Sunday, 26 October 2014

Hauntings in the Garden:Planning and Purpose.

Halloween and Nano Wrimo are fast approaching. In celebration of the first, The Wild Rose Press has brought out Hauntings in the Garden, a set of mini-novellas on a Halloween theme. 

I'm celebrating the occasion with a series of posts looking at the art of writing "small." I won't pretend it's easy but, judging from my own experience, it's the ideal way for a slow writer to catapult their fiction into the publishing marketplace.

Writing "small" is one way for the slow writer to gain publishing/self-publishing credits. And if you're a Nano entrant this year, you could produce at least two if not the statutory three books to reach the 50,000 word target. And in celebration of the writing month, I'm adding the link for Lazette's Nano e-book which I found through Darcy Pattison's Weekend Notes.

It's a value-filled 130 page e-book with a spooky front cover and lots of helpful information and links.

All week long I shall be celebrating the Hauntings in the Garden. The novellas--about a dozen of them--are all under 15000 words and ideal if you're studying how to write "small."

Some of these I have read and shall review, and I shall also, as time goes on, review mini-novellas I have read in the past. As a newly published writer, I now realize the importance of reviews and understand the anguish of waiting to see what readers might say.

I have given The Wild Rose Press links but the Amazon link found on the book page does go to , readers elsewhere will have to use the search feature to find the books in the Kindle store.

A Romantic short: Stacy Dawn

One little book that, for me, fulfills every one of the criteria for a satisfying read is Stacy Dawn's Love Her Like the Devil. It's under 3000 words but every word counts and her skill in creating characters that jump off the page is breathtaking.

If you like Westerns and/or Halloween spookiness, it's great. If you're reading it as a writer studying the craft, it's a strong example of a well-written short story.

It's rated as sensual--(PG, PG13) 

The blurb sets the place, tone and the problem: where, when, who, and what's the challenge?

A chance meeting in a honky tonk on Halloween finds Luke in the arms of a brown-haired beauty. But if the stories he overhears are true, she may be far more than she seems...and he's more than ready to find out.

Too many blurbs end with a question that any self-respecting reader can immediately answer. Will the warring couple get together? Of course. It's a romance isn't it?
This tag leaves us intrigued--What are the stories? Who or what is she, really? What's he going to find out?  Perfect.

Short excerpt
Halloween sure brings out the characters, don’t it?
Luke Santana chuckled at the group of college kids clamoring past him to get into the Double Deuce Honky Tonk. Half of them wore ridiculous outfits he couldn’t even begin to understand and the other half traditional fairs of caped crusaders, masked phantoms, zombies and sexy maids. He quite enjoyed the latter.
As he moved to the bar, his gaze caught on one particular blonde in a baby blue corset tight enough to overfill the small cups. The lights behind the bar glistened off Bo Peep’s pale breasts, and he instantly became hard. Luke grinned. This was his rare night away from the family-run business…and he planned to enjoy himself.
He adjusted his Stetson and sidled up to the bar, tossing a leg over the stool next to the buxom beauty. A heady breeze of cheap perfume plumed around him as she turned and graced him with a perfectly wicked smile.
Paragraph 1: Place setting through name of venue and the bustling characters thronging it. Character inserted deftly through mention of the outfits hero doesn't understand and they're ridiculous because he doesn't understand them--why is he so out of touch?--and the traditional outfits that appeal, the sexy maids.

Paragraph 2: Reinforces Luke's intentions in being there and answers the question of what he does, and why he seems a bit out of touch with some of the other revellers. (Note for those of you who love ladling in back story--this is all I need as a reader.)

Paragraph 3: We really see the characters here, him with traditional Stetson and macho style, her doused with perfume and the contrasting juxtaposition of perfectly and wicked. Her attitude is revealed in the verb. She graces him with her smile. 

The precision in the choice and juxtaposition of vocabulary convey a wealth of meaning in a minimum of words. The reader is caught up in one point of view and deciphering meaning from the start.

You can find Stacy Dawn, her offer of free reads and her contact form at

Her blog:

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