Time is running out to support Far Flung on Inkshares!

With 5 days left in the Launch Pad Inkshares contest, I’m losing my hold over 4th place, let alone a top 3 place that I would need to win.

xxyyzz

So here I am, again, trying to get pre-orders for Far Flung. I’ve got two supporter previews left. I think those previews are why a lot of new blog visitors are here!

To my new visitors and my readers before the campaign – will you support Far Flung?

If you plan to, now is the time!

Check out Far Flung at the Inkshares page here and see the updates and chapters I’ve provided. With complex characters and worldbuilding, I think sci-fi fans will deeply appreciate this journey. Read over the preview chapters, maybe leave a comment or recommendation, and let me know what you think!

Busan Writing Group, June 17 – Pitches, please!

This week we looked at pitches for stories – the 250-word summary of a story that a writer has to compose to get the attention of agents and publishers.

The Busan Writing Group first took a look at pitches written by one of our members. The stories looked awesome – some of them were ones we’ve run through our critique process before. The main difficulty with the pitches was the complexity – there was a lot going on, and it was difficult to boil down the most important info into 250 words.

We then looked over the most popular choices for Pitchapalooza 2015, over at the Book Doctors. Popular votes from readers favored the weird and offbeat. The key to gaining votes seemed to be setting up a weird or creepy situation right at the start, or to present an everyday situation and then have a quick twist that makes it weird.

Last, we looked over the winners of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. These winning pitches were simple and to the point, clearly outlying what to expect in the story. When weirdness entered into these pitches, it was clearly integrated – we found we could easily understand how the unusual factors really affect the characters. This was key to any appreciation of the pitches – for fantasy or sci-fi elements to mean anything and sell the story, we have to know what those elements mean to the characters who have to deal with them.

My general takeaway from all this:

It’s damn hard to simplify a story and get the most important details across in a meaningful way. However, that is the exact skill needed for a great pitch – the skill of delivering major plot points, along with how they affect relatable characters, in a quick, simple way.

Easy to see why it’s so damn hard, huh?

 

Image from http://www.theinfluencebusiness.com/

Wednesday Writing Club, June 10

Wednesday Writing Club – A pitch, and a well-revised story

Just a quick one today – the Busan Writing Club had a nice little meeting tonight, and we talked about the pitch I wrote for a sci-fi serial story which I am getting in gear. My pitch was a mess – I tried hard to include details as suggested by David Henry Sterry, but I ended up cramming way too much into 250 words. Too much detail, too much complication. It all means a lot more work for me as I look for a simple, yet unique way to present the soul of my story in 250 words or fewer.

The other submission was a work by our member Clare, and wow did it ever look better than mine! She had the 8th draft of an excellent bit of literary fiction told from a young Irish girl’s point of view. It’s really amazing how the story has shaped into a compelling, melancholy tale of a girl and her father’s mental illness. All of us wish Clare good luck as she enters the story into a newspaper contest in her home country of Ireland.

Anyway, guess what the next Busan Writing Club is all about? Pitches!

Yup, our meeting on June 17 will be all about dissecting successful pitches to see what makes them tick. You can bet there’ll be an update on this very blog after the event.

Are you in Busan? Nearby? Send me a private message and let me know!