I’ve been quite busy over the last few weeks with my new book, The Best Congress Money Can Buy. Setting up the paperback edition and ordering copies has been exciting, as has been trying to publicize the thing. (I briefly got up to #3 on Amazon in the category of Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Political, which is pretty sweet!) And right now I’ve got other ideas for stories swimming through my brain that I’m trying desperately to fight off, at least until I clear out some of my other projects… But I just came across something I had to tell people about.
As I’ve mentioned briefly before, I’ve benefited greatly from writing classes I purchased from the excellent teacher Holly Lisle (whose name will likely be familiar to anyone who frequents the NaNoWriMo forums). Well, she recently rolled out a new freebie class for people who register for her site and opt into the mailing list. It’s titled “How To Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck,” and so far it is teaching me exactly what it says in the title.
I’d never really thought about doing flash fiction myself; I didn’t understand it, I didn’t know how to structure it or what the point was in writing it. Now that I’ve read Holly’s very first lesson in the three-session course, I’m a lot more interested. Not only does the form have possibilities that I never considered before, but writing lots of flash fiction is an excellent way to drill in the fundamentals of a good story: strong character, driving conflict, compelling needs and vivid description. I can’t wait for the next installment to come out!
This isn’t the only course of Holly’s that I am taking, not by a long shot. But I paid good money for the others, and this one is free—and it’s a brilliant summary of all of her techniques in a few short lessons. When I read the first lesson, I knew I had to spread the word. It’s just that good!
So if you want to learn how to write better stories, click on this link, register for her site, and then make sure to opt into the email list. (I think the opt-in button has a big picture of a dog wearing a hat, but don’t quote me.) It’s all free—but don’t be surprised if you end up taking some of the bigger classes. Lord knows I have!
From the current draft of a short story I’m writing:
“Thank you for seeing me on such notice, Congressman,” said the PAC representative, a tall brunette in a sharp business suit, as she swiped her FEC-registered credit card in the reader that a polite staffer had helpfully provided. “I know your time is valuable.”
[UPDATE May 1, 2013: This excerpt is from an early draft of the short story “The Best Congress Money Can Buy,” which is now published in a collection titled The Best Congress Money Can Buy: Stories of Political Possibility. You can read the first story for free here, and then buy it if you like. Enjoy!]