Memoir, Short Story

Born in ’76: A call for submissions

Born in 1976
Go check out my “Born in ’76 Collection” on 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. Continue reading “Born in ’76: A call for submissions”

Novel Writing

Narrowing my focus: Choosing a niche and a time frame for my story

Novels in a Polish bookstore
How do you decide which shelf your book will finally end up on at your local book store? | Novels in a Polish bookstore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I began writing my current novel almost one full year ago, I have often struggled with determining which genre my story falls into. My thesis adviser pushed me (a lot!) in the direction of Young Adult (YA,) but it just never felt right to me. Although my protagonist is seventeen years old at the outset of the novel, the story will unfold over the course of several years and will include a failed marriage and other “adult” themes that rule out the possibility of selling this novel to a YA audience.

Another element I am struggling with is my time line. Exactly how many years should my protagonist be married to her jerk husband before she escapes? I need her to stick it out for at least a few years. But then, how do I write her through those years and get to the next big event without boring my reader?

This morning, I was reading a blog post by David Fernandez of DLFWriting titled, Becoming a Storyteller: New Adult, or, Wizards and Vampires and Sex! Oh My! that gave me one of those Aha! moments where everything suddenly becomes so clear. In this post, Fernandez discusses the growth of New Adult (NA) fiction, which is aimed at the previously ignored age group of 18 – 25 year olds. Continue reading “Narrowing my focus: Choosing a niche and a time frame for my story”

Novel Writing

A synopsis of my work in progress


Brick Barn
I always thought it would be cool to live in a barn loft. | Brick Barn (Photo credit: cindy47452)

I just completed the synopsis of my work in progress and thought I would share it with my readers here at Write on the World. For all of you who have been following me and wondering what, exactly, I am writing about, here it is:

Into the World of Men is a dystopian science fiction novel that explores the themes of freedom and a woman’s place in the world. It is the story of M., a young woman whose family has kept her and her half-sisters hidden away in a secluded barn to keep them safe from a world where women are nothing more than property to the men in power. M. longs to escape the monotony and oppression of life in her secret barn. When King Mentor Drak discovers M.’s existence, he insists that she attend the naming ceremony of her new baby brother, thus forcing her out of exile against the wishes of her family. Continue reading “A synopsis of my work in progress”

Novel Writing

What is the difference between science fiction and fantasy?

Science Fiction League (March 1958) ... The Re...
Is this science fiction or fantasy? Or perhaps it’s speculative fiction? | Science Fiction League (March 1958) … The Real You (July 6, 2011 / 4 Tammuz 5771) … (Photo credit: marsmet541)

My thesis* efforts this week, while I am awaiting feedback on my first draft, are focused on wrapping up all of the loose ends: annotated bibliography, synopsis, cover letter, etc., that must be included in my final portfolio. I finally completed my bibliography, but I am struggling a bit with my synopsis. One of the biggest problems I am having with my synopsis is deciding what genre my novel fits into.

*Thesis Countdown: The final draft of my creative master’s thesis is due in 11 days!

I’ve been referring to my WIP as a “fantasy novel” for a long time, but I’m not completely sure that’s where it fits. Is it fantasy, or is it science fiction? Or is it this other thing I’ve heard of, speculative fiction, which I have no clue exactly what it is but for some reason have an inkling that my novel may fit into it? So, this afternoon, I am on a quest to determine which pigeonhole I should attempt to stick my novel in.

Continue reading “What is the difference between science fiction and fantasy?”

Novel Writing

It’s time to narrow my focus

Collection Les historiques de Harlequin
Image via Wikipedia

So, I’ve decided to choose one specific story to write and devote the rest of the year to getting it done. My next step is to narrow it down to just one. Which story do I really want to tell most? I have several manuscripts in various stages of unfinish to choose from. How to decide?

These are the stories I am currently contemplating:

  • A trashy, cheesy romance novel that is fun to write, but not exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life. It’s one of those things I pull out and work on once in a while when I feel like having fun without working too hard to write the next great American novel; the type of thing I would definitely publish under a pen name! Continue reading “It’s time to narrow my focus”