I know I've been remiss on posting on this blog, so thought I'd do an update.
I've been busy, though, writing newspaper stuff and working on short fiction.
New short-short coming: I recently revamped a short 100-word "drabble" that's been accepted to a new horror anthology. Stay tuned for details.
And... a surprising new idea: Actually, I had this idea awhile ago for a cozy-type mystery, but I let it sit. As often works for me, the idea recently came back to mind, more fleshed-out and looking pretty possible.
In fact, I'm kind of excited about it. Change is good. Sometimes you have to switch gears and "draw" on what you like to read. I've always enjoyed reading cozy and other mysteries. So, it's been part of one of my goals to actually write a full, standard mystery.
It's looking do-able, so I'm working on an outline. I want to make sure it goes where I want and that it can be completed before I share more details. Let's say, knowing me, I may slip a little light spookiness in it, too, if it works with the story.
I even checked that the idea hasn't been done - and it hasn't. It's a fun, retro-based idea and something I used to enjoy doing as a kid, too. I won't give too many details until I know it's going to work! So keep checking back for more hints and updates!
Happy to report I have a new short story, "Jake's Nightmare" coming out in an anthology that'll be published by The Horror Zine. It's based on an old mine incident that I read about. I loved this story and I got some good suggestions from editor Jeani Rector. Excited to be in this! Some great sounding titles and authors. I'm really looking forward to reading this!
Table of Contents for THE HORROR ZINE'S BOOK OF GHOST STORIES
(all original works):
by Lisa Morton
by Sebastian Crow
by Amber Fallon
THE EXPECTANT ONE
by Kevin Holton
MR. POTATO HEAD
by Elizabeth Massie
by E. A. Black
by Nicholas Pascall
by Joe R. Lansdale
HOUDINI’S LAST SEANCE
by J. T. Siems
SOMETHING TO NIBBLE ON
by Christian A. Larsen
by Jeff Parsons
by Kathryn Staublin
by Bruce Memblatt
by Dan Allen
By C.A. Verstraete
ALL THAT SHE LEAVES BEHIND
by S. J. Budd
by Claire Fitzpatrick
by Shawn P. Madison
THE WHITE ROAD
by Tim Waggoner
IN THE SUBWAY
by Justin Boote
by Dean H. Wild
by Neal Privett
THE AUTOMATIC WRITING PLANCHETTE
by William R. Eakin
by Rachel Coles
by Kristen Houghton
Yes, I started Nanowrimo, the write-a-book-in-November project. I had written some already on Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2, so I wanted to use it as a quasi-schedule to keep going.
I slacked off a bit, but got some done yesterday. I'm at just over 19,000 words, so not bad. I'll keep going to see where it leads. I am almost thinking of a shorter, novella length, which I really like. The Haunting of Dr. Bowen turned out to be a nice, readable length and a neat little book... But we'll see...
Left off at a good, exciting point... Lizzie going out late at night, alone, to meet someone who sent her a mysterious note... Whatever could go wrong?? heh-heh-heh...
Some updates on writing in my Lizzie Borden world:
* Dr. Bowen Novella Update:
The Dr. Bowen novella, a supernatural-flavored mystery featuring the Borden family's neighbor and doctor is done! Well, almost. I'm editing now. Then I'll figure out the formatting and cover end of things. This is a short, 27,000 word book so I'm thinking of having it come out as a mini book size. I love the size of James Patterson's BookShots. Neat little books!
* Working on the back blurb (harder than the whole story!). And... have to figure out the title... I have something in mind to test out with my writing group.
I've really come to like the doctor and his wife. The book is a kind of ghost-history-mystery and love story!
* Writing - Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2:
Once I finish editing, it's back to writing Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2. I took a look at it again after setting it aside, and the good thing is I still like what I wrote. ha! So, I'll be getting back to that with the goal of finishing it in the next few months or so I hope!
* Audio Book Update:
Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter is in the audio book production stage. The hunt is on for a narrator. Hope it goes fast!
* Other Potential News: Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter:
There may be other news concerning the book, but I can't say yet until/when I get some confirmation on this. I don't want to say anything until I get word on whether it works out or not. So, you'll have to wait with me to find out! :)
* Coming Soon: A new Lizzie Borden zombie story!
Yay! I also have a new short zombie story with Lizzie Borden almost done! Just tying up a few ends on it... Fun story and the neat thing is it has a little surprise twist in it. Stay tuned for details!!
** Btw, if you subscribe to my monthly newsletter (sign up here at my website front page!) this will all likely be repeated there, but good news is worth sharing more than once, don't you agree? Plus, get in on some deals, prizes and more!
** About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter:
Every family has its secrets…
One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become zombies?
Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister, Emma, and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.
***I love lists for the fact that you can see what's going on. Stay tuned for more details!
Summer of Zombie Blog Tour!
Me and 30+ #zombie authors, prizes, posts and more! See Facebook group page for ongoing schedule as it unfolds and details! Join the fun!
Author Armand Rosamilia, Kirk Allmond, Shana Festa, Christine Verstraete, Jay Wilburn, Jack Wallen, Chuck Ingersoll, Chris Tucker,Timothy Baker, Claire Riley, T.w. Piperbrook, Stevie Kopas, Melanie Karsak, Rhonda Parrish, Shawn Chesser, Erik Gustafson, Stephen Kozeniewski, Mark Tufo, Julianne Snow, Bryan Cassiday, Sarah Lyons Fleming, Thomas M. Malafarina-Author, Ian McClellan,Robert Chazz Chute, Peggy Sue Martinez, David P Forsyth, Ted Sterns,Ian Woodhead, John O'Brien, Jaime Johnesee, Rebecca Besser and Alex Laybourne Author!
New flash fiction in contest: You never know what you'll find under the leaves in "Fall Surprise." See Austin Briggs' flash contest. Stop by and comment!
I blame the Haunted Houses, and Stephen King, and The Walking Dead for my interest in horror and now, zombies. See Zombie Guide Magazine story.
The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing
Sin is a word that may be out of fashion in much of society, but looking at the darker places inside ourselves can be beneficial if we are willing to do something about them. Lest you think this is a sermon, the concept of the Seven Deadly Sins can be applied to your writing, as well.
Clean up sloppy writing. Eliminate unneeded modifiers and words. Cut the number of adverbs, words ending in ly, which are usually unnecessary. For instance, tighten the description to show a character's anger instead of writing it as he said, angrily.
Use the right word. Write tight. Don't fill up space with two words if one will do. Don't use $10 words because you can. Write at a level that anyone can enjoy without running to the dictionary. If they can't understand it, they won't read it.
Don't cut corners in your work. Wanting more is good, but it shouldn't be all consuming.
Sometimes the little green-eyed monster can awaken when you see the success of other writers and authors. Wish them well and work hard. Maybe your turn is next.
The eyes are the windows to the soul. What you take in can affect who you are and what you write. A good question might be, is this something I'd show my mother, pastor or want God to read?
You should be proud of accomplishments, but there's some truth in the Biblical adage that "pride comes before the fall." Many of those CEO's now spending time behind bars still feel the world owes them a living and just don't get it. A little pride is good; a lot is dangerous and can turn you into the person no one wants to be around.
Leave the anger to your characters. Let them simmer and stew on the page. Save your health.
** Your Turn: Have a few sins that you feel writers should never commit? Share them or feel free to confess your own if you dare.
Thought I'd repost some of my older writing tips...
(* See another older tip on some things writers can do at The Teen Word Factory)
The question: Is your writing flat - or fluffy?
The little bear on that Snuggle fabric softener commercial has the right idea - fluffy is better.
How do you get fluffy writing, you ask? Simple.
1. Describe. Give the reader a mental image, but don't overdo it.
It's easy to just write and fill in the blanks, watching your word count pile up, only to end up with serviceable, good sentences that are kind of blah. They're flat on the page.
2. Fluff up your writing by reading authors you like, and even a few you don't like.
Watch other authors' word usage. Remember: a car isn't just a car in fiction - it's a gleaming red hot rod or a burgundy-striped clunker. Flat: car. Fluffy: color and type.
I started thinking about fluffy writing as I'm reading one of Elaine Viets' latest in the Dead End Jobs series, CLUBBED TO DEATH. No criticism meant; I love her books. (Elaine, I mean fluffy as a compliment. Her book was the one at hand at the moment. Any examples of hers are in quotes.)
I'm enjoying the story, but when I read I always take note of the writing, too, in this case, the descriptions. Example: hair isn't just hair: it's "long, chestnut hair."
3. Another example: give a mental image of the person - Flat: He strolled. Fluffy: "...had a bulldog walk..."
When you're writing, it's sometimes easy to forget this and rely on those tired old favorites. (Mine is walked, and sometimes nodded.)
4. Use a fine-tooth comb.
As a few other writers have mentioned, it's a good idea to go back and do a search in Word for your favorite over-used phrase or word. See how many times you used it, then think up a few fluffy new examples. Your writing will only be the better for it.
Blog by Chris Verstraete - author, award-winning journalist, miniaturist. I love dogs, too. It's all good.