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Posted in Sharontalk

Trusting Our Readers to Navigate the Seas of Publishing

Book Love StackNot too long ago, I read a comment by an individual who suggested that we need traditional publishers to tell us which books are worth reading. While traditional publishers may know a lot about what makes for good story and good writing, I find the idea that we should put all our faith, our decision-making about books, in the hands of gatekeepers, a bit appalling. My aversion to someone else deciding what books I should read is akin to how I feel about having someone else order for me in a restaurant. It’s a novel experience once in a while, but I wouldn’t want it as a steady diet.

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Characters and Emotion

Confused Emotions EmoticonsI have been thinking a lot lately about characters and emotion. Partly, because I am teaching a writing workshop series and the next session deals with developing strong characters. Partly, because I have been dealing with some emotional issues and trying to sort out my own feelings and motivations. In fact, I missed blogging last week because of the emotional situation that I am dealing with, which is to say, some things take a back seat to dealing with the big picture stuff like death. Continue reading

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Check Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: Six Random Titles

I don’t usually do Flash Fiction, but I was intrigued by Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: Six Random Titles. This challenge required selecting a randomly generated title to create a story of less than 1,000 words. Here is the result, creepier than my usual fare, slinking in at just 407 words, sans title.

Skull flower

THE RAGGED ROSE

They will be sorry for their sins.

When they turned on him, beating him bloody before tossing him aside like dregs from a chamber pot, he had wondered, questioned.

What crime had he committed?

But, no. He had done no more than he had promised. Yet, in guilt and fear, they had betrayed him, setting the mob upon him.

You made me what I am.

His revenge will be scarlet, their cries for mercy served up as a delicacy to his new army of believers.

Prophets are not destroyed so easily.

Spitting out the loose teeth that hang by sinewy threads, he claws the crusted dirt from his eyes, blinks, and snarls when his left eye refuses to open.

An eye for an eye? So, be it.

He raises his arms, hands clutching at the star-filled sky, stretching as if he can reach out and touch the red-faced moon. His feet sink below moist soil and the bitterness of a thousand souls floods through him.

I am the future.

Power thrums. His bones vibrate with the cries of battle and dying men, shadows of the past filling the air like a rising mist

Rally to me.

They come from out of the shadows, hollow eyes filled with darkness, surrounding him, whispering his name, a sacred mantra.

Laughter rattles up between his ribs, expelled like the cough of a lingering plague victim.

A whimper makes him turn.

Karla?

She stumbles back, trips and falls, satin skirts hissing like a nest of snakes.

He moves closer, turns his good eye to stare.

She crabs away, back bumping against stone, rosy petals scattering upon the ground like spattered blood.

He reaches out his hand.

Shivers jar her fragile frame. Her breath comes in ragged gasps. Tears stream down her face, dripping onto black lace.

The scent of rotting flesh wafts on the chill night air. Murmuring voices turn into hungry growls.

He looks up. One by one, he fixes his eye upon them.

I am your God, now.

He holds out his hand, once more.

Her eyes glitter with apprehension, but she reaches up and places her warm hand in his. Trembling, she allows him to help her stand.

Lips part. Jaw unhinges.

Rows of jagged teeth scrape against flesh and bone.

A cry of anguish is cut short.

Now, follow me!

A single eye fixes on the scowling moon, as his broken remains are trampled beneath her passing army.

Posted in Flash Fiction, Sharon's Work | Tagged as: , , ,

Putting the Book to Bed: The Distance Between Editing and Publication

BookinbedI have typed “The End.” Again.

The Matriarch’s Devise, the sequel to The Healer’s Legacy, has gone through a final round of edits and has been schlepped off to the publisher for packaging and shipping of review copies, etc., etc. Continue reading

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More Author Appearances and Fiction Writing Workshops

Sharon-Skinner-e1433481925760

I recently facilitated the inaugural Brick Cave Writers Workshop at Lulubell Toys in downtown Mesa. A small group of writers came together in an intimate setting to learn and share about craft. Our first session was focused on the elements that go into strong world building and creating a believable setting. Next month we will be taking a close look at Point of View. I am really excited about this six-month workshop series and extremely grateful to be working with this talented group of writers.

I will be teaching a Teen Writing Workshop at the Mesa Library Red Mountain Branch on Saturday, June 27th from 10-11:30am. Getting Grounded: World-Building Techniques for Engaging Fiction. Free for attendees! Continue reading

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