(C) 2020, JJ ShaunThe Happy Harpy Where do you start when a story comes to mind? For me, it almost always begins with a character or two, sometimes with a place. My latest endeavor starts with a little of both. So, where did this idea come from, and how has it been germinating in my … Continue reading Story Creation, Part I
(C) 2020 JJ Shaun I’ve been binge-watching a YouTube stream called “Critical Roll” for the last several days. I wouldn’t say the channel is for everyone, but if you like storytelling, you might want to watch a few episodes. The story takes a party of adventurers (a group of voice actors) through the “Underdark,” an … Continue reading YouTube to Write
Why do you write? That’s a question I see on the boards a lot. I thought I’d take a minute to answer that question. I was never one to sit and write as a child. I was the reader. Often, my family would find me on propped up my bed, a book in my lap. … Continue reading Why Do I Write?
The Cinderella Trope I’ve been struggling to finish my novel. And I’m not exactly sure why. I have a solid plot, solid characters, and a real place in which to base the story. Part of the solution occurred to me as I laid down for a nap the other day. The whole concept started with … Continue reading The Trouble with Tropes
(C) 2019, JJ ShaunThe dreaded Writer's Block Monster. (I'm no artist, can you tell?) I realize this is a familiar topic, but I’ve been reading a lot about Writer’s Block in the forums I follow. So, how do *I* break through my writer’s block when it threatens to derail my progress? Keep reading for a … Continue reading Overcoming Writer’s Block
Sometimes it’s hard to home in on a story to tell. The Vignette Many times, what comes to my mind is a vignette rather than a story. A vignette is defined as “a short descriptive literary sketch” or a “brief incident or scene (as in a play or movie)”. If you have studied any languages, … Continue reading Finding Stories
Short fiction is an art form. As with any story, it must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. It must make sense and be complete. Most short stories fall in the 1,000- to 4,000-word range, although Writer’s Digest defines short stories as 1,500 to 30,000 words. Stories written using fewer than 1,000 words … Continue reading Writing Short Fiction
As writers, we spend an excessive amount of time coming up with names for our characters. Sometimes, for me at least, the character proudly announces who they are—name, history, the whole shebang. Some characters are a bit more stubborn and hoard that information like gold. My character Meegan Redoak has been with me for so … Continue reading What’s in a (Character) Name?
What sparks a story for you? A scene in a movie? The lyrics to a song? A person or event you saw on the street? A newspaper article? An old photograph? The inspiration for my novel began as a vivid dream that I had a whole lotta years ago. The idea sat dormant until recent … Continue reading Kickstarting Your Imagination
So, I spent the morning researching a creature for my D&D campaign, and during that research, I found a reference to a Germanic “house pet” of myth (think Dobby). I so wanted to ask my mom about her experiences growing up with the Northern German legend, but I can’t. My mom passed four and a … Continue reading Learning from Those Who Came Before