LIBBOO ANNOUNCES OUR FIRST BOUNTY WINNERS!
Once again, our algorithms have been put to the task. After an exciting month of reading awesome short fiction entries for Libboo Bounty, we are pleased to announce the top 5 winners from our first Bounty:
ZOMBIES, VAMPIRES & WEREWOLVES
The winning short stories and soon-to-be-published in ONE great book are:
THE FAMILIAR by David Palmer
HERE AND NOW by Sara Adams
SING FOR YOUR LIFE by Nick Zaino
WRATH TO THE LEAST by Joseph Mazzola
SOUTH OF THE WOLLOOMSAC by Alexis Lykanos
Congratulations to our winners! They each receive a $100 cash award. Libboo is now assembling their stories into a collection of short fiction that will sell online via Barnes & Noble, Amazon and iBooks. The winners will share 50% of the royalties from the sale of the book and the ‘kudos’ for being the first Bounty winners, interviews and exposure.
We will announce the release of the book, with guest illustration done by Amanda Brack!
They got it written and published on Libboo and so can you!
Our first bounty is now officially over, and while some of you are anxiously awaiting the results, others are quite busy with NaNoWriMo. So for those of you brave enough to tackle NaNoWriMo, here are two sites to help you reach your daily word count goals:
Write or Die
Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die is a web application that punishes you if you stop writing. If you are easily distracted or tend to procrastinate, this is a great NaNoWriMo tool for you. After setting a word goal and a time limit, you must choose a consequence mode. The modes are:
Gentle: Some time after you stop writing, a box will pop up, reminding you to continue writing.
Normal: A certain amount of time after you start writing, “a most unpleasant sound” will be played, which will only stop if you continue to write. (When I tried it, Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” would play every time I stopped writing.)
Kamikaze: This is Write or Die’s most extreme punishment. If you stop writing, your work will erase itself.
If you are more responsive to positive reinforcement, then this is the tool for you. Written? Kitten! works much like Write or Die, only it uses rewards instead of punishments. After reaching a specified word count, you get a picture of a cute kitten. You can choose if you want a new picture of a kitten every 100, 200, 500 or 1,000 words.
Even if you’re not doing NaNoWriMo these are great tools to help you reach your writing deadlines, and to get you to stop being procrastinating and just write!
I’ve been reading The Practice of Creative Writing: A Guide for Students and I thought I’d shared some of the stuff I’ve learned so far with you guys. Here are some tips for keeping your reader interested that I’ve found very helpful:
Remember to vary the pace in your writing to keep the reader engaged. Maintaining the same pace, even if it’s fast, throughtout a whole piece will only bore your reader. Know when to slow down and when to speed up to sustain the energy in your writing.
Choose Words Wisely
Yes, everyone knows that word choice is extremely important, but a lot of new writers think that means they have to use big fancy words. Practice using common words in a creative way. You don’t have to pull out your dictionary and thesaurus to make your writing interesting; you can surprise your reader by putting common words in unexpected places.
This applies both to word choice and subject. Don’t use abstract words- use words that will create a crisp image in the reader’s mind. When picking a subject, don’t write about the general, but rather focus on a particular subject that you’re very familiar with or that you are passionate about. If you’re into your subject, your reader will be too.
Activate the Senses
Create images that will transport your reader and make him experience what your characters are experiencing. Focus less on what your characters think and more on what your characters see, what they feel, what they smell, what they hear, etc.
You don’t need to explain everything. Long, detailed explanations can kill the energy in your piece and bore your reader. Leave room for your reader to figure some things out and fill in the gaps on his own. Your readers are smart; they don’t need you to provide every last bit of information.
You can follow all of the other tips and write a beautifully crafted story, but without tension you’ll have a hard time keeping your reader entertained. Stories where the characters have no desires, face no obstacles, and everything is fine and peachy lack tension and are usually boring. Much like in pace, you need to vary tension levels to hook your reader.
If you haven’t submitted to this month’s bounty yet, I hope these tips help you with your stories!