The F.A.R.T. System

I forget where I saw this. But you might want to copy down the F.A.R.T. System for dealing with social media gaffes in case you need it someday. I know  I will!

F-Feel the emotion that comes as a result of the setback. Indulge yourself in feeling that emotion for no more than a half hour so you do not become engulfed in it. Whether it’s a missed opportunity, a wardrobe malfunction, shit happens. (So do farts.) You’re not alone.

A-Assess the damages. Once you’ve processed your feelings, it’s easier to see what should happen next. Does the situation need to be addressed publicly? Should it be ignored, or perhaps addressed quickly and quietly with a “Pardon me”? Assess the damages to strategize the best response.

R– Respond: Sometimes it’s important to post the correction on social media. “I apologize that some of you didn’t get a signed copy of my book at the launch party. If you private message me, I’ll get you one as soon as possible.”

T– Tell a fellow writer or two about your mishap. Or write about it. Whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunity to pick out the lessons learned or to have a laugh at yourself or the situation.

Irons in the fire

My new books I am working on:

  • Wolves Masquerade (non-fic)
  • Writing the Entertaining Story (non-fic)

Recent editing-for-others projects:

  • Humor book on the subject of writer’s block
  • A flash-fiction horror story
  • And, of course, A&A slush

By the way, I have 14 stories and poems out on submission.

Back-burnered projects:

  • The MIME series (SF, will finish book 2 after the two non-fics above are done))
  • Three new short stories.

As Julie Czerneda always says, #Love my life.

Snippet from Writing the Entertaining Story

Hooks and Holding on

How do you go about creating such a trance state in your readers?

First, you have to reel them in.

In this age of instant gratification, on-demand entertainment, and lightning web searches you have very little time to catch a reader’s attention. When a reader (or an editor) sees your story, you have perhaps eight seconds to snare them when they read those first sentences.

The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the effects of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain.

Researchers in Canada surveyed 2,000 participants and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms (EEGs). Microsoft found that since the year 2000 (or about when the mobile revolution began) the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds. Heavy multi-screeners find it difficult to filter out irrelevant stimuli — they’re more easily distracted by multiple streams of media,” the report read. – “You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish,” TIME,  May 14, 2015

If you’re lucky, potential readers will give you up until the end of the first paragraph, tops. If you’re really lucky, they might read the first three paragraphs. If your short fiction has not engaged them by then, most readers will probably move on to something they find more interesting.