Tag Archives: Short Stories

I bet you didn’t know…..

Great teaser title, right?! Hee Hee

So here’s what you didn’t know about me: Before I wrote romantic fiction, I wrote more…morbid…stuff. I had a slew of short stories published in the suspense genre. You can see them listed if you scroll down to the FICTION part of my Publications page.

Any hoo. Let’s move to the present.

I recently re-energized a short story I’d written almost 2o years ago and submitted it to Long and Short Reviews. They have a short story submissions page, so I entered the re-tooled story to their contest a few weeks. And guess what? I won!!!

THE HOUSE ON CRIMSON STREET is a creepy ( to me, anyway) story of an elderly lady who rents out rooms. And since I like cooking so much, there’s an underlying cooking theme threaded throughout the story. It’s fairly short, so if you want to take a few minutes and read it, here’s the link: THOCS

And, because this is L&SR and they never do anything NOT well, they also made a cover for the story:
Can I tell you how in love I am with this depiction of the house?? It’s beyond perfect.

So, if you want to get a glimpse into the less romantic, more unsavory part of my brain, this is a good place to start.

Just sayin’ ~Peg

And when I’m not writing scary stuff, you can find me writing romance here :

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Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

 

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Writing long…and short

I don’t think it’s a lie to say I’m verbose. As in, long winded, wordy, loquacious, garrulous…you get the message. My daughter read something of mine once and critiqued it by asking, “why do you say the same thing three times, differently? Why not just say it once, effectively?”

So happy her Dartmouth education paid off, because, really, she was right.

I write fast – no surprise there, since I talk and think fast.  Quick witted is what an admirer said of me once. My first drafts go on for hundreds of pages. Dialogue, exposition, explanation. Words and words and words. I just write whatever comes into my head while my fingers follow. I talk this way, as well, so it’s not a bombshell to admit my writing reflects this. If I got paid by the word I’d be a quadrillionaire ( if there is such a thing).

Even now, as I’m typing this, I find myself saying the same thing in different ways just  to make sure you, dear reader, get it.

Robert Parker and Elmore Leonard were two of my favorite writers when I was penning mysteries. Their dialogue was always spot on, even if it was a one word rebuke or answer to a question, and their descriptions required no more than a sentence or two for the reader to get the visual. They trusted their readers to understand what they were trying to convey and we always did. I live to write this way. The nicest compliment a reader can give me is that they “vividly saw what I wrote when they read it.”

I just submitted a story for a new series that will be coming out next Valentine’s Day. The word cap was 10-20 K, maximum. My stories are usually 85,000-100,000 words, easily. Writing this story for submission was an excellent way for me to learn to curtail my logorrhea. First draft was 27,615 words – and I thought all of them should be kept. No. They couldn’t. I had to eliminate at the very least 7,615. That’s a full scene for me.

Second draft I got it down to 22,005. Still not enough.

I had a dream one night on how to tighten a scene and BAM! the next day I got it down to roughly 14,500. This was good. I read the story at least 20 times, gave it to a friend and read little snippets to my coworkers.  They all agreed I should leave it as it stood. Don’t add. Don’t subtract.

I agreed. Today I submitted it to my Editor. We’ll see what happens, but this exercise taught me the benefit of culling extraneous words, tightening longwinded and rambling scenes, and focusing in on the specifics of the story and not worrying about the extra stuff no one needs to know about. As a writer, this is a good thing.

It’s not exactly a bad thing as a person either, since I do tend to ramble on and on and……..

 

 

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