#CoffinHop Gets Behind Child Literacy | Death by Drive-In

CoffinHop13thFloorFaceYourFears_Full714x1064
Remember to enter my contest for a chance to win the DEATH BY DRIVE-IN CoffinHop Anthology…

CoffinHop13AnthologyPromo

AVAILABLE NOW

KINDLE

SMASHWORDS

PAPERBACK

Take a drive to the drive-in.

Be chilled to the bone.

A CoffinHop Anthology.

21 B-Movie Inspired tales to raise the hair on your flesh.

100% of All Profits are going to LitWorld.org,

a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

supporting child literacy and social improvement the world over.

Get your copy now because every child deserves to tell their story.

Every child deserves to lose themselves in the world of imagination.

Help make this happen.

Drive by the Drive-In.

We are also donating proceeds

from our official COFFIN HOP store

for all your COFFIN HOP SWAG!

x

CoffinHop2013skelly1200x1800poster

56.

What’s that you say? Christmas? No it’s #Creepfest time!

Who’s there?

Knock Knock…Creak…Bump…Crash…

Careful…before you open that door…

I don’t think it’s Santa Claus nor Rudolf…

~It’s the Grinch, ghosts, gargoyles,vampires,zombies ….

and a whole creepy clutch of #Creepfest writers!~

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to the blog tour.

Today is Day One of the Blog tour...

So what’s going to be happening here on Wrestling the Muse…

I am going to post a creepy Christmas nightmare,

but only a little will be unveiled every day of the Creepfest…

There will also be some guest bloggers joining in with

their own creepy deliciousness of Creepfest…

It is a Christmas Creepfest which means that there will be Christmas gifts…

But

The Grinch is running this competition along with

the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present & Future, which means…

You will need to complete a few simple exercises

to be in the running to win these three prizes…


The guest bloggers participating on my blog have

each been given a challenge of a Creepmas flash fiction.

The best flash fiction will be chosen by YOU, yes that’s right YOU, reading this right now.

There will also be a challenge for you lovely readers to complete for the length of the tour.

But I will tell you a little more about your challenge tomorrow…

So there will be 3 winners:

A #Creepfest Author/Blogger

and

2 Readers

There will be prizes…

Winning Reader Prize 

E-book copy of Tales for Canterbury

+

$10 Amazon Gift Voucher

Runner up Reader Prize

$10 Amazon Gift Voucher

_______________

Winning #Creepfest Author/Blogger Prize

Print Copy of Tales for Canterbury

a surprise gift

For more info on Tales for Canterbury, click here…

This is an anthology of short stories you do not want to miss out on.

It has tales by Neil Gaiman, Jay Lake and 32 other incredible authors…

It also includes my debut short story, The Ring of Fire, a YA dystopian tale…

There are tales of zombies, other worlds but above all

all the stories are about survival in the face of danger or disaster.

__________________

Do you have what it takes?

Are you ready for the challenge?

Do you enjoy dark fiction, paranormal and stories

about things that go bump in the night?

Can you take 12 days of #Creepfest?

So make sure you stop by the blog tour home (by clicking on the Creepmas tree)

and make sure you get yourself to this blog and all the other #Creepfest Blogs

to win yourself a Creepmas Bounty of #Creepfest prizes…

Ooh It’s going to be a Creepy 12 days!

“It’s beginning to feel a lot like #Creepfest!”


Full Time Writing, Charity & Dystopia | Where I am interviewed

Today I took the interview chair with Dicey’s Blog…

We talked about full time writing, how being a writer can mean giving back or reaching out and the what’s and why’s of loving dystopian fiction.

You can read the full interview here.

nVrkvW2

Thanks Dicey! It was fun visiting with you on your blog.

Dicey is one of the authors/bloggers that I am co-hopping with in the exciting

kim-sunstoppedshining

 

Story A Day May – Challenge!

Day 27 Short Fiction
Image by texasgurl via Flickr

Story A Day | About.

Pushed for inspiration in May. Why not try “Story A Day in May”?

I have just signed up. This is  a great opportunity to get writing and get creating in the short story format. 

Every day this website posts a writing prompt for your short stories. The aim of the challenge is to write a short story every day for may or write 31 short stories.

Stretch yourself and take up the challenge.

My user name on the site is: lastlines

Look forward to seeing you there.

– Kim

Creating a Magic System – Contest Alert!

Might and Magic
Image via Wikipedia

Creating a Magic System Final and Contest.

So you would know from a few posts this year that I am on a Short Story roll right now. I am loving turning an idea into a short story. At the moment I have so many ideas flying around in the Aether of my imagination that I am hard pressed to capture them all. So instead of turning all of them into potential full length fiction, I am turning some of them into short stories.

Above is the link to a wonderful short story competition about Magic.  The contest will start from today, and run until May 31st, which should give you plenty of time to plan and get your submissions in.

Contest Part 1 – Create a magic system, using roughly the format outlined here. 2,000 words is the goal.
Contest Part 2 – Use that magic system to write a 5,000 to 10,000 word short story, and submit both it and the magic system to L.M. Stull. She’ll blind them and pass them on to the judges, and we’ll pick which ones are the winners.
Prizes – And the part I’m sure you’re all wondering about. We’ve got a $50 Amazon gift card for the first place winner, and a $25 card for second place.

So not only do you get a chance to practice your short story writing skills but you get to play with a new magic system that you have created. On the original contest link you will find a series of posts on magic systems and what they can consist of.

So let’s weave some story magic and tell a tale that is short, magical and entertaining. Win yourself an Amazon gift voucher.

– Kim

Short,Sweet & To The Point

story

I have recently been stretching my narrative abilities through the medium of Short Story. This is a medium that I find very challenging. Not since High School have I really read or written any Short Stories. Last year at the RWNZ Writers’ Conference that I attended I specifically enrolled in a talk on the Short Story and on Novellas. Then this year I started looking at writing some Short Stories for competitions. This month though I am working on three Short Stories. One is for an anthology that I have been asked to contribute to. The other two are for writing competitions. So I thought today’s post would be focused on the Art Form of Short Story Writing.

What is the difference between a Short Story and a Novel?

A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas (in the 20th and 21st century sense) and novels. (Wikipedia)

A short story is more concise and tight in writing than a novel. Unlike a novel where there may be a number of incidences leading to one climax; a short story usually contains one incidence.

A novel can have multiple plot lines, different settings and a variety of characters. A short story has one plot that covers a short time period in one setting and fewer characters.

A novel is very structured in the traditional 5 point structure: Plot; Exposition, Complication, Climax, Resolution and Anti-Climax. A short story on the other hand follows a much looser structure. You have a limited space to write in so often the beginning of the story is started abruptly and often in the middle of action. The Short Story still has a Climax/Crisis/Turning Point. The ending of a Short Story is abrupt and open sometimes having a moral turn to the story. Short Stories that follow a strong moral or ethical theme are called Parables or Fables.

Now we come to the Length of a Short Story. The classic definition of a Short Story dictates that it should be read in one sitting. When talking Word Count though there are varying definitions. Often the consensus is that a short story is between 7000 and 9000 words. Once a short story gets to a count of 15 000 – 20 000, it starts becoming a Novella. Stories with less than 1000 words are called Flash Fiction.

The History of The Short Story

Short Stories find their birth in oral story telling. All the ancient cultures of this world have a base in oral story telling. Stories that were told to one another to pass down truths and teach lessons. These stories were the fodder for early imaginations. As children short stories are the first stories we come to hear, read and love. Whether we call them Fairy Tales, Bedtime Stories or Fables; these are all Short Stories. Think of ghost stories you heard sitting around camp fires or the stories your parents told you to calm you when you woke from a nightmare. In contemporary times, magazines are filled with Short Stories. Radio brought another form of media to the art of Short Stories. Short pieces are pieces of fiction to wet our imaginative taste buds.

These are the points to write a successful Short Story:

  • Have a very clear theme but Beware of being Preachy
  • Have a very strong Protagonist with clear characteristics and antagonist and a maximum of 2 other characters should secondary characters be needed
  • Hook your readers with a powerful first paragraph
  • Immediately grab the reader’s attention with an action or a conflict point
  • Strong POV – Choose 1 point of view to write from
  • Stick to one tense: Either Past Tense or Present Tense
  • Decide if your Narrator is going to be subjective or objective
  • Write tight and meaningful dialogue
  • Be very concise in your setting: Include just enough detail to put your reader into the story but make sure your detail only adds to the story
  • Set up the plot very clearly before writing
  1. Beginning – Start with a situation of conflict
  2. Middle – Present the problems (Rising Action) that occur from this situation
  3. End – Solve the problem. Keep the reader’s suspense by revealing the final point as late as you can.
  • Create Conflict and Tension quickly
  • Build this Conflict/Tension to a Crisis Point/Climax
  • Find a Resolution by showing your character has learnt and will grow from the Conflict you threw them into
  • Use vivid imagery
  • Use your words like a man uses water in a desert: very sparingly and with clear intent

Below are authors that were successful at both the Art form of Short Stories and Novels:

Charles Dickens, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Nathaniel Hawthorne, Virginia Woolf, Boleslaw Prus, Rudyard Kipling, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, P.G. Wodehouse, H.P. Lovecraft and Ernest Hemingway

Like with any medium of story telling you need to immerse yourself in Short Stories to be a successful Short Story Writer. Read Short Stories. Read some fairy tales or fables. Take note of what points the various authors use to make that Short Story a success.

What have I learnt from Short Stories?

I have found that dipping my pen back into Short Story telling is teaching me to be concise and to the point in my writing. It is teaching me the value of a gripping start to a story. It is teaching me to have a very clear POV. IT is also teaching me the essential tool of having FOCUS in a story. I have even been editing one of my full length novels with all the above points in mind. I think that the lessons from writing a short story translate perfectly into a Suspense / Thriller or Adventure story. Your words and sentences have to be short and sharp. You have to connect with the reader in a very immediate way that is very visceral in impact. This is definitely a medium of writing that I am going to continue to further hone my writing craft.

Have you written any Short Stories? What challenges did you face?

Stretch your creative muscle this week by writing a Short Story. You may just find that this Art Form teaches you essential points about writing that you have missed before now.

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning