Tag Archives: stories

Mad Lib Stories

Last week, I asked you to provide some words for a story. Well, with some help from my sister, it has been completed, and the video is up! Check it out:

So, here’s my question. Which one was the best? I have my favourite, and I even said so in the video. Let me know your favourite in the comments.

Also, should I do another one? What do you think?

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Authors Answer 88 – The Ultimate Question

Every author has a reason for writing. There may or may not be a goal. They may just want to write for fun, for a career, or because they can’t imagine doing anything else. This week’s question comes from neesrecordaolcom.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 88 – Why do you write?

Eric Wood

Why do we do what we do? I run because I love running – how it makes me feel, how it keeps me healthy, the time to myself. It’s no different with writing. I’m a creative individual which is also why I love teaching. Writing is my creative outlet. I love how I feel after I’ve written. It keeps me thinking. It keeps me looking at things differently because I try to think of how a certain event would look in words. Running is exercise for my body. Writing is exercise for my mind.

Elizabeth Rhodes

Creating makes me happy, and helps to keep my depression in check. With writing, I can create entire worlds populated by countless characters, and I’m limited by my own sense of scale.

Jean Davis

Some days I write to vent frustrations, others to escape to somewhere more interesting than the day to day world I live in. It’s quite therapeutic, even scenes that are frustrating to write.

D. T. Nova

Because I have stories to tell. I want people to know about and enjoy them.

But even if I gave up on publishing, it would do me good to write my stories anyway. Things that I’ve written with no intention of ever showing anyone have helped me work out how I feel about certain things.

Paul B. Spence

I’m a storyteller. I write because I love the genre and because I have characters that have stories that need to be told. I write to discover what will happen to them.

S. R. Carrillo

Because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t.

H. Anthe Davis

I write because there are innumerable people in my head demanding to have their stories told, now Now NOW!  They nag me all day long, and the only relief I get is when I’m writing.  I’ve had a teeming brain ever since I was a kid, and created a bunch of D&D-style game settings and participated in a ton of collaborative gaming, and all those characters and places I created during those years have gestated into elaborate stories that keep forcing me to the computer, day after day, to type them out.  It’s pretty much my life, and I like it, and I’m glad I finally broke the (self)publication barrier so that I can push on from the origin stories into undiscovered territory.  The fascination and stress of spinning all these decades of notes and dreams into a solid manuscript is what drives me on.

Gregory S. Close

I love to tell stories.  It’s really what I’ve wanted to do since I was about 7 years old, perhaps a little younger.  I don’t know that it’s a conscious thing, but I’m very unfulfilled in my life if I’m not writing.  This feeling got worse after I published my first book.  From that moment, I knew that I didn’t just want to be a writer, I needed to be.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

There are lots of little reasons (including unreasonably foolish dreams of fame and fortune), but the main reason is just because I love to write. I’ve been making up stories inside my head since I was about six years old, and I would repeat the scenes and dialogues in my head night after night after night, until eventually a school project made me realize that I could be writing them down. I’ve been hooked ever since, and even if the scenes in question are completely tripe that I know no one will ever want to (or be allowed to) read, there’s still something very enjoyable and cathartic about just sitting down and penning out those ideas.

Jay Dee Archer

I write because I have a story to tell. Actually, many stories to tell. I also do it for myself. I want to explore the worlds I have created. I don’t know everything about them, but I want to get into them and learn about them and the people that inhabit them. I want to know what it’s like to live there. If I can do that and provide enjoyment for readers, then that’s all I want.

How about you?

If you write, why do you write? And if you don’t, but enjoy reading, why do you read? Let us know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 71 – Standalone or Series?

Stories come in all sizes, but the biggest debate is over using a single novel to finish a story or a whole series of novels. Reading and writing are very different things, so while one person may like reading a series, they may prefer writing a standalone. Or vice versa. It also depends on genre. What do we think?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 71 – As an author, which do you prefer writing, standalone stories or series?

Paul B. Spence

I prefer writing series. That said, there is nothing wrong with standalone stories.

Gregory S. Close

I love exploring the intricacies of a world and its history, cultures, and characters.  A series really allows the time to develop these things fully, so I enjoy writing in that context.

Allen Tiffany

Series, in the spirit of long. I’m close to inept at short stories. I think this is both cause and effect. I don’t enjoy short stories; I don’t feel like they give me enough to get emotionally engaged. I feel the same about writing them.

Linda G. Hill

I prefer writing standalone, but some books beg to be continued. And there’s nothing I can do to control that.

D. T. Nova

Series. I can get attached to characters I create and want to do more with them.

I also very much like the idea of stories that can stand on their own but are connected to one another. If the same concept works equally well as either standalone or connected to another story, I’ll go with the more connected option.

Jean Davis

I’m going to sit on the fence and go with both. Most of what I write is standalone. I enjoy that for the fact that I can get lost in it and then it’s done and I can move on to something new. However I do have one series that I also enjoy working on because I get to play in the same universe with the same characters that I’ve come to know very well.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Being that my first novel was a standalone and I’m currently in the process of writing a series, I think I can pretty confidently say that I prefer standalone stories. There’s definitely a chance that I might change my mind in the future, but somehow I really, seriously doubt it. My big problem with the series setup is trying to write the first few chapters of each consecutive book. You spend an entire book building up the story, the world, the characters, and then when you move on to the next book it’s a bit like starting from scratch with no idea what your readers already know. You have to write those first chapters knowing that your readers should already have the gist of what’s going on and don’t want you to spoon-feed a bunch of introduction nonsense to them, but you also have to intricately weave in the most important information just in case time has caused your readers to forget anything integral. It’s a terribly frustrating part of the process, at least in my opinion. I’d much rather have a defined beginning and end, and just have to worry about squeezing all the important stuff in between.

Eric Wood

I know I prefer to read series. When I finish a good book, I’m a bit sad that I won’t get to read about those characters any more. However, in a series, I know there’s another book and their story will continue. Some books get me so attached to the characters I don’t want their story to end. Harry, Katniss, every character George R. R. Martin has brought to life and killed. So I would guess I would also prefer to write a series as well. It would give me more time to develop characters, give them added adventure, and a more complex conflict. However, I often find myself writing more towards children – picture book style stories. There are a few series in picture books (i.e. Knuffle Bunny) but I’ve never explored writing and series for children.

H. Anthe Davis

Seeing as I’m currently hip-deep in a six-book series, with a list of thirty other possible books in the extended world…I have to say I prefer series!  Though I do intend to have some of those thirty-odd related books be standalones within the world, just still be a part of the overall chronology.  I seem to have way too many ideas to restrict myself to one book at a time, unless that one book is just following one character (which is also difficult for me).

Elizabeth Rhodes

I can’t decide. Both have their merits. Standalone stories call for less planning than a series, and in that sense are simpler (not that a good story can be simple to create!) but worldbuilding for a series is so much fun. Jasper’s universe has at least a trilogy in it, and I have a fantasy series planned for the future, but the book I’m working on now is a standalone.

S. R. Carrillo

I like each for what they offer – series, for the potential to really craft and expound upon a whole new universe and dig into character and plot arcs; standalones, for their simplistic nature boiling down to the “nitty gritty” of a story, so to speak – and, even though I have based my career around my longest and only series, I would have to say I prefer standalones.

They pack a little more punch to me because it essentially forces the focus of the story to shine right from the start. I think, often, series are taken for granted by writers and readers.

Jay Dee Archer

Can I say hybrid? I love series. I love reading series. I’m writing series, too. My first series is actually just two books, but part of a larger universe, or in this case, world. I’ll follow that up with a trilogy. There will be future series on that world, but there may also be standalone stories that fit within that world. That’s why I say hybrid. But really, my simple answer would be series. I love to get into the world, get to know the characters, and often characters from different time periods. I like history, so I want to develop the world’s full history.

I have three other series in development, as well. Not one of the books is a standalone. I’ll probably do one in the future, though.

How about you?

As a writer and a reader, which do you prefer, standalone stories or series? Let us know in the comments below.

Outlining Your Story – Paper vs Computer

Outlining is an important part of the writing process. You can clearly get an idea about how your story will go, and you can always fill in the blanks and expand. There are many methods to outline, and everyone has their preference. But the most basic question could be about which media you use.

Some people like to use their computers to outline. It’s versatile, there are many applications available to use, and you can even diagram the outline. Others like to use paper. It’s easy to jot things down, easy to access, and you can work on it anywhere you are. Which do you prefer? Paper or computer? If you use computer, which applications do you use?

I tend to use paper. I keep a notebook and write all my notes in it. I’ve outlined an entire book with one, though it’s not highly detailed. I outline what happens in general first, then expand it and sort it into chapters. After that, I do a chapter-by-chapter outline. It’s one of the more basic outlining styles where you keep expanding what you have.  But I think the reason I use a notebook is because it’s far more portable than my computer. I’ve done a lot of outlining at work during my lunch break.

How about you? Let me know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 62 – Our Favourite Created Characters

Isn’t choosing your favourite character out of all the characters you’ve created like saying which of your children you like the best? Is it unfair? Well, we’re not talking about that, but we are going to talk about who we think is our favourite. This question comes from Authors Answer contributor Eric Wood.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 62 – Who is your favorite character that you created (either for a book/story or just because)?

Linda G. Hill

That’s a tough one. I love most of my characters – it’s hard not to when I know them so intimately and understand what they’ve been through. Even the bad ones! I’d have to say one of my favourite characters is Drommen, a chronic public masturbator from my “Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right” series on my fiction blog. After a year, it turned out he wasn’t such a bad guy after all. 🙂 You can find Drommen here, if you’re interested.

Allen Tiffany

Kira and IrSaa are my two favorites from my upcoming Military Sci Fi series (End War , see more at http://www.allentiffany.com/end-war-scifi-novel-excerpts/ ). They are the MCs, and over the whole of the series will get equal stage time.

Much of the early story is about Kira when she is between 18 and 20 years old as she goes through some very hard times leading what is left of her lost colony through a an alien siege. Later, she is isolated away from her home, family and friends in the second and third novels. Pressed into military service by first one faction and then manipulated into helping the other faction after they rescue her, Kira is smart, but adrift and in a foreign land. At times she is unable to tell friend from foe.

We initially see IrSaa when she is between 32 and 34. IrSaa is a brilliant, relentless Special Forces officer that is as smart and sophisticated as she is calculating and brutal. She is self confident to a fault, and like Kira, IrSaa has a unique talent that makes her a powerful warrior. Unlike Kira, she is mature and self-directed with a clear understanding of her role. But what she really wants in life only crystallizes later.

When circumstances bring them together in the midst of a galactic war between the two factions of humanity that have abandoned a dead Earth, all kinds of things are going to happen. Sisters in arms? Best friends? Lovers? Mother and daughter? Teacher and student? Sworn enemies? …It’s complicated… It’s big, it’s violent, it covers a lot of ground and years, but at its heart the series is about these two women and their relationship and how it changes over time. Hopefully it is going to be believable and compelling.

So, yes, these are my two fav characters. Both are complex, admirable and flawed. Sometimes they have a common purpose and sometimes not, and both are in a game neither fully understands and over which they have less control than they think.

It is hard to provide a lot more detail here in any way that makes sense, but here is the logline for the 500,000-word epic: End War: Two women. Two warriors. One Destiny. Loyalty and Betrayal. The wreckage of humanity will litter their passage.

D. T. Nova

Probably Hiiro from my upcoming novel. I keep wanting to do more with him and being more satisfied with the way scenes focused on him turn out.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

My favorite character is the one I’ve never actually put to paper. Let me explain… When I was young – say, maybe 6 or 7 – I used to be a bit of a devil at bed time. I often had a hard time falling asleep, so I’d crawl out of bed and start playing with my toys instead, which of course would eventually result in my parents coming in and ordering me back under the sheets. One night I whined to my father that I couldn’t fall asleep, and he told me to just close my eyes and think about everything that had happened throughout the day; he told me to play it through my head like a movie, and eventually I’d fall asleep. At the time I misunderstood what he was trying to tell me to do, so instead I closed my eyes and began to tell a story in my mind. I imagined myself as some kind of hero, off on wild adventures. Eventually, I did fall asleep. And the next night I did the same thing, and the next night, and the night after that. I’d come up with cooler and wilder stories every night, or sometimes if it was a really good adventure I’d repeat it the following night. It actually got to the point that sometimes I would wake up in the morning and already be anticipating bed time so I could go on another adventure.

Eventually I began writing, but the writing never really followed the nighttime adventures, and those adventures never stopped. Even today I still have this little ritual (except on the nights that I’m so tired I just pass out), and the character is still the same: an idealized version of myself who is prettier, stronger, cleverer, faster, cooler. I imagine her as this perfect character who can do anything, and I don’t think I’ll ever really let go of her, but I’ll also never write about her because wish fulfillment doesn’t make for good literature. ^_~

Paul B. Spence

Er… What to say without jealousy setting in? Well, Hrothgar Tebrey is my primary character, so… I have to say that I’m really fond of Daeren Drake.

H. Anthe Davis

My consistently favorite character is probably the one that serves as my icon here on WordPress, Shaidaxi.  I’ve played/written him since I was maybe thirteen, making him an easy skin to slip into when it comes to the series; also, he’s a snarky and erratic individual, so his dialogue is always entertaining to write.  However, I’ve found that other characters occasionally eclipse him when I get a chance to focus on them, so I often have a temporary favorite that I dedicate a lot of side-story to.  My current temp fave is Linciard, who I’m trying to un-mire from the plot swamp he’s been stuck in.

Eric Wood

My favorite character I created is a little boy named Timothy. As a five year old, he has a wild imagination and a grand adventure through a grocery store looking for his Mom and stuffed bunny. He’s kind, sweet, and thoughtful. Everything I wish my own kids were (more often).

Elizabeth Rhodes

My favorite character doesn’t have a story of her own yet.  A dream I had years back inspired her creation, and I’m trying to figure out what to do with her.  She’ll likely be the protagonist in that first draft I’d mentioned in the last Authors Answer.  But her name is Leila, she was abducted by some outside force in her teenage years, and came back with abilities that could either make her a hero to her home planet or the subject of a Salem-style witch hunt.

Jean Davis

Hmm. There are so many favorites. I have to say all my main characters are favorites or I wouldn’t want to spend so much time in their heads. If I have to pick just one, I’ll go with Vayen, who hails from my space opera series because we’ve been together the longest and through multiple books. When I’m writing him, I have to make an effort not to channel him throughout my daily life because tends to be confrontational, especially in relationships.

Gregory S. Close

I have a few favorite characters, and I love them like I love my kids, each with his/her own qualities, but not necessarily one better than the other.  Developing favorites can make things hard if and when the character has to die, or otherwise suffers miserably.  I don’t want to end up making excuses to preserve my favorites.

That said, one of my all-time favorite characters to write is Osrith, the world-weary mercenary and knight errant from In Siege of Daylight.  He’s got a very simple moral compass, some might say a little too simple, as the needle points directly between Self Preservation and Preservation of Friend/Loved One.  Nothing much in the way of religion, national pride, virtue or chivalry intrudes on that.  Therefore his approach to some classic epic fantasy conventions can be unconventional, and that’s always fun to play with.

S. R. Carrillo

This one is hard! Seriously, in just one series, I have created so many characters that each have soft, squishy places in my heart, but… I think my OVERALL favorite woule have to be my original OC and one of the main characters of my debut novel, The Soul – and that would be Sol Bell. He is complex yet simple, soft yet fearsome, strange yet adorable. Only he could get an outcasted angel to fall in love with him. ;]

Jay Dee Archer

This is not an easy question to answer, considering I haven’t discovered the full personalities of all of my characters yet. However, I’d have to say that my current favourite is a character I have developed pretty well, but haven’t written much for. She’s the main character of my first novel. On April 23 last year, I introduced her in the A to Z Challenge. For the letter T, I wrote the story The Teacher, and Solona Knight became known to the world. If you read the story (please go there and read it now. It’ll only take a minute), you will have noticed she has a kind of power that could be said to be magic. It’s a science fiction story, though. What I like about her is how she’s handled the power she has, though her situation is not unique. She’s the first, though. She’s put into a position of responsibility at a young age, which I have yet to write about. You will see that in the my first novel.

How about you?

Have you created a character that you love? One that you would consider your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.