Monthly Archives: August 2011

Update: New Fiction Posted on the Peer Review Page

A Call For Community

Last week we launched the new “Peer Review Page,” where writers at all levels can post their work, and anybody can read it and offer up their feedback.

Feedback is good.  Especially when it comes from other writers. 

It is truly a win-win deal.  Because once you know story architecture — which is the objective here — you can’t “unsee” it.  You recognize it on the page when you do see it (with an appreciation of how it makes the story work), and you miss it when you don’t. 

Those very realizations cement your grasp of what will make your stories work.

And, it should be noted, despite our best intentions we don’t usually see story architecture on our pages the same way others do.  So it’s good to get feedback. 

Confirm or coach.  It’s a gift both ways.

When we launched there were four wonderful pieces posted, and they have received some solid, illuminating feedback.  They’re still here, but now they have company.

Since then other brave authors have followed suit, and now there is a much larger handful of submissions to choose from.  What follows here is a linked menu, including a SYNOPSIS/LOGLINE to catch your eye.

I encourage you to read these pieces and offer your comments.  That’s the engine of this opportunity, so please make a little time and read something you just might find amazing. 

Because amazing is here in these listings.

*****

August 23, 2011

AUTHOR:  Melinda Jones

TITLE: “Try To Say No

GENRE: Adult contemporary fiction

SYNOPSIS/LOGLINE: She should say no. But she won’t.

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AUTHOR: Lois Hudson

TITLE: “The Tenth Month

GENRE: Adult Contemporary/Speculative Edge

PREMISE/SYNOPSIS:  What if God closed the womb to get the world’s attention because of our cavalier attitudes toward life?

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AUTHOR:   Olga Oliver

TITLE:  “Lizbeth’s Journey” (Mainstream, partial novel)

GENRE:  Mainstream

SYNOPSIS:  What if three secrets are unlocked and give Lizbeth Kelleye her real self.

******

August 21, 2011

AUTHOR: Jennifer Vaughn

TITLE: “When the Demons Come” (WIP)

GENRE: Mainstream commercial fiction

SYNOPSIS/LOGLINE: Lyla Chandler is pregnant. But when the doctor tells her there’s something very unique about her pregnancy, it becomes the perfect way to escape a nightmare.

******

August 20, 2011

AUTHOR: Jennifer Vaughn

TITLE: “Echo Valley

GENRE: Adult contemporary mainstream fiction

SYNOPSIS/LOGINE: Single mother hairdresser Bo Carmichael becomes an unacceptable risk when she unwittingly catches a leading presidential candidate in a compromising position.

******

August 19, 2011

AUTHOR: Luisa Perkins

TITLE: “The Desolate

GENRE: YA/Fanatasy (novel partial)

SYNOPSIS/LOGLINE: Out-of-body experiences? Cool–until your life gets stolen while you’re gone.

******

August 18, 2011 

AUTHOR: Fiona Mackenzie

TITLE: “Watching Chinooks

GENRE: Women’s short fiction

DESCRIPTION: a story told against a military setting

******

August 15, 2011

AUTHOR: Martha Pound Miller

TITLE: “Virgin of the Desert”

GENRE: Fiction/novel partial/thriller

SYNOPSIS: When young Sparrow Thibault takes a swim in an Arizona canal, she is struck by lightning and begins hearing a voice in her head: “You are pregnant and will soon give birth to the next messiah.”

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AUTHOR: David Monroe

TITLE: “The Get Back Job” (partial)

GENRE: Modern crime noir

SYNOPSIS:  Jocko Myles got outta-the-life of being a bounty hunter for the Mob.  But when sex-slave traffickers’ start kidnapping girls – Jocko goes on the hunt again.

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AUTHOR: Jennifer Blanchard (www.procrastinatingwriters.com)

TITLE: “In the Pouring Rain” (short story)

GENRE: romance

SYNOPSIS:  What if you discovered your new girlfriend’s mom is a woman you not only dated in the past, but are actually still in love with her? 

AUTHOR QUESTIONS/ISSUES (how you can help): Do the flashbacks work or do they make it hard to follow the story? Is the plot believable?

*********************************************

AUTHOR: Donna Lodge

TITLE: “Canary

GENRE: Short story (fantasy/fiction)

SYNOPSIS:  What if a dead coal-miner believes he can save his son from danger by warning him while he dreams?

*********************************************

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Filed under Peer Review stuff

Announcing the Launch of the Storyfix Peer Review Page

A place to post your work… get it read… get some feedback… and/or, find something fresh and interesting to read.

Or just maybe… get discovered.

There are many ways to grow as a writer.  On my journey, one of the most enlightening, empowering and affirming of all the available learning modes has been to read and critique the work of unpublished authors.

That’s right — unpublished authors.

Unless you belong to a critique group, pretty much anything you read has already been published.  Which means it’s been through the grind of agents and editors at several levels.  If there was a mistake or a weakness in the original version, chances are it’s been found and fixed. 

Which, in turn means, you really don’t learn much as a reader. 

At that point, it either works for you or it doesn’t.

This truism is softened somewhat by the proliferation of self-published work via Kindle and the other digital venues. but even then, chances are the work has been vetted to some degree.

Why This Is An Important Opportunity For You

Sometimes the infrastructure of a story is invisible to the unschooled eye of the reader.  Unless, of course, they’ve been exposed to the nuts and bolts of story architecture, in which case uneven and poorly structured work virtually screams out at you. 

It’s like wine tasting.  Some people say they know the good stuff when they taste it… but how many really do?  And how many can describe what’s missing?  

Same with writing.  As writers, we need to strive to become practicing sommeliers of our craft.  What we pour out needs to be as vetted, polished and finely aged as what we read.  And for that to happen, we need to practice taste-testing as much as possible, something we can’t objectively do on our own work.

As writers we need to know what to look for.  We need to recognize it in what we read before we can execute it in our own work. 

That’s the mission of this website.   Then, when we see it — either executed well, or not — we affirm our own grasp of these concepts.  The more you study story architecture (all six core competencies that comprise it), the more quickly and easily you’ll spot it — or notice that it’s off the mark — on the page.

Published work rarely affords us that opportunity. 

But that is about to change… right here, right now. 

Because now you can read the serious work of your peers — unpublished — to test your eye for story architecture and solid writing in general.  And, you can add value to these courageous writers by providing them direct feedback right on the page from which you’ve read it.

Or, you can become one of those courageous writers yourself by posting your work here and exposing it to the feedback of your peers.

The Storyfix Peer Review Page is up and running. 

There are a handful of high-quality manuscripts already posted. 

CLICK HERE to read them and, if you choose, add your feedback (select from a menu of available postings, then click-through to the Author page to read the submission; all rights remain with the author, including Copyright; this posting does not constitute publication, per se, but rather, a private-venue sharing of work for feedback purposes).

No charge for reading and commenting by the way.  Duh. 

If you’d like to learn more about this opportunity, CLICK HERE to go to the Peer Review Welcome page.

If you’d like to submit your work, CLICK HERE to see how. 

There is a nominal one-time charge for my admin time (a whopping $25), since formatting and page linking is required.

I encourage you to participate at both ends of this opportunity.  And, to share it with your fellow writers. 

Who knows… one of the readers here may be an agent, editor or producer… because I’m going to announce and promote this page to them with great urgency and enthusiasm.  There’s already some stellar work on display here, and more is certainly on the way.

Added August 20 — the first pages from a completed novel by Jennifer Vaughn.

Added August 19 — partial from a YA/Fantasy novel by Luisa Perkins.

Added August 18 — a short story (women’s military fiction) by Fiona Mackenzie.

Added August 15 — work by Martha Miller, Dave Monroe, Jennifer Blanchard, and Donna Lodge.

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Filed under Peer Review stuff