Dystopian / Post Apocalyptic
Date Published: April 22, 2015

WWIV - The Shorts Book 1

Seven short stories from around the world - just before and just after the darkness arrives. From LA to North Korea, an eastern nuclear plant to the Black Hills of South Dakota, Madison, WI to Moscow, and The Netherlands to the White House (bonus chapter). 

Each story depicts the same event from different and particular points of view. Each group of people completely unprepared as the next. 

Whatever happened, happened. And the reality of the new world they each must exist within is sobering.

WWIV – Darkness Descends Short ExcerptLooking at her phone, she noticed the screen was blank. Dang it, she fumed to herself, he hung up on me. She turned to give Harry an earful when sparks shot from under the hood. Jennifer screamed as all the lights in the car went dead, and Harry guided the slowing vehicle towards the side of the road.
“What the hell just happened?” she screamed.
Harry looked forward, almost in shock; his curly blonde hair waving as his head shook. “I have no idea. I think my car just shorted out.”
Leaning towards him, she punched his arm. “What do you mean your car shorted out? How stupid is that? How stupid are you?”

Guest Post
Three Mistakes New Writers Make

I’ve written more than a million words in the two and a half years of being a dystopian writer. And in a lot of ways, I still consider myself a newbie in the field.

With that in mind, here are the top three mistakes that I believe all new writers (myself included) make when penning a manuscript.

1. We use too many adverbs

Actually, we new writers seem to be in love with adverbs (-ly words). Most of the time, they make sense at the time. Consider this:

"I just don't know anymore," Charlotte added shyly.

UGH! Let’s try that again.

Charlotte peeked at me, her brown eyes barely visible through her long lashes. "I just don't know anymore," she added, letting her eyes return to her quivering hands.

Aside from removing the adverb, the sentence has also become much more active. We let her actions tell us of her shyness, her uneasiness with the subject. Before, well it was just blah.

Steven King says kill all adverbs. If you search your manuscript for every one of these buggers and strike them away, you'll still have plenty left that you've missed. Adverbs, it seems, are perceived to be lazy writing.

2. We tell instead of show

I have a confession for you; at first, I had no idea what this phrase meant. If I wrote, Jim was mad, I believed that conveyed everything the reader needed to know. And, to be honest, if you don't have a problem hanging with the B and C level writers, it's fine.

The fledgling writer often misses the opportunity to use any of the five senses most, if not all, human beings possess. Let's revisit - Jim was mad.

Sight - His face reddened.

Sound - Maybe he snorted.

Smell - The scent of lily's dissipated as Jim's anger rose.

Touch - I reached for Jim's arm, and he jerked away.

Taste - I'd really have to reach to use this sense in describing Jim's mood. And chances are I would blow it, badly.

Not every situation can be told via all five senses, but the crafty writer includes them here and there to draw their readers into his or her story. When done well, the reader becomes part of the tale; as if they are standing amidst the characters, involved in their interaction.

3. We forget our own plot

I'm guilty of this myself. Sometimes I get all caught up in action and dialog and forget to advance the plot. After writing a paragraph ask yourself this:

How do the preceding words advance the plot?

At times, my best stuff gets chopped because it doesn't meet the plot test. Great dialog and interaction - gone because all I'd created was fluff. If you remove it (sentence, paragraph, even a whole chapter) and it doesn't change the story and won't be missed, you've created mere fluff.

Steven King says, "A proper second draft, is the first draft minus 10 percent."

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The first draft of anything is shit."

So there, even the masters realize that not everything one pens will make the final cut. Look for your plot holes. Be stringent in recognizing writing that adds little to the story. The story, after all, is everything. The fluff we create – sometimes just to add to the word count – needs to go.

Let me know your thoughts, if you would. And did I miss anything you might add?

e a lake

I write dystopian. It's dark, yet fun to play with.

WWIV – Darkness Descends is my first novella, and the third book in the WWIV series.

I am an author and my pen name is e a lake. The ‘e’ and the ‘a’ mean nothing. So please just call me lake.

Not everything in dystopian writing has to be dark and dreary. I try to create post-apocalyptic situations that will challenge the reader to really believe that the events in my novels could happen. 

The best part of my genre? Who needs antagonists when the landscape surrounding my protagonist is so bad. You just have to love this stuff.

My favorites are the usual list of suspects. Orwell, Bradbury, Stephen King, Vince Flynn, and James Patterson.

I'm not all that scary. Father to three, grandfather to three, and married for 30+ years (yes, to the same woman). Just a regular guy.

Be sure to check out my website: http://www.ealake.com

Contact Information

Website: www.ealake.com
Twitter: @ealake5
Any Others: G+ - google.com/+EALake

Purchase Link

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00WJCCZ14