The First Sentence: Critiquing Opening Lines

Presently, I’ve got a challenge running here where you come up with an opening line to a story that hasn’t yet been written. It has attracted quite a few entries so far, as you’ll note. I do love the topic of opening lines — on one hand, they’re important in that they’re the first impression a reader gets when opening your book. On the other hand, it’s easy to make too much hay of them: an opening sentence is perhaps less important than an opening page or chapter. Just the... Read The Rest →

I Am Stretch Goal, And I Make Stretchy Kitty Noises

What? I dunno, shut up. So, Storium is less than a week into its Kickstarter campaign. It was successfully funded in 24 hours. It has already reached stretch goals. And now I’m the next stretch goal. What’s that mean? Well, it means that if the campaign gets to $43,000, it unlocks a campaign based on my short story, “The Auction,” found in my collection, Irregular Creatures. (Which, I’ll note shamelessly, is a mere $0.99.) The story takes place in a farm-style auction where a whole lot more than cows and tractors... Read The Rest →

Flash Fiction Challenge: The Return Of The Opening Line Contest

Last week’s challenge: Life Is Hell. I love this challenge because it always generates some interesting results. It’s easy in concept, difficult in execution: Come up with a great opening line. That’s it. Take that line, and drop it into the comments below. BUT WAIT. As they say, THERE’S MORE. This opening line must be one sentence long — no more than that. Anything longer and I will publicly laugh at your inability to stick to the barest-of-bones submission guidelines. I’d suggest avoiding some very cliched openings — previous challenges... Read The Rest →

A.J. Larrieu: Five Things I Learned Writing Twisted Miracles

Cass Weatherfield’s powers come with a deadly price. Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back, even if no one else believes her. She’s lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and suppressing her abilities with sedatives. Until the night her past walks back into her life in the form of sexy Shane Tanner, the ex-boyfriend who trained her…and the one she left without saying goodbye. When Shane tells her that his twin sister, Mina—Cass’s childhood friend—is missing,... Read The Rest →

Elizabeth Bear: An Ill-Considered Boast

I came here to sell you a book. I mean, there’s no point in beating around the bush, is there? Actually, it’s worse than that. I’m here to sell you three novels, because what I have in hand is the last book of a trilogy. Steles of the Sky is the third book in the Eternal Sky trilogy. It is preceded by Range of Ghosts and Shattered Pillars. These three books are the story of Re Temur and Samarkar, a younger grandson of a dead Khagan and a Wizard who... Read The Rest →

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