Sensing your way to a better short story

Photo by Ana Paula Lima from Pexels
Photo by Ana Paula Lima from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/baby-baby-boy-baby-love-big-eyes-353293/

As a writer, a goal of your craft is to transport the writer from the present, to a place in their imagination. To immerse a reader into the story, writers use many methods, but one of the strongest is using the senses to connect the reader to his/her memories.

Sight is the backbone of all writing. “Her blue summer dressed flapped gently in the wind” evokes a vision, one built around the sense of sight.  But what about the other human senses?

Incorporating the other four senses not only gives your reader a the description of the event but also can connect them neurologically thru their memory senses.

The use of senses gives the writer the ability to tap into the readers memories of those sensations. For the short story writer, the use of sense becomes more challenging as you make sure not to obviously direct the reader toward the memory with redundant words such as smell, feel, taste etc.

“She felt the wind gently blow thru the trees. The smell of pine was in the air. She could feel her blue summer dress gently flap on her legs.”

This sentence can become:

“As the wind blew gently thru the pine trees she could feel her summer dress gently flap on her legs”

Trust your reader to absorb the surroundings themselves, and create their own interpretation of the moment.

2018 Summer Grant Program Open

coins_newspaper_monument_writing_book_german_old_zoom-1095167Publish for Charity is excited to announce its 2018 Summer Grant Program for www.wordsforcharity.org. The grants will all be awarded in July 2018.

The Words for Charity grant program is based on the goal of supporting authors of short stories who create a “give back buzz” by donating their work(s) to raise monies for charities.

Ambassadors who follow a standard writing Rubric select all of our stories. Our Grants focus on the actions of the contributor; raising money and marketing their story while raising awareness for their selected charity.

In addition to possible monetary rewards, contributors will enjoy the benefits of Words for Charity’s ongoing marketing, social media and community efforts.

So without further fanfare or explanation here are the Grants;

Grant One – A grant of $1000.00 (minimum) will be awarded to the individual donator whose short story(ies) contribution(s) generate the most gross donations to a charity.

Grant Two – A second Grant of $1000.00 (minimum) will be awarded upon a computer drawing of a contributor’s name.
This will be a random drawing with each contributing author receiving one entry in the drawing.

Grant Three – The third grant of $1000.00 (minimum) will be awarded to the individual randomly picked by a computer. This drawing will be weighted with each contributing author receiving one entry per story downloaded regardless of gross donations generated.

Of course what is a Grant program without some disclaimers, so here you are!

  • Time period for submissions end on 3/31/18.
  • Measurements for Grants one and three will end on 6/30/18.
  • WFC & PFC staff, board and ambassadors and their direct family are not eligible.
  • All drawings will be made by computer algorithm based upon the rules set forth above.

Don’t procrastinate, enter your short story today. You will immediately become wealthier in spirit, and perhaps a little later in your wallet.

We figured if you can run, bike or walk for charity, why not read and write for one?

Erika Beebe shares some excellent advice on jump-starting your brain with Flash Fiction

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to […]

via Why Flash Fiction is my Cure for Brain Drain #authortoolboxbloghop — Cloud Nine Girl

“Philanthropic Scribe” Grant Awarded

Words For Charity is pleased to announce that it has awarded its “Philanthropic Scribe” grant to Alexander Zondervan.

The “Philanthropic Scribe” grant is chosen from the authors who have published a story at Words for Charity to raise money for one of several great causes that are featured. From this group of authors a computer algorithm picks out the awardee.

Alexander currently attends Bard College in New York, where he is exploring how poetry and thought are related, with a curiosity to see the way metaphors manifest within texts.

In addition to the Philanthropic Scribe grant, Words For Charity will be awarding its’ “Compassionate Chronicle” grant in the next ten days. For more information about Words For Charity, its grants and its mission, please visit our website at http://www.wordsforcharity.org.

A final word of thanks to everyone who published and bought stories during our 2017 grant period, your contributions have helped to support both great causes and creative talent!

“Benevolent Quill” Grant awarded

 

Words For Charity is pleased to announce that it has awarded its “Benevolent Quill” grant to Daniel Magner.

The “Benevolent Quill grant is awarded to the individual who short story(ies) contributions raised the most money during that specific grant period. Daniel donated three stories that raised money for Kaboom, an organization that builds play areas in impoverished neighborhoods and Cure-ALZ funding research with the highest probability of preventing, slowing, or reversing Alzheimer’s disease.

Daniel is a recent graduate of Cal State-Long Beach. He is currently an ESL educator in Irvine, California, and is pursuing his passion of publishing his first book of poetry.

To learn more about Kaboom please visit https://kaboom.org

To learn more about Cure-ALZ please visit http://www.curealz.org/

In addition to the Benevolent Quill grant, Words For Charity will be awarding two more grants in the next ten days. For more information about Words For Charity, its grants and its mission, please visit our website at http://www.wordsforcharity.org.

A final word of thanks to all authors and readers for their participation during our 2017 grant period, your contributions have helped to support both great causes and creative talent!

 

Like, you know, Verbal Pauses in a Short Story!

fencing
Fencing by Pearson Scott Foresman [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons
We all use them in our daily life, those extra words that give us a chance to regroup our thoughts when conversing.  Words such as “like” and “you know” have been parodied for years in both the film and written arts.  But other words such as “Because”, “Actually” and “So” go under the radar and many of these verbal pause words become part of the written narrative.

Verbal pauses are not good for short story writers. They create cultter, can bore and often frustrate or confuse the reader. Worse than can negatively effect the style you are creating within the story.

As a short story writer you must ask yourself:

  • Are these words necessary?
  • Are there more descriptive words that can be used? Is the room “very warm” or “hot”?
  • Are the words adding to the style or mood that you are trying to create?

A tool I have found helpful is the “word search” commands that come with most software. When I find a verbal pause word in my writing, I just type it in to the “word search” and find out where it appears in my story. Try this with some of your writings and you may be surprised.

The verbal pause sometimes does have a place in the short story.  When developing a character and their personality, the verbal pause can be an effective tool when used in dialog.

Well, I hope this article is informative and helps your writing in the future.  (I know, I know, I know…. I used a verbal pause!!)