Welcome to DreamCasters, a DreamForge discussion group devoted to helping our members improve their writing and storytelling through discussion and sharing expertise.
We had a successful Kickstarter that ended on June 13th. We’ve spent a lot of time over the last month and half fulfilling Kickstarter rewards, including organizing two webinars.
In the end, we now have enough resources to pay $0.07/word through 2023, with a goal of going to $0.08/word in 2024.
Crystal Crawford is a homeschooling mom of four, part-time non-profit Director and writing teacher, and indie author. Her imagination is her happy place! Crystal writes fantasy and YA, with a smattering of other genres, and loves to create deep, enveloping story worlds.
Crystal has one published YA fantasy series, The Lex Chronicles (Legends of Arameth), and is now writing a new YA paranormal folklore-inspired fantasy series, The Leyward Stones, which is currently publishing in weekly episodes on Amazon’s Kindle Vella serial platform.
Her previous story published with Dreamforge Anvil, “Our Kind,” was a side story set in the Leyward Stones world, as is “One Shot at Aeden.”
Our Kind: https://bit.ly/Crystal-Crawford-Our-Kind
One Shot at Aeden: https://bit.ly/One-Shot-Aeden
Today, Crystal will tell us about her experience publishing with Kindle Vella. Kindle Vella is a way to share serialized stories with readers over an extended period – one episode at a time. Readers can: Find and view a story’s detail page in the Kindle Vella store. Read the first few episodes of every story for free. Kindle Vella offers features like Faves and Thumbs Up to engage with stories.
Due to yet another family wedding this summer, Scot won’t have time to review all final DreamCaster Bakeoff entries before this meeting.
Deadline is August 5th, midnight ET. The next stage is to add a quick opening “in medias res” and to polish your stories for final submission. When we started this, we thought we would have 2 competitors at this stage. We have 8 who hung in there!
As soon as we can in August, I’ll announce a cash first place winner. That winner will go on for separate consideration in publication. (And all of you should work on polishing your stories to submit in our open submissions coming up near the end of summer.)
For September 9th, your challenge is to prepare a piece of flash fiction of 1,000 words or under.
This will be a challenge, because we’re switching up your goals. Instead of following the precise steps of template, your goal is to make the reader “feel” something. Pick an emotion and gear your writing to produce that emotion in the reader.
You may find yourself using elements of the story templates we’re worked with, including things like a character flaw, conflict, climax, and the like – but you won’t have time to fully develop a story as we’ve been working. You certainly won’t have the slightest room for exposition.
Focus on the experience of your character and move them through the story as quickly as possible.
Start with a poetic opening (well considered and evocative language) and finish with a meaningful bang (an emotional impact).
A couple examples from my writing include:
Let me know if you want to read and help with DreamCaster submissions. (You don’t have to be a regular DF First Line Reader). Let me know, and I’ll give your profile permission to enter the Submissions area.
By random dice roll, we will give away two prizes. First is a copy Galaxy’s Edge # 57, featuring an interview with Wesley Chu, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twelve published novels.
Second is a copy of the Triangulation: Energy anthology containing the latest energy themed stories from Parsec Ink, a subsidiary of Pittsburgh’s Parsec SFF org.
We’ll give out a couple story prompts that might be interesting to explore.
Meeting Ends. Thank You All!
For September, our guest will be Justine Norton-Kerston, editor of the new Solar Punk Magazine. They’ll give us insights into what stories they’re looking for and how to give your best shot at publishing Solar Punk.