flash fictionAs of December 1st we have officially opened our flash fiction contest. For new authors or seasoned writing veterans this is a great way to hone your talents and improve your writing skill. All while having fun putting pen to paper. For those unfamiliar with flash fiction let me give you a run down.

 

What is flash fiction?

Flash fiction is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a piece of fiction that takes a flash to read. No, really, it’s very short short story. The typical length of flash fiction stories can be anywhere between 300 words and 1,500 words. Of course, some people write six-word stories, 100-word drabbles, and so on. As long as it’s pretty short, it’s considered flash fiction.

How do you write flash fiction?

As concise as possible. Write only what matters to the story. Don’t add any filler content, just keep advancing that plot and developing those characters.

Use Unique and vivid language to get your point across. Be sure to have a clear ending in mind and figure out how you’re going to get there in 1,000 words or 700 words or 300 words.

Where should you start writing flash fiction?

Explore the flash fiction world first. Read flash fiction stories or even poetry to get a feel for a language. Of course, you’re ultimately writing in your own voice and style, but reading examples doesn’t hurt.Then, pick up your pen and just write. If you aim for 500 words, just write and see how many you end up with. Then you cut it down just like you would edit your novel. Writing prompts help come up with ideas and a timer can do wonders if you want to start and finish something as quickly as possible. Can you write 500 words in 10 minutes? Set a timer. If you write more or less, you can add and cut out words after.

Why flash fiction?

Writing flash fiction can really reel in your writing skills. It tones your writing and teaches you to cut out the filler stuff. Keep what’s only important to the plot and character development.

That, and it’s a fun challenge.

Source Rachelpoli.com

Please visit our flash fiction submission page for more information

 

National Novel Writing Month (often shortened to NaNoWriMo /ˈnæn ˈrm/),[2] is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.[3] Well-known authors write “pep-talks” to keep them motivated throughout the process.[4] The website provides participants with tips for writer’s block, information on where local participants are meeting, and an online community of support. NaNoWriMo focuses on the length of a work rather than the quality, encouraging writers to finish their first draft so that it can later be edited at the author’s discretion.[5] The project started in July 1999 with 21 participants. By the 2010 event, over 200,000 people took part and wrote a total of over 2.8 billion words.[6]

Writers wishing to participate first register on the project’s website, where they can post profiles and information about their novels, including synopses and excerpts. Participants are called Wrimos. Word counts are validated on the site, with writers submitting a copy of their novel for automatic counting. Municipal leaders and regional forums help connect local writers, holding writing events and providing encouragement.

source: Wikipedia.org

Everyone may enter at nanowrimo.org. Write daily, track your progress and you may just end up with a bestseller!

Check out Sara’s blog about NaNoWriMo

Or NaNoWriMo for short. Hello Friends! If you have never heard of NaNoWriMo, it is an annual writing challenge which encourages you to write daily and hopefully eventually you end up with a novel. Simply put anyway. There are progress badges which I think are fun and even sponsors and offers. These I have not looked into […]

via National Novel Writing Month — Sara in LaLaLand

Writing

November is National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month (often shortened to NaNoWriMo /ˈnænoʊ ˈraɪmoʊ/),[2] is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.[3] Well-known authors write “pep-talks” to keep them motivated throughout the process.[4] The website provides participants with tips for writer’s block, information on where local participants are […]

Can’t handle the daunting task of reading the latest Stephen King or James Patterson. I’m right there with you,  I have a hard time finishing books, my need for instant gratification maybe?  Most likely the A.D.D. kicking in.  I’m more of a magazine article type of guy. I have to read in short bursts and it must grab my attention quickly and hold it throughout the story. I will have that  “Hey…is that a squirrel” moment once or twice in a 20 to 30-minute span.  Flash fiction to the rescue!  Flash fiction, sudden fiction and the like are short stories that are no longer than 1000 or 750 words respectively but still offers character and plot development. flash fiction

I have recently started reading the New Yorker’s collection of flash fiction stories  A summer of very short storiesSome grab me from the first sentence some I can’t finish the second. Others I think, “Wow, that could be a longer book I would get into.” I really suggest taking a look at some of these stories. Either while waiting in the doctors’ office or your next trip to the washroom.

Both Justin and I have had many individuals come to us saying, “I want to write a book,” or, “I have a great idea for a book.” While that is all well and good there is a big difference between an idea and finished book. Many don’t realize what it really takes to write; how to structure a book or develop characters. Flash fiction is the perfect writing exercise for the aspiring author. It will help develop all the skills needed for good story creation.

Here are some tips to help you get started writing:

  1. Picking a topic – Narrowing it down.
    – When writing flash fiction, the smaller and more specific the topic the better. Look for precise ideas in broad topics and build on them. Take a topic like coming of age; narrow it down. Pick out some specific events that show the coming of age in young adolescents. For example: failing a class, standing up to a bully (or not), a girl’s first period, prom night or high school graduation. Now choose one of those events and write a story about it.
  2. No long-winded introductions – Short and sweet is key.
    – It’s fast fiction, you don’t want to spend too much time on the introduction. Yes, you want to get as much background as possible but you don’t want to go over your word count and you don’t want to lose your reader. Try to fit everything you need in the first paragraph and then get on with your story. For example, a character’s background info can be worked into the story through flashbacks and memories rather than laying it all out in the opening paragraphs. Rope your readers in, then worry about background information.
  3. Roping in your reader – Start in the middle of the action.
    – Begin right away with the action. Try to remember that flash fiction is usually a single scene in time; one moment that sticks out. Don’t describe more than you have to; let the reader fill in some of the blanks. This will keep them wanting more and in turn keep them reading your story.
  4. Think like a camera lens – Focus on a single moment or image in time.
    – As I said this is meant to be one moment in time. Focus on one powerful image to base your story around. For example, a deserted town or a cresting river. Paint a picture with your words.
  5. Don’t give your reader everything at once – Keep the suspense going.
    – It’s okay if your reader has no idea what’s going on in the majority of the story. Just tie it all together in the end with a nice bow. They’ll keep reading out of sheer curiosity and a wanting for understanding. This goes with roping in the readers.
  6. Using common knowledge is helpful – Reference telltale facts.
    – If your story is part of something that is commonly known than references will save you time and words. Refer to historical events, location, etc. For example: say your story takes place in the 1920s, a single word like prohibition or a phrase like economic boom, would reference that entire era. By doing this you give the reader a load of background information in a single sentence.
  7. Give the readers a shock – Twist endings are best for flash fiction.
    – Unlike a novel or short story, in flash fiction, there is simply not enough time or space to build up your story through its characters and background details. This can make it hard to come up with an ending that packs a punch for the readers. In this case, we can turn to the twist ending. Leave your readers with their mouth agape in surprise at the unexpected turn of events.

Taken from: https://fictionsoutheast.com/7-tips-for-writing-flash-fiction/

 

I am looking for some community input on this matter. I would like to start a flash fiction writing project/contest in the Ohio Valley for aspiring authors and maybe even a separate contest for middle and high school students. We would like to host submissions online. Read them aloud or invite the authors to read them during a live weekly podcast or youtube show. Then have the public pick or narrow down the winners.

Hopefully, I receive enough interest we can make this happen. I look forward to hearing everyone’s comments.

NEW AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO WRITING

It’s that time of year again, leaves are changing, the weather is turning colder. For most of us, the percentage of our time indoors will start to increase. Some call it book weather. Here at JourStarr, we call it writing weather. If its thriller, action or crime drama its time to get those story ideas on paper.  We can’t wait to read your masterpiece! But first, let’s get planning.  We have re-released our new author’s writing guide. It was made available a few months back but we didn’t announce it.  Now its available to everyone for free!

Writers Guide
JourStarr’s Simple Writers Guide for New Authors

Writing tops lists as one of the most satisfying careers out there. It garners respect, shares knowledge, causes change, nurtures creativity, soothes the soul and generates income. Whether you plan to write fiction or non-fiction, this guide helps you successfully navigate the first four steps of the writing process: Prewriting, writing, revising and editing. To get the most out of it, read the entire guide to get an overview. Then read each section as you move through the writing process. The guide uses examples from film (visual literature) and books to explain concepts.

  • Decide the purpose of your book.
  • Use a Hook.
  • Research thoroughly for accurate facts.

Brainstorming, planning, and research should be your cornerstones in any writing project. Our guide will help new and aspiring authors organize their thoughts and ideas while keeping the goal in sight. Creating a masterpiece!

To download JourStarr’s Simple Writing Guide For New Authors please enter your email below

 

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East Wheeling residents and community members may now complete our survey online! We will be also announcing more survey & interview dates within the next few weeks.

You may also complete the survey here if your browser is not compatable https://www.opinionstage.com/jourstarr/east-wheeling-resident-survey

 

Please contact us at admin@jourstarr.com with your unique stories, photos and newspaper articles. We need everyone’s help to compile this story of Wheeling’s history.

Writing

Surveys for Wheeling residents now online!

East Wheeling residents and community members may now complete our survey online! We will be also announcing more survey & interview dates within the next few weeks. You may also complete the survey here if your browser is not compatable https://www.opinionstage.com/jourstarr/east-wheeling-resident-survey   Please contact us at admin@jourstarr.com with your unique stories, photos and newspaper articles. […]

Come be part of Wheeling’s history

We will be holding interviews at the Ohio Co Public Library for past and present East Wheeling Residents, Business Owners, and Law Enforcement. If you have lived or lives, attends church or school and or visits East Wheeling frequently please attend. The interviews will consist of general questions on how your neighborhood has changed for the better or worse. We are working on a new book highlighting the socio-cultural changes that our local area has undergone. If you are not familiar with the term gentrification we will help bring to light the subtle and not so subtle actions or community influences that make up the process.

Webster’s Dictionary defines gentrification as:

noun
1. the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or middle-income families or individuals, raising property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses.
 2. the process of conforming to an upper- or middle-class lifestyle, or of making a product, activity, etc., appealing to those with more affluent tastes

 

JourStarr will be taking more surveys on Sunday, October 15th from 1 pm to 4:30 pm downstairs at the Ohio co. Public Library.  We are looking for unique stories on your life and time spent living and visiting the East Wheeling and downtown areas of Wheeling.  We will also be focusing on the national Weed and Seed Program and how it was used by local governments to gentrify urban areas displacing longtime residents, shuttering family businesses and uprooting their culture.

Please bring pictures and a good story, everyone is welcome! Anyone who participates will receive a mention in the book, also many of your unique stories will be featured in the text. We hope to bring a lost community together and show the enduring spirit of Wheeling’s residents.

 

Othello Greene: The Story Begins turns 1 year old in a few days. In honor of its 1 year anniversary, we are giving away a free poster with every purchase of the book just add the Othello Greene poster to your cart with any copy of Othello Greene: The Story Begins and use the coupon code “Othello” at checkout. Also, you will be able to get your copy at the lowest price ever offered. Don’t miss out on this incredible deal!  Sale ends July 5th 2017

 

 

 

 

Get Your Copy Now!

Sale

Othello Greene 4th of July SALE

  Othello Greene: The Story Begins turns 1 year old in a few days. In honor of its 1 year anniversary, we are giving away a free poster with every purchase of the book just add the Othello Greene poster to your cart with any copy of Othello Greene: The Story Begins and use the coupon code “Othello” […]

Free ebooks for Mothers Day

 

In honor of Mothers Day, JourStarr has a gift for you. 2 Free Books! To receive your free copy of My Life: Poetic Literature, by Charles Fantroy and a copy of JourStarr’s A Simple Writing Guide for New Authors. Please enter your name and email address below. Hurry this offer expires soon!!

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MOTHER

You are the essence of my being. When I look at a Mother it’s you that I’m seeing.

You held me in the midst of the winter storm; you covered me with love to keep me warm.

You gave me confidence and told me that I can; you wiped away my tears, and held my hand.

You made me smile, when all I did was frown; you picked me up every time you saw that I was down.

You gave me life and told me to live; you taught me not to always take, but to sometimes give.

You gave me everything that a child needs; you taught me the importance of obtaining prosperity; which is true indeed.

Mother, I praise you each and every day for loving me and raising me the right way, even though I sometimes disobeyed, your love towards me forever stayed. My Mother dearest, you’re as rare as the everglades.

-Charles Fantroy

Let’s be honest, selling books is hard these days. The stats tell us that the average self-published author will sell fewer than 250 books, and the average published author will sell fewer than 2,000 books. Books are now more cost-effective and easier to access, which has created a wealth of competition. Estimates tell us that one million […]

via Can’t Get Your Book to Sell…? Step 1 to Selling Your Book: Do Not Pretend It’s “Free.” (3 min read) — Millionaire’s Digest

Publishing, Writing

Can’t Get Your Book to Sell…? Step 1 to Selling Your Book: Do Not Pretend It’s “Free.”

Let’s be honest, selling books is hard these days. The stats tell us that the average self-published author will sell fewer than 250 books, and the average published author will sell fewer than 2,000 books. Books are now more cost-effective and easier to access, which has created a wealth of competition. Estimates tell us that […]

Looking back on 2016, and in particular the last half of that, I read a lot of newer releases and popular books. With a baby I’ve had to pick and choose more what I am most excited about and that often were some newer releases and more well known books. The buzz helps with that. […]

via TTT #80 – Top Hidden Gem Books I Read in 2016 — A Dance With Books

Writing

Top Hidden Gem Books

Looking back on 2016, and in particular the last half of that, I read a lot of newer releases and popular books. With a baby I’ve had to pick and choose more what I am most excited about and that often were some newer releases and more well known books. The buzz helps with that. […] […]