Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FOUR-WEEK ONLINE WRITING COURSE


I will accept only the first ten students who sign up (first come, first serve).


TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013 – 9:00PM EST
“Show, Don’t Just Tell.”

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013 – 9:00PM EST
“Flashbacks and Backstory.”

TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013 – 9:00PM EST
“Foreshadowing.”

TUESDAY, JUNE 4, 2013 – 9:00PM EST
“Prologues and Epilogues.”


COST FOR THE ENTIRE COURSE IS $120.00


Pay with credit card, debit card, or PayPal via the following link:


 

Thanks again!
Michael Knost
www.MichaelKnost.com



Go Back To MichaelKnost.com

Monday, April 22, 2013

HOW TO GET A THEMED ANTHOLOGY SUBMISSION ACCEPTED


I don’t understand why most writers don’t get it.

I’m not talking about the trolls who take offense to any words of critique…I’m talking about the writers who want to learn, want to improve, and work at their craft daily. To be honest, getting accepted in a themed anthology is fairly easy.

First of all, you have to be able to write. You have to have a good understanding of grammar, sentence structure, story structure, and the craft in general.

But all of that aside, you should be smarter than the other submitters. Let’s say the anthology’s theme is classic horror tropes…and the editor defines (for the anthology’s sake) classic horror tropes as stories involving vampires, werewolves, ghosts, mummies, etc. Then the writer needs to submit a story like no one else’s.

More than likely, the majority of submitters will write a vampire story. It’s the first thing that pops into their heads. Let’s say I get 500 submissions for the anthology. Let’s say 300 of them are vampire stories, 50 are werewolf stories, 50 are zombie stories, 25 are ghost stories, 25 are mummy stories, 25 are water type creatures, 20 are demon creatures, and 5 are OTHER type of creature stories.

First of all, your story is competing with 499 stories to make it in the anthology. Next if you write a vampire story…yours must be better than 299 others because the editor will choose only one blood sucker out of the bunch. That’s heavy competition! But if you choose to write a story involving a classic monster that no one else writes about, your chances of getting in the anthology is very good…maybe even a 95% better chance of making the cut! Again, that’s if your story is good, mind you.

Think about it, you could have a vampire story rejected that is actually better than an accepted story of a creature very few submitted about…because your competition was so much stiffer in the vampire category. So think about the anthology theme and find a story or an angle that no one else will mine and your chances of acceptance will be great.


Go Back To MichaelKnost.com

Friday, April 19, 2013

WHY SCIENCE FICTION IS SO IMPORTANT


I hated books.

I hated reading. I hated math. I hated English. I hated education. I hated everything about school. Except time on the playground…and obviously lunch.

Every new year of school I was amazed that my teachers promoted me to the next level—I always thought I would be held back at every level.

Things were no different when I entered the fifth grade. But after a few weeks, my teacher, Bill Marino, pulled me to the side, handed me a worn paperback, and said, “I’d like you to read this.”

“Come on,” I said, exaggerating ocular disdain. “I don’t want to do a book report or anything.”

Mister Marino shook his head. “You won’t need to turn in a book report. In fact, while reading the book you will be totally exempt of all homework—all you have to do is have a short conversation with me about the book.”

I tried to read his face. “Conversation?”

“Yeah, just tell me what you thought of the book.”

“And I won’t have to do any homework while I’m reading this?” I said, holding up the book.

“That’s right.”

That night I began reading the book with intentions of making the experience last as long as I could so I wouldn’t have to worry about homework for a few weeks. However, I quickly found that I couldn’t put the book down. My Theater of the Mind’s Eye was producing images and sounds I never knew existed. I found myself in a whole new world…and I loved it.

The next morning I brought the book back to Mister Marino and we talked about the story, the images, the sounds, the smells—It was as though I’d just returned from an exotic vacation.

He told me the book was mine to keep and placed a large box on his desk filled with classic science fiction paperbacks. “Better get started,” he said, sliding box toward me. “Same deal—as long as you are reading one of these, no homework.”

I devoured them all…Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, and dozens of others. I was hooked.

My thirst for education grew with each new book. I wanted to become a scientist, finding solutions for problems.

The name of that first book was Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. I always laugh about the irony in that title because it became my own childhood’s end.

There is no doubt in my mind I would have dropped out of school if not for reading science fiction.

Bill Marino passed away before my first book was published. I think of him often while writing or speaking to MFA programs. I have dedicated a few books to him, and he was in my thoughts the night I accepted the Bram Stoker Award in Brighton, England.

This is why I think implementing science fiction in the school system is a wonderful idea. Imagine the future scientists and mathematicians we could possibly cultivate. Can you imagine reaching a child who hates education? I can.

Well, a few political leaders in my state want to implement science fiction in our public school curriculum. And I plan to be an advocate:



Go Back To MichaelKnost.com

Boy Scouts


I was a heterosexual long before my first sexual experience.

My attraction to members of the opposite sex came from something deeply rooted in me since birth. I was wired to be heterosexual.

The same goes for homosexuals. They were wired to be gay or lesbian.

Whether or not a gay gene, a set of gay genes, or some other biological mechanism is ever found, one thing is clear: The environment a child grows up in has nothing to do with what makes most gay men gay. Two of the most convincing studies have proved conclusively that sexual orientation in men has a genetic cause.

Therefore, I want to stress that children, teenagers, and young adults who grow into gay or lesbian adults did not make this choice on their first sexual experience. They were homosexually wired from birth.

I say this because of the hoopla concerning the Boy Scouts and hearing people say that children shouldn’t be having sexual contact at that age to begin with. Again, having sexual experience does not make one gay or straight.

Allowing two individuals of the same sex attend a prom together is not giving them permission to indulge in sexual activity—no more so than you would by sending your daughter off to the prom with the football captain.

Whether heterosexual or homosexual, these are still boys—and they should be treated as such. These kids are not asking for extraneous privileges. They are not asking for a special patch to sew on their uniform…they are only asking for equality. 


Go Back To MichaelKnost.com

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Love

I want you to have a clear understating of what this is about.

Love.

Someone asked me a few days ago how my wife and I have been able to stay together after twenty years of marriage. To be honest, if I had to sum it up in one word, I would have to say: alcohol.

That was a joke, Mom. You know alcohol has never touched my innocent lips.

It's true, my wife and I have had a wonderful marriage. We've had our ups and downs just like everyone else. But we have had to work at it. It doesn't just work out on its own. We (both of us) have to make compromises in order to maintain the loving relationship we want.

If you want to know our secret, it's simple. Two things: Love and respect.

We respect each other enough that we never raise our voices in disagreement. We respect each other so much that we bite our tongues in order to not say things we have to apologize for later.

Reminds me of the old story of the farmer trying to teach his son how powerful words are, and what lasting effects they have on us. The boy was bad to call his brother names, and yell at him over things, always wanting to argue. The boy would later feel ashamed at what he'd said earlier and apologize to his brother.

One day the father took the hot headed son out to the wooden fence and handed him a claw hammer and a bag of nails.

"I want you to drive every nail in this bag into that fence post," the farmer said, gesturing toward a particular post.

The boy began driving the nails into the post until perspiration beaded his forehead. There must have been two hundred nails in that bag. When he finished, his father looked the post over and said, "Now I want you to remove every nail and put them back in the bag."

The boy did as his father told him, prying each stubborn nail from the wood. Finally when he was finished, his father said, "Now look at that post. It's riddled with holes, cracks, and torn all to pieces. Every time you say something negative to someone like your brother, it's the same as driving a nail into that post. Then when you later apologize, it's like removing the nail. Yes, you apologized, took back your stinging words, but look at the damage it does."

Now the other part is love.

It's easy to respect my wife as I do because she shows me the upmost of respect as well.

And the same is said of love.

Someone asked how do you know when you find the right one to share the rest of your life with. That's easy. When the needs or wants of your partner are more important to you than your very own needs or wants, you know. But, that's not where it ends. If your needs or wants are more important to your partner than his or her needs or wants...you have each found the right one.

It takes unconditional love to want your partner's needs and wants fulfilled even if it means you have to sacrifice your own...and vice versa.

Don't settle for less. You are worth finding that special someone...and your special someone is worth finding you, too.





Go Back To MichaelKnost.com

Saturday, April 6, 2013

PRE-ORDER WRITERS WORKSHOP OF SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY AND GET YOUR COPY AUTOGRAPHED/PERSONALIZED BY MICHAEL KNOST!

You can now pre-order Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy at my website! Anyone pre-ordering there will get their copy of the book AUTOGRAPHED and PERSONALIZED by yours truly. 



THIS IS A PRE-ORDER PURCHASE. THE BOOK WILL BE DELIVERED NO LATER THAN MAY 1, 2013. (I'm sure it will be much sooner than that, but I want to be safe!) THIS WILL BE A LIMITED OFFER. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED. Go to www.MichaelKnost.com and get clickin'! 

PLEASE HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD! SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE! THANK YOU ALL!

Go Back To MichaelKnost.com