Monthly Archives: January 2016

Kill Them Off

At the end of the book, kill off your main character. This prevents your character from coming back and demanding more stories from you. Nothing is more annoying than a character who does not realize you have other tales to tell with different people. If you do not do something about such character, they will sit beside you and drone on for hours about other adventures they have for you to write down.

The solution to this is to kill them off. When their story is finished, find some really interesting way for them to kick the bucket. Make it worthy for your readers to give them proper closure, as you do not leave the reader hanging. Maybe the villain was not quite and dead as everyone thought and grabbed the character before they both tumbled down into the lava. Or maybe they had a terminal disease which overcomes them in the last few pages. Or maybe they sacrifice themselves for someone they love. But when you are done with a character, kill them off so they do not bother you again.

 

Writing Contests

I have discussed National Novel Writing Month before, but it does not count among the contests I want to bring to your attention. Contests can be a great way for writers to get noticed in a field that can be very hard to break into. Here are five contests that I have either entered or have wanted to enter. All of these are Canada based contests with some accepting international entries.

The first one is the Three Day Novel Contest, which happens on the Labour Day weekend. The goal of this contest is to write a novel and do the first edit all in the three days in that weekend. It costs $50 to enter and the prize is a publishing contract for that book. And is open to anyone.

The second is the CBC Short Fiction Contest, which is open September 1 to October 31. It is part of Canada Writes that include a creative non-fiction contest and a poetry contest. The goal is a 1,200 to 1,500 word short story. The cost is $25. The prize is $6,000, publication in Air Canada’s enRoute magazine, and 10 day writing residency at the Banff Centre. Open to Canadian citizens.

Next is PRISM international Fiction Contest, which has a deadline of January 15. The maximum work count of 6,000 for the short story. There is also a creative non-fiction contest and a poetry contest. The cost is $35, plus $5 for any additional piece submitted. The prize is $1,500 for grand prize, $600 runner-up, and $400 for the second runner-up. This is open to anyone.

The fourth is the Great BC Novel Contest, which is for novels or novellas with a deadline of September 1st. The cost is $40. The prize is a publishing contract for that book. This is open to residents of British Columbia.

The final contest is the John Harris Fiction Awards, which has a deadline in March. This is for short stories of 10,000 words or less. Though creative non-fiction is accepted as well as fiction. There is no cost to enter. The prize is $1,000. It is open to the residents of northern British Columbia.

These are a very small amount of contests available to enter for writers. There is also the contest put on by Lit-N-Laughter.

Bookstores

Books & Company is a bookstore located in downtown Prince George, BC. It has an excellent selection of books for all subjects and if you can’t find in the store, they will try to order it for you. Café Voltaire shares the bottom floor with the bookstore, so when you have picked out your book, you can sit there with a coffee and a treat while you read. Friday nights you can go to café Voltaire for a free show, usually featuring local talent. Upstairs is Artspace, which is used for all sorts of shows and such. Many shows in Artspace require purchasing tickets, but they aren’t expensive. Also upstairs are several shops and other offices. Along the walls of Artspace, there are pictures or paintings.
The owner supports the arts in Prince George and is welcoming to artists, writers, and musicians. The staff are more than willing to help anyone who comes in. All this make a pleasant experience, which is the great thing about books stores. I hope you have such a store near you and if you are in PG, you stop in for a visit.

Resolutions

It is the time of year when people make resolutions. Resolutions like posting more than three blog posts in a year. I always make some kind of writing resolutions or goals with the hope that I will finish more projects over the year. But every year I start many more projects than I finish and I feel like I fall short of my goals.

This year, I am not making resolutions as such. Yes, I am setting myself goals, but I am not doing year long goals. I am setting goals for each month. I am also not setting about how many projects to get done over the year. Instead I am trying for a daily word count.

With these goals, I hope to get more done. I also hope to put up more blog posts. We’ll see how it all works out over the course of this month.