Eliam Alterian peered into the cave’s mouth, his flashlight beam catching a glint in the darkness. “Check this out, Ela,” he called over his shoulder as his twin hauled herself up onto the rock shelf. Avid rock climbers and spelunkers, Eliam and Elayna loved testing their skill in the Rocky Mountains near the family compound … Continue reading Adventures of the Alterian Family: Prologue
When I read a mystery novel, I expect to find some aspects during the story. A valuable item will go missing, some puzzle must be solved, or a body will turn up. The same holds true when I read a drama, romance, or fantasy novel. Each form has its own structure, and readers of those … Continue reading DIY MFA: What Makes a Plot?
(C) 2020, JJ Shaun As writers, we all want to write the next Great American Novel. But why? What made you realize that you wanted to be a writer? I can only answer for myself. I’m a life-long reader, even though I haven’t been as much of a reader lately as in the past. When … Continue reading Why Do You Write?
What is a plot? According to Brandon Sanderson, the plot is a promise made at the beginning, progress toward fulfilling that promise, and a payoff at the end. What does that all mean? In the first few sentences, paragraphs, and pages, you make a promise to your reader. That promise includes the tone. Is it … Continue reading DIY MFA: Learning to Plot
If you’ve been reading these pages, you know I’ve been watching the videos to Brandon Sanderson’s BYU course on writing science fiction and fantasy. As I listen, I’ve been brainstorming on what I call my New Concept and decided to make changes to my stories to fit with what I’m learning. If you’ve poked around … Continue reading Finding the Story
I’ve spent this week watching YouTube videos on writing and learning a lot. I decided to start with Brandon Sanderson’s BYU lectures on writing science fiction and fantasy. The nice thing about YouTube is that I can pause the video and back up to make sure that I heard a concept correctly. Because of this, … Continue reading Learning As I Go
My day begins something like this: I get up mid-morning and make my coffee. As I sip breakfast, I peruse social media and find out what’s going on in the world. Sometimes I find an article that tickles my brain. I let ideas percolate, then write on whatever subject comes to mind and let it … Continue reading The Value of Play
I’ve spent the last few days reviewing the stories I plan to use in my collection. I took down the works as posted and am in the process of reworking them to fit the new narrative. While I have a long way to go, I can see a possible direction this compilation could take. I’ve … Continue reading When Art Imitates Life
It’s been a wild couple of weeks. With all that’s happening in the “real world,” I’ve had a difficult time concentrating on the characters tiptoeing through my imagination. But as things calmed down to a dull roar last week, I watched a scene unfold with the twins as they discovered a hidden cavern. In this … Continue reading Using Life to Create Fiction
(C) 2020, JJ Shaun Sometimes when I write, I get lost in the story my characters are telling, much like when I read a good book. Other times, it’s like forcing every word through clenched teeth. Recent events have my head spinning. I’m sure I’m not the only writer whose mind is reeling with the … Continue reading Imagine A New (Hi)Story