Friday, August 9, 2013

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction, in the simplest of terms, is a short story of a thousand words or less. These micro stories often adhere to an iceberg style of writing. That is to say there is more below the surface of the text then is written on the page. One of the most famous examples of this is this story, often attributed to Hemingway: "Baby shoes for sale, never worn." On the surface it is simply an ad. On the other hand, the reader is left with many questions to think about. Why were the shoes never worn? Is the baby dead? There is a lot more to the story than meets the eye.

Flash Fiction can often be harder to write than normal fiction because the writer has significantly less time to develop plot and character. I struggled with this when creating my piece in this medium "The Better Woman", which can be found here: "The Better Woman" by Sally Eubanks

Sometimes, however Flash Fiction can prove to be a fun and interesting way to reach into the mind of the character, or even yourself as the author. People don't tend to think for hours at a time about long streams of events. Instead they focus on them in spurts. Small fragments of memory come to the mind to form a collective story. Writing Flash Fiction is a great way to convey this thought process and makes it perfect for memoirs, like this one about my childhood.

A Test of Will

I am ten years old. My hand taps up and down against the desk, My leg falls in sink, up and down, up and down. I chew on my shirt and look out the window. The grassy null is outside, the hill where we sometimes have recess and roll down on our sides. I wish I was out there instead of in here. I wish I was anywhere but here.
My teacher clears her throat and I stare back down at my desk. My test paper is neatly folded and my standard issue number two pencils rest on top. Sighing, I lay my head down. What else is there to do? I long for the novel inside the little cubby of my desk, the video game in my backpack.
I suffered through the mental strain of the FCAT and now I wait for the clock to strike one, singling the end of this purgatory the exam has left in its wake. I do not dread my scores, I always receive great marks. But the waiting… Oh, how I hate the waiting.
Bored, bored, bored; I am so bored. I groan and sit back up. I look at the cloak enclosed on the blue case of the wall. Ten more minutes to go, it might as well be ten more hours.  I look back at my test and open the first page. I grab my pencil and before I can stop myself, I am doodling all over the yellow scrap paper provided for math formulas.  Such is the way of the FCAT.
Flash Fiction is both fun and challenging. It can be a joy to read because it lacks the tedious length of many other short stories, perfect for the hustle and bustle of today's busy world. Try creating one for yourself.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Writing Service

Every writer needs to make a living. As a part of my plan to put my writing skills to action, I have started a new writing service.

From My Pen to Your Paper

Do you need an article for your web page, blog or forum? Do you want a fun short story to read that nobody else has ever laid eyes on? If so then I am the writer for you.

I hold a B.A. in Creative Writing and write for sites like Fiverr and Elance Now I am bringing my writing to you.

Articles start at $.01 cent per word (up to 1500 words) and go up to $.02 per word (up to 3000)

Allow One Day for Delivery for Articles up to 500 words
Allow Two Days for Articles up to 1500 words
Allow Three Days for Articles up to 3000 Words

I will spin two copies of the article for an extra $5 per 1000 words

Short Stories Start at $.02 per word (up to 2000 words) and go up to $.025 cent per word (up to 8,000)

Please Allow Two Days per 1000 words in a Short Story

I will create an eBook of the short story in any format, with cover for $10.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Three Simple Rules Every Writer Should Follow

Today's post is short. I just wanted to share some things that every writer should know.



Stop what you are doing and pick up a book or go to your favorite blog or Fanfiction site. Read anything and everything you can get your hands on. Reading inspires and teaches you the dos and don'ts of style.

2. Butt + Chair= Progress

This little piece of advice comes from Heather Brewer, "Auntie Heather" to her fans. It is some awesome advise too. What she means, is this. Don't just talk about writing, sit down and do it. Even if you are blocked write something. Write: "The fat cat wore a suede suite" for all I care just do it. If you never get into a pool, you'll never learn to swim. If you never write there will be no story or book and you'll never get better. The hardest part about writing is getting started. From then on that it can only get easier.

3. First Drafts Suck

I don't care if you are Steven King, your first draft is not going to be perfect. There are going to be typos, mistakes and just plain bad writing. Once again, it will not be perfect, so don't stress about making it that way. Just get the words out in the page, even if it is in a smaller context. The important thing is to get the story down. Everything else is just frosting.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fanfiction Done Right Take One

A few weeks ago, I ranted about why fan fiction is not the evil that many writers and literary critiques make it out to be. That being said, it has the potential to be. Without careful consideration for the rules of good writing, Fanfiction can be the worst thing on the planet. I have compiled a list of rules for would-be fan fiction writers so that they do not fall into the trap.

Now, I should warn you dear readers, even though I am a big supporter of the fan fiction community, I can be a HUGE fan fiction snob. I often find myself having a little twitch and muttering bad writing. As a personal preference I tend to dislike OCs, Crossovers and lemons. That being said, I still think that with the right writer, these three things can be done well.

Without further adue, her are some of  my rules for great Fanfiction:


Despite what my previous rambling suggests, I do not completely hate OCs or "original characters". I am simply jaded by the fact that some of these characters are Mary Sues:  flat, cliché, self inserts with little or no character development outside of a romantic involvement with the main world's characters, and even this seems to come out of nowhere.

So the question is, how can an OC become an effective character and not drag your Fanfiction down?


  • Create a character sketch outlining character traits and plot movement
  • Avoid Self Inserts
  • Think about how cannon characters would react normally to a character like yours
  • Do research about the world and time a character will reside in
  • Don't put all the focus on the OC
  • Don't put the OC in a romantic relationship with a character who has one in cannon without it being plausible
  • Don't put yourself in the story
  • Don't have a huge list describing ocs at the beginning, the reader should be able to gather everything from the text itself.

Romantic Relationships and Lemons

I am not a huge fan of romance fics, although I do love a good Sasuke/Naruto. This is do in part to a lack of character development or realism. I have read some good romance fan fictions and this is what I have learned from them.
  • Do think about how the cannon character reacts to others, remember that Vegeta is probably not going to be sweet and mushy and characters that never interact in cannon or not likely to fall instantly in love
  • Do be tasteful, remember that there are many sites out there for more adult Fanfiction. If you are not posting on one of those sites, adhere to Fanfiction ratings
  • NEVER EVER write incest if it is not cannon. That's disrespectful to the author
  • DO post warnings at the top of a story or chapter if you are writing something explicit (heavy lemon, incest, pederasty). nobody wants to walk in on something like that without warning
  • Do take time to develop the relationship so that it is believable

Other Regulations

  • Be consistent with the lingo, if you are going to use Japanese honorifics or terminology, use it throughout the story.
  • Please copyedit and proofread. I often forget to do this and it drags a story down.
  • Author's notes, while useful, should not take up a whole story. This is against Fanfiction site rules and comes off as unprofessional.
  • Don't react violently to criticism. It is meant to help you grow as a writer.
That's all for now. I leave you with a link to a fan fiction that I feel follows the rules very well. It is not my own and I have never personally met the author. I am, however, very impressed by the scale of the story and the skill its author possesses.

justplainrii: I applaud you for your skill and hope to see even better things to come.

The story is called In the Blood and can be found here:

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Writer's Kryptonite

Like superheroes, every great writer has their weakness, something that can make their would be masterpieces into garbage. It happens every day. Some writers are excellent at developing every facet of their characters but lack the ability to create an engaging plot, or viscera. Some writers have an excellent concept of word choice, creating poetic text but lack skill in putting it all together.

So what is my kryptonite, you ask? I have often stated that my real flaw is in planning but that is not entirely true.  My real nemesis is what most people refer to proofreading. This can also be a tricky thing because proofreading does not mean what a lot of young writers think it does. In truth it is copyediting that does me in.

So what is the difference between the two? Well to answer that, we first need to talk about editing in general. Editing can mean many things but there are three basic tiers of editing that every writer should be familiar with: developmental editing, copyediting and proofreading.

Developmental Editing: 

Developmental Editing is what I consider to be "the fun stuff". This is where you, or a reviewer, looks at your story for flaws in the development in plot or character. Here you look for flatness in the characters, plot holes and consistency. This can be especially important in a series or a short story collection that is meant to be interconnected.


There is nothing I hate more than doing this. Most copyediting work done for  publishing companies is freelance and it is where almost every editor gets their start. A copyeditor has a sharp eye for detail, They miss nothing.
Copyediting is where an editor or writer checks for mistakes in grammar, spelling and looks for typos- in early drafts. This is grueling work, even with programs to check for such things. A good copyeditor misses nothing,
This is my nemesis for two reasons. The first is that writers should not trust themselves to do all their own copyediting. Part of this stems from personally difficulties but also from fact. The writer knows what comes next, so their eyes often miss things because the brain corrects them automatically.


Proofreading is often used interchangeably with copyediting by students and professors alike. Next to ironic, I would say it is the most often misused word in the English language, at least among academics.
Proofreading, also done as freelance work, is the last piece of editing done. When a book is ready to go for press or in the case of independent writers like myself, Smashwords or Kindle Direct, it goes through this process.
Here, the editor looks over the final document to make sure there is a consistency in style, font and punctuation. Typos are checked for if a draft has been typed up again.
Proofreaders also look for little things called orphans and widows- those pesky words that stop are start midpage.

In conclusion:

Editing, or copyediting is my weakness. I miss more typos than most and can probably blame my short attention span for that.
For those of you who also share my problem, I suggest looking into an editor or beta reader. They can be found on the web. Even sites like Fiverr and Elance have them. For now, I wish you all good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Review of HireWriters Article Writing Service

It's a proven fact that all writers need to eat in order to survive, but how can a writer do what they love and still manage to pay a few of those food bills? Like most writers, I have often asked myself the same question. The answer is simple, article writing.

Article writing actually covers a broad range of services. This can mean anything from writing blurbs and blogs to writing reviews or copywriting. Most articles can be written from your own home and delivered electronically. There are even websites that will connect you to clients at no charge to you. These websites provide a list of articles that clients need to be written with directions given by the clients, such as word count and what SEO keywords to use.

Once such article writing service I have found is  HireWriters functions like a job board for writers that connects them to  anonymous clients who have articles they need to be given. The writer is given the topic of the article with instructions for creating it, such as word length and keywords. Each article is listed by category and industry so its easy to find a job with a subject matter you are familiar with.

Unlike sites like Textbroker and Content Authority, HireWriters allows all writers to start right away. Everyone starts as a beginning writer, no matter their experience level. After writing an article for a client he or she can either accept it, ask for changes or decline it. Once you receive a certain number of accepted articles with positive reviews, you move up a level, and so on.

The higher your level is, the more you get paid. Beginner level articles pay anywhere from $1.18 to $3, but experts can earn up to 210 per article. Most articles can be written in three hours or less, especially once you get more experienced with the craft, so it should be easy to create three or more a day.

HireWriters pays you through Paypal so you should have an account ready. HireWriters pays every Friday so if you are diligent you can expect a nice little cash flow every week. HireWriters is not a get rich quick scheme.  You won't be able to quite your day job from the get go, but it is a nice residual income and great way to build your writing skills.

Overall, as article writing services go, this is probably the easiest site to work with. You can start writing right away and the staff is always ready to answer your questions. The site is very user friendly and everything is easy to find.

So, if you think article writing may be for you, join HireWriters' article writing service and start earning a residual income today.