I fancy myself a writer.

Posts tagged “Fiction

Now available on Kindle: Her Name was Amber

book cover
book cover

My new short story, Her Name was Amber, is now available on Kindle for only 99 cents.

I am giving myself a sweet birthday present today and announcing that my new short story, Her Name was Amber, is now available on Kindle for only 99 cents!

It feels great to get back on the fiction-writing horse. I wrote this 4,000 word story in one day! (Don’t worry, I edited it before I published it! Although, if you do find any errors, please let me know so I can fix them!)

Description

Amber is finally forced to deal with her dysfunctional marriage while mourning the death of her teenage daughter. Meanwhile, an even bigger disaster looms near as the outside world struggles with its own uncertain fate. In this prequel to her upcoming novel, Valley of the Bees, author Amanda L. Webster introduces you to the matriarch of what is destined to become a powerful – yet still dysfunctional – family in a not-so-distant dystopian future.

Buy your copy of Her Name was Amber on Kindle today! (more…)


Born in ’76: A call for submissions

Born in 1976

Go check out my “Born in ’76 Collection” on Medium.com and share your own stories from that era.

I come from a family of storytellers. Whenever a few members of my dad’s family get together, you can pretty much count on it turning into a storytelling session. One story sparks a memory of another until everyone at the table is clamoring to tell their own. Sometimes I wish I had been carrying a tape recorder with me all my life so I could capture those stories of everyday life and put them together in a book.

No matter what year you were born, you probably have your own “growing up” stories that are unique to your age group. My dad’s stories are different from mine. Even though I grew up about a mile from where my father grew up, we grew up in different times. While we share some experiences, each of our stories are compelling in their own way. (more…)


Free novel idea: Three-Quarter Classified

A Novel Idea

Let me lend you a novel idea. | A Novel Idea (Photo credit: Jennifer Pickens)

I don’t know about you, but I get far more novel ideas than I could ever hope to write in one lifetime. I get so many story ideas, sometimes I just let them fly by and disappear into the never-written without ever bothering to stop and write them down. This morning, while reading a blog post on generating story ideas, I couldn’t help wondering if someone out there might one day be interested in taking one of my extra ideas and running with it.

Right now, I have four different novels in progress that I am determined to complete before starting any new projects. My notebook of new ideas is filling up as fast as my novel notebooks are. I couldn’t possibly write all of these novels, even if I lived three extra-long lifetimes. So, why not share some of my extra story ideas? (more…)


Who’s up for a 200 word piggy back ride?

Mandy Webster NaNoWriMo stats

Here are my latest NaNoWriMo stats. It lies about how many words I’ve written today. I just haven’t added any more words to my NaNo project.

I finished NaNoWriMo Tuesday, and guess what? I haven’t stopped writing since! Today, I am joining a writing challenge hosted by Chuck Wendig over at the TerribleMinds blog. It’s a five part challenge in which participants will collaborate to write several flash fiction pieces 200 words at a time.

To participate, this week you should write the first 200 words of a story and post it to your blog. Then head over to TerribleMinds (where you can also find full details of the challenge) and share a link to your post. The next week, you will choose another author’s first 200 words (maybe even mine!) and write the second 200 words of that author’s story. The following week, you will choose yet another story and add an additional 200 words of your own, and so forth, until you have written a total of 1000 words on 5 different stories.

Sounds like fun, right? Okay, so here’s the first 200 words of my story: (more…)


As if Hugh Howey needs more publicity

Hugh Howey's Wool, in the wilds of a brick and...

“Dust” provides a fascinating conclusion to Hugh Howey’s Wool trilogy. | Hugh Howey’s Wool, in the wilds of a brick and mortar store (Photo credit: martin_kalfatovic)

I finally got my hands on a copy of Hugh Howey’s Dust at my local library last week. I didn’t have time to start reading it until Saturday. But once I opened that book and started reading, it didn’t matter what I had time for. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. At the end of the day, I kept trying to put it down so I could go to sleep. I didn’t manage to close the book for the night until after I had read the last page. It was that good.

One of my favorite things about Hugh Howey is the way in which he shot to fame. He basically self-published a short story, then went on about his business and forgot about it. Then one day, he realized that short story was a bestseller. He rushed to write a few more stories to capitalize on that interest. Those first stories later became the Wool omnibus that is now being published around the world. (more…)


Do all writers have iron stomachs when they’re writing?

English: Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica vir...

This is an adult version of a corn rootworm. I decided not to share any larva images in case you are eating while reading my blog. | English: Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) on corn (Zea mays) Italiano: Diabrotica su foglia di mais (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am so glad I decided to go for a walk this morning. For some reason, I always get my best ideas while I’m out for a walk. Today, my walk ended in a jog, as I was in such a hurry to get home to scribble out this new scene.

I grabbed my notebook and pen, then turned on the coffee maker and threw a slice of whole grain bread in the toaster. I wrote while making my breakfast because I knew I would lose steam if I didn’t get some food in my stomach and caffeine coursing through my veins.

At one point, I realized I needed to know what a corn rootworm looks like so I could show it in the scene. I ran from the kitchen table to my computer with a piece of toast dangling between my teeth. A quick Google search produced a plethora of gloriously disgusting images of corn rootworms in every stage of life, from egg to larva to beetle. (more…)


Are you ready to write a novel this season?

a stack of library books

Today’s library haul… who says fiction writing doesn’t require research?

I had a great time with the summer writing challenge and got to know several of you quite well in the process. I want to thank everyone one more time for participating. If you managed to write even just a few more pages than you would have otherwise, then I consider the challenge a success!

Since I am not ready to stop challenging myself, this morning, I changed the name of my Write Your Novel this Summer Facebook page to “Write Your Novel this Season.” I think it’s a good idea to keep cranking out new material even while you are working on revisions for your previous stories. What do you think?

What’s next? Well, I did a complete read-through of my “Bees to Honey” novel (this is not a title, just a descriptive phrase to keep track of which novel is which) and wrote a few new scenes. I have reached the point where I need to do a ton of research on a certain element of my story before I do too much more writing. So, I went to the library this morning and picked up a huge stack of source material. I have a LOT of reading ahead of me! (more…)


When it is bad to get feedback on your writing

Stolen A Letter to My Captor by author Lucy Christopher

I recommend this book for any writer who would like to study the art of taking a reader on a journey without the reader knowing where she is going until she arrives.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. I do not believe that you should share the first draft of your novel with anyone – ANYONE — until it is complete. The more I learn, the more I believe this to be true.

I just finished reading Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher. I can’t help but picture myself in a writer’s critique group with the author, bashing her work and ensuring this novel never comes to fruition. I wouldn’t kill her darling for her on purpose. But not being able to read through to the end of her story, there is no way I could possibly understand what she was attempting to do as she wrote this novel. (more…)


Make teaching and learning part of your writing process.

The Longman Writer: Rhetoric, Reader, Research Guide, and Handbook (8th Edition)

This semester, I am teaching out of The Longman Writer: Rhetoric, Reader, Research Guide, and Handbook (8th Edition.) You can buy a copy here.

This semester, I am teaching one section of English Composition I at my local technical college. This is not a course I particularly care to teach. The first semester I taught it was a disaster. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I definitely didn’t know the material well enough to teach it. It was a horrible experience for everyone involved. This semester, I finally feel like I kinda know what I am doing. And it’s having a positive impact on my writing.

Tuesday was our first day of class, and I killed it. I was well prepared, I knew what I was talking about and best of all, the students were engaged. I left class that afternoon thinking, “Where the hell did that come from?” (more…)


Love photography? Want to collaborate on a story? Join The 52.

Do you take a lot of pictures? If so, author Richard Wright is doing something over at his blog that I think you should check out and possibly help out with. He’s calling it The 52.

Here’s the deal. Richard is planning to write one short story per week in 2014. Each short story will be based on one of many pictures that he is asking his readers to submit. To join, all you have to do is send him a picture. He writes a story based on your image, then posts it to his blog sometime next year. You maintain the rights to your image, and he gives you full credit on his blog.

Sound like fun? I thought so. Here’s my entry:

The 52 - Image by Amanda L Webster - WriteOnTheWorld dot WordPress dot com

This is the image I submitted to Richard Wright for The 52.

Want to join in? Visit Richard Wright’s website for details.

Challenge: Write your own short story about (more…)