East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Flash! (fiction)

I’m struggling with flash fiction.
Well, ok, it’s not a titanic struggle, but still it’s giving me problems.
Now, there is not a proper definition of flash-fiction in terms of word-count: you’ll find a wild range of figures, from below 300 to up to 1000, and beyond.


But let’s say, for the sake of discussion, that I’m working on a 1000 words story.
It’s hard.
And what makes it hard is genre. Continue reading

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Writing on spec – further developments

checkered-flag-flippedAnd so we got to 3000 words and a total of just ten scenes, nice and compact.
Not bad at all.
Granted, the writing is a little bit drab here and there, and I’ll have to find a way to better characterize two characters… but I have a full day to set it straight.
All in all, it’s been a fun run.
Tomorrow, revision and delivery.

And now, as a prize – I promised myself an ebook!


45.000 or bust!

… And so we decided to turn it into a race.

Yesterday my friend Claire, who is working on her novel, announced to the world at large1 that she plans to reach a word count of 45.000 by the end of the weekend.

Now, I’m writing too – yeah, I know I’ve told you about it to distraction – and I have a target of 45.000, too, to be reached… well, yesterday.

And so, I said, why not make it a game?running
Competition, especially friendly competition, can be motivational, right?
Claire accepted – after pointing out that she’s a little ahead of me already.

I’m currently clocking at about 33.000 words (unedited).
This means, easy – 3000 words a day, for four days.
Will I make it? Probably.
More, I haveto make it, or my editor and my publisher will flog me in public.
Will I make it before Claire? Ah, that’s the point of this whole racing thing, right?2

So, now lunch, then we start writing as fast (and good) as possible.
I’ll keep you posted.

  1. well, ok, to Facebook 
  2. bets are open – feel free to choose your champion here in the comments. 


Word-count as quality?


And I like big things
the size of them impresses me

I’ve been told that – when it comes to ebook pricing – selling anything shorter than 100 pages for 99 cents is, basically, shortchanging the readers.

I find the idea somewhat silly, especially when, to support it, I am told that generally speaking short fiction can’t be as good as long fiction.
Quite simply, I’ve been told, there’s not room enough, in a short story, to tell a good, satisfying tale.

Continue reading