3 Tips for Better Short Fiction


Presented as a part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog Hop.

Be sure to see the other awesome bloggers.


3 Tips for Short Story Writing

January has been a busy month for short story contests. Mash Stories offers an on-going flash fiction contest. Writer’s Digest offered a short, short fiction contest earlier this month, and Simon and Shuster held a fan fiction contest, Baen has a near-future science fiction contest, and the Chicago Tribune has a short fiction contest open until January 31, 2016.

This week, I’m participating in the 10th Annual Short Story Challenge offered by NYC Midnight. It’s tremendous practice.

Here are three tips I use for writing better short fiction.

  • Pick one main event. Streamline the story so that everything points to that one event – even after the climax, the story finish still points to that one event. The plot can be as simple as cooking dinner or as complex as sky diving from a space elevator. Don’t stuff in extra details. Often, the beauty of a short story is rich characters, full of depth, but a plot that exists within a small space and lower word counts. Short stories, even though a different experience than writing novels, are great practice in streamlining.
  • Limit characters. Pick one or two. Don’t name anyone else. If the main character is on a crowded bus, blur the extras by providing little-to-no information about them. Include only the details that are necessary to move the plot forward for the main character. Character naming is similar to adopting a stray dog. Once it has a name, it wants to stick around in the readers’ mind.
  • Limit Point of View. In short fiction (whether flash fiction – 1,000 words or less – or a novelette – up to 17,500 words), there is a limited amount of time to hook the reader. Begin close to the inciting incident, but keep it simple. Story creators often want to keep all the viewpoints, include the antagonist’s reasons, or mention the main character’s last love interest. Don’t obscure the great words with superfluous ones. Increase tension and interest by limiting readers’ knowledge to only what the main character knows. Pick one character that is central to every situation, jump in that head, and stay there.


Just remember: first drafts don’t count. Get the story down. Get the words out. Don’t worry about rules or tips or editing. After that first draft, go back and edit it into shape. And whatever happens, keep writing. Your uniqueness enhances our own. 🙂


What are some tips you have for writing better shorts?

I’d love to hear from you: me@bokerah.com .

Find me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Presented as a part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog Hop.

Be sure to see the other awesome bloggers.

IMG_3935Bokerah Brumley is an award-winning writer from West Texas. She is the Publicity Officer for the Cisco Writers Club while simultaneously addicted to Twitter pitch contests, writing contests, and social media, in general. She has too much planned for this year, but is doing it anyway. She lives with five home-educated children, three dogs, two cats, and one awesome husband.



Dogwood Sprocket by Bokerah Brumley

A SciFi Steampunk Romance Novelette Available for FREE in

Seasons: A Multi-Genre Story Collection

Amazon (Kindle)

Barnes&Noble (Nook)

Apple (iBooks)

Seasons Vol 1 - Final

Coming Soon

Out April 2016, twelve novellas from twelve authors: Enchanted: The Fairy Revels Collection. My contribution, Woe for a Faerie, is the story of Woe, a fallen angel that struggles to find her purpose after losing her wings. A buff Fae fellow saves her from freezing to death in Central Park and promptly decides she’s his. Meanwhile, Woe meets Jason, a priest that isn’t quite what he seems. I like to think of it as City of Angels meets League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

The follow up to Woe for a Faerie is Wings Over New York – out in July 2016 with The Beasts of Summer Collection. In it, our heroine, Woe, is tasked with locating a nocturnal albino peacock shifter that is haunting Central Park and sucking psychic energy from the unsuspecting.

And in November 2016, I’ll write a baddie for a change and add Feather to my fantasy world. Readers will get the awesome-sauce introduction to the epic author-party that is The Hotel Paranormal.


On the Rebound {Jim Cangany}



Author: Jim Cangany
Release Day: January 22, 2016
Genre: Sports Romance
Publisher: Penner Publishing



FINAL_AMAZON-APPLE-EBOOK-300x464On The Rebound is a sweet, sports romance set on the campus of fictional Irving University. It’s a story about second chances and features a women’s college basketball team. Here’s a teaser for you.

After he’s caught in a grade fixing scandal, men’s college basketball coach Greg Miller is thrown a lifeline when an old friend offers him a job with the small-school Irving University women’s team.

Academic Advisor Ciara Monaghan knows first-hand the heartbreak and havoc a cheating man can wreak. She wants nothing more than to protect the University’s reputation by seeing to it that Greg’s stay at Irving is short.

The last thing either of them wants is the attraction they can’t deny. Can a struggling member of the basketball team bring them together to see how wonderful a second chance at life, and love, can be?



JimPhotoJim Cangany was forty pages into his first manuscript when he realized it was a romance. He went with it and has great joy writing sweet, contemporary love stories. A lover of things that go fast, when Jim’s not writing, you can probably find him checking into the latest from IndyCar or pro bike racing. He lives in Indianapolis with his saint of a wife Nancy, his sons Seamus and Aidan, and the princess of the house, kitty cat Maria.

Visit him: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or Tumbler






Cover Reveal: Open Hearts {Erin Hayes}




My heart isn’t my own.
And I don’t mean romantically.

Six months ago, I had a heart transplant. Now I’m learning to live again with someone else’s heart beating in my chest. My scars both inside and out haunt my every waking moment.

Then I meet Rhys, the tattooed Yank that finds himself transplanted to my Southern hometown. Even though he’s haunted by his own scars, he’s determined to show me how to embrace my second chance at life.

I’m not sure if I can give someone my heart when it wasn’t mine to begin with.

And neither of our hearts will survive rejection.


A standalone NA contemporary romance coming February 2016.

Young couple in love walking in the autumn park holding hands lo

About the Author

Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books, like the fantasy mystery novel Death is but a Dream, the sci-fi middle grade book Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average, and the Her Wolf paranormal series.

She works as an advertising copywriter during the day, and she moonlights as an author. She has lived in New Zealand, Texas, and now in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.

You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00028]

Hosted By:

Logo PNG (1)


Happy Release Day {Blaire Edens}



Blaire Edens  blaire@blaireedens.com

Debbie Suzuki, Entangled Publishing Publicity Director, debbie@entangledpublishing.com

For subsidiary rights information, please contact Entangled Publishing. http://www.entangledpublishing.com


He’s the one man she refuses to fall for…

After the combat death of her Marine husband, grief counselor Maddie Westerfield has thrown herself into helping other families—leaving no time for dating. Which is just fine with Maddie since falling in love again, especially with another man in uniform, is out of the question. No matter how gorgeous he is. Plus, she’s busy looking after her eight-year-old nephew for her deployed sister.

For the last eight years, Lieutenant David Sterling has lived with the guilt of losing one of his soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan. So when the opportunity presents itself, he jumps at the chance to help the beautiful widow coach her nephew’s football team. But keeping things strictly professional between them is harder than he expected. And even though he knows a relationship with Maddie will only lead to heartbreak, he can’t help falling for her.


Meet Blaire


Photo Credit: Dorinda Metcalf


WEBSITE:  www.blaireedens.com

BLOG:  https://blaireedensromance.wordpress.com/

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/BlaireEdens

FACEBOOK:  www.facebook.com/blaireedensauthor


Blaire Edens lives in the mountains of North Carolina near the farm that’s been in her family since 1790. When she’s not plotting, she’s busy knitting, running, or listening to the Blues. Blaire loves iced tea with mint, hand-stitched quilts, and yarn stores. She refuses to eat anything that mixes chocolate and peanut butter or apple and cinnamon. She’s generally nice to her mother, tries to remember not to smack her bubble gum, and only speeds when no one’s looking.