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Stephen Conley

I have stories all over the place, published and unpublished. Writing is what I do best and it's what I'll continue to do. Many of my stories fall into the crime noir genre, a few of them can't really be categorized.

Story: Ruby Tuesday


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What is the best writing advice you've ever heard?
Technology might fail us, society may fall apart, and we could lose everything. But we will always need stories.
When you start a new story do you prepare an outline in advance or do you just jump right in?
I get an idea and it builds and forms in my head on its own, then I purge it when the time is right. I don't do outlines and I hate them.
How do you deal with writing criticism, apart from just ignoring it?
I take into account who is doing the critique and how qualified they are. Then i pick out the useful info from their critique. Keep an open mind and never take it personal.
America's Next Author has been running for almost 8 weeks. If you could re-submit now, would you change anything about your story?
I probably would have submitted a less violent story. That's about it, i like my story.


A L Motsy

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The story held my attention from beginning to end. Although I felt it might be a part of a much longer piece, it was well written. Prehaps left the reader needing more of an ending, but I enjoyed it overall. Good job.


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Great read, good crime tale. I'd read more of it if you had more. You'rre really good with words.


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Well-written story. The flow went decently until the very end and then boom! Characters were memorable and realistic, yet something out of the ordinary. The following must have been a typo: "Chris was skinny and weird, unpopular. His sister was skinny and pretty, popular. She always knew how to get her way." It should have been Chad? Anyway, the ending was nice and decent. Thank you for sharing.


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I like the style of your writing, this was an interesting story. It feels like it could have taken place in the 80s or even the 70s. It was an efficient story, there weren't a lot of useless details. And I agree with the person below, it's not formulaic at all when it easily could have been. These aren't your standard noir characters, there's a life to them. I would have liked more depth shown though, instead of just hinted at. This is a good piece as is but it would work even better as a character study as well. You have an interesting style, it just needs to be refined a little bit.


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I haven't read anything in this French existential style in a long time. It has a rather classic style versus content dilemma happening and the author fails both by trying to be stylistically clever rather than doing deeper explorations of character. The dialogue doesn't have a contemporary ring to it, but the time and place of the setting are never established so that probably doesn't matter. All in all, this is a good effort that has been copy-edited and isn't a formulaic genre piece, which is an absolute relief.


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I liked this story, it was unexpected and interesting. I'm not much of a reader but I followed this story really well. You did a pretty good job.


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Hmm no real gripes here. It's a seedy story about revenge and apathy and it's done well. I can't really compare it to anything I've read, the author is original I think. He conveys the scenes and settings well and is able to show us the characters, not through lengthy boring descriptions but through their dialogue. It's a mark of a great writer when one can see his characters given little description to do so.


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I found this story unpredictable, I liked it. A woman lets her own murderer in to the house. Oops! Spoiler alert! I found Ruby and Chad's dynamic the most interesting. I wanted to know more about them, not Ruby and Martin. Chad is almost a flat character but you give him just enough details to round him a little bit. They'd probably be good in their own story. Just a suggestion. Great story though.


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Thanks for read. Good story.


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I think Stephen should win, this is a really good story.

Dif The Difference

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Well done, sir. You've always been an adept writer and it shows here. It's part Tarantino, part Elmore Leonard. Do people still read him? Anyway, This was a good tale of revenge and apathy. Again, well done, sir.

Pat C

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I thoroughly enjoyed this story! You're a greatwriter, Stephen. You know how to write what people are thinking but aren't able to express, if that makes sense. You're very good with words as well. Thanks for your story!


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I'm an avid reader and I thought this was a really good read. The writing somehow keeps you going to the end, you're really good at leading the audience. The characters were all sympathetic, even the bad guy aka Ruby. I felt for her even though she was doing some pretty reprehensible stuff. I don't want to ruin it for other readers lol. I can't really think of any complaints here I guess...

Rosie Turner

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IT was a little bit grusome and violent but I liked the story. You did well in a small amount of time. I enjoyed reading it and I wish you the best in your writing!


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Tricky noir women, always up to no good. The story reads well, There's no syntax errors. I.e. your story doesn't "stutter". I too wanted more from the characters and their past. Was it a drug deal gone bad? This didn't lessen the tale though, I thought it was still an effective story. I don't think I would change much, it's publishable as is.

Melissa S

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Great story! Well written and engaging. I would read more of your work!


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I've read many of Stephen's stories but this one is one of the best. The characters are alive and a little bit scary. Well, Ruby is scary. I really liked this story. One thing though, Ruby's fingerprints would be on the gun too, wouldn't they? Also, When Ruby walks off to "go freshen up", it's kind of random and out of the blue and probably wouldn't happen IRL. Just saying, Stephen.


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I mostly only read fantasy so I didn't know if I would like this one lol. But it was suspensful and interesting. It was very realistic and gripping. I felt like the ending (after the gunshot) kind of just ended, I wanted more of an exciting ending instead of them just riding off into the sunset...

John Stemmon

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Story kept me interested right from the beginning. I didn't know where it was going. The charactersare well written and believable. Ruby was funny. As a coworker of Mr. Conley's, i wonder if i should be a little more concerned when he's around. This was kind of a mean story, you know?

Ben Wiebe

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I know my crime stories and this is a good one. The ending was unexpected. It left me want to know more about Ruby and Martin's past. What was in the case? Just money? I have lots of questions here that were left unanswered but maybe that was a good thing? I would have liked more from the brother too. It was a very clear and well-paced story, i wasn't lost for a second. Good job.


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As usual GREAT READ!


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Really well written.

Lisa R. Jones

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Interesting story. I would have liked a little more background to the characters, (having her think of the abortion or why did Martin have a briefcase full of money?) Also I could do without the profanity, but I enjoyed reading your work.


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I'm not a big reader. In fact I have probably only finished 4-5 books my entire life. It just doesn't interest me. But this... this was awesome. It gave me clear visualization in my mind about how the characters looks and acted and the scenes that were portrayed. You did a great job Stephen! Hope to maybe read some more from you in the future!

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December 18th, 2012
The winner of America's Next Author 2012 has been announced! [...]
December 7th, 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
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