Books Don’t Die. Books live on, quietly waiting to be discovered.

Books Don’t Die. Books live on, quietly waiting to be discovered.

As a writer, I’ve got that box in the basement that contains all of the short stories that I’ve written over the years. I came to a decision. I’m going to die someday and either that box is either going to be sitting in my basement or it’s going to grow legs and be out in the world. Thanks to Kindle self-publishing, it’s simply a matter of time and effort. Some short stories are new enough that all I have to do is change the format, copy and paste. The older short stories were actually written on *gasp* my old typewriter, which takes a bit longer to drag kicking and screaming into the new century.

A sneak peek into the soon-to-be-published ‘Pig-Eye Poem & Other Stories’ by C. Mack Lewis:

‘Pig-Eye Poem’ is the story about the time I worked in a Silk-City Diner and Nate-Nate-the-Queer-Bait wrote me a poem which he read at the Lower Alloway’s Creek while shaking a box containing a pig-eye.

‘Lair’ is the story of a Vietnam soldier who has his first kill under the command of a sadistic Sargeant.

‘Dead’ about the first autopsy I witnessed as a medical student where I can’t help but wonder if serial killers dream of being doctors – so they can have access to all those helpless organs under their blades?

The story of ‘Boots’ is about a woman who buys a pair of vintage thrift-store boots that, when worn, gives her the power to ‘fix’ things in her life – even if that means committing murder.

‘What She Bought’ is a story of a man who is cleaning out the closet of his recently deceased wife – and learns that his wife was not the woman he thought she was.

‘Tick Tock’ is a story written on the typewriter and I don’t even remember what it is about. I wrote it long ago in a land far, far away that goes by the name of ‘My First Marriage.’ I must have blocked it out and God only knows what that story contains!

‘The Toad King’ is flash fiction about an unhappy Toad Wife and exactly what she is willing to do to wrest the crown from her husband.

‘The Fix’ is hardboiled crime-noir about a down-on-his-luck journalist who gets a once in a lifetime scoop from his ex-lover who does not have his best interests at heart. What can you expect from a woman with eyes that shine like freshly minted cash, which our hero knows perfectly matches the color of her heart?

“She Got The Money’ is an unusual love story about the guy who never gets the girl and the girl who — well, I’ll let you discover that for yourself.

‘The Christmas Tree’ is about a bug-exterminator who falls for the Christmas tree of his dreams and plans the perfect burglary. Seriously folks, what could go wrong?

A writer friend of mine once said to me, “You certainly have no problem throwing your main characters under the bus.”

I don’t just NOT have a problem throwing my characters in harm’s way — I relish it!  

What are you waiting for?

Unless you think that you are going to live forever, download a copy of a Kindle book format (for free) and start the process of putting your book, poems, short stories out into the world today!

http://www.kayfranklin.com/kindle/free-kindle-publishing-book-template/

Please send me a link after it is published because I would love to feature you on my blog as a guest blogger.

 

 

   

 

 

Write yourself into a corner? Here’s how to escape!

Write yourself into a corner? Here’s how to escape!

The Writer’s Bear Trap!

Has this happened to you? You’ve been writing your novel and, without warning, you realize that you have written your main character into a situation that there is no escape from. Or, worse yet, your character has taken you to a place where you did not want him/her to go and now you don’t know what to do or how to get them out of the situation and, even worse, you have no idea what the heck this new situation has to do with your carefully planned out novel.

May I suggest — the nuclear option?

The nuclear option, my friends, is what I call following The Beast, which is more politely known as — your subconscious. 

It was you that took the story to that corner that you are now trapped in. It is important that you now listen to the inner demons (or angels) in your subconscious that stand ready and willing to lead you back to freedom! If you are lucky, they will be happy to lead you through many more layers of hell, which is always good for a better story, before they send you back to safety and freedom.

When writing Gunning For Angels, I was startled to realize that my main character, Enid Iglowski, went to a place that I did not intend for her to go. I was so dismayed that I stopped writing for three days and simply thought about why I had written myself into this insane corner/trap that had nothing to do with my carefully planned out novel.

After three days of thinking, I decided that maybe my subconscious was smarter than my conscious mind. It was terrifying, but I decided to trust the forces that had brought my character to this seemingly insurmountable obstacle that brought her – and my plot – to a dead stop.

When you have written yourself into a corner, the key is to ask yourself this question: What is the worst possible thing that could happen to my character at this moment?

Dig deep and come with with a no-holds-barred thing that is your deepest, darkest fear and then SLAM it full force into your main character. Have no mercy, pull no punches — be RUTHLESS!

It’s what I call the nuclear option and, strangely enough, it works like a charm!

Delving into your deepest fears and forcing your protagonist to deal with it will bring a new energy and power into your story. It is a plot twist that even you as the writer were not expecting, so there is no way that your reader will see it coming! You will be forced to go to a deeper level emotionally, which will resonate with your readers. If you have the courage to face those fears and be emotionally honest in your writing (always dig to that deeper level of truth!) then it will elevate your writing to new heights and your story will resonate with emotional power.

The subconscious works in strange ways. It will lead you into deep waters and dark troubles, but it will also lead you back to safety.

In the case of my novel Gunning For Angels, the nuclear option took my story to a higher level. It introduced a new aspect to the plot that somehow ended up being the most important and defining moment of my main character’s life. It gave Enid Iglowski an opportunity to discover what she is capable of and how strong she can actually be and it gave me, the writer, the opportunity to discover something new about myself.

If my nuclear option doesn’t work for you, you can borrow Raymond Chandler’s nuclear option, which also works like a charm.

When in doubt, have a man came to the door with a gun in his hand.  

Happy Writing!