fiction

From Dream to Literary Greatness

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If you’ve ever written anything, from a paper to a novel, you know how hard it can be to come up with the best ideas. Writer’s block hits us all from time to time, and that includes published authors. Authors work very hard to craft compelling stories that their readers will not only enjoy, but love. For many this takes years of hard work and planning. It may even mean hundreds of rejections, thousands of edits and loads of re-writing. They may draw upon their own life experiences, or the tales of others, or simply upon their imagination. Some authors however, get lucky and dream the entire thing. 

Since science is still a little uncertain as to why we have dreams in the first place, they have an almost mystical quality about them. It may not be magic, but it can seem like it. Our dreams can be filled with bizarre creatures, people, and scenarios. Even from mundane activities to fantastical situations, they can be quite memorable. For some authors, this makes them a great starting point for novel ideas. 

If you yourself are an aspiring writer or creative, there may be a way for you to tap into your dreams as well. Thinking of your book or project as you fall asleep is one of the best ways to dream about it. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to stumble upon inspiration as you sleep, it’s important to remember that creativity is deeply personal, and finding what works for you can take time. For the full list of books inspired by dreams, plus some tips on creativity, check out this link and visual by Sleep Advisor: 

https://www.sleepadvisor.org/books-inspired-by-dreams/

 

Closing the Deal.

Writers spend a lot of time focusing on the craft of opening lines. This is true for fiction, poetry, essay, and even speeches. But what about endings? Aren’t they important, too?

Of course they are. And in this piece from the Washington Post, Ron Charles gives some much-deserved love to some of the more impactful closing lines in literature.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/entertainment/books/best-last-lines/?utm_term=.662e77c2e80c

Work Backwards from the Precipice.

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"When I write, I imagine a particular precipice and then work backward. I ask myself: What kind of journey would find its meaningful end here?”

I stumbled upon some interesting writing advice from Naima Coster, author of Halsey Street, over at the Poets & Writers Writers Recommend feature. She has a pretty cool perspective on constructing good fiction by starting with a worthwhile ending and building the story backward from there.

https://www.pw.org/writers_recommend/naima_coster

Where's Your Novel?

From a fiction standpoint, I’m a flash fiction/short story writer. As a result, I’ve often been confronted with the question, “But where’s your novel?”

So although I’m far from being a famous short story writer, I can identify with Amber Sparks’ article on Electric Literature: “Let Us Now Praise Famous Short Story Writers (And Demand They Write a Novel).”

http://electricliterature.com/let-us-now-praise-famous-short-story-writers-and-demand-they-write-a-novel/

Three Microfiction Pieces at A Quiet Courage.

A Quiet Courage is an online literary journal that publishes compelling, poignant, memorable, and well-written microfiction and poetry in 100 words or less. I am happy to announce that three of my microfiction pieces – Cabin Fever, Migrations, and Hopeless – have been published online in A Quiet Courage. Check them out if you get the chance.

https://aquietcourage.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/cabin-fever/

https://aquietcourage.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/migrations/

https://aquietcourage.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/hopeless/

Some things I forgot to blog about…

(1) I will have two prose poems in “World’s End”, which will be the inaugural edition of The End Times. The End Times is a student run publication from the University of Illinois Springfield. Per their mission statement, it’s a literary magazine with a focus on distributing literature in a post-apocalyptic Midwest; a collection of poetry and prose signifying the challenges of maintaining humanity in the end of the world. I’m excited to contribute– thanks to the editors for choosing my work.

(2) The results of the 2013 Annual Whispering Prairie Press Writers’ Contest came out in early August 2013, and I was ecstatic to find out my poem Bad Luck Sings the Blues took third place. No publication, but cash and encouragement are positive things. Big thanks to the judges for deeming my work worthy of commendation.

(3) I’ve got a lot of love for Whispering Prairie Press this year.  In addition to the aforementioned 3rd place contest finish, their periodical Kansas City Voices published my poem How to Sing Under the Influence. Kansas City Voices’ mission is to discover, encourage, and promote creativity and communication through literature, art, and other forms of cultural expression. I am happy to be a part of Issue 11 of Kansas City Voices. If you get a chance to check out this periodical, I’d suggest it – the poetry, pictures, and fiction are all very engaging.

(4) Since I am behind in mentioning publications, I will play catch up on my year in print by mentioning that I had poetry and fiction included in Talking Stick Volume 22, two poems in the Vermillion Literary Project, and a prose poem featured in the Bare Root Review.

That’s all for now. Be good.

Quick Update.

Can’t knock my hustle.

The Tidal Basin Review will publish my poems The Blues Almanac and Education in an upcoming edition.

My micro-fiction piece Anniversary recently appeared in One Forty Fiction.  Click here to read it, and leave a critique there if you feel compelled to do so.

Finally, the online journal A Handful of Dust will publish my poem Hello, My Name Is sometime in the future.

Things are looking up.