Posts Tagged ‘contest’

Blogfest time!


My friend Roh is hosting her first ever blogfest! I encourage everyone to swing over there and check it out! Click the image below to start the fun! We are going to have a lot of people this year thanks to this important link SEO technique!

I was published again, and I need your votes!


I was lucky enough to have another short story published at the Dailey Swan Publishing’s website. They post short stories every month, and the one with the most votes, will also get to be published in their anthology.

If you can spare the time (please please please), check out my story (scroll to the bottom where it says “short stories for July”), and if you think I am worthy, email Casey (the email is listed near the short stories) and vote for me!

Woo hoo!

Mr. Linkey asks, “Have you Ever?”


Have you ever been reading Write-Brained and found a super awesome Mr Linkey blog post prompt session of spectacular inspiration? Have you ever chosen to participate, then blog about:

Begin each line of your post with “have you ever”

Have you ever not known how to segue from the beginning of the post into the bulk of the post while starting with the line, “have you ever?” Have you ever misspelled a word like “segue” so bad that it took a significant amount of time to google it?

Have you ever thought that a post topic would be super fun and easy, so you begin with complete confidence that you will be able to turn an incredibly difficult task into something funny, whimsical, and inspirational?

Have you ever been wrong?

Have you ever hoped that inspiration would hit, so you just keep typing until something magical happens?

Have you ever thought that you were dumb for thinking that simply typing a lot would breed inspiration?

Have you ever dreamed about eating chocolate dogs, except they barked and moved, and when you bit into them, then turned into your arm and you realized that you have been eating your own chocolate hand the whole time, and it will never grow back: I haven’t… that would be weird.

Have you ever written a “funny” post, and it didn’t turn out so well?

Have you ever finished your blog post, realizing that you didn’t actually write about anything, so you just end it with a question and hope that everything turns out “okay”?

I LOVE contests!


Don’t you love it when you are reading a blog, and up comes a contest? I do! It’s a chance to win at something and get free goods! How can you NOT love contests?

Anyway, my friend Roh is having a contest here. Books, gift cards, and ever lasting appreciation and bragging rights can be yours if you sign up.

Check it out!

Dystopic Blog… WIN!


So I don’t know if I had mentioned this to you, but my current WIP is a semi-dystopic (yet contemporary) sci fi thriller… thing. I LOVE dystopic novels, and I just stumbled across this blog, The League of Extraordinary Writers. Yes!

Not only does it look promising, but they are kicking it off with a contest! Go check it out now!

Hectic weekend


Okay, with the hectic weekend I had (wasn’t really “hectic,” but regardless, I had zero time to think about my blog), I haven’t selected a winner yet.

I will get the entries into a spreadsheet, asign numbers chronologically, then pick a random number (someone else in this awesome even used this method and I loved it).

The winner should be posted by Wednesday. Sorry for the delay, but I’ll get to it as soon as I have a free moment!

I won! Woo Hoo!


I won I won I won! Sorry… excitement grabbed me by the collar and tossed me around the room a bit.

What did I win, you ask? First place in a contest held by super blogger, and author, Natalie Whipple! Check out the post here! Oh, and if you’ve never read her blog, save yourself the time and add her feed to the reader of your choice now. She is sure to be one of your fav’s.

I would also like to add that I am particularly honored to win among such qualified and talented writers. Really, these folks are all worthy of publication (and I believe some of them already have books on the shelf).

The other two winners were Dara Sorenson and Jessie Oliveros. Be sure to read their entries and click on their names to catch up on their blogs. I am sure we’ll be seeing great things from them!

Point of View (POV) and Transparent Narrative


Before you read this post, be sure to enter my contest if you haven’t already!

Now for the goods. I normally try to keep my posts short and snappy, but this one has to be long. Sorry 🙁 But if you hang in there, it’ll be worth it!

I was catching up on my daily blogs when I read a great post by Kristin Nelson about POV’s and which is best. I share her view that it depends on the piece, but I have more to add.

There are tons of POV’s to choose from. Really, tons! What? You think there are only two? Okay, time for a run down. For brevity (aka laziness), I am only going to cover the few that mostly pertain to fiction (not to mention that I covered them all, we’d be here all day):

  • First Person – Narrative told from the view point of a character. In this POV, the writer can only know what the character knows, and nothing more. It is very easy to *slip POV in this method, but this method also makes *transparent narrative easier to obtain.
  • Third Person Subjective – Narrative told from an outsiders view. Instead of “I said,” or “I did,” it’s “Chris said,” or “Chris did.” The “subjective” part means that it sticks to one person, and almost always that one person is the main character. When sticking to one person only, and never revealing anything more than the one character knows, it can be referred to as “Third Person Limited.” This POV also make *POV slips easy, and like first person, is an easier road to *transparent narrative.
  • Third Person Objective – Third person, like the last (“Chris said,” etc), but is not attached to any one person. In fact, the narrative may not jump into anyone’s head. No inner monologue, no inside view of emotion. Think of it like a camera that follows the story. It can only report what it sees, and nothing more. This makes for difficult *transparency, and as long as you remember to only report what you see, you are less likely to make a *POV slip.
  • Third Person Omniscient – Once again, third person narrative. This time, the narrator knows everything. And I mean everything everything. Consider it the “God” perspective. You can jump into anyone’s thoughts, motives or emotions. It is impossible to *slip POV, and *transparent narrative is moderately achievable.

Those are only a few of the points of view. There are several others (Second Person, Alternating, etc), but these are the most common in fiction today.

Within those confines, there is tense: past or present. I will discuss this further in a later post, but for now, know that my opinion is present tense is almost never a good choice. I would say never, but I add the “almost” because  Suzanne Collins has made me realize it can be done, and done well! (My friend Roh does a pretty good job too, but I still like her past tense writing better 😉 )

Okay, now on to my preferences. For me, there is only really two options: Third Person Limited (past) and First Person (past). Third Person Omniscient isn’t used as often any more (although it used to be the “bees knees”), and any version of the above in present is also a rarity.

I had asterisked (what a weird word!) a few terms above: POV slip and transparent narrative.

Transparent Narrative is what happens when your reader stops reading and starts seeing. They no longer read word by word, sentence by sentence, or paragraph by paragraph. Rather, they mindlessly flip pages, absorbing the story into their heads, unaware of the outside world and are completely immersed in the movie that is playing in their minds eye. This one thing, above all else, should be the goal of every writer. I know that I made comments about how POV affects transparency, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. Every thing else… I mean everything (character, plot, motivation, word craft, voice, pacing and rhythm, etc etc etc) will determine how transparent your story is. Once again, watch for a post about transparent narrative coming up.

POV Slips are major no-no’s. First, we need to identify the three types. The first type if slipping from either Third to First (or Second to Third, or First to Second, etc etc). The second type is actually a tense slip. Since tense (past, past past [more on “past past” at a later date], present, and even future) is part of the POV, is you slip that tense, you are committing a POV slip. Lastly, the third type of slip is when you break the rules of the POV, and get in characters head that you shouldn’t be in. These slips range from obvious (narrating inner monologue of a character other than the one you are attached to), to sly little devils (stating a characters feeling or motivation during action, other than the one you are attached to).

To illustrate obvious and not-so-obvious slips, consid For this example, Chris (me) is the main character. Ryan is not. I will be using Third Person Limited Past for my examples. :

Chris thought that Ryan’s joke was absurd. Ryan, however, thought that Chris was an imbecile and too stupid to understand his humor.

Obvious slip. Chris shouldn’t know what Ryan is thinking, therefore the narrator has slipped.

Chris threw a rock at Ryan’s head. Ryan dodged quickly, then frustratedly threw his rock at Chris.

Did you catch it? “Frustratedly” is an emotion that Ryan felt. The narrator shouldn’t know that. He could say that Ryan grunted, or cursed, or anything else that Ryan might have done to SHOW that he was frustrated, but the narrator cannot say he WAS frustrated, he can only assume, in which case, it MUST be clear. (Not to mention, that is a pretty gross adverb to use anyway!)

Chris through a rock at Ryan’s head. Ryan dodged, and apparently frustrated, he threw one back.

Still poor narrative, but at least it isn’t a slip. We can tell that the character is making an assumption, and therefore is not reading Ryan’s mind.  Please note that these modifiers (frustratedly, quickly, etc) are NOT something I would normally use, but they work for the purpose of the example.

Ok, that was long and detailed! Did you remember all of it? If not, here are the takeaway points:

  • Know, at minimum, what POV you are writing in and stick to it.
  • Choose the POV that works best for your piece, while considering the in’s and out’s and each POV.
  • Strive for transparency!
  • Unless you are willing to walk a difficult and lonely road, stick to past tense.
  • Enter my contest if you haven’t yet!

Thanks for hanging in there, my dear readers! I’ll post up the winners soon, then I will dive into the promises I made you.

Spreading The Awesome: Ender’s Game and a contest!


Young Adult author Elana Johnson has started something REALLY cool. She has several writers blogging about “must read” books. I was fortunate enough to jump in on the fun, and the book I chose to share is Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card.

The book follows a young and intelligent boy, Ender Wiggin. Here is the a portion of the official synopsis, as Orson Scott Card did a better job than I ever could 😉

Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast.

I just recently read this book for the first time. Several of my friends had recommended it, and even more impressive, is that this book shows up on just about every “Top Ten Sci Fi Books” list that I have ever seen. I didn’t have much time to read it before because I was remodeling my house with help from the Web. If you are even remotely interested in Sci Fi, I would say this is a must for your reading list.

To see other awesome books that are being recommended, check out Elana’s compete reading list here.

Now, the contest

I first heard about this whole thing from Natalie Whipple’s Blog(which, if you haven’t read this blog yet, you’re missing out BIG TIME). Anyway, Natalie is giving away a copy of the book to one lucky winner. In the spirit of the event, I will also give away one book to one lucky winner. All you need to do is leave a comment in this post, and viola! Instant ticket!

For those that really want a boost in their odds, link to my blog from yours, include the link in the comment, and I will give you a total of two tickets!

The contest will end on Friday, May 7th at midnight. I will draw from a hat (literally… I will print them out and use a super cool cub scouts hat)  Saturday morning, and post the winner over the weekend.

PLEASE make sure you use a valid email address in your comment!

Thanks and good luck!

Rad contest and a Rad blog


Yes. I said rad. I know, my “nerd” is showing, but you’ll live.

I found this blog while motorcycling across the blogosphere desert, and instantly loved it. Mariah has fun posts all the time, and for some reason, they keep me inspired to write.

She is having a super cool (see, I can say other things besides “rad”) contest. She’s giving away lots of cool stuff, including a pre-order of Mockingjay! Woo hoo! Check it out!