Category: Write Monday

7 story start tips : Write Monday

What type of story do you want to tell?

I can think of dozens of types of stories, mythical, cultural folktales, fairytales, cautionary fables, historical or generational stories. Yet most stories will boil down to what the story leaves the audience or readers feeling. Happy or sad? I can think of happy endings in war stories, family sagas or generational stories. Romance and fantasy could end either way, even if contemporary fiction genres tend to lean romance to happy endings. But truly if you live through the loss of your first BIG love, you know romance does not promise happy endings. So you the story-teller or writer must make this first and huge choice, happy or sad.  

A sad or happy story?

Well, of course, there is the option of leaving the ending open to interpretation. You could leave your characters hanging, waiting for a phone call, not dying after being shot or wishing he had killed the guy, and wondering if he did? Yet the bulk of stories are looked at as happy or sad. Do you like to watch happy TV shows and movies? Do you enjoy sad endings? Some people do.

Alex Hair Flip

How to add emotion to a story

  1. Start with an undo character, fighting for someone else’s safety
  2. Hurt your main character either physically or emotionally early in your story
  3. Begin your story with a loss for the character, family or village, etc.
  4. Have your main character suffer a social rejection at school, within a town or by a good friend
  5. Show your main character fighting for emotional or physical control (We love grace under pressure.)
  6. Create challenging “bad” weather” that stops your character just as he or she starts wanting to achieve, learn, etc.
  7. Set up a worthy opponent or “bad” guy or girl early in your story 

For more ideas on helping your live audience or readers feel emotions from your story

visit “How to Add Emotion to a Story” at WikiHow.

See WikiHow post below on “Adding Emotion a novel your are writing.”

We love our readers.

Do you love rainy nights? Do you love telling stories that turn your audience’s expectations up-side-down? Do you love include weather references that set up one idea, such as a dark and stormy night and turn it into the best night your main character ever had?

Think of your story as a slice of an ongoing story.

Things have happened before we start listening or reading.

Know that things will happen after listeners or readers finish with your story.

Please share if you enjoyed our

“Write Monday” Dog Leader Mysteries blog post.

Readers, please suggest stressors for my list.

Move Over Miss Marple: Write Monday

IMG_4483Source: Move Over Miss Marple

Susan Holmes: Write Monday

In praise of dog mystery books with female protagonists, please met author, Susan Holmes. We connected on WordPress.com and follow each other’s blogs. That seems to be the strength and high point of blogging on this platform of WordPress, connecting with other writers and readers. After all every writer at sometime and for inspiration reads with a passion. So I invite you to read Holmes’ blog and books.

As a taste of her fiction, Susan Holmes offers seven links to her first book in her series A Waterside Kennel Mystery. If you have an appetite for mystery go and sample a link or two or five at Dog Mysteries Book 1.

Susan Holmes: a great storyteller

About author Susan Holmes

“Her third book, Deadly Ties is the first in the Waterside Kennels mystery series. The series is set in northwest Arkansas using both real and fictional settings. In pursuit of authentic material for the series, she joined Search and Rescue exercises, ventured deep into caves, and followed the trail of Ozark legends. Years working as a publicist for professional artists provided the background for the art elements of the story. Technical details came from experts in the fields of bioarcheology, forensic anthropology, and even fire sciences. She worked closely with dog trainers, kennel owners, and veterinarians to create an environment that dog lovers are sure to recognize and appreciate.” About Dog Mysteries Web Page

Quoting her book reviews

“A suspenseful page-turner: If you are looking for an engrossing whodunit with keep-you-guessing plot twists, strong characterization, and a fascinating Ozarks setting, I highly recommend reading this book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Keep them coming, Dr. Susan Holmes”! –Rackerman October 17, 2013

“This book is a must read! A suspenseful story, charming characters and attention to detail made me feel like I was in the Ozarks. If you want a book that will keep you guessing, this is the one for you. I cannot wait until the next book in the series!” –Jennifer J. Ryan October 27, 2013

“A Compelling Mystery: Brava, Susan Holmes! I loved Deadly Ties. I loved that it takes place literally in my own back yard. The story kept my attention throughout. The writing is great, the detail believable and the plot twists truly surprising. I’m looking forward to seeing the series continue. I can’t wait to find out what my neighbors are up to next.” –Judith Tavano November 24, 2013

“First rate!: I couldn’t put this book down! Enough plot twists to keep you guessing with dash of romance, and of course dogs!” –Sueg628 January 16, 2014

“Woof Woof Wonderful: Great setting, lively, interesting characters and the suspense keeps building to red-herring twist at the end. Had to stay up all night on a work night reading this one and want to read MORE. SOON.” –Black Belt Granny March 25, 2014

“Perfectly captures the culture and beauty of my home state, presenting an intriguing, masterful mystery along the way… a thrilling read!” – Jack R. Cotner, author of Mystery Of The Death Hearth and Storytellin’: True And Fictional Short Stories Of Arkansas

This latest book is not only the first novel of a new mystery series, it’s a first class piece of storytelling. Excellently paced and plotted, it’s filled with characters who, like real people, can give you a sudden jolt by revealing an unsuspected side. The Ozark mountain setting is vivid both as a realistic background and a place haunted by legends. Holmes creates a compelling puzzle in which old wrongs and rumors reach out from a past that is anything but dead—but nonetheless deadly indeed.” – Bethany Campbell, nationally bestselling author of Whose Little Girl Are You? and See How They Run

“This course will explore the role of female sleuths in American and British mystery fiction. The first session will introduce types of female characters—both amateur and professional—in crime solving fictional roles. We’ll explore the differences in character roles and responsibilities within the context of the genre.”

Deborah + Great Morgani
Deborah + Great Morgani

Unless otherwise specified, all content on this site is copyright protected. All creative works copyright © Susan Holmes, 2013-2015. All reblogged content remains protected by original blogger’s copyright.

All You Zombies by Robert Heinlein

A story stranger than fiction

“I’m going to tell you the strangest story you ever heard.”

Thus opens a famous fantasy story by Robert A. Heinlein. How could I not read the original story after watching the movie version entitled, Predestination?

As we watched the first fifteen minutes of Predestination (streaming on Netflix), my friend related, “Oh, I read this story as a teen. I think this is the same story. Back then, I thought it was the best short story I had ever read. I think this is it.” After watching for another ten minutes, he paused the movie to explain that the story and characters came from Robert A. Heinlein.

A short fantasy fiction entitled, “All You Zombies.”

Available on Amazon
What is predestination?
"Learner's definition of PREDESTINATION: the belief that everything that will happen has already been decided by God or fate and cannot be changed" Merriam Webster, anEnglish Language Learners Dictionary

pre·des·ti·na·tion prēˌdestəˈnāSH(ə)n/ Google
noun (as a doctrine in Christian theology) the divine foreordaining of all that will happen, especially with regard to the salvation of some and not others. It has been particularly associated with the teachings of St. Augustine of Hippo and of Calvin.”

The subject of predestination, as an article of Christian faith, ruled my life. As a bookish child, I read often. Looking back, my study of the Bible had been colored by the church I attended. I began attending Sunday morning services with my beloved grandmother, Alice. I remained in that church from eight years old until the age of fifteen. As a solemn introvert and serious thinker, I attended Wednesday night Bible study along with friends. As preteens go, we lived in our heads and looked like nerds. In mid-week Bible study, we discussed the idea of predestination. We grappled with why an all-powerful God allowed free will, why that same one God let innocent babies and young children suffer and why God gave humankind the choice to commit violence, war and torture.

Fast forward a year or two, the church that baptized me, split in two! Feeling shocked, hurt and confused, the Bible study group  ask me to choose between them and the mother church. By this time, the Bible study group believed that humanity did not have free will, that God predestined individuals for salvation or damnation. Could I stay where I began my study and belief in Christianity?

Did I believe in predestination?

In hindsight, I chose the wrong church. The new one held the belief that God creates all human beings and either predestines them for salvation or damnation. This idea of God seems twisted and cruel. Why would God send the bulk of all mankind into sin and suffer an eternity in hell? That’s not what I believe now. But the idea that humanity lives without free choice, comes as a premise in the bizarre and fascinating story, All You Zombies.

Robert A. Heinlein at his desk reading
Robert A. Heinlein
Living in a time loop?

After seeing the movie, I got busy and found a paper copy of Robert A. Heinlein’s at my local library. Now I find I want to read all the stories so I will be looking for my paperback copy. Living in a time loop, what would that mean to you? Would you repeat parts of your life to figure out what happened and why? Would you relive your best times over and over? Would you live all the parts of your life, playing different roles, such as your best friend, your father or brother?

By the way, the story opens from the barkeeper point of view with data as to date, and time and setting. The movie opens and ends differently. I liked both versions, the original short story and movie. The only spoiler I will add is that the movie has been stretched into an action thriller. Thus the close character point of view seems weakened, yet I found the end of the movie an example of how to end a story splendidly.

Could you read just one?

 

Predestination, a movie take on All You Zombies-

Ethan Hawke Is A TimeCop

“The most famous story of time travel and predestination is getting a movie adaptation, starring Ethan Hawke. Robert A. Heinlein’s “All You Zombies” features a guy whose very existence is a time paradox — but the movie looks like more of a gritty, noir-influenced thriller. The movie entitled Predestination comes from Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig, the Australian brothers who previously directed Hawke in the futuristic vampire film Daybreakers.” In the movie of Heinlein’s All You Zombies

A bit more that I read on this movie from the site link above:

“Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig, the Australian brothers who previously directed Hawke in the futuristic vampire film “Daybreakers.”
The new movie, made from Heinlein’s story, received mixed reviews and a weak response, but we enjoyed it for the story and the bareness of the filming. No special effects were used, an exception to the rule of thrillers. The film focuses on the plot and doesn’t let us marinate in the characters’  internal conflicts, yet the characters become unforgettable.”

You will find available as an Amazon e-book with four other fantasy stories by Heinlein,  “All You Zombies-“: Five Classic Stories by Robert A. Heinlein Kindle Edition

The image of Heinlein at his desk came from “Robert Heinlein and the Harsh Politics of Science Fiction.”

Thanks for reading and sharing, Deborah Taylor-French

Bonus: Blast from the past band, The Hooters, singing (of course) “All You Zombies.”

What’s your story? Write Monday

Listening to your story

Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. ― Rumi

 What an idea! Are you living your own story?

How do you know if you are?

How to tell if you are living your own story quiz

  1. Do you wake up glad to be alive?
  2. Do you ask yourself what you want to do for fun?
  3. Do you plan fun things to do each week?
  4. Do you make time to talk with friends and family?
  5. Do you smile at people?
  6. Do you listen to others stories and enjoy them?
  7. Do you often remember good dreams?
  8. If other’s boss or control you, do you stand up for what you want?
  9. Is what others think of you more important, most of the time?
  10. Can you be lazy and enjoy your dog for most of a day (without feeling guilty)?

___________________________________________________

Add up each “yes” answer for 10 points each

Extra Credit

  1. Make time to do regular exercise? Add 10 points
  2. If you have a score of at least 70% or above, you are living your own story.
  3. If you have a lower score, how about adding more kindness, exercise and fun to your life?

A Pair of Noses

 Share your story at NPR.org Story Corps

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What stories do do others tell about you? Are you listening? Do those stories fit? Is it time to tell a new story?

Go give StoryCorps a try. I hear that the app is free and helps make interviewing a family member or friend easy. Do you want to know more about someone in your family?

A few of my life stories, odd & true

You can read some of my true stories on two of my blog pages, Adopt, save the life of a dog or a child and Long Distance Dog Mystery: Grief Plus ESP.

 

Clever story hints from Shakespeare

Story hints

“The point of view, or narrative mode, Shakespeare uses in his plays, like most plays, is the third person objective view point. We know that plays are narrated in third person because we do not see the play through one character’s perspective; we do not frequently see the word I appear in the play.” Tamara K.H. on Notes.com

A limited third person point of view

In a limited third person point of view, an author does not have access to his characters’ thoughts. This strengthens the illusion that the acting on stage is similar to our lives. A well-done limited 3rd person play persuades and enthralls with its lifelike believability. The characters try to keep their secrets and pretend to go along with mischief or the follies of friends.

a truly great storyteller
Portrait of William Shakespeare

Shakespeare, a limited third POV?

From a storyteller’s point of view, Shakespeare pretends to have a limited third person point of view, thus drawing in his audience. This approach allows audiences to imagine that they witness a world that stands alone. Yet this master playwright, who holds himself outside of his creations heads, tips characters into disclosing intimate details, foibles, morals and thoughts through cleverness. He causes his characters to lie. Then he makes others find out a lie and force out a confession. Shakespeare’s characters, a points of stress, have an aloud chat with him or herself. An well-known example occurs in Hamlet when Prince Hamlet gives his famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy.

What can I do? I’m not Shakespeare.

I say that depends on what genre you write in. What type of story you want to tell? 

  • comedy = happy endings, people get married, renew love and hope
  • tragedy= a death, a war, a huge loss, etc.
  • history = fact based story
  • myth & fantasy = a mixed bag of hopeful beginnings & terrible hurts

William Shakespeare wrote poetry and plays. He wrote plays in the history, tragedy and comedy categories. He also added bits of fantasy as in the dream scene in Midsummer Nights’ Dream. Of considered a writer’s writer or the best of all English playwrights, Shakespeare’s genius has been lately questioned. Some scholars challenge the idea of one man writing the massive volume of works attributed to William Shakespeare. Other scholars, of course, argue that a single man, named Shakespeare, wrote plays for a theatre troupe he knew well. The plays tend to use character types and one playwright would unite the plays by the talents and strengths of specific actors. Thus  a single playwright wrote all the plays attributed to Shakespeare.

What do you think? Was Shakespeare a rare genius or a name put to poetry and plays written by more than one man?

Tragedy, comedy and poetry
William Shakespeare

Poems of William Shakespeare #free downloads

10 Shakespeare Quotes that you can use in Modern English

November 2, 2015