Month: March 2016

Writespiration #85 Snippets of You

snippets of youAs I write this, it’s actually last Wednesday. I am feeling a tad overwhelmed with everything I am trying to do, so you’re going to help me with a prompt for next week.

The weekly writespiration is a platform of inspiration for writers but also an opportunity for writers to share their work. So. This week, I want two things from you:

1 – The title of your current WIP – if you’re working on more than one, just choose the one you like the title of best. Or if you like, make a title up.

2 – A 150 word snippet from your current WIP. If it is part of a series, feel free to post links to amazon for the first book (only) in the series and I will add it for people to have a look.

Please note – I will be using your titles in next weeks challenge, so if you are not happy for them to be published as part of a challenge, please do not enter them, and perhaps choose another title you are happy to share.

If you want to join in, either post your entry at the bottom, or in a blog post with a ping back so I can find it.

Here’s Mine:
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30 Flash Fiction Writing Competitions With Cash Prizes

30 Flash Fiction Competitions With Cash PrizesThere are more short story competitions than words I’ve written. And I’ve written a shit load of words. But finding a FLASH fiction comp (under 1000 words) is a bit of a rarity, so when I do find one, I get a bit giddy.

But lately, I’ve had to weep myself to sleep over the number of writers who have told me they never enter competitions because either: they don’t know how to find them or didn’t know so many existed.

*Tut*

Seriously?! Don’t make me use Caps. The fastest way to get recognition, more often than not is through competitions. The road to traditional publishing (if that’s where you want to go) is like the final fight in Lord of The Rings – fucking endless. Don’t take for granted the ease of entering competitions. Most of you enter weekly writing challenges, like my writespiration, or Esther’s or Charli’s. So there’s actually no excuse.

If you don’t can’t think of shorts or flash for comps then there are plenty of comps for novels too.

Before I give you the list of comps, here’s my top tips for finding competitions: (more…)

The Bloggers Bash Awards ARE HERE!

Who Nominate?This is it. These are your Bloggers Bash Awards.  BIG thank you to everyone who made suggestions. The committee spent an entire evening discussing all of them. Lots of them were similar or connected to each other, so rather than take each one specifically we have tried to incorporate as many as possible under the awards we have chosen.

We have a number of new awards this year, and some changes to the old ones.

For those new to these awards, they are part of the Annual Bloggers Bash. A physical get together in London, England, every summer. This year’s is on June 11th, if you’re interesting in attending then drop us a line on:

Annualbloggersbash(AT)yahoo(DOT)co(DOT)uk

2016-03-09 13.23.08You can find more information here, information about the venue here. If you can’t make it but want to follow electronically, you can join the facebook group here, or use the hashtag (#)BloggersBash to follow the feed live on the day.

We are not accepting nominations YET. We will be open for nominations for the awards on April 22nd. So in the mean time, have a think about who you want to nominate and who you think deserves these awards.

Finally, if you would like a bloggers bash t-shirt then Geoffle will be taking pre orders during April, so hop over to his blog and ensure you follow him for the latest news on them. (more…)

Writespiration #84 Just For Shits and Giggles

Play A GameLets play a game.

Wherever you’re sat, whatever you’re doing. Scan the vicinity for the nearest document/book/magazine etc you haven’t written. Pick it up.

If it’s a book turn to page 77,

If it’s a magazine or news paper turn to a page containing the number 3 (3, 13, 23 etc)

If it’s anything else turn to page 4.

Take the tenth, thirty-third and the last word, then pick the longest word you can find on the rest of the page.

Write a story or poem in less than 100 words containing all the words. AND I want to know what the words are when you post your story.

If you want to join in, leave your story in the comments or write your own post and use a ping back so I can find it. 

Forgive me not having joined in the last few weeks. I am drowning. I will play next week.

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Find Your Philosophy & You Find Your Writers Voice

VoiceI’m grappling. Not the fun, half-naked, sweat soaked, rough and tumble kind of grapple. The unwillingly blindfolded, crashing into table corners while searching for something as immutably difficult to find as the holy grail.
My writers ‘voice’.
I know. Collective sigh. Honestly I’ve lost count of the number of posts, quotes and motivational spiels I’ve read on finding your writers voice.
And did any of them help? Nope. But not because they weren’t right, or helpful. But because I was the blind leading the blind in a one-legged donkey race for Quills R’ Us. I didn’t know what I was looking for.  In fact, I hadn’t found so much as a single proverbial needle from an entire field of haystacks.

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Writespiration #83 Black Out

Write About A Black OutSome of you will know that a few weeks ago, I had surgery.

I haven’t had surgery before and I don’t mind admitting, I’m a control freak.

So the prospect of having my life literally suspended with no awareness of what the shit was happening to me for two whole hours, was not something I relished.

In fact, I spent at least three weeks prior to surgery loading my pants with a massive terrified brick. I mean, I was going to die wasn’t I?! Seriously. I thought that. I was convinced I’d never see my son grow up or hold my wife again because they were going to euthanise me with a general anaesthetic. (more…)

5 Tactics to Master Killer Short Story Endings

Killer EndingsI’ve always thought the ‘short story’ was one of those irritating elephants in the room. My particular brand of short story elephant, is made of shiny gold, and spends 100% of his time glaring at me from the corner of the room looking down his extra long trunk nose to make me feel woefully inadequate.

Every author knows they should be able to write a short, but not everyone can.

I can’t.

I’m so inept at writing short stories, I wrote a piece of flash fiction last year and the fucking things turned into 30,000 words of what will be a novel. Apparently I didn’t get the ‘SHORT’ memo.

*shrug*

All I can do is write full length novels, or blink-of-the-eye flash fiction. Something about that smug middle man puts me in a catatonic state of ‘fuck-you-upitus-writersblock.’

However, Esther Newton, is a master of the short. I’ve just finished reading her collection of award-winning short stories: The Siege and like always, I figured I’d share some lessons.

I learnt many, but something I think Esther is spectacular at is a killer ending. Here’s how to master a killer ending for your short stories. (more…)

Writespiration #82.5 Opening and Closing Lines

Worst Open and CloseIt’s all been a bit serious lately, with heart break, discrimination and cliff edges, so this week something different.

Oh and my math might be bad, but I haven’t spontaneously jumped into decimal numbers for no reason. I’m cheating. I’d already scheduled 83 this week and changed my mind because tomorrow is my birthday and I wanted to play a fun game instead.

So what is this riotous affair I speak of? I’ve done worst opening lines, and worst closing lines before. But this time, I want both.

Your challenge is to write the WORST opening line to a story you can, and then write the WORST closing line to the same story.

The badder it is, the better, if I see even a hint of  good quality writing I’ll disqualify you faster than I can eat a family sized bar of chocolate, and don’t be fooled, that’s fast. Post both lines in the comments, or on your own blog with a ping back here so I know you’ve entered. (more…)