Get to the trauma - corrected link

May 01, 2024 5:06 pm


I haven't got the winning flash fiction stories posted to my website yet, but it will happen soon. There may be one winner who hasn't approved posting yet.

Let me pass on a tip from my presentation on forging unforgettable stories: Get to the trauma (or threat thereof) early in the story. The sooner the peril raises its cruel visage, the sooner the reader will begin to care about and relate to the character. Trauma piques the reader’s interest, and creates empathy for the character – which brings up something I’ve assumed, which is that your story does in fact have a character. There are certainly other ways to help the reader to bond with the character, but the threat of peril is a proven catalyst.

I just finished Brandywine, A History of The Battle... by Michael C. Harris as well as Heinlein's Have Spacesuit Will Travel. The latter surprised me. What I thought would be about a trip to the moon went well beyond, hundreds, even thousands of light years beyond. I read the former in preparation for writing Book 8 of the Tomahawks and Dragon Fire Series. The book was interesting and a pretty good read, but many of the first person insights included did more to distract from the account than to enhance it. I would still recommend it.

Wyrd West is live and orange tagged at the top of new releases in anthologies. Get your copy here. My story is "A Matter of Letters." If you're a Marty Robbins fan, you'll appreciate Charles Hackney's story, "Undying Love" in the anthology. I've been reading the stories and I'm down to the last two or three. They've all been great.

I still have a sea shanty story out in limbo; it's been a year now and the group putting out the anthology has delayed the project indefinitely. Yesterday began with a rejection on a flash fiction story and ended with a rejection on one that had been in the "we'll see if this fits with the theme of the others we've chosen"--it did not. One other short story remains in the "maybe" land before that holy of holies of acceptance and publication. Finally, the first short story I sold for publication has yet to be published, but it is scheduled for the winter issue of the magazine.

The bugmageddon novel is moving along. I expect to finish by the end of May. The next project will be either Book 7 in the Tomahawks and Dragon Fire Series, or a trailer park murder mystery.


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"To win without risk is to triumph without glory." -- Pierre Corneille