July/August 2017 Writing Contests

Thank you very much for all your efforts and work, Rachel Poli. We appreciate it!

Rachel Poli

Writing Contests for July and August 2017

JULY 2017

Genre: Poetry
Theme: N/A
Website: Literal Latte
Deadline: July 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $10/6 poems or $15/10 poems
Prize: First – $1,000

Genre: Poetry, Fiction
Theme: Fairy Tale
Website: Fairy Tale Review
Deadline: July 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $10
Prize: First – $1,000

Genre: Fiction
Theme: Flash Fiction
Website: Gigantic Sequins
Deadline: July 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $5
Prize: $100

Genre: Any
Theme: “The End”
Website: Visible Ink
Deadline: July 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $7
Prize: $75

Genre: Flash Fiction
Theme: N/A
Website: The Golden Key
Deadline: July 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $4
Prize: $150

Genre: Fiction (New writers only)
Theme: N/A
Website: The Masters Review
Deadline: July 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $20
Prize: First – $3,000

AUGUST 2017

Genre: Fiction/Non-Fiction
Theme: Self-published ebooks
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: August 1, 2017
Entry Fee: $99
Prize: Grand – $5,000

Genre: Flash Fiction/Non-Fiction/Poetry
Theme: N/A
Website: Blue Earth Review
Deadline:…

View original post 143 more words

How To Plan The Crime In Your Mystery Novel [Mystery Month]

Rachel Poli provides us with an interesting and informative post on “How to plan a crime”, including a ‘checklist’. This is great! Thank you, Rachel!

Rachel Poli

We’ve talked about this before, but I think it’s always good to revisit old chats. In fact, this is the third time I’m revising this post!

If you know me, you know that I prefer to outline my novels before writing them. While freewriting is fun, I like to know where I’m going with my story. I don’t like to get stuck, I just like to write. Sometimes it changes, but I have a basic idea.

When it comes to writing a mystery novel, when there is a crime and something has to be solved, it’s easy to know what exactly is going to happen ahead of time. Otherwise, you may end up with a baffling case – in and out of the story.

How To Plan A Crime In Your Mystery Novel | Mystery Month

Even if you don’t like to outline, planning out the crime in your story is always a good idea. When you read books or watch…

View original post 598 more words

Language Generator for Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Kristen Twardowski informs us with an exciting blog post about “Vulgar”, a language generator for Sci-Fi and Fantasy writers. Thanks so much Kristen.

Kristen Twardowski

I’ve talked about my fascination with language before, but sometimes writers need a little help creating words that make sense in their nascent worlds. I recently found something that streamlines that process.

Vulgar (pardon the terrible name) is a constructed language generator. The generator creates fully realized languages; if you were truly ambitious you could learn some of them. The program attempts to mimic real languages, so there are patterns to the words that develop. For instance, in 50% of generated languages, the word for “tongue” is the same as the word for “language”, and words often share roots as is the case for:

pson /pʂon/ n. paint; v. paint
psopru /ˈpʂopru/ n. painter

I’ve played around with the generator quite a bit and am highlighting a few sample languages below.

Vulgar Zulia.JPG via Vulgar

Vulgar Nahis.JPG via Vulgar

The above screenshots simply capture the summaries for the languages. The full pages, however…

View original post 171 more words

I’m Having a Love Affair With ‘Had’!

Jan R. provides us with an amazing post about a ‘love affair with “had”‘. Thank you very much!

Writing your first novel-Things you should know

aid174983-v4-728px-Stop-Saying-the-Word-_Like_-Step-4-Version-2On more than one occasion I have declared my love affair with the word ‘had’. When you use a word so many times it jumps off the page, you have a problem. It doesn’t matter if the word is used correctly or not. You need to find another way to write the sentence without using ‘the word’. In my case that word is ‘had’.

What’s wrong with using the word ‘had’ over and over, besides making it an awkward read?

  • If you are using ‘had’ a lot, odds are you have a lot of backstory/info dump, because it specifically details things that happened before the current action. In some circumstances, that can seem dull, or like the focus is in the wrong place. Why spend so much time on something that’s not happening right now?
  • Using ‘had’ too much can also indicate you are telling vs. showing.
  • ‘Had’ is also rather formal…

View original post 294 more words

February/March 2017 Writing Contests

Thank you once again, Rachel Poli, for providing us with the next two months’ Writing Contests.

Rachel Poli

february-march-2017-writing-contestsFebruary 2017

Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction, or Poetry
Theme: Sentence starter – use the first line given
Website: The First Line
Deadline: February 1, 2017
Entry Fee: None
Prize: $25-$50 for fiction, $5-$10 for poetry, and $25 for nonfiction

Genre: Poetry
Theme: Love
Website: Don’t Talk To Me About Love
Deadline: February 14, 2017
Entry Fee: $20 for 1-3 poems
Prize: First place – $1,000

Genre: Fiction
Theme: N/A
Website: Glimmer Train
Deadline: February 28, 2017
Entry Fee: $18
Prize: First place – $2,500

Genre: Flash Fiction
Theme: N/A
Website: WOW! Women On Writing
Deadline: February 28, 2017
Entry Fee: $10
Prize: First place – $350

March 2017

Genre: Poetry
Theme: Food
Website: Literal Latte
Deadline: March 15, 2017
Entry Fee: $10 for up 6 poems or $15 for up to 12 poems
Prize: First place – $500

Genre: Fiction and Nonfiction
Theme: None
Website: Narrative Magazine
Deadline: March 31, 2017

View original post 97 more words

Antagonists Are People, Too

Rachel Poli published a blog post about Antagonists in our stories. I think she did a great job here. Check it out.

Rachel Poli

It’s hard to have a good plot without someone to drive your protagonist forward. Often times, that someone happens to be a “bad guy.”

Someone who is not nice, someone who isn’t your protagonist’s number one fan, someone who wants the spotlight for themselves and goes about it the wrong way. There are a lot of reasons a protagonist becomes a protagonist. Often it’s something bad, but sometimes it’s not.

antagonistWho is the antagonist?

The antagonist is a character in your novel. Often times they are the “bad guy,” the person the protagonist is trying to stop, the person the readers don’t root for.

However, you have to remember that the antagonist is just as important to the novel as your protagonist is.

There are many different types of antagonists.

  • The Psychopath
  • The Hater
  • The Power Hungry
  • The Insane
  • The Rival

There are more types of villains, of course, but…

View original post 346 more words

How To Write Characters from the Opposite Gender

I find it very interesting what Rachel Poli has to say about how to write characters from the opposite gender. Have a peek. I’m sure you agree. Thank you Rachel.

Rachel Poli

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that boys and girls are different. We’re different physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I’m a girl and have no idea what goes through the mind of a boy. Boys have no idea what girls go through. We pretend we understand the opposite gender, but we really have no clue.

With that being said, it’s much easier to write in the female point of view if you’re a female yourself.

how-to-write-characters-from-the-opposite-gender

When I first started writing my mystery series,George Florence, the main protagonist was George himself. It was all in first-person, but some things just weren’t clicking with the rest of the story.

I eventually changed the point of view to third-person with George still in charge, but even that didn’t work out. With the help of my writer’s group, I came to the conclusion that even though George calls the shots for…

View original post 663 more words