Hi Benjamin, the discussion on the forum about social commentary in crime fiction has gotten quite a lot of responses. This has inspired us at Noir Nation to add a new section to the first issue of Noir Nation wherein writers opine on the following question: Must crime noir have a moral point? The word limit is 300 to 500 words. Include short bio, and photo. There is a $25 honoraria, payable on publication. Best five get published in Issue No. 1. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Now I see the problem. I can't read. But I never let that stop me from writing. Besides, in journalism, we all just looked at the photos. :-)
You wrote, "I asked a retired newspaper reporter (no, they don't all fall off the wagon before 40) how long articles should be. He answered, "Until it's done.""
"Until it's done" or "As many as it takes" used to be the word count for news stories. These days, what with short reader attention spans and the high cost of newsprint, short is in. Editors at the paper I used to work for generally liked a story to be between 8 and 14 inches ... unless it's a juicy one.
As far as books go, take a look at the links that I posted in your thread. I think those will be good guidelines for all of us. At least that's what this unpublished writer is shooting for. :-)
Ah...I thought I read a post where you said you were a retired newspaper reporter ... something I rarely hear of. Most of my colleagues can't afford to retire. Even more sad, most of my colleagues (including me) are victims of newsroom downsizing.
BTW ... I'm jealous of that $42.71 401k you've got going there. I think mine has $22.50. On the up side, being much older than you means I don't need to make mine last as long. :-)
Good luck on the new book in November, Ben! I just got my fourth deal too! My book will be out some time next year. It's so early I don't know when yet but the ball's rolling fast. We're already getting things done and it's not close to next year, LOL!
You can read more about it at my website. If you visit, sign my guestbook!
I started assigning MPAA ratings when a few church book clubs contacted me. They mentioned that they rely on my recommendations, but they were a little nervous as they didn't want to read anything rated PG13 or above. So I started putting the ratings on their for them, but it ended up being quite popular
After finally getting my hubby to sit down and listen to the ending I'd planned -- he's into non-fiction so It's a pain to harness him to his seat for fiction -- he told me the twists were getting way too confusing. As I listened to his description of what was flying past him, I came up with a much simpler ending. Yet the reader will still be left wondering how one phone call ties into the end. I can fix that, of course, but I'm not sure I want to. Am I nuts?