Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fiction Train I: A Quest For Gifts

Yesterday I introduced you to my new The Fiction Train contest.  Below is the opening of our first story A Quest For Gifts.  Read the opening, jump in, and good luck.  I hope you win, but more importantly, I hope we all have fun.

If you don't know the rules please, please scroll down to the post just prior this one and read them.  Then jump in.  You have 90 days (or 30 entries) to participate in this story:

When Yolanda Thompson was in the third grade she bet a boy in her class twenty-five cents that she could put her entire fist in her mouth.  Upon losing the bet, Yolanda realized she should have tried putting her fist in her mouth at least once before making a wager.   But Yolanda had convinced herself that she could do it, had convinced herself that this, perhaps, was her gift.  She had to be gifted at something—right?  And thus began Yolanda’s quest for gifts.........

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Fiction Train

Back in the 70s the singing group the O’Jays recorded their hit song Love Train.
People all over the world
join hands
Start a Love Train, Love Train.
I loved that song. Yeah, I’m old. What of it?!?
Today I want to introduce you to a fun new opportunity to participate in an ongoing story with me on my blog.  I call it The Fiction Train.
People all over the world
join hands
I’m startin’ a fiction train, fiction train.
Hey!  I’m an author, not a song writer.  Get over yourself!
Here’s the origin of the idea.  I love writing openings.  I learned early on in order to grab readers you must have a good, catchy opening. Ever since I learned that lesson many years ago, I’ve been writing and perfecting openings.  I’ve been writing openings for over 20 years. I have openings up the ying yang.  Problem is, to complete a book or even a short story you need a lot more than an opening.  Here’s where you come in.  I thought we could have some flash fiction fun with some of my openings.  Tomorrow on my blog, I’m going to post the opening of a story; your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to continue the story in 175 words or less. 
Just author the next several lines of the story in the comments section at the bottom of the blog post. The person after you will read my entry and yours, and author the next several lines after yours in the comment section, and so on, and so on.  The story goes where it goes, and where it goes is up to all of us. 
You can author often, but there must be two authors between your last addition and your next addition.   And, of course, anyone can leave a comment about the story in the comments section, just open with *comment* so we all know yours is a comment and not part of the story.
30 entries over 90 days (hopefully a lot sooner) is the max.  When we get to 30 entries I’ll try to wrap it up and maybe start a new one.  Unless author 30 wants to wrap it up.  That’s up to you guys. The beauty of it is you can take the story wherever you like; create as many new characters as you like.  Just try not to write the author coming after you into a corner.
Prizes: I’d like to award a few prizes, but I’m not yet sure how we’ll pick the winner.  Maybe a random drawing.
The winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card.  First runner up will receive a $15 Amazon gift card. 
3rd prize will be an ecopy of The FictionWriter’s Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf.  This prize is being donated by my The Falling Angels Saga publisher, White Whisker Books (Lowenkopf was my fiction writing professor on the graduate professional writing program at USC.  I learned a lot from him—like writing a good, catchy opening).   If we don’t get 30 entries in 90 days I will end the fiction train and no prizes will be awarded.  That’s it.  It should be fun.
Rules: I only have a few rules so far.  1) no profanity.  I write YA paranormal and there will be minors reading my blog.  So let’s keep it clean 2) No erotica.  Pretty much for the same reason.  3) If I think your entry is offensive in any way I will delete it.  It’s up to my discretion. We’re trying to have fun here, not offend anyone 4) If you’re a minor, and you win, please have your mom or dad accept the prize on your behalf. 5) Word count maximum 175 words per entry.  Word count minimum 50 words per entry.  If your entry is longer or shorter, I will delete it. 6) You can write as often as you like, but there must be two entries between your last entry and your next entry. 7) There must be (minimum) 30 entries for prizes to be awarded.  There must be at least 10 entrants for prizes to be awarded. 8) Contest ends in 90 days or anytime after 30 entries at my discretion--basically when I think the story is getting boring.  If we don’t have 30 entries and 10 entrants in 90 days I will end the story and no prizes will be awarded.
That’s all the rules I can think of now.  I’ll come up with more if I find more are needed.
I’d love for authors, bloggers, agents, aspiring writers, friends as well as fans to participate.  We’re not grading you here; this is just for fun. So please tell your friends.
Credit: If you decide to start your own Fiction Train, please give me credit for originating the idea.  And if you discover I didn’t originate the idea, please let me know so I can stop taking credit for it.
People all over the world
join hands
join my fiction Train, fiction Train.
It starts here tomorrow. Peace.
*This contest has already begun