Manuscript Panic

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I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

What’s In a Name?

whats-in-a-namehurrah-10Do you always name the characters in your stories?

I’m not talking about the character who passes through a story or scene, but main characters.

Although I have a couple of novels in the works; I also write flash fiction and on occasion my characters remain nameless.

Suzanne Vincent, the Editor-in-Chief at Flash Fiction Online, doesn’t like the idea of nameless characters. In fact, I think she said it made her roll her eyes – a language I understand well. 

She made some good points, and her comments got me to thinking about my stories. I appreciate Ms. Vincent’s candor. It’s rather nice to have an editor share a perspective from the other side of submissions.

In her article from the Slushpile Avalanche: Why You SHOULD Name Your Main Character, she discusses why she rejects and dislikes a story with unnamed characters. You can read her post here.

 “… not naming a main character in a story makes very little sense to me.  And if you’re just doing it for the hell of it–if you don’t know WHY you’re doing it–you shouldn’t be doing it at all.” Suzanne Vincent

I imagine Ms. Vincent has most likely rejected one of my stories but does every editor feel the same way about names? Typically, I agree with what she had to say; especially with longer stories or novellas. But, what about flash fiction? Does the genre make a difference? For me, I think it does. I’ve written stories without naming the characters and I did so precisely because of the story.

For example, in one of my stories a serial killer preys on lonely women. I did not name either the killer or his victim and here’s why – the point of the story was the random act of a killer and his nameless prize. Here’s an excerpt from Maybe Next Time – you be the judge.

“He couldn’t take his eyes off her. Confidence and sexuality draped her curves like a second skin. Men flocked to her side, but she turned them away; it pleased him. He liked a discriminating woman. Maybe, this time could be different.

He waited for the perfect moment before making his move. There it was — the downward shift of downcast eyes. It didn’t take long for her to respond; it never did. He had his approach down to a science. The right suit, subtle cologne and brief penetrating eye contact worked every time.

A nervous smile parted her red lips. He stood as she slid from the stool and walked toward his table. Ever the perfect gentleman, he pulled out her chair and smiled. They always took the bait.

Like every fucking woman out to catch a first-class meal ticket, she thought he was hers; it’d be a crime to let her think otherwise.” From Maybe Next Time.

What do you think? Do you agree with the editor? Are there exceptions? Give me your thoughts. Do you always name your characters?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

The Truth About Writers and Social Platforms

publishingtalk.com

publishingtalk.com

In her article, Do Fiction Writers REALLY Need a Social Media Platform? Angela from  WOW’s e-zine, The Muffin, finally answers this question and tells me what I’ve longed to hear. Thank God!  Her answer?

“No, you don’t have to participate in social media as a fiction writer.”  (Tweet This

I swear I wanted to kiss her! I’ve heard forever the need for writers to have a platform. So, like many, I signed on to Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. I belong to other sites as well – Tumbler, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Bloglovin to name a few. God, I’m exhausted just typing all these.

I’ll admit I hate trying to keep up with all this social media stuff and writing – it makes me want to pull my hair out!
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There are only so many hours in the day, and it’s amazing how quickly they disappear once you sign on to Twitter or Facebook.

So, if you have ideas, please pass them on to me. What do you think? Do writers NEED all these social platforms? Be sure to stop by WOW and give Angela a shout-out.

leavecommetgif I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Short Story Collections – A Good Investment?

word-cloud-compressorI realize it’s been a few days since my last post, but I’ve been busy working on a short story collection. At present, the collection is out to beta readers which has given me time to toy with cover designs (via Canva) as well as consulting with profession designers.

This is my first foray into self-publishing, and while I’m excited about the prospect, I’ve also discovered the process can be costly, especially when you factor in ISBN’s, Editors, and cover designers (if you choose to go the professional route).

Which brings me to my question – Is it a worthwhile investment?

Short story collections are a huge category on Amazon, ranging from literary, romance, erotica, Christian to crime. You’ll find collections and singles from classic authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald,  Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway, to name a few and a large selection of Kindle Singles and Kindle Short Reads listed by reading times (from 15 minutes to 2 hours or more). How cool is that?

In doing my research, prices ranged from free to $9.99 for the Kindle version with other formats running as high as $22.47.

Now, I’m no Fitzgerald or Hemingway and probably won’t break even for a long time to come, but it’s not about the money – it’s about sharing my stories.

I’ll tell you more about my short story collection in the coming weeks but in the meantime, here’s a hint.

“Darkness dwells within even the best of us. In the worst of us, darkness not only dwells but reigns.”Dean Koontz  (Tweet This).

What do you think? Short story collections- are they a good investment?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

EDITING 101: 02 – Description Depression…

Descriptions, like backstory can be difficult for writers. When and how to introduce a character, setting, or motivation, if not done well comes across like a glob of information dumped in the middle of the page. When this happens, the readers often skips ahead or stops reading.

Chris the story reading Ape, does a great job discussing descriptions in the post below. Be sure to let him know you like it.
Also, for additional help with descriptions, check out the Physical Feature Thesaurus and The Urban/Rural Settings Thesaurus at http://writershelping writers.net.

Thanks Chris!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

 Do You Have Description Depression?

Are you a writer who uses rich, lush descriptions for their settings and characters? Or one who just wants “the facts, Ma’am, just the facts”? Is it an effort to decide how much description to use, where, and exactly what?

If you struggle with Description Depression in your writing, you’re not alone. There isn’t a “correct” way to use description in fiction, although, in my humble opinion, you’re better off using too little than too much.

In over describing, a writer runs the risk of annoying their readers. Many readers admit to skipping over large amounts of description. It didn’t used to be that way. Before the age of movies, television, the Internet, and smartphones…

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