Tag Archives: short stories

Genres of Literature – Cli-Fi


cli-fi

The literary genre climate fiction is commonly known as Cli-Fi. The narratives deal with climate-change and global warming, although not necessarily speculative in nature the narratives center on the world as we know it or in the near future. In essence it is an off-shoot of eco-fiction addressing the effects of climate change in short stories or novels.

 

Although the term “cli-fi” came into use in the late 2000s to describe novels dealing with man-made climate change, it is certainly not a ‘new’ literary topic as natural disasters have been themes to novels in the past. For example Jules Verne’s The Purchase of the North Pole in 1889 relates to a change due to the Earth’s axis tilting. His Paris in the Twentieth Century, written in 1883, relays a sudden drop in temperature lasting three years in a titular city. J.G. Ballard used persistent hurricane-force winds in The Wind from Nowhere in 1961 and melted ice-caps and rising sea-levels caused by solar radiation in The Drowned World in 1962 (somewhat of a prophecy!)

This genre has grown as scientific knowledge of the effects of fossil fuel consumption and resulting increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations has become the global warming phenomenon.

Other novels include Susan M. Gaine’s Carbon Dreams, Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake, the Year of the Flood and MaddAddam.

Have you written Cli-fi?

Did you know of this genre before today?

 

Genres of Literature – Flash Fiction


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In short, Flash Fiction is a fictional piece of prose in extreme brevity but still offering character and plot development. They can be defined by word count, which includes the six-word story, the 280-character story; commonly known as twitterature’, the dribble or minisaga, 50 words, the drabble or microfiction, 100-words, sudden fiction (750 words), flash fiction (1000 words), nanotale and micro-story. This genre possesses a unique literary quality, in its ability to hint at or imply a larger story.  In the 1920s flash fiction was referred to as the “short short story”.

Flash fiction roots go back into prehistory, recorded at origin of writing, which included fables and parables, the best know is of course, Aesop’s Fables in the west, and Panchatantra and Jataka tales in India. In Japan, flash fiction was popularized in the post-war period particularly by Michio Tsuzuk. In the United State early forms were found int he 19th century by such notable figures as Ambrose Bierce, Walt Whitman and Kate Chopin.

There are many internet sites and magazines that accept flash or micro fiction. I have submitted micro stories before and found them to be great fun!

Here is a list of some sites:

http://www.thereviewreview.net/publishing-tips/flash-fiction-list-resources

Have you tried micro fiction?

Which site(s) did you use?

I submitted quite a few to Espresso Fiction but alas there are no more 😦  It was a great exercise for me as a novice writer.

 

 

 

Author Interview – Mary Cooney-Glazer


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Mary Cooney-Glazer

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. For me, writing includes considering various plot ideas and marinating them in my head. I look for incidents that disrupt characters’ lives so they need to change course and deal with the consequences. That’s the exhausting part.

I get energized when the core of a plot develops, and characters materialize to tell the story. For me, that’s when the best part of writing begins.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Getting myself to forget everyday obligations for a while and sit at the computer. Learning to make writing a priority is still a work in progress. However, I’m getting a lot better now that I have a published novel.

Do you have other author friends and how do they help you become a better writer?

Yes. I’m lucky enough to have a friend who writes in the same genre. It’s wonderful to exchange ideas and share problems and triumphs with a writing buddy who understands the process, helps with the craft, encourages and motivates. We try to meet in person every two weeks, and we email in between. Let’s face it, most people don’t get what it’s like to create and live with imaginary characters who’ve become part of one’s life.

Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I became attached to the cast of characters in my first book, published last November, and set primarily in a pair of small New England seacoast towns. Readers have let me know they want to know what happens to supporting players in that book. For those reasons, I’m planning to keep the area, as well as threads about the characters in my second novel. I want people to be able to read it as a stand-alone as well if they choose.

What was the best money you spent as a writer?

Two ways. Years ago, I took a summer institute on newspaper writing, publicity, and promotion. It was inexpensive and one of the professors had top newspaper and advertising names as guest instructors. I still use what I learned.

Another worthwhile expenditure was, and still is, buying an overabundance of best-selling novels in varied genres. I study structure, style, and try to analyze elements that make a popular book. The downside is it’s hard for me to read only for pleasure

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I learned specifically about written word power in early grade school. Each year, we were required to write an essay about something in nature for a statewide contest. The teachers encouraged vivid similes and metaphors. My ruby leaves and icy moons often won certificates.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot?

My writing mascot chose me. Tux is a tolerant black and white cat of a certain age. Among his talents are stretching out on piles of paper without disturbing them and head butting the laptop screen gently when he decides I need a break. Listening is one of his strongest points.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

No books, but there are many short stories. I didn’t have the confidence to attempt a novel until one of the short stories decided there was a lot more to tell. It took about four years, but eventually, the story became my book.

What does literary success look like to you?

First, I want people to buy and enjoy reading my novel. I’ve written about mid-life characters who get a chance to fall in love again. When readers finish my book….hopefully books….I want them to have a sense of optimism, hope, and confidence that life can be wonderful at any age. Of course, it would be lovely to be widely read as well.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

 Of course, I use the computer for whatever I can. Then, because some settings in the stories are popular tourist spots, I visit them and take notes. Details need to be correct, or the credibility of a book suffers as far as I’m concerned. Angie, the heroine, has an unusual business. She’s a Nurse Concierge. I spent a lot of time researching what that involves. Ben is from England but he now lives in the US. I had to get information on dual citizenship requirements. Then I had to learn about high tech company practices and offers for takeovers of small businesses.

I do some research during the development stage of the book, but it’s ongoing through the first draft at least, sometimes even later in the process.

How many hours a day/week do you write?

In defining the writing process, I include developing the book idea, and the marinating that goes on in my head before actually putting fingers to computer keys. During that phase, my writing is sporadic, maybe two or three days a week for an hour or two. I hide from the work, finding it necessary to iron, throw out old mail, anything but get to the story.

When the story starts to gel, and characters begin chatting, I can write for several hours a day with intense concentration. It wouldn’t be unusual to stay at it for 6 hours or more, letting most everything else in my life slide. I don’t write daily. Because I’m mostly a pantser, I need to think about what I’d like to see happen.

this time forever

How do you select the names of your characters?

Names come after the characters take shape. I consider their personalities and traits, as well as how they appear physically in my imagination. I also think about what sounds good to my ear. Last names come to my mind randomly. First names might come from an online list, the newspaper, or an old telephone book.

What was your hardest scene to write?

That’s easy. It was my first serious love scene, beyond kissing. Getting the elements of tender romance, mutual longing and participation, enough raciness to make it interesting, and avoiding offensive description was a challenge.

Why did you decide to write in your particular field or genre?

I started writing fiction as a second career. I was an RN for many years. Several friends found second romances in their middle years, and I enjoyed hearing the stories and seeing the happiness their relationships brought. There are not many novels dealing with people forty and over falling in love and successfully merging already full lives. I thought it would be fun to join the emerging field of writing love stories about people with life experience.

What inspires you?

Many things, but mostly watching and listening to people. It could be a couple holding hands on the street; two people laughing softly together; or seeing someone comfort a partner;

There is an incident I remember vividly that will find its way into a story. Two people were sitting across from each other in a coffee shop. Although they never touched, as they talked, their eyes were focused on each other every second. Their smiles were gentle, and I felt the connection as a palpable wave of love.

How do you make or find time to write.

I push down the guilt at not doing other things and just get to it.  It’s taken some effort to convince myself that this is not just a hobby now, but a second career. I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic, so thinking of writing as a real job has helped.

What project are you working on at present?

My major effort is promoting my new novel, This Time Forever. I still have so much to learn about methods of attracting an audience, promotion is close to a full time job. The novel is in an emerging genre, sometimes referred to as ‘Seasoned’ or ‘Midlife’ Romance. Angie and Ben, the two main characters are 57 and 60 respectively. I think they show that pursuing love in their phase of life is just as adventuresome, wonderful, and sexy as ever. So far, reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have been favorable, and there’s growing feedback that people enjoy reading about contemporaries. 

I’m also working on getting a website and improving my Facebook and Amazon Authors page.

What do your plans for future projects include?

There’s another book in the development/mental marination phase. The New England Seacoast will continue as the setting. It is another Romance, with the main characters in the 50-60 age range. 

Facebook Author’s Page:   

https://www.facebook.com/Mary-Cooney-Glazer-Author-850284245141392/

Twitter     https://twitter.com/writingyetagain

Author Interview Konn Lavery


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konn-lavery

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Depending on the phase that the book is in and what other projects I have going on. Usually writing energizes me, it is often fuel for the soul. The times that it doesn’t are when it is in the heavy editing phase, that uses a very different, critical-thinking part of the brain which can be exhausting.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Time:)

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I initially did  in the past, thinking that it might be good to not share what I do in case it was too graphic for people in my work life. However, I think the benefits of being transparent outweigh risks.

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  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with many authors and keep tabs with as many as I can. Most of them are in the local area of Alberta, some are elsewhere, and I have only met them online. Some of the local ones I keep touch with are Matthew Gillies, M M Dos Santos, Adam Dreece and Suzy Vadori. We frequently run into each other at conventions.

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

The grand plan is to build a connection for each and every story that I write. Some of the books read as stand alone and others are part of a series. For the diehard fans, they’ll notice small hints that connect the stories together. This opens up many questions to the reader since there are large time period differences in the novels.

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  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I’d say getting an editor, it makes a world of difference. A second one was paying for consultation advice from a successful indie author who was able to provide insights into the indie author world.What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

Most likely when I was reading the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. His work painted detailed imagery in my head and I realized the power of how words could transcend one’s mind into new worlds.

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

That’s a tough one, I think there are a lot of them in the indie author world. If I had to pick a personal choice, it’d have to be a non-fiction book. Specifically  Looking In, Seeing Out: Consciousness by Menas Kafatos and Thalia Kafatou. It is a powerful book and offers great insight into science and spirituality.

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  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Well, my Chinese Zodiac birth sign is a horse. I think that animal best summarizes my creative process – a work horse.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have a lot of book outlines and short stores on the go. Currently no finished manuscripts.

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

To me literary success is being able to make a stable income from your work.

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  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I spend a lot of time researching, before plotting, during writing and during editing. Questions arise that never crossed my mind until I am at that moment in writing the book.

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

It is pretty spontaneous. Some months I write every day around 2,000 words and other months I will barely write a total of 5,000. Of course with the blog I do write fairly consistently on a weekly basis.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

The process varies based on the genre I am writing. Fantasy names are often combinations of a couple words or have some sort of historical background to them. Other names are based on age, ethnicity and time period. Basically something that will make them believable to be in their world.

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

I’d say the battle scene in my upcoming fantasy novel, Mental Damnation III. It contains a pretty lengthy fight between some powerful characters. It had to elaborate on what magic they had while remaining fast paced.

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

Genre often becomes a second thought for me. I have an idea book filled with concepts for stories. Once I find one that I have a hunch on where it can go I start jumping into the plot outlines and then the genre becomes clearer. Usually my work fits within the horror or fantasy realms.

  1. How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing all my life, professionally I haven’t really started until 2012 with the first release of Mental Damnation Reality.

  1. What inspires you?

Movies inspire me, books, video games and my own life. It’s like being a sponge and absorbing as much around you as you possibly can.

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

I don’t know! Ultimately though you just have to make time for it. You either have to cancel on some previous plans or power through being tired or push through a creative block.

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

Currently I have a slasher in the works. I have notes for a number of short stories and the fourth Mental Damnation installment. Not 100% sure what order these will come out in though.

  1. What do your plans for future projects include?

For immediate release, YEGman is coming out along with Mental Damnation III later this year.

  1. Share a link to your author website.

http://www.konnlavery.com

Bio:

Konn Lavery is a Canadian horror and dark fantasy writer who is known for his Mental Damnation series. The second book, Dream, reached the Edmonton Journal’s top five selling fictional books list. He started writing fantasy stories at a very young age while being home schooled. It wasn’t until graduating college that he began professionally pursuing his work with his first release, Reality. Since then he has continued to write works of fiction ranging from fantasy to horror.

His literary work is done in the long hours of the night. By day, Konn runs his own graphic design and website development business under the title Reveal Design (www.revealdesign.ca). These skills have been transcribed into the formatting and artwork found within his publications supporting his fascination of transmedia storytelling.

Links:

http://konnlavery.com

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Goodreads

Amazon

YEGman

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


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Your prompt today is to incorporate these words into a poem or story – Scant, debonair, illegitimate

I hope you like my take on the Cinderella story.

Beggar to Belle

A stern look crossed her face

As she looked down her nose in disgust

At the scene before her

Speaking slowing she announced

Why ever would you stay in this place?

 

I cowered before my formidable aunt

Apologizing profusely for my humble home

Full of hand-me-downs and layers of dust

In stark contrast to her debonair looks

Even the sole chair was at a slant

 

She flicked at the dirt before sitting

And faced me with a furrowed brow

Crouched on the wooden floor I waited

A lady had no place in my home

To my surprise she began reminiscing

 

She told me of her youth and gentleman callers

The grand balls and finery

How she fell in love but was abandoned

Left with a broken heart in despair

But forced to obey her fathers orders

 

Subjected to a year in the country

Hidden away to protect the family name

Then forced to give away her daughter

She spoke through the saddest of tears

Scorned for her effrontery

 

Uncomfortable at her confession

I wiped my dirty hand and placed it on her lap

To my surprise she grasped it to her lips

Forgive me child for what I did

Realization showed in my facial expression

 

Through happier tears she spoke

Yes, you are my child and I want to take you home

There are no men to dictate to me now

I’m free to love you if you will allow

She stood and held me within her velvet cloak

 

Without a backward glance I exited my shack

Excited to start a new life with my mother

No longer suffering in scant conditions

My life would be full and wonderful

Never again frightened and running back

 

She told me to hold my head up high

No matter my attire

Soon I would be dressed in finery

And enjoying a courtier’s life

In the coach I imagined it all in my mind’s eye

 

A grand mansion my abode ever so noble

An illegitimate daughter finally home

I was treated with respect and courted

My secret completely hidden from all

I became a stunning society belle

 

Let’s see what you can come up with.