Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Second Chances’

What Project to Tackle Next

December 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Under the Darkened Moon is not yet done, but it is getting close. A few more chapters need polishing. Then it will be off to whatever is next on the list once the novel is sent off to fend for itself in the slush piles of literary agents and publishers. And boy, is that list of potential projects long. I have so many that it is going to be hard to choose.

There are a lot of short stories I am working on. I have considered finishing up enough of those to wrap them up into an small book of maybe 100 pages or so and get something published and available for sale. Right now I am preparing to get two stories (Frist and Second Lessons & The Yoke) critiqued by my writers group. Second Chances is available to do something with too. So that could be the start for this idea. Read more…

Second Chances Doesn’t Make The Preliminary Cut

October 10, 2012 7 comments

With the Long List for the Fantasy-Faction Anthology released, you will notice that Second Chances did not make the cut.  Since the six stories to be published will be selected from the long list, Second Chances is now free as the proverbial bird.
Read more…

Fantasy-Faction Anthology Starts Releasing Long List

October 1, 2012 Leave a comment

The Fantasy-Faction Anthology has begun releasing it’s long list of 30 stories from which the six for publication will be selected.  The anthology received about 1,700 submissions.

The first five titles for consideration were released yesterday, and over this week the remaining 25 will also be announced.  And no, my submission Second Chances did not make the cut as of yet.  With so many submissions, the odds were never really in my favor, but I thought I would try anyway.

So far, the fist five titles on the long list are:

You Have Only One Chance by Vasso Christou

Winter Unicorn by Rose Taylor

Alderwood Bodies by Steve Erdal

Ninety-nine Macaws by Leslianne Wilder

The Dealer by Miah Saunders

Jumping In – Second Chances Completed For Submission

June 29, 2012 7 comments

Ok, I’ve been rushing to complete my short story Second Chances for submission into a fantasy short story contest to see how things go.  Deadline is fast appraoching, like tomorrow fast, and I have been doing some polishing.

The story follows Kath’ri-sa, an elf, and the deuteragonist of my novel Under the Darkened Moon.  I just like saying the word deuteragonist.  Its sounds so quirky.

Final stats on the short story are 5,941 words, Flesch Reading Ease of 84.3, and Flesch-Kincade Grade Level of 4.1. Read more…

Submitting, Editing, Reflecting And New Stories

March 12, 2012 Leave a comment

So much going on. I have finalized my short story Second Chances and am going to starting submitting it for publication. Since it is based as sort of a prologue to my novel Under the Darkened Moon I had to get very close to completion of that project to work out any discrepancies first. As for that novel, it is still in the editing phase. I am about 80% done with my second serious edit. There have been three edits and four versions of the story in all (rough draft, rough edit, first edit and now second edit).

I have learned a lot by writing it including how petty other writers can be and how what one person finds thrilling others find boring. Overall however, reviews from people who have been reading it are positive. You cannot please everyone though. Lots of comments along the lines of, “better than much of what gets published,” in Fantasy literature. So I am encouraged by that.

Right now that novel is sitting as I am working on Her Lovely Blood which is turning into a story that will be not all that unfamiliar to anyone well versed in the stories of ancient Greek gods. No, it is not a copy of one such story. I only mean that it is similar in the sense of the players and how the plot will twist and turn with gods meddling here and there. The trick is going to be to keep the story seeming logical without any, hopefully, unwarranted excursions into the realm of doing something unbelievable to save the story’s heroine from peril.

Right now the novel is 16,666 words and growing by the day. It seems that it will likely be a trilogy or at the least a first book and then a sequel to complete the story arc. The overall ending is unwritten although I do have three alternatives that I am keeping in mind as the story unfolds. This first draft is being free written with very little editing so far.

Reading Level For A Good Story

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

A friend of mine, a published author, suggested that any story I write should have a Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level of between 3.5 and 5.5 or 6.0 at most. I thought that seemed low so I cut and pasted some segments of published novels I have around in digital format into Word and checked. All of those tests actually fell into that range.

So I took the new Chapter 1 I have just written for Under the Darkened Moon and ran it though the readability statistics analyzer in MSWord.

The results were:
Passive Sentences – 2%
Flesch Reading Ease – 86.9
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level – 3.8

So looks like I am in that range and if there is anything to this I have that, probably minor, hurdle hurdled.

Just to make sure though I ran my free writing exercise which I recently completed though the tool as well.

Passive Sentences – 5%
Flesch Reading Ease – 83.4
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level – 4.4

I also ran my short story Second Chances:

Passive Sentences – 5%
Flesch Reading Ease – 85.8
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level – 3.8

Yep. Looks like I am solidly in that range.

“Under The Darkened Moon” Pacing

December 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been working on my novel “Under the Darkened Moon”, a sequel, if you will, to my short story “Second Chances”. Having completed the first draft, I am now editing it.

I have been having trouble getting the timing down and pacing the start of the story. While there was action early on, things seemed slow and I, as the author, was getting bored. If I am getting bored by the pace, I worry that the reader would have the same experience.

One thing that seemed to stand out was that the slowness seemed to stem from the length of the chapters, about 20-30 pages. They were that size because I was clustering events and scenes that happened within a day of each other as entire chapters separated by scene changes denoted by “* * *” breaks.

So, chapter 1 for example, consisted of three scene changes, the day the story starts, the next day’s morning then that next day’s evening. Chapter two then picked up three days later. I have, right now, split the first chapter into two completely different chapters so that now chapter 1 is the day the story begins and chapter 2 is the next day’s morning with a scene change to that evening. Chapter 2, or at least the start thereof, now is chapter 3.

By doing this, and maybe I am just fooling myself into thinking this, the story seems to move better and flow faster and smoother with shorter chapters. It is almost like the white space that follows the end of one chapter before the next chapter starts on the next page, despite being a break, causes everything to sound better.

Don’t know if I will continue down this path, but it seems to be working and the story seems more energetic and fluid.

Maybe I Am Being Too Critical Of My Own Work

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

So I just received back comments on my short story “Second Chances” from my second set of guinea pigs who I asked to read and comment on it after the first group really didn’t come back with anything overly critical. The responses from the second group were basically the same; nothing terribly wrong, great story, good read.

This second test group contained people that I peripherally know and I had thought that they would be more likely to be harsher and more critical than the first group which consisted of friends and family.

Read more…

Hero, Anti Hero, Other?

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment

A friend who read my short story “Second Chances” tried to engage me in a conversation about whether the protagonist was was more of a heroine or an anti heroine in my mind. I said that she was prototypically neither.

In truth, I said, she exhibits traits of a hero, an anti hero and even a Byronic hero. I find that any of the basic hero archetypes, if used in their true forms, are just too predictable. I like to mix and match the traits of my main characters to make sure they don’t fall into any particular pigeonhole.

In the sense that in the beginning she exhibits none of the traits of a pure hero I don’t think anyone could confuse her for such. If anything, if you push me, I would say she is much more of the anti hero.

I think though that mixing things up leads to much more well rounded and believable characters.

Feedback Received On Short Story “Second Chances”

November 7, 2011 Leave a comment

I have received my feedback on my short story “Second Chances”, a prologue to the novel “Under the Darkened Moon” which I am also working on. That novel is now in its second go through after I completed the rough draft two weeks ago.

I asked people to be critical of the short story, whether or not they liked it and to point out places where improvements were needed.

I have come to conclude that either the story is near perfect or the people who I asked to comment on the story were not willing to give it the sort of critical eye it requires. Now I have to decide how to proceed. I did get some opinions on how to fix some of the verbiage which I am going to implement. But the general consensus among all that read it was that it was a very good story. No one had more than five or six comments and nothing groundbreaking that would cause me to rethink major parts of the story. Everything was minor.

But I will also probably submit the story to a second round of screening to a new group of proofers for their take. While it is possible that the story really is as good as my first round of readers said it was, I just would feel better making sure.

I mean, I have been writing for years. I know how to do it. But since fiction writing is a new thing for me, I need to make sure I get things right before I move this story forward.