Announcing…Student Weekly!

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The moment a writer gets to announce his work going public is one of great pride and excitement.

So, without further ado, I’m happy to announce my first release, as well as my first flash fiction series, Student Weekly. It will bow out starting in January 2013, and will run for a total of 16 episodes. For those of you who know what flash fiction is, this will all make sense to you. For those who don’t, onward and downward.

Flash fiction is, essentially, a piece of fiction between 300 and 1,000 words (although sometimes word count on these types of works can vary). Each episode of Student Weekly will be contained within this word limit. I liken a flash fiction series to a web video series, where there, each story (or episode) is called a “webisode”. It’s short as well, usually no more than five minutes. But, I digress.

I’m absolutely beyond words as to my excitement for you all to read it and react to it. I’ve pulled from many different works of art as inspiration for this series, but the most major of them (and once you begin reading the series, you’ll be able to tell) is HBO’s television series The Newsroom. It’s a marvelous show with a marvelous cast, and if you have HBO or are otherwise able to gain access to it, I cannot recommend watching it highly enough!

I wanted to make this idea my own, however, so my series focuses on a college junior, Jerri Rambert, who has been in charge of her university’s newspaper for the past two years and decides, quite suddenly, that she wants to change the format. Up to this point, they had been catering to entertainment, but Jerri wants to showcase the hard-hitting news — the stuff that, at the end of the day, is truly important.

It is geared toward young adults first-and-foremost, but I think the adults will appreciate the story as well. It’s a chance for people to sit back, read something short and sweet, and still have something to think about afterward. The characters are sassy, witty, and sharp, and I hope you fall in love with them as much as I have. The experience of writing this has been a blast, and I’m sure there will be more of this to come than just the 16 initial episodes promised in this announcement.

So please, stay tuned to the social networking sites, as well as right here at my blog, for a more precise date of when Student Weekly will be premiering, as well as sneak peeks and other features as the release draws near. I also want everyone to be aware that the series will be free of charge, released in PDF form so that you can read it anywhere you and your electronic device happen to be.

Thanks for sticking with me this far, and I promise, things will only get more exciting from here!

Sam

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Trudging On

I’ve been reading a lot of writing tips lately, trying to absorb as much knowledge on writing as humanly possible. There is such great material out there for writers that many people might not know about, so I figured I’d share some great links I found with you.

Let me just say this, first and foremost: writing is hard. From idea to conception, it takes every ounce of your being to trudge on through the wind and the rain and the mud. It takes first drafts and second drafts and eighth drafts, and even then your work is never going to be absolutely perfect. No matter how hard you try, there is no such thing as absolute perfection.

Not in writing.

Now, I know that sounds like I’m putting down any and all writing, but that’s not what I’m doing at all. Every writer has their strengths and weaknesses, whether you’re a bestseller or a beginner, and even though a piece of writing may have imperfections, that work can still be considered excellent, stellar, or even [insert favorite adjective here]. What does matter, however, is how you play to those strengths (and attempt to cover up or improve upon those weaknesses).

The following links are here to help you learn something new and become a better writer. Remember, any and all tips in these links are guidelines — in the end, it’s up to you what you do with your writing.

1) “When to TELL the Story” | Shannon Donnelly

We’ve all heard that saying, “show, don’t tell,” but when is telling appropriate in prose? This is a great article that discusses some of the uses telling has in writing, as well as when you should use it and when you shouldn’t.

2) “Literary Devices: Foreshadowing” | Amy Rose Davis

Foreshadowing can be fun, but how much foreshadowing is too much? Here, Davis covers a few foreshadowing techniques, tells us how we can work them into our manuscripts, and how too much foreshadowing can limit the reader’s enjoyment.

3) “5 Wrong Ways to Start a Story” | Courtney Carpenter

The opening of your story is one of the most important things to get right. This is the part that grabs the reader — convinces them to continue with the rest of the novel. Carpenter informs us of five common ways many writers start their stories, and why they probably shouldn’t.

4) “Repetition — a Two-Ended Hammer” | Roz Morris

Repetition can bore your reader, but it can also be useful tool for emphasizing in a story. This article shows how you can get rid of oft-repeated words, but also use repetition to your advantage.

5) “A Few Self-Publishing Thoughts and Discoveries” | Elizabeth S. Craig

If you’re finished with your novel and are looking into publication, self-publishing may be an excellent, rewarding route to take. Craig gives us insight into the pros and cons of self-publishing.

Of course, these are just a few of the many, many (did I mention many?) links and sources on the internet for writers who may be struggling with certain aspects of writing, or if they just want to learn how the pros are able to write so well.

I’m going to try and share more of these links with you through subsequent blog posts, so stay tuned for that!

Before I let you all go, I just wanted to share with you that my novel is close to 30,000 words now! The first draft is closer and closer to being completed, and I can’t wait to share the details of it with you when it is.

Take care, and keep writing!

Sam

Everything’s Lookin’ So New

What started as a quest for a new, more professional-looking layout for my blog soon turned into a quest for a new blog entirely. Tumblr, while it has its perks, ultimately does not cater to professional bloggers as well as, say, a company like WordPress does. So, with that in mind, I packed up all of my things from the Tumblr blog (so to speak) and moved here to my new home with WordPress.

It just has a much bigger feel, doesn’t it?

WordPress has improved immensely since I first started looking into them some years back. With this new site/blog, I can do so much that I could never have done with Tumblr. I can offer you not only information on my writing, but cool, useful content and features related to my work.

Keep your eyes open for some great stuff coming your way very soon!

Sam

Progress, A Newfangled Word

Ooh, there it is! Aaaaaaand there it goes. 20,000 words. Twenty. Thousand. Frickin’. Words. Sounds like a lot, but at the same time it doesn’t. It’s almost like a halfway mark in the sense that you feel like you’ve accomplished a lot, but you’ve still got so far yet to go.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know of my progress. Writing is going faster now that I am out of school, and my goal for completing this, my very first novel, is summer’s end. We’ll see how that goes, haha.

As I get closer to 40,000 and 50,000 words, look for much more info about the project I’m working on to be revealed. It’ll be an exciting time, not only for you (hopefully), but for me as well. Keeping all of this in is incredibly difficult.

Hope you are all doing well, and remember to keep checking all the social media for updates regarding my work!

Respectfully yours ‘til next we meet,

Sam

[UPDATE: I’ve added a progress bar to my blog’s sidebar so you can track the progress I’ve made on my manuscript!]

One Milestone Down

Achieving a milestone for anything you may be working on, whether it be training for a marathon or writing a novel (although sometimes they feel one and the same), is a wonderful feat that is worth sharing. Which is why I’m taking time from my usual writing and schoolwork duties to let you all know that I have passed my very first milestone.

10,000 words.

Granted, in the grand scheme of things, 10,000 words is nothing, but when you’re working on a novel, 10,000 words is everything. It’s a special moment, one that is an amazing achievement for every writer, and it’s something that any writer wants the world to know.

I can’t wait until I get even farther in my writing so that I can share with you what I have planned for my very first novel. It’s going to be an exciting road ahead, and I’m glad you’ve chosen to come along for the ride.

Until next time,

Sam

Welcome!

Hey everyone! Welcome to my blog! I’m going to be personalizing this as time permits, and will be sharing my progress on my novel with you here as well. Obviously my first priority is writing, but any chance I get to update you all on my progress, I most definitely will!

As a side note, I want to thank you in advance for showing interest in what I’m doing. It’s been my dream to become a published author since I was young, and hopefully I will finally be able to fulfill that dream. I’m glad you’ve decided to take this ride along with me. I know there is going to be a lot of expectation, especially from you all, and I hope I don’t disappoint!

So please, stay tuned here, as well as my other social networking outlets, for updates. Links are below!

Sam

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