Get out your pens, typewriters, or newfangled word processing software. The 7th Titan short story contest is open for August!
The Prompt, an interesting ad in the local (insert fictional setting here) newspaper.
“Serious curiosities collector in search of gallimaufry’s crowning jewel.
Will compensate in kind. No demand is too high.
Will meet in dark alleyway of your choosing.”
Who is this person? How are you going to get what they want? What will you ask in return?
Send us your original science fiction or fantasy story of 1,000 words or less to compete for publication on our website. The deadline for submissions is September 1st.
Internet fame, cover art, a personalized winner’s certificate, and your story read by 7th Titan’s own Chappy Chapman are on the line!
Check out the Contest page for more details and submission guidelines.
If you need some inspiration, you can read past winners HERE!
Carolyn – Uprooted – Naomi Novak
Uprooted by Naomi Novik was firmly entrenched on my to-be-read list, albeit as a “someday, when it’s in paperback”, before a friend was so insistent I read it right then that she offered me her own, first edition, first printing, signed copy. Despite my attempts to insist I couldn’t possibly borrow such a treasure, she persisted, buying me my own copy and insisting with a fervor I confess I now feel.
The novel tells the story of a valley in danger, and the lengths one woman, Agnieska, will go to in order to protect her entire way of life and all the people that live it. It is a story of apathy and disbelief, and the trouble it can cause. It plays on the fairy tale structure and tropes, including a wizard named “The Dragon” and a dangerous forest full of dark magics that relentlessly expands, trying to swallow the whole valley.
Every scene–even those few that as a reader I might have wanted to do without–is carefully crafted and placed to accomplish the major themes of the story. It is a tale that lives and breathes as much as the magic system it develops. I cannot recommend it highly enough and it deserves all the accolades that have been heaped upon it.
Chappy – His Majesty’s Dragon – Naomi Novak
Is this gunpowder fantasy?
Because someone called dibs on the wonderfully written sort-of-fairy-tale Uprooted, which I had just finished, I was forced to read something else quickly to write about before the Titan editors became overly wrathful. Since I had enjoyed the aforementioned book a great deal I decided to read one of Naomi Novik’s earlier works: His Majesty’s Dragon the first in a series of Gun-Powder fantasy novels.
I’d read alt-history before, yet my closest read in the genre outside of some hit and miss Steampunk had been the incredible Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke, which relied on a magick closer in many ways to what she had accomplished so well with Uprooted…
But Titans? How do I know if I’ll love Proper Thieves? The answer is here. Please enjoy the first chapter (er… section?) of Proper Thieves.
The guard unwrapped his sandwich, took a bite, and collapsed in a pile of wrecked bone and mangled muscle.
Or at least that’s how it would have looked, had anyone been nearby to see it happen. In truth, the guard’s sudden implosion had somewhat less to do with his lunch and more to do with Tolem, who had dropped onto the unsuspecting brute from fifteen feet up while wrapped in an invisibility cloak. A moment later, that cloak finished fluttering to the floor, encircling both the aging thief and the crumpled security guard.
Hidden beneath its folds, Tolem sucked air between his teeth and rubbed gingerly at his bum hip. He had held his position—legs split wide to span the narrow corridor, pressing his feet flat against the two opposing walls—for as long as his old bones would let him, but the youngster below had stubbornly refused to get a move on. The impact from fifteen feet up didn’t do Tolem’s carcass any favors, either, but at least the kid had gone down quietly. He’d have felt a lot worse had the guard yelled out; the cloak wasn’t that magical anymore, after all, and he doubted its ability to hide him from someone who actually knew he was there.
Or someone with a bright, shiny lantern like the lantern that was being carried by the pair of brutes who’d just turned the corner.
7 Reasons to Split Your Paragraphs and Keep Readers Engaged
Minds wander. The prose can be near perfect, the dialogue witty, but life still happens. Reading to escape the world doesn’t mean the world stops. Keeping paragraphs short helps keep them tightly bound to your will and gives your readers bite sized chunks to better follow along and an anchor to their place on the page.
1. Don’t overcrowd your paragraph.
Two is a couple; three is a crowd. Too many characters in a paragraph is like too many people in a horse costume. Which direction do they get to look? Who is meant to be the focus?
A great way to combat this is to ensure 1 character is the focus and anyone else who comes up is assessed through their lens. This is particularly important if you’re in a 3rd person limited point of view–don’t mistakenly slip into someone else’s awareness.
2. Not everyone gets to talk.
You’ve worked hard. All your characters sound distinct and no one needs a catch phrase. Great! Don’t undermine your hard work by letting everyone talk at once.
Each character needs to have their own paragraph to put forth their own ideas. Let them be the unique snowflakes you created. If they must interrupt each other, give them their own paragraphs and use an em dash at the end of the first to throw the speaking stick over to the second.
We’ve launched the 7th Titan Patreon and you can get the first episode of Proper Thieves now!
We are thrilled to announce that the 7th Titan Patreon is live and Proper Thieves is available to read on your home (or out and about) electronic devices.
Devan and the crew perform their latest heist and the Collegium is no match. Character choices and turmoil abound.
(More importantly, we’re introduced to Meg’s favorite character ‘#real hero Instructor Winselle.’)
What’s Patreon and how does this all work? Check out the FAQ.
We’ve got some awesome extras lined up for Patreon members starting at the $1 a month pledge level. We know you’ll think so too.