Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine's Day with a twist: The Killer Valentine Ball

Forget all that mushy heart and candy stuff. What's better than a good old scare for Valentine's Day?

I love scary, and not just for Halloween. Besides writing some fun mysteries and short stories, I also like to read, and write, stories that make your heart leap a little.

That's rule one as an author: write what you enjoy reading. Here are a few other writing tips:

1. Start Small

Big projects can sometimes be overwhelming. If you don't finish a projected word count, don't discount what you have done. Even one paragraph or page is one more than you had before, and 500 or so words closer to your final word count.

2. Believe in Yourself

Your inner muse can have a dark side. Ignore those self-recriminations that every writer gets at one time or another. Believe in you. Get rejected? Move on and send that story out again. . Think on what you've accomplished and move forward. One rejection is just that. Having at least a few stories circulating (some say 10 or 12 if you can) will prevent you from obsessing over one.

3. Learn From Others
Success comes from listening to others who have already been there. Check out the experiences of other writers in your genre. Study the works of writers you admire to see how they did it. No matter how many years you've been writing, there is always something new to learn.

4. Make Goals
Goals keep you from stagnating, but make them reasonable. Start with one goal, like planning to get published in a new magazine in your genre, or working on a story in a different genre or field. Keep moving forward and don't stress over how long achieving that goal may take. It isn't a race. Work at the pace you feel comfortable with.

5. Don't Fear Mistakes
You'll make mistakes; you'll write less than stellar stories. We all have. It's one mistake. Even if you make the same mistake, it's not the end of the world. Learn from them. Every mistake only makes you stronger.

Most of all? Enjoy yourself. Relish that first or next publication as you move towards your goal!

Valentine's Ebook: THE KILLER VALENTINE BALL by (C.A.) Christine Verstraete

A party at a day camp; a blind date on Valentine's Day. Can you say loser? But this is no ordinary party. The Killer Valentine Ball has more thrills than Jess ever expected--or will ever forget.


As they walked into the shadows, Jess noticed that things weren't quite as they appeared. Sections of the room lightened for a moment before being cast again in deep shadow. What Jess thought she saw in that split second made her heart race. On the dance floor, the same three couples stood, clasped to each other. Jess stared. She swore they never moved.

The music played quietly in the background. When the shadows brightened, Jess caught a quick glimpse of one of the couples. The young man's mouth gaped open. His partner's gown glistened with streams of dark ribbons. The light flashed again and Jess gasped. Those weren't ribbons! The girl's dress shone with dark glimmers. Like-like blood, she thought. No, it can't be! She looked back at Dylan, who shook his head and urged her on.

"Light tricks," he whispered. "It's not real. It's Halloween stuff, like the movie. Don't worry."

*BUY it at the MuseItUp Publishing bookstore, or get it on Kindle


Cheryl said...

Excellent tips. Halloween is my favorite holiday next to Christmas. I love mysteries and crime novels. Who says Valentine's Day can't have a good scare every once in a while?

Best of luck!


karen said...

Excellent advice! Thank you. This looks like a great read with a twist.


Charlie said...

Excellent tips. It's amazing how often I need to be reminded of even the simplest of things. I hate the dark side of my muse!!! ;-)thanks for sharing this great advice.
C.K. Volnek

Chris V. said...

Thanks! I know I need the reminder every now and then too. Love to hear if youi read the ebook!