Suggestions From an Editor - How to Format Your Short Story Manuscript

After having worked with a publishing company and sorted through hundreds of submissions, I must be honest: it truly is very difficult to deal with poorly-formatted manuscripts. And I'm not even talking about when someone hasn't taken the time to use their document program's spellcheck. This is just in opening up a document and seeing uneven paragraph indents, weird font sizes, nontraditional fonts, and single-spacing that makes my eyes strain.

It's also quite possible that you also have no idea what I'm talking about in the above paragraph. You might be wondering what a paragraph indent even is. And that's okay!

That's why I'm writing this post. I am going to show you how to format your short story manuscript and how to save a template for your short stories so you won't have to format over and over again. I want to help you make your work as presentable as possible because sometimes the visual of your work can make or break your acceptance. When …

Andrea's Unsolicited Review: SLENDER MAN

I'm actually a fan of the Slender Man myth. When I first saw the original pictures, I was like what in the world is this? I thought the first picture of the kids on the path was real. I thought the guy in the back might be a teacher playing some kind of trick...

Of course, when I read more and learned that Slender Man is a myth created in the Creepypasta universe, I had to smile. I like the idea and the stories that came from it. I didn't watch/read all of the stuff about it, but it was fun to peek in here and there and learn more and look at all of the cool and creepy drawings.

As is the way of the Internet and the film industry, a movie has been made to ramp up the chills and thrills. I went to see it tonight, so here's my take on the film.

First, the target audience for this film was out in force this evening... and quite frankly, they acted just as dumb as the teenagers in the film. They would not shut up, and when things got scary, they got louder and louder and were…

Andrea's Unsolicited Review: THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

More like the The Most Mediocre Showman.

I'm sorry, my darling Hugh. But it's just the truth.

First of all, I must say that I love musicals. Love them. I love singing along, I love the feeling of being grabbed hold by strong lyrics, a huge dance sequence and a beautiful love scene. I am not big on romance films, but pair it with music and I truly fall for it.

As for The Greatest Showman, fifty-four minutes in and I was completely unimpressed and started on this review. This film suffers from a bad script and even worse songwriting. The story bounces around and makes no sense, and the pacing drags the story along like a sack of manure through mud. I don't think the writers knew how to create emotion and interest in their characters. The songs are boring and way too wordy except for "This is Me", but even that song doesn't fit the film because of the lack of building up the freaks as their own characters.

I love Hugh Jackman. He is my favorite actor. And that v…

Andrea's Unsolicited Review: RAMPAGE

Well, you are all going to hate me on this one. And I won't lie... I've had a couple of glasses of wine tonight, so this could be part of it.


I actually enjoyed this movie.  So let's talk about it, shall we?

Look, folks, this isn't supposed to be a serious movie.  It's based off of a video game, and a very simplistic one at that. All you had to do was pick a monster and start smashing buildings and avoid getting killed by the Army guys. I used to play it myself, and of course I always picked Ralph (the wolf).

The game has been through its own upgrades, and it's a classic to some of us who spent hours playing in the arcade that had an indoor mini golf course and ball pit and tickets to win with cheap prizes behind the counter that were oh-so coveted. This isn't some great feat of video game engineering; it's just for fun.
So the film is made in that same vein. It has a plot similar to what the monsters in the game are: genetic mutations t…

The Author's Own Words - Kristopher Triana - FULL BRUTAL


Okay, let me back up...

So  I got to meet Kristopher Triana at our local Phoenix Comic Fest. Yes, I fangirled. I freely admit it. Kris truly is my favorite indie author. Even when I don't really like a story, I still love his prose and his ability to make me feel what the character feels. This is an author with a natural talent to create just about anything he wants and keep us coming back for more.

I'm also a part of The Splatter Club, which is a group that caters to authors, editors, publishers, and readers of the horror genre, most notably extreme horror. Every other month, the admin picks a book for the Book of the Month. Members get to discuss the book, and there are giveaways, interviews, lots of fun stuff going on. The club itself is building up resources for writers, readers, and anyone who enjoys the genre. There are submission calls specific to the club, beta reader help, internship opportunitie…

Andrea's Unsolicited Review: JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

As a child, I never played with dolls. I played with dinosaurs. I have always been fascinated by these strange beasts from so long ago. I tend to devour information about dinosaurs to this day, enjoying learning about new specimens and new hypotheses about these ancient creatures.jurassic

So when my dad handed me a book titled Jurassic Park (1990) by a guy named Michael Crichton, I gobbled that book right up.

One week after I read it, my dad came into the kitchen with the newspaper in his hand (this was the '90s, folks--the Internet was not our main form of the news). He said that a movie was going to be made from the book, and it would be by no other than Steven Spielberg.

So in the summer of 1993, when that brachiosaurus walked onto the screen, I cried. Honest to Cthulhu. I couldn't believe it. My childhood dream had come true: dinosaurs were real.

And since then, we've been blessed with three more films... Okay, more like cursed with The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)…

Andrea's Unsolicited Review: HEREDITARY

It's probably about time that I put my Facebook reviews on my blog. Seems like a bit of a waste to not do so. I mean, I have a whole blog and everything!

But let's get serious. Most horror gurus enjoy all forms of horror stories, from books to film. The horror genre in film has certainly had its ups and downs, but I find that the films that last are the ones that contain the most important element: a good story. Time and time again, I am drawn to story over gore, story over gross out, story over jump scares. The other pieces can just add to it.

(But don't get me wrong...I like a good hack-n-slash film as well. I'll talk about some of those in the future.)

So, without further ado, I will present the first of Andrea's Unsolicited Reviews directly on my blog.

HEREDITARY 2018 Written by Ari Aster Starring Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne, and Alex Wolff Directed by Ari Aster
I just saw this film tonight. I came out of it truly shocked, stunned and overwhelmed…