Rough Writers World Tour #Flash Fiction Anthology. How to Make Every Word Count #TuesdayBookBlog  

Writing is often a solitary endeavour, so supportive writing communities, like the Rough Writers at Carrot Ranch, led by Charli Mills, are invaluable to authors.

They’re a safe place where we can express our creativity, receive and offer feedback, and feel we belong to a greater worldwide community we would never be able to reach on our own.

Rough Writers are an encouraging and friendly group who often comment on each other’s flash fiction. There are usually lively discussions on the weekly prompt day and the round-up, as well as comments on each other’s posts.

My first contribution to the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge was in February 2015. It’s been a great pleasure to have contributed with almost fifty stories over the past three years and to have read hundreds of other stories. I’m always amazed at how many different approaches the rough writers come up with to the same topic!

The first flash fiction anthology from Charli’s Rough Writers over at The Carrot Ranch was published in February, 2018. I am honored to have been part of that anthology, which was made possible by the participation of over thirty regular contributors to Carrot Ranch’s weekly Challenge, as well as Charli’s enthusiasm as group leader.

A very special mention and thanks to Sarah Brentyn, the fabulous editor of the volume, who made sure all our contributions were perfect (she certainly helped me make the most of mine! Thank you Sarah).

The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 is available for distribution in 17 countries worldwide.
It’s available now in print and e-book versions: preferably via book baby; and also on Amazon US, Amazon UK

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I’d like to share with you the one most important lesson I’ve learnt from writing Flash Fiction:

Make every word count.

The more I unclutter and draw my readers straight into the story, the higher the chances they’ll keep reading.

Contemporary readers are both busy and impatient, and their attention spans are shorter, because they’re more used to multitasking and online reading. I know this because I’m also a contemporary reader and I interact with many others! A great deal has been written about this, for example this article in the Guardian, Ebooks are changing the way we read, and the way novelists write.

Writing flash fiction (and poetry, but that’s for another post!) have both increased my confidence as a writer by:

· Improving my writing style,

· Enhancing my creativity, and

· Boosting my word power.

How to Make Every Word Count?

Whatever I’m writing, be it a poem, a flash or a novel, the first draft is all about finding and creating my story, so I write to my heart’s content, the more words and information the better, because at this point, I’m telling the story to myself.

It’s later, with the subsequent edits, when I start thinking of my readers, that I edit consciously and viciously. I ditch or combine scenes, shorten paragraphs and chapters, tighten sentences and ultimately, cut out words, or rephrase to clarify and get to the point.

In flash fiction, for example, a lot of the first draft will be brainstorming ideas, scenes, whole sentences, ignoring the word count.

Once I’ve completed my first draft, I start again and ask myself these questions about every single word:

· Does the word move the story on?

· Does the word tell the reader something essential?

· If I read the text without the word does the sentence still convey my intended meaning?

· Can I include the idea behind the word in another shorter way, for example with another expression or a different verb?

· Is there a more direct and clearer way of writing a sentence?

· Am I satisfied that each word conveys my intended meaning? There’s always a perfect word and I need to find it. I still have my original Roget’s Thesaurus, which I bought in 1980 on my desk, plus all the online tools available to activate all the vocabulary my brainpower can recall.

· Finally, I prioritize. I may need all the words, but I have a word limit. I must decide which words, or groups of words, even whole lines, are more essential than others to convey my meaning.

This is why it takes me less than thirty minutes to write the first draft of a flash or poem and several hours, often days, to come up with the final version.

With a novel it takes me about three months to write a first draft and at least six more for the subsequent drafts and edits.

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Before concluding, I’d like to indulge in a short trip down memory lane and include my first contribution to the Carrot Ranch 99-word Challenge.

Aunt Lucy (Published on 9th February, 2015).

“Your sister should have married.”
“She’s perfectly happy on her own.”
“I suppose you can’t blame anyone for not wanting to live with her, can you?”
“What do you mean?”
“She’s as mad as a hatter.”
“What a horrible thing to say! She’s not mad. She’s just different.”
“Look at her clothes and her sixty-year-old hippy friends. They still smoke pot, for crying out loud! Thank God we had the sense to adopt her child so she could have a normal life.”
The door opened.
“I wondered when you were going to tell me Aunt Lucy was my mother.”
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Here are my other contributions to Carrot Ranch’s Weekly Flash Fiction Challenge

Here’s a previous post I wrote about how flash fiction has improved my writing.

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You might enjoy visiting these other Rough Writers who have taken part in the book launch and tell us about how flash fiction has influenced their writing.

Irene Waters in Australia

Susan Zutautas in Canada

Norah Colvin in Australia

Sherri Matthews in the UK

Sacha Black in the UK

Ann Edall-Robson in Canada

Anne Goodwin in the UK

Geoff Le Pard in the UK

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What’s your experience of writing flash fiction? Has it helped you improve your writing, too?

#BookTour ‘Christmas Secrets’ #Author Interview @donnahatch

Interview with Author Donna Hatch

  1. Could you tell us something about why you wrote this novel and where the idea, or inspiration, came from.

I’ve been toying with the strangers kissing idea for a couple of years, and have had a few false starts. Finally, I brainstormed the concept with a critique partner. After trying several options, I finally landed on one that worked for me.

2- You are a bestselling author of Regency Romances. Why do you think this genre is so popular 200 years after the original romances were written?

I think there are many reasons. One reason they are popular is due to all the recent movies based on famous historical books such as all the Jane Austen films, North and South with the dreamy Richard Armitage, and many other historical novel adaptations as well as BBC series that take place in historical eras.

Another reason historical romance novels stay popular is because most people read either to relax or escape—which are kinda one in the same. We crave a reprieve from our troubles. The fantasy of vicariously living the life of the very rich, wearing beautiful gowns, having handsome heroes vie for our favor or even dueling over our honor is very appealing, and giving those stories a historical setting furthers the fantasy.

In Regency England, manners were very formal. There was a protocol to everything from how many sets a lady could dance with a gentleman in one evening (two), to what to wear while walking (a walking gown).

I love the eloquent speech used during the Regency and how they also prized wit. My job as a historical novelist is to include witty dialogue in every historical I write. I also love the manners of the Regency: gentlemen stood when a lady entered the room, removed their hats, cleaned up their language, and bowed. Yes, I do wish men still did those things today. Regency men were educated as well as athletic; they rode horses, fenced, and boxed. They were strong, noble and honorable—to the point of being self-sacrificing. And that is why I love them!

3- Have you ever thought about writing another genre, such as contemporary romance?

Not contemporary but I have written a fantasy, which is currently out of print, and I’d like to write more in the future. I also am considering writing young adult fantasy or futuristic/science fiction.

4- What are you writing at the moment?

I am working on book 5 of my Rogue Hearts series, and I’m brainstorming a new series about spies during the Napoleonic Wars.

5- What would you like readers to know about you?

I love chocolate and cute fluffy baby animals.

Here is my official bio: Best-selling author, Donna Hatch, is a hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, the force that drove her to write and publish twenty historical romance titles, including the award-winning “Rogue Hearts Series.”  She is a multi-award winner, a sought-after workshop presenter, and juggles multiple volunteer positions as well as her six (yes, that is 6) children. Also a music lover, she sings and plays the harp, and loves to ballroom dance. Donna and her family recently transplanted from her native Arizona to the Pacific Northwest where she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

Connect with Donna here:

Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon ~  Goodreads ~ Twitter ~

 

Holly’s two Christmas wishes this year are to finally win her mother’s approval by gaining the notice of a handsome earl, and discovering the identity of the stranger who gave her a heart-shattering kiss…even if that mystery kisser is the resident Christmas ghost.

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon Canada ~ Amazon Australia ~

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To view the blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit the Official Facebook Event page 

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:

#BookTour ‘Paradise Prison’ by Faith Mortimer @BrookCottageBks

 

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Every time a new book by Faith Mortimer is published is a celebration. I’m thrilled to be taking part in this tour for her latest novel, PARADISE PRISON, which has just been released.

Hammerhead shark fin, circling us in cove, Spring Break, St. John Island, US Virgin Islands, 1975

Hammerhead shark fin, circling us in cove, Spring Break, St. John Island, US Virgin Islands, 1975

 

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release Date: 7th January 2017

Series: Dark Minds #4

Publisher: Topsails Charter

Blurb

Following an almighty row, Gillian stands up to her abusive boyfriend. The consequences are horrendous and far-reaching.

Terrified, she flees her home, seeking anonymity abroad while coming to terms with the outcome of her actions.

In Portugal, Gillian meets Harry, a yachtsman. Needing crew for his Atlantic Ocean-crossing she applies for the job. Half-way into the journey, after confessing to her crime, Harry offers her refuge on an uninhabited island in the Caribbean which he says he owns.

Confused and depressed, Gillian imagines this is the answer to her problems. She needs time to lie low and consider her options; confront the authorities or live in obscurity? Harry is offering the perfect hiding place…or is he?

When things start going horribly wrong, she asks herself if she is alone on the island. But maybe the biggest question of all is why she gets the gut feeling Harry wants to keep her there at all costs?What happens when she says … no.

 BUY LINKS!

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

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ABOUT FAITH MORTIMER

Faith is a British author dividing her time between Hampshire, England & Cyprus. Since 2005 she turned her hobby of writing into a career. During childhood, she dreamed of writing novels which readers would love, & spent many hours writing short stories which she read to her sisters. Born in Manchester & educated in Singapore, Malaya & Hampshire, England. Amazon Top #14 author rank for mystery, #27 mystery, thriller & suspense, #55 literature & fiction #5 bestselling author on Nook Books. Faith’s books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaithMortimer.Author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FaithMortimer

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2967303.Faith_Mortimer

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/105949740968880690288

Website: www.faithmortimerauthor.com

 

Giveaway!

1st Prize – Ecopies of all 4 books in the series

2nd Prize – an ecopy of the book

Join in here!

 

 

 

 

 

Six Lies by Ben Adams @BrookCottageBks #BookTour & #Giveaway

I read and reviewed Ben Adams’ first novel, Six Months to Get a Life on this blog last April, and it’s a great pleasure to present his latest novel SIX LIES as part of a Brook Cottage Books Tour.

I haven’t had the time to read it yet, but I’ve only heard positive comments about it, and I’m looking forward to reading very soon. Meanwhile here’s some information for you.

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SIX LIES BY BEN ADAMS
Genre: Humour, Romance,
Release Date: 23/11/15
Publisher: SilverWood Books

Blurb

How would you feel if, one day, you discover that everything you thought you knew about your family was a fabrication? Your mother wasn’t your mother, your father was a liar and your whole upbringing was a sham.

Confronted with this exact situation, Dave Fazackerley doesn’t feel great. It doesn’t help that he has just buried the woman he thought of as his mother. Or that his wife, his one true soulmate, recently jumped into bed with a librarian. Even his band, his only escape from reality, is going through a rough patch.

How will Dave respond? Will he discover the truth about his family? Will his band ever play a gig again? More importantly, can Dave entice his wife back from the arms of the book-dork or will he take a chance on a new love?

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BUY LINKS:
AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

Picture Ben Adams

ABOUT BEN ADAMS

Like a lot of people, Ben went to school, then college and eventually grew up and got a responsible job, a house and a family. And then his mid-life crisis kicked in.

Realising that life was in danger of becoming all too serious, Ben started writing. Not in the way that Forrest Gump started running, but at least he started. He wrote on steamed up mirrors in the bathroom to make his children smile. Eventually he graduated to making up stories to entertain his kids at bedtime.

For some reason, his boys didn’t seem interested in his tales of every-day life, relationships, family, trauma, farce and the occasional bit of debauchery. They preferred JK someone or other.

Following his short-lived career as a children’s author, Ben now concentrates on writing stories for grown-ups. He writes for people who have lived, loved, worked, strived and suffered – people like him. People like you.

Ben lives in southwest London with his two boys and Albus, his dog.

AUTHOR LINKS

FACEBOOK
GOODREADS
BLOG
AUTHOR WEBSITE
Twitter: @benadamsauthor

GIVEAWAY

AN EBOOK COPY OF SIX LIES

 

 

Book Tour: To Fall in Love Again by David Burnett

It’s a real pleasure to take part in this Book Tour organised by Brook Cottage Books and introduce you to author David Burnett and his third novel To Fall in Love Again.

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My most treasured moments are the hours I’m able to spend in a comfortable chair with my Tablet and Kindle App engrossed in an absorbing story. Although I enjoy all types of novels, especially mystery, thrillers, historical, women’s and literary fiction, I have a weakness for romance and character driven novels. I’m interested in reading about people and how they feel, make decisions, cope with life’s conflicts, grow emotionally, and develop lasting relationships.

To Fall in Love Again is one such novel. It’s a novel about how people meet and fall in love, and the conflicts which inevitably arise as relationships progress. No couple is an island, and Drew and Amy have a background, a family, friends, and neighbours which influence how they relate to each other.

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Most love stories portray beautiful and forceful, young protagonists, who are usually struggling to make their way in life professionally, often with a view to eventually having children, and setting up a family. To Fall in Love Again is different. It’s about two middle-aged characters who have had a family, and lived through a first courting, marriage and children. In fact, they are two widowed young grandparents, in their fifties, who meet quite by chance and fall in love.

They have no time to lose, but they are also level-headed, mature adults, who seem to know what they want, and are in control of their lives. However their idyllic first encounters are soon disturbed by conflict deriving from the rest of the characters they are involved with, such as children, friends, and colleagues, who have very diverse backgrounds and expectations, and are often annoyingly interfering.

The novel is about how Drew and Amy meet, fall in love, and overcome the challenges their relationship faces. It’s also about relationships between various generations; adult children and their parents, as well as grandparents and grandchildren. It’s about trust, deceit, misunderstandings, meddling gossips, social prejudice, and how these aspects invade their lives and almost ruin their chance of happiness. It’s also about second chances, forgiveness, and the value of love, friendship and trust, as paths to happiness and fulfilment.

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It’s a novel which takes you up and down with the characters’ emotions, but finally, you feel optimistic and happy when you finish reading, because although it wasn’t easy, Drew and Amy made it. This isn’t a spoiler, because readers know this is a HEA, romantic novel. Readers will not be concerned with the outcome itself, but with how the expected outcome finally occurs.

I enjoyed the setting, too. I felt as if I was walking along the streets of Charleston with Drew and Amy, and learnt about some of the social and cultural aspects of this beautiful city, which I have not yet visited.

To Fall in Love Again is a love story about authentic characters who are offered a second chance of happiness. It  is very well written, and is easy, pleasant, and satisfying to read on a cosy winter evening.

I’d like to thank the author and Brook Cottage Books for giving me the chance to read and review this novel and take part in this Book Tour.

DAVID BURNETT
David Burnett lives in Columbia South Carolina, with his wife and blue-eyed cat, Bonnie. He has two daughters and three grandchildren, and enjoys traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches. He has a degree in psychology and education, and was formerly director of research for his state education department.

More information about the author:
http://davidburnett.yolasite.com
http://davidburnettsbooks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Burnett-Author/447290468681693?ref=hl

Amazon US link.

Amazon UK link.