Flash Fiction Writing Contest – Submit

Flash Fiction Writing Contest…

Submit now!

the clock is ticking

Illustration by Clarisa Ponce de Leon

A few weeks ago we introduced the first ever flash fiction writing contest at NovelNook.com. The submission period for entry ends today at midnight. You still have time to pen that fantastic story.

Here are the official guidelines, once again

I challenge you to write a flash fiction story that incorporates these two elements: a victory at work and a defeat at home.

These are the rules

  1. It must be 1000 words or less.
  2. It must incorporate a victory at work, and a defeat at home, into the plot.
  3. It must be edited to the best of your ability.
  4. It must be submitted by Midnight, July 15th, 2013.
  5. You must submit it to, kentdufault@yahoo.com.
  6. You must submit it in the body of the email – not an attachment.
  7. You must accept the results of the contest without complaining.

These are the prizes

  1. The winning author will receive a free cover from my graphic designer wife for the writing project of their choice.
  2. The winning story will also be published on the  NovelNook.com blog on August 19, 2013.
  3. The winning story will receive a critique and an explanation as to why I chose it as the winner when it is published on the blog.
  4. The winning author will receive an Amazon Gift Card valued at $20.00 USD (for USA Amazon only)
The Fine Print
  • The cover must be redeemed by December 31, 2013.
  • This is for an electronic Ebook cover only.
  • The book cover will be produced to the cover standards as dictated by Amazon.
  • The prize includes design and illustration. If photography is requested, you will be responsible for purchasing the usage rights.
  • You will get three consultations with the graphic designer via email: An initial interview to convey your ideas, an initial proof round, a second proof round. After that, she delivers, and you take what you get.
  • All rights to your entries remain with you!! We’re asking for nothing but a good (well edited) story and first publication rights for the blog.

Second Place! Will be published on the NovelNook.com blog on August 26, 2013 and will receive a critique by me.

Here is a sample cover that my wife produced for me. I will be publishing this book on Amazon in the near future.

Bellakentuky

Hurry! Submissions end today at Midnight.

I am very opinionated about the craft of writing, and life in general. But… I am well-tempered with an enthusiasm for debate. Please leave comments, even the ugly ones, I dare you.

You can follow me at

Facebook     Twitter     LinkedIn     Pinterest     Amazon

I’m also an avid reader. If you desire success in your writing career, you should be too.

I’m currently reading, “Hopscotch”, by Julio Cortazar.

All my best on a beautiful day in South Carolina.

 

The Wacky World of Literary Devices!

You Have Now Entered the Wacky World of Literary Devices.

For the grand prize you have 60 seconds to answer the following…

(Disclaimer – This is just a joke folks)

What is Hyperbole and name one famous story that makes use of it?

Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock…

You learn forward, grab the microphone, your eyes stare unflinchingly into the crowd as you say –

Hyperbole is the use of over-exaggeration for creating emphasis, or humor, but it is not intended to be taken literally. One example of this story telling technique would be, The Tales of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

the wacky world of literary devices

Photograph by The Arches

Yeah! Excellent Answer!

This idea of looking into literary devices came to me the other day when a companion asked me how to spell allegory. I spelled it out for her flawlessly. But the next question was the one I was dreading…

“What does allegory mean?”

Ummm… ummm…

I didn’t know what it meant.

She giggled at me. “And you’re a writer?”

the wacky world of literary devices

Graphic courtesy of myteachingspirit.blogspot.com

Well that was enough to make me go look it up. But, I would have done that anyway, because I am an extremely inquisitive person, and I love to learn. So, for those of you that don’t know what the literary device, allegory, means –

Here you go!

An allegory is a symbolism device where the meaning of a greater, often abstract, concept is conveyed with the aid of a more corporeal object or idea being used as an example. One famous example of allegory is the book, The Lord of the Flies. This story features a group of schoolboys stuck on an island, and the novel had allegorical representations of rational mind, democracy, order, civility, and many other such abstract terms.

the wacky world of Literary devices

Cover photograph by lordalford.com

I’ll be the first to admit it to anybody. I didn’t go to college for writing. I was born into a working class family. I’ve learned what I’ve managed to learn in life through dedication and hard work.

Many of the literary devices were familiar to me by word, but I didn’t really understand what they meant until I dove into this investigation. I was amazed at how many literary devices exist. There are dozens of them! Just reading through the list and their descriptions got my creative juices flowing.

I want to share some examples

along with their definitions

And some literary works that made use of them

Bildungsroman – This is a very popular form of storytelling whereby the author bases the plot on the overall growth of the central character throughout the timeline of the story. As the story progresses, the subject undergoes noticeable mental, physical, social, emotional, moral, and often spiritual advancement. A very famous example of this literary device is, Gone With The Wind, which was published by Margaret Mitchell in 1936.

the wacky world of literary devices

Photograph by stuffforcrafts.com

Litotes – It is an understated expression where the idea to be expressed is quite significant. Litotes, are defined as ‘an ironical understatement where the affirmative is expressed by the negation of the opposite’. To put it simply, in litotes, instead of saying that something is attractive, you say that it is not unattractive. Litotes are often used to mimic speech, since we lazy humans tend to drop words to make things quicker. Here are some examples:

  • The food is not bad.
  • She is not as young as she was.
  • He is not unlike his dad
Father & Son

He is not unlike his dad. Photograph by Tony Alter

Hubris – Hubris is another way of saying overly arrogant. You can tell the difference between hubris and regular arrogance by the suggestion that the character has seemed to allow reality slip away from them. Hubris is the buildup of arrogance and pride and is generally followed by a catastrophic fall at the end of the story. An excellent example of Hubris is the story, Arabian Nights.

Caesura – involves creating a fracture within a sentence where the two separate parts are distinguishable from one another yet intrinsically linked to one another. The purpose of using a caesura is to create a dramatic pause, which has a strong impact. Finding out about this device means a lot to me personally, because I use this a lot. Here is an example of Caesura; “Ludwig – How your music makes me soar!”

the wacky world of literary devices

Photograph courtesy of parentpreviews.com

Polysyndeton – is a sentence construction in which multiple conjunctions are used in very close succession to infuse a sense of exaggeration. In other words, you use a lot of ‘ands’ to emphasize a point by stretching the sentence out. Here is a great example from Ian Fleming‘s novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:

‘Most motor-cars are conglomerations of steel and wire and rubber and plastic, and electricity and oil and petrol and water, and the toffee papers you pushed down the crack in the back seat last Sunday.’

I’ve had a lot of fun studying up on literary devices

And I bet you would too!

Here’s a challenge for you. I’m going to list some literary devices that I’m pretty sure you’ve heard the term. Could you define that term? Could you point to an example that uses the device? Do you use it in your own writing? Might you consider doing that now, after reading this article?

Here you go-

  1. Allusion
  2. Antithesis
  3. Cacophony
  4. Deus ex Machina
  5. oxymoron
  6. simile
  7. syntax
  8. verisimilitude
  9. juxtaposition
  10. epithet

There will be a test on Tuesday.

(Just kidding!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this discussion. I would also like to encourage you to comment. Tell me if there is any subject matter that you would like me to weigh in on. (what literary device was that?) Keep writing friends!

I am very opinionated about the craft of writing, and life in general. But… I am well-tempered with an enthusiasm for debate. Please leave comments, even the ugly ones, I dare you.

You can follow me at

Facebook     Twitter     LinkedIn     Pinterest     Amazon

I’m also an avid reader. If you desire success in your writing career, you should be too.

I’m currently reading, “Unexplained Mysteries of World War II”, by William B. Breuer

All my best on a beautiful day in South Carolina.

Get That Monkey Off Your Back

WRITER’S BLOCK

The mere utterance of these words can send chills down the spine of a wordsmith. It’s the equivalent to a professional baseball player going a hundred games without getting a hit, or a cartoonist that can’t think of anything to draw. It’s a momentary lapse of creativity; it stifles us and brings our output to a halt.

Writer’s block is nasty.

There has been many articles written on this subject, both online, and in print. I’m sure most of us could list techniques we’ve heard of on how to deal with this internal demon.

But today, I would like to offer you an alternative.

The End of Writer's Block

Photograph by Clarisa Ponce de Leon

A solution you may not have heard of!
The Writer's Toolbox

Photograph by Clarisa Ponce de Leon

It’s A Game!

And this is why I want to tell you about it.

  1. It works
  2. It’s fun
  3. It can be done individually or in a group session

This super cool product came to me in the form of an unexpected gift from (you guessed it) my wife. I have to tell you, I don’t generally have a problem with writer’s block, my problems lie more with time management and procrastination. But those issues are for another blog on another day. My wife bought me this gift just because it looked cool. And you know what? It does. It has a slick, fun to touch box; everything about the product is designed well and visually stimulating. I use it because it’s fun, and it has helped me develop some really fantastic story ideas.

Let me introduce you to – The Writer‘s Toolbox
Take a look at what’s inside.
The Toolbox Contents

Photography by Clarisa Ponce de Leon

The first thing you will want to do is peruse the guidebook. It talks about the elements of story. It gives detailed information about the tools that are included, and it outlines a number of stimulating games to unfreeze that frozen brain. There is so much information packed in there, it’s too much to cover in one blog.

So, what I’ve decided to do is pick one game, describe it to you, play the game myself, and share the results.

The First Sentence to the Last Straw game

There are three types of sticks included in the set. There is the, “FS”, First Sentence Stick, the, “NS”, Non Sequitur Stick, and the, “LS“, Last Straw Stick.

Sticks

Photograph by Clarisa Ponce de Leon

You begin the game by drawing a, First Sentence Stick. Once you have your stick you have 3-6 minutes (I use six minutes) to write a piece of fiction that begins with the line on your stick. Here is my First Sentence Stick.

The FS Stick

Photograph by Clarisa Ponce de Leon

This is what I wrote

There she was, Amy Gerstein, over by the pool, kissing my father. My heart sank, even though I knew that our shapely neighbor had subversive intentions, and it really wasn’t my dad’s fault as she had pinned him down with her bikini-clad bottom. But, my suspicions were well founded; because nobody can smell like lilacs every day of the year and be totally on the up and up.

I hid behind Dad’s new stainless steel grill, the one with the special tongs and flipper attachment, and clenched my fists. Old barbecue sauce stuck to my nose as I tilted my head to get a better view.

Dad appeared nervous.

Amy moved and sat down next to him; her long legs stretched out, gleaming orangey-brown in the afternoon sun.

I could hear Mom singing to herself in the kitchen behind me.

Amy’s a bitch, and I’m going to find out what she’s up to- no matter what it takes.

Amy laughed, and my father looked her way. His eyes grew wide, when he peered past the vixen and saw me hiding behind his prized possession.

Time is up!

Now, It’s time to draw a Non Sequitur Stick. The rules state that you must begin the next section of writing with the sentence on that stick. Once again, you have 3-6 minutes. It also states that once your time is up you can draw another NS Stick and keep writing in timed segments. For our purposes here, we will draw one stick.

The NS Stick

Photograph by Clarisa Ponce de Leon

Here is where my NS Stick took me

Margaret had a habit of spitting. It began to get on my nerves. But, the moment she entered the backyard all that changed.

Margaret is my best friend; she has been for six years, ever since we entered the first grade. She’s a strange duck, no doubt about it. But, her peculiarity intrigues me.

I had no idea what was about to happen until she walked right up to Gerstein and placed her hands on her hips.

Oh, no! I thought.

I’ve witnessed my friend taking this posture on the playground.

Oh, no! I thought again. But this time it was followed by a serious giggle.

It happened right in front of my eyes. My best friend hawked up the nastiest snot-ball on the face of the planet, and she deposited it right on Amy Gerstein’s forehead, a little bit even sprayed across Amy’s stupidly large sunglasses.

I’m sure Gerstein’s bloodcurdling scream was heard for blocks.

My father jumped to his feet in an effort to do something, God knows what, because Gerstein had already sprinted for her house.

Margaret walked over to me, and I timidly left my hiding spot.

She smiled.

Time is up, again!

And Now… The Last Sentence Stick

The LS stick gives you a final line and you must move your story in the direction of whatever it says and complete your story arc. I usually include the line right into my story; it makes it more challenging for me.

Here is my LS Stick
The LS Stick

Photograph by Clarisa Ponce de Leon

This game is just one of many that are listed in the booklet. If you have writer friends, it would be an awesome party game. It doesn’t take long, and it’s really fun to see what everyone comes up with. If you’re interested in this superbly craft, awesomely designed, and super cool tool- click the link below.

The Writer’s Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the ‘Write’ Side of Your Brain

Everyone here at NovelNook.com wants you to succeed.

Writer’s Block can be debilitating. We hope you found this article fun and informative.

And when you finish your masterpiece, please submit it for review. We’d love to help you get published.

Wondering what happened with the story?

Click my Facebook link below, and I’ll provide a link to the entire story. While you’re on Facebook- Why don’t you connect with me by liking my Author page. I always try to inform and entertain.

I am very opinionated about the craft of writing, and life in general. But… I am well-tempered with an enthusiasm for debate. Please leave comments, even the ugly ones, I dare you.

You can follow me at

Facebook     Twitter     LinkedIn     Pinterest     Amazon

I’m also an avid reader. If you desire success in your writing career, you should be too.

I’m currently reading, “The Stories of Eva Luna”, by Isabel Allende

All my best on a beautiful day in South Carolina.

Bellakentuky