notebook, pick up a pen and scrawl in IMPACT. You forget she’s long gone and throw the memories away.

(February 2016)

 

Back Again…I Pinky Swear

I was back…and then I disappeared again. I had a big health scare in the family. (The past two weeks have been crazy.) Everything seems to be on a good path now. *thumbs up*

But now I’m back. I pinky swear promise. Next week it’s back to our regularly scheduled program of tips and tutorials and prompts (oh my!). I’m also working on a new short story, too, so that’s pretty exciting.

Stay tuned…