Conference season has arrived! And that means a fair amount of nail biting for new and returning attendees alike. Meeting authors you admire, pitching your work to agents, and trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible can be stressful.
Former Story Embers Article Writer
Savannah Grace is a Nebraska-born-and-raised author who loves writing—and reading—a good speculative story, because there’s no better place to escape than a book. When she’s not lost in (or creating!) other worlds, she can be found making a mess with watercolors, laughing way too loudly, or eating as much Korean food as she can get her hands on. She’s the submissions manager for Illuminate YA and an associate editor for Havok Publishing.
Savannah has had multiple short fiction pieces published in various places and loves helping writers hone their craft. You can find her blogging at savannahgracewrites.blogspot.com, posting sporadically on her YouTube channel (Savannah Grace), or finally finding a use for all her book pictures over on Instagram (@savannahgraceauthor). She’d love to chat with you!
I’m addicted to flash fiction. I enjoy the challenge of compacting a story into a thousand words or fewer—and watching other writers do it too! But flash fiction is more than a method for writing quick, poignant stories. It’s an incredibly useful yet overlooked tool for refining your skills in general.
Stories are dead without characters. But a character won’t breathe life without a vibrant voice, and many writers struggle to develop one that’s entertaining yet believable. A viewpoint character should be more than a distant narrator who relays the story’s events. Readers should experience scenes through him. If readers don’t feel immersed, that usually means the author didn’t stop to ask why the character has certain thought patterns or consider whether his personality is even fitting.
I used to avoid nonfiction—in both reading and writing—until I discovered that creative nonfiction employs literary techniques usually associated with fiction. How could this be? And would trying it expand my skills?
Many of us, myself included, struggle to break away from the types of stories we gravitate toward. We assume that we need more training before we can tackle a different genre or point of view. But expanding is one of our responsibilities as writers, and it’s a precursor to growth!
Rejections are a staple of the writing life. That sounds harsh, doesn’t it? But it’s true. I have a notebook where I track the status of all my short story submissions. I’ve recorded roughly forty titles in it from 2019.