You never know when you’re going to come across an example of great storytelling.
Take this gem from A List Apart. It’s smart, funny, gives you characters, has a conflict to solve, and even teaches a lesson. The fun part? It tells stories within the story.
Most people respond to stories. They are terrific tools for teaching and venues to escape through. I just hadn’t expected to read a great story while doing research for content strategies. I’m glad it was there to find.
Now that I’ve read it, you can be sure I will look at the emails in my inbox a little differently from now on.
Once upon a time indeed.
Resolutions are great for some people, but I prefer specific attainable challenges over vague promises to do better. Knowing this, a friend of mine challenged me to render a piece of artwork, specifically to redo the cover for Sudarium this year.
You see, the cover for Stories from the Hut was done in one of my favorite graphic programs, and I actually designed it years ago in case I ever worked up the courage to promote my work in some manner. The covers for Maker and Sudarium, on the other hand, were created on the fly in a program never designed to do graphic work and it is a miracle I managed to coax anything resembling art work out of it. My friend thinks both covers give the impression the stories they represent are simple and somewhat childish, which isn’t the case.
So I am putting pencil to paper (mainly because I drew long before I could write or use a computer) and am having fun with the old school techniques. It’s actually been interesting to take these characters out of my mind and put them down for everyone to see. It has definitely been a challenge. After all, sharing my words with you gives you leave to see everything as you wish. Showing you what they really look like takes far more effort.
If the Sudarium cover comes out the way I want it to and represents the characters in the best light possible, I might do the same for the sequel due out later this spring. And finishing that sequel will be another challenge worth doing well. Wish me luck!
This is the time of year when I get one- or two-word prompts from friends for Halloween/spooky stories, most of which I have compiled in Stories from the Hut and given away. This year one of the prompts led to the small origin story of the moment Sara and Vishi started their friendship prior to Sudarium. I’m hoping to post the final edit of that short tale soon right here for anyone to read, or I might lump it in with another free book containing more short stories. We’ll see.
Speaking of giving stories away for free, I read an interesting post that discusses what kind of relationship writers and readers have now in this new electronic age, and why it should change. Since you might be interested, here is the article.
It’s January, and many people I know make resolutions to get in shape or organize their lives. Over the years I’ve noticed that if I am not specific I will lose my way on the path to changing for the better. This is probably because my goals were not clearly defined and because I let things take time from me. Now that I have made progress with improving physically, it’s time to take charge of the other things on my to-do list. Writing is definitely high on the list.
I’m sitting here with a fantasy novel that is not quite finished (about 2/3 done), a novella that is done but needs polishing/editing, and some short stories that need some help before I consider them good enough to share. This means I have some work to do in 2015. Because the novella is done and only needs editing, I believe that will be first on the list – especially as I have already created the cover art for it. Then I might tackle a few of the shorts so I can start compiling a second anthology. Come April, I hope to be in a position to take on the goal of finishing the fantasy novel this year. I recently stumbled on a website that looked like it might help me in this. I know this article definitely got me in the mood to set my ducks in a row so I can keep the momentum going.
So what goals do you have for the year and in what order will you take them on?
I wish I had something smart and funny to say, but if you have been reading this blog, you will by now be used to minimal posts. On to the news:
Two of the four betas give the anthology a thumbs up and one of the others had questions about only two of the short stories. At this rate, the anthology should be ready mid September. It will be a freebie on Smashwords and I will post a link when it is approved and published.
The next novel (an action-adventure fantasy) finally broke the 64k mark and is rapidly heading toward completion. I hope to finish it by November and get it in the hands of the betas by January 2015. With luck it will be published this time next year.
And after that? Well, I can either continue with the sequel for Maker or move on to something completely different. Who knows? Let’s see where the characters lead…