Do you like writing or reading short stories? Have you heard of Story Chat?
My guest, Marsha Ingrao, has an invitation for you.
A Short History
Last October, I asked Hugh Roberts if he wanted to write a guest post for me. He agreed. We both thought a short story for Halloween would be fun.
When Hugh’s story got lots of comments, we thought it would be fun to do a summary post, turning the post into an event with a Book Chat ambience.
Story Chat helps authors. They get double promotion for their story and their overall story-writing ability.
● First, the story itself is published by someone other than themselves, so it’s put in front of a brand new audience. That is a big deal that looks good on a resume if authors try to publish the traditional way.
● Secondly, they get free feedback on the first published post. They have a chance to see the story from their reader’s perspective and interact with them and listen to what they say to each other.
● Third, they get additional exposure when the recap is published. There are usually more comments on this post as well. There is always a resurgence of interest in the original post at this time, too, because after reading the recap, some people want to go back and re-read the story either because they missed it or missed a certain point that someone else caught.
Story Chat Attendees Win
The commenters sitting around the table respond to each other and to the author. They bat the ideas around in the mishmash of hundreds of comments in the comments section.
After the story airs for a couple of weeks, my job with people reblogging and pushing it on social media is to pull the comments into something that follows in a natural sequence.
I list the attendees and link to one of their posts, and they have one more link to a different post on their first comment.
What Do You Have to Lose?
I can’t see any way that you will lose with submitting a story or leaving comments on one of the featured stories.
All you have to do is send me an unpublished story – one that hasn’t been published on your blog or used in a writing contest. If you like, you can use outcrops of a longer novel you’ve written if that part was never published. You can write the beginning, middle or end of a sequel to a book you’ve already written.
Word-count is 500-1,000 words, and in that time, you need to develop a setting, beginning, middle, and end to a plot and develop the characters. If you are accustomed to writing a piece of flash fiction for the Carrot Ranch 99-word flash fiction challenge, you shouldn’t have a problem in meeting the restrictions of 1,000 words.
Readers will have to do more than skim the story, or they might have to come back and re-read it. This is a fun but somewhat scholarly discussion.
Why This Guest Post?
The monthly Story Chat event is 100% dependent on readers and authors.
If no one submits a story, Story Chat dies. If the story is published on Always Write and nobody reads or comments on it, Story Chat dies. As the Story Chat event host, my only job is to give you a venue to have a deep discussion about a great story. If that doesn’t happen, then the event dies.
If there are ways to improve it to draw in more authors and commenters, deepen the discussion, lighten the discussion, change Story Chat in any way to meet your needs, please leave a comment for me on this post. I’d be delighted to hear from you.
We have two more Story Chats scheduled. Our May Story Chat author is Anne Stormont, a Scottish friend of mine with a short story romance with all the adventure you could cram into 1,000 words. I loved it, and I think you will too.
Don’t be put off if you don’t care for a particular genre. I don’t like horror stories, but Hugh sent me a horror story right out of the shoot, and wow, what a great story it was. If you haven’t read it, it’s fabulous, and so was the discussion.
We have Australian writer, Debbie Harris, from Deb’s World for our June Story Chat. The stories come in two weeks or more ahead of publication so that I can check for edits and provide illustrations if desired.
Some authors prefer no illustrations, so I give them an option now. I do not change spellings of English, American or Australian words.
Submit and Schedule Now
If you would like or have been thinking of submitting a story, procrastinate no longer. Submit your story by contacting me via the following link – Always Write Contact.
And if you have any questions about the Story Chat feature, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section.
Marsha Ingrao is a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. Her all-consuming hobby is blogging which she says has changed her life.
Marsha’s friends live all over the world. In November 2020, she and her husband, Vince, sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ.
They live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with their dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince’s sister went with them and lives close by.