Short Story Class

Anyone who has followed me for any amount of time knows that I think Holly Lisle and her classes are terrific. Her newest class, How to Write Short Stories, is no exception.

And because I’m working through that class right now and finding it very useful, I wanted to take a minute to share it with those of you who follow me before the price goes up on it next week.

In this class, Holly teaches:

  • generating ideas that work for short stories (haven’t we all had what we thought would be a nice, short idea only to have it turn into a meandering mess?).
  • the difference between short stories, as opposed to vignettes, scenes, slices of life, or experimental musings with no goal.
  • how to deconstruct stories written by other people so you can see what works or what doesn’t.
  • how to come up with endings that matter instead of just stop.
  • how to revise short.
  • how to write to a specific theme or word count when writing for a contest or specific market.
  • and a whole lot more!

Click Here to see the whole curriculum so far. The class is currently under development, so there is still plenty more to come. 😀

It is a well-structured class that should help anyone who wants to get better at writing short stories, whether you’re just starting out, or been writing a while.

And until next Thursday, July 26th, you can still get it at the early bird price of $67. That’s a bargain for what you’re getting.

After that it will still be available, but at the permanent price of $97. So you’re better off buying now if you think you’re interested.

Holly’s classes are delivered at one lesson each week, and you get to work at your own pace. You will have access to her online community where students of all her classes gather to discuss writing, answer each others’ questions, and support one another on their creative journeys. And your access will never expire. You can go back and revisit the class months or even years later. It really is a great deal.

Please note: If you purchase How to Write Short Stories through my links, I will get an affiliate commission. That helps me out, but does not affect your price.

Scrivener for iPad, blog hop, and more

I’ve been stupidly busy …. something I find myself saying far too often.

Sadly, one thing that means is that my revision isn’t coming along as quickly as I’d like. I have an idea of what I need to do, but blocking out time to get it done is a challenge. I’ve been working on other must-do projects – ones that actually pay actual money, so that’s good. I’ve been part of three conferences (none writing-related, sadly). And I’m still making sure the husband and dog are properly fed, have their belly rubs, and don’t feel completely neglected. I feel like I have three full-time jobs with very little to actually show for it. Alas.

Scrivener for iPad

In cooler news, you might have already heard that Scrivener is FINALLY  available for iPad. HUZZAH!!! Scrivener. Y'know - for writers.

For the uninitiated, Scrivener is a writing program put out by a tiny company called Literature and Latte. It was designed with novel-writing in mind and has tons of cool features not available in “normal” word processors like Word or Pages. I know dozens of writers who would never consider using anything else for writing their fiction or non-fiction books. It really is that good.

And now that it’s available for iPad and can be synced through Dropbox, writing on any project can be seamlessly moved from office to coffee shop to park to sofa and back again. Very cool stuff. I may do a more in-depth write-up of Scrivener at some other time. But for now, just understand that after a very long wait with multiple delays and much frustration, this is actually a thing and a lot of people are very happy about it.

Storytime Blog Hop

One reason I’m happy about that Scrivener thing is that I’m late getting my story done for next week’s blog hop. Since I have running around to do the next couple of days, I’ll be taking the iPad and will hopefully find time to complete my story while I’m out. perpetualbloghop

The hop is going live on Wednesday, July 27 (6PM Tuesday for me since we’re using Global Standard). And at last count, there were more than 10 authors involved. That means a bunch of new stories for all of you to read, absolutely free. All the stories should be in the speculative fiction genre, and should be suitable for YA and up (no graphic sex or violence). With our aim being to post stories of 1000 words or less, the Hop might be the perfect place to find a little commute reading or something to occupy your brain while you’re eating lunch.

Watch this space for stories next week!

That’s all my news for now. Wish me luck and words on getting my story finished. And wish me clarity and extra time as I chip away at my revision.

Writing podcasts

I’ve got to admit it – I have mixed feelings about podcasts.

On the pro side, you can be entertained, get some education, and dive into interesting subject matter, all without spending a penny or leaving your house. And since there are so many podcasts out there, you could theoretically listen indefinitely without ever running out of material.

On the other hand, sometimes it can be hard to find the specific material you might want. And because there is so much out there, occasionally things do get repetitive, you can end up with conflicting facts, and, worst of all, podcasts can eat all your time!

Still, I have a couple of writing podcasts that I listen to that I thought I’d share.

Writing Excuses

WXFirst and, in my opinion, King Of All Writing Podcasts, is Writing Excuses.

Writing Excuses boasts the combined knowledge of Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, and Mary Robinette Kowal, all of whom are fantastic and successful authors, and who each have a slightly different take on various topics, primarily relating to the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres. Of course, a good story is a good story, regardless of genre. So even if you’re writing in literary, romance, western, or some other sector of the fiction world, you will find takeaways from this podcast that will make you a better writer.

Each episode runs in theory around 15 minutes, as noted in their tagline Fifteen minutes long because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart. Of course, they actually are that smart, so from time to time they do exceed their self-imposed time limit. But, on average, most episodes are under 20 minutes and I don’t think I recall them ever having gone over 30.

Because this podcast tends to be quick, entertaining, and packed with useful information, there’s almost no downside to subscribing. Episodes air weekly on Sunday nights.

Rocking Self-Publishing

RSPI’ve been downloading this one for a while, but only recently started actually listening. The Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast has a much different format than Writing Excuses. It’s one guy, Simon Whistler, who interviews a guest each week on topics of direct interest to indie writers. He’s much more likely to cover topics related to marketing than craft, and the episodes run a little long for my taste. But he’s a good interviewer and he’s covering subject matter that is actually pretty vital for self-publishing authors.

Recent topics have included getting a hook for your book, long-term planning for indie writers, and career building for self-pubbed writers. He asks good questions, and with his British accent, he’s easy to listen to.

As I mentioned, the episodes run a bit long – roughly an hour, give or take. But because he’s going fairly in-depth with his guests, he can cover some detailed information that would otherwise get missed. Episodes air weekly on Thursday nights.

Other Podcasts

There are a ton of other podcasts for writers out there, but I really can’t tell you anything about them because I’m not listening to them. So if you have a podcast that you think is can’t-miss for indie fiction writers, share it in the comments with a brief description of why it’s useful. At some point I may post an update to this post and I’ll give you credit for recommending something if I find it useful. 😀

Writer’s Resource

I stumbled onto what I think is one of the most comprehensive and useful sites I’ve ever found about writing.

ralanban-lThough the site itself looks a bit out of date, there are fantastic listings here for writers’ pro, semi-pro, and even greeting card markets, training resources, lists for finding agents or artists, lists of writing associations you can join…

Basically, this is a major extravaganza of useful information for writers of all kinds. If you write fiction, or want to, it’s worth poking around here. I can’t imagine anyone not finding something useful.