Nancy's Books

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Developing Ideas/Calls for submissions

An idea is the seed of a story. Like a seed, a story needs the right environment to grow. Some ideas grow better in a short story, some are suited for a full-length novel, and some are perfect for a picture book. Since you’ll be living and breathing the idea for a long time, choose it with care. The enthusiasm you have for your idea will need to be strong enough to be worthy of weeks or months of your time.

Borrow ideas from your own life or that of someone who interests you. You don’t have to make up everything in a fictional story. Consider the worst day of your life. Or the time you made a terrible decision. These moments evoke intense emotions and can be used to develop a character. The character doesn’t have to experience the same situations you did, but basing the story on a real event can add authenticity to the story making it seem more real to the reader.

When you get an idea, write it down immediately. Keep a notebook handy for just that purpose. If you overhear an interesting phrase or an unusual use of a word, add it to the notebook and allow a character to think those thoughts or use the phrase in dialog to add distinctive voice to your story.

Look at photos to get an idea of a house or area so when you describe setting, the words will flow much easier. Imagining the layout of an area is more difficult than looking at a picture in which you see trees, stream, and animals roaming around.

Research the subject of the story so interesting facts can add to the realism. Readers enjoy learning something new or being surprised with a tidbit of information.

Create a problem for the character and plot the story so the character must solve the problem on his/her own.

Don’t rush the story. Like seeds, stories take time to bloom.

Calls for submissions:

Accents Publishing, an independent press for brilliant voices seeks poems of up to 50 words for an anthology of very short poems, edited by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer. Previously published work is accepted if credited. Send submissions, along with a short bio, in the body of an e-mail. There is no limit to the number of poems submitted.
Deadline: Dec. 31.

Kentucky Young Writers Connection Blog wants writers/artists for publication on the Kentucky Young Writers Connection Blog. One writer will be featured each week through April. Personal promotion allowed but no stipend. Write a 300-500 word essay addressing 1) how/why you became a writer/artist; 2) how nature, ecology, your environment past and present have shaped or fit into your work.
Deadline: April, 2011.

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