Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Tips - Assume a False Identity

Sometimes when you are writing you have to create a character that is very different from you or anyone you know.  Think of all the murder mysteries, vampire, and zombie books written by very nice people.  Children's book authors create talking animals and science fiction writers come with creatures no one has ever imagined before.
At Halloween we dress up in costumes and pretend to be someone or something else. Try to do that with your writing. Here's an idea to get you started.
Write about a visit to the veterinarian from the point of view of an animal.

What kind of animal are you?

What do you look like?

What’s wrong with you?

Do you like the doctor?

What about those strangers and all those smells?

Are you frightened?
Are you angry or relieved to going to the doctor?
Share your story here. Storee would love to read it.
Storee created a cat named Critique and dog named Addie.Read her book and let her know if you think Critique and Addie seem real.  

Purchase a copy of Storee Wryter Gets a Dog from Storee's website and receive a free picture book as a gift from Storee Wryter and the Young Voices Foundation.
Note: Free picture books, written and illustrated by various authors, are chosen by Young Voices Foundation  directors based on available inventory. Quality guaranteed. Average value: $14.99
Additional fees apply for overseas shipping.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Children's Books - Buy One - Get One Free

Storee Loves to Write and She Loves to Read
She Wants to Share Both. Purchase Her Book for A Young Reader and You May Inspire A New Writer.

Purchase a signed copy of Storee Wryter Gets a Dog
via Storee's website  and receive brand new picture book as Storee's gift.
Picture books provided by Young Voices Foundation based on available inventory.
Quality Guaranteed. Offer good while supplies last.
$7.99+ tax
Click Here to Order
 Reference: SWYVF on your order
Over seas shipping is extra. To request pricing send email to bobbi.carducci@youngvoicesfoundation.org
Eight-year-old Storee hopes to be a bestselling author some day. Every evening before she goes to bed she looks back on her activities of the day in search of inspiration for her next story.

In this book, young readers are invited to share Storee Wryter’s adventure as she teaches her new puppy how to sit and stay and walk on leash without pulling. Also sharing in the fun is Storree’s cat, Critique, who is convinced that cats are smarter than dogs and isn’t shy about proving it.

When Storee’s neighbor, Kyria, suggests that ADDIE be trained as a therapy dog, the whole family gets involved in making a very important decision.
Will Storee have time to take on this added responsibility? She’s already busy with school, soccer practice, dance lessons, and her writing. And what about the cost? What if they adopt the puppy and she’s not suited to be a therapy dog?
The answer to these questions and more are answered in a story that kids enjoy reading again and again and parents find informative and inspiring. Included in this 60 page, five chapter book are writing prompts inviting kids to explore their own creativity and a code they can use to download the audio book at no additional cost.

Please share this limited time offer with your friends and family.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Inspiration - Carving Your Story

"Carving a story is just the opposite of carving a turkey; cut away everything that isn't essential and keep the carcass."

Storee loves turkey and she loves to read. She also has a friend, Jim Calder, who is a Master Carver. She is getting a lot of ideas for future stories from today's inspiration.  Are you?

Write a story then set it aside for a while. Then edit it to cut away words and information that aren't needed to keep the story moving. 

Share your story here! Happy writing.

Links to Books of interest:
Thanks to Tank by Maureen Howard (A Great Turkey Story)

So You Thought You Couldn't Cut It, A Beginner's Guide to Wood Carving by Jim Calder and Jen Coate

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Welcome Author Catherine E. McLean!


"In order to have a real relationship with our creativity, we must take the time and care to cultivate it." - Julia Cameron

Although I wrote my first short story in third grade, no one took my writing seriously. Not even me. It would be 1990 when an injury to my back made it impossible to work for a living as a secretary. To kill the pain that the pills didn't stifle, I began my first novel—a Star-Trek tale. When a literary agent told me I was a storyteller but that I needed to bring the art and craft of fiction to my writing, I embarked on an odyssey to learn what a story was and how to tell a story well. When I had gained enough craft, my short stories sold, and continued to sell readily. On Valentine's Day 2012, I signed a contract for my first novel, Karma and Mayhem, a paranormal-fantasy-romance. Two months later, my fantasy/sci-fi novel, Jewels of the Sky, was published.

I basically write "Women's Starscape Fiction" because I enjoy a story where characters are like real people facing real dilemmas, and where their journey (their adventure-quest, with or without a romance) is among the stars and solar systems, and where there's always a satisfying ending.

Yet, I continue to hone my craft and study how-to books, take workshops, and learn all I can. Why go to such lengths? Because craft enhances talent, and craft liberates creativity. More importantly, craft can be learned and will set a storyteller apart from a writer who just writes.

One of the things that helps creativity is collecting "bits and pieces" for possible stories. In other words, I collect "story starters." The story starter for Karma and Mayhem was: what would happen if a man had two souls? The story starter for Jewels of the Sky was: what if the aliens the American Indian legends said visited Earth were actual Indians?

Since ideas spark creativity, here's how to collect them. Every day, pause to notice, to seek, to listen, for ONE tidbit that could spark your imagination. Here are twelve categories of possibilities:
1) An unusual first name
2) An unusual middle name
3) An unusual last name
    Ask: what does the name mean? Why was that person given that name? (Hint: gather names from obituaries or the announcements of marriages or engagements, or from lists published of honor students, or even from under photographs of groups of people. Visit your local library and turn to the back of biographies or histories and look through the index for names.)
4) Listen in a restaurant or anywhere people gather for a snatch of a conversation that makes you ponder "what in the world are they talking about?"
5) Find an interesting or odd headline from a news report, newspaper, or magazine. Even a blooper headline can spark an idea.
6) Discover a factoid, or an antiquated word. How can it become part of a story, or who would say such a thing?
7) Go to an atlas and, at random, flip to a page. Put your finger on the map and ask: Who would go there? Why would they go there?

8) Be on the lookout for an animal that fascinates you
9) Be on the lookout for a flower that amazes you
10) Be on the lookout for a fish that astounds you
11) Be on the lookout for a little-known ship or plane that had an amazing or unusual voyage
12) Be on the lookout for a philosophical question, like: what is the speed of dark? (My answer would be: the same as the speed of light only in reverse.) Or what's the most unusual occupation of a giant? (My answer would be: an ant farmer.)

Now record your "daily find" by placing it into a binder or some type of file where you can periodically look through it— or pick one item for a daily or weekly writing exercise. By doing this, you're telling your muse that you want something worthwhile to write about.

Lastly, truth is often stranger than fiction. So, start with a reality and let your imagination ponder a fantasy worthy of a story.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What's the Word Wednesday? - Adverb

An adverb is a word that describes an action verb.

An adverb can describe how an action happens.

example: Jason quickly read the book.
How did Jason read? Quickly.

An adverb can describe when an action happens.

example: Emma left early.
When did Emma leave? Early.

An adverb can describe where an action happens.

example: Lily and Ben played here.
Where did Lily and Ben play? Here.
Write a story that includes one or more adverbs. Storee and her pets say, "Happy Writing!"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Storee's Tuesday Writing Tip

Interesting characters are never all good or all bad. Sometimes they do some very surprising things.

Create a character that can do something you think would surprise people.

A bad guy who saves the day. A mom with super human strength. A teacher who can’t read.
Write a story using one of the examples above or create your own surprising character. Share your work on the blog. Storee would love to read it.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Inspiration - Thumb or Pinky Finger?

"For every rule of thumb there is a quirky little finger
that does its own thing."

Write a story that shows your quirky little finger had a hand in it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Welcome Thriller Writer Don Helin!

Hi, my name is Don Helin.  I grew up in Minneapolis and entered the army after college.  During my time in the military, I served in a number of assignments in the United States and overseas including eight years in the Pentagon.  These assignments gave me a chance to see much of our wonderful country as well many areas of the fascinating world we live in.  It also gave me ample material for my thriller novels.

 During my time in the military I loved to write, but most of my writings were position papers that only the officer making the decision or the guy waiting for that decision cared about.  However, as I was preparing to leave the military, I attended an eight-week seminar on travel writing presented by the Washington Post.  What a difference that course made for me.  Imagine, traveling to fun places all over the world and getting paid for it.

 I spent four years as a travel writer before the itch to write thrillers became overpowering.  I've always enjoyed reading thrillers and I thought, “Hey, I can do that”.  Of course, like anything else, it's harder than it looks, but if you stick to it you can do it.  It took about five years before I received that wonderful call from the acquisitions editor at Medallion Press telling me they'd like to publish my novel, THY KINGDOM COME.  My wife thought I was nuts dancing around the kitchen with the phone in my hand.  Maybe I was a little nuts, but it felt good.

 Since that time, I've joined a number of writers organizations, attended writers conferences, and joined two critique groups.  All of these efforts have helped me improve and led to the publication of my second thriller, DEVIL'S DEN, this past fall.

 You can do it too if you're willing to work on your writing skills.

 Writing Prompt:

 I believe the most often overlooked character in a novel is the villain.  Authors spend a great deal of time developing their hero, but what about the villain?  Is he a match for your hero?  Without that even match, much of the conflict in the novel is lost, and readers will quickly lose interest.

The secret of writing a successful novel is holding your readers gripped in a slowly rising conflict.  And to me, the secret of a slowly rising conflict is to think in terms of attacks and counterattacks,  as if the evenly-matched protagonist and antagonist were conducting a war.   Maybe that's just my military background, but for me it works. Things to think about as you're creating your bad guy:

          Does your villain challenge the hero and develop conflict for your story?

          Does he make sense to your reader even if the reader disagrees with what he does?

          Is he understandable to your readers so they can follow his motivations and actions?

Try this with your villain and see how you do.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 About the Author

During Don Helin's time in the military, he spent eight years in the Pentagon.  Those assignments provide the background for his thrillers.  Don's novel, Thy Kingdom Come, was published in March 2009.  His latest thriller, Devil'sDen  was published in September 2012.  He lives in central Pennsylvania where he is hard at work on his next thriller, Red Dog.  Please visit Don at his website www.donhelin.com.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's the Word Wednesday? That's Silly.

Some words sound silly. Here are three that made Storee laugh when she heard them the first time.


Before reading the definitions below can you guess what they mean?
Write a story using one or more of the words on the list.

diph·thong (d f thông , -th ng , d p -)

A complex speech sound or glide that begins with one vowel and gradually changes to another vowel within the same syllable, as (oi) in boil

quib·ble (kw b l)

intr.v. quib·bled, quib·bling, quib·bles

1. To evade the truth or importance of an issue by raising trivial distinctions and objections.

2. To find fault or criticize for petty reasons; cavil.


1. A petty distinction or an irrelevant objection.

2. Archaic A pun.

sluice (sl s)



a. An artificial channel for conducting water, with a valve or gate to regulate the flow: sluices connecting a reservoir with irrigated fields.

b. A valve or gate used in such a channel; a floodgate: open sluices to flood a dry dock. Also called sluice gate.

2. A body of water impounded behind a floodgate.

3. A sluiceway.

4. A long inclined trough, as for carrying logs or separating gold ore.

v. sluiced, sluic·ing, sluic·es


1. To flood or drench with or as if with a flow of released water.

2. To wash with water flowing in a sluice: sluicing sediment for gold.

3. To draw off or let out by a sluice: sluice floodwater.

4. To send (logs, for example) down a sluice.


To flow out from or as if from a sluice.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Storee's Tuesday Writing Tip

Where are we?
Where your story takes place is important.

Is it day or night? What’s the weather like? Is the action taking place inside or out? Are you in another land? On a different planet? Is it comfortable and familiar like your home or the barn where your favorite horse is kept?

How to describe a scene using Show vs. Tell

Tell: The house was dark and scary looking.

ShowNobody liked to walk past the house on Mulberry Street. The broken glass in the front windows glinted like tiger fangs in the dim streetlight. An eerie wind blew shreds of rotted curtains through the gaping holes. Blood-red threads of drapery waved an  invitation to anyone who happened by.  Come in, the sagging walls seemed to whisper. The party is about to begin….

Let’s practice: Write a paragraph or more describing a place you want to include in your story. Use words that create an image of the feeling you want the reader to understand without saying it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

What's the Word Wednesday - Waffle (Sorry I'm Late)

Storee was so wrapped up in writing her next book What's the Word Wednesday slipped right by her. She invites you to share some waffles with her on this Thursday to make up for her tardiness.

This week's word is: Waffle

waffle (WAH fuhl) (noun)
1. A crisp cake with a pattern of deep squares on both sides that is made by cooking batter in a special device called a waffle iron: "Each member of the family had a waffle for breakfast this morning."

2. An informal British term meaning foolish or dull talk or writing that continues for a long time: "The speech was a load of waffle about politics."
waffle (WAH fuhl) (verb)
To be unable or unwilling to make a clear decision about what to do: "Every time Paul spoke, it was to waffle from one point of view to another one."
Having breakfast with some people is always interesting. So often someone will waffle back and forth between whether to have pancakes for breakfast or to have a waffle with syrup, while maintaining a dull waffle about the weather.

Write a story and include a waffle. Noun or Verb - the choice is yours.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Storee's Tueday Writing Tip

What a Character!
Your characters:
Make them real. Make them funny or sad or strong or weak but make them real.

Write a paragraph describing someone you know. Show how that person looks without using describing words like fat or skinny. Is he good or bad? How do we know that?
Write about an animal. Without saying  if it’s a dog or fish or a horse or a lizard can you describe it so readers can tell not only what it is but what it looks like?

Josh is tall, kind of skinny and he’s nice.
Josh was lucky.  He could spot Mrs. Heeney’s weird grey bun bobbing down the hall long before the other kids  knew she was in the building. Of course he had watch out for low hanging branches when they rode their bikes along the creek but it seemed more than a fair trade to the two boys when she was on prowl.

 “Duck! Josh whispered out of the corner of his mouth, if she sees you you’ll have detention for sure!”

 “Oh man! I should’ve finished my homework last night instead of watching that old vampire movie,” Tim whined. “Hide me!” he said, trying to ease behind his friend.

“Like that’s going to work,” Tim’s sister snickered. “As if you can hide a beach ball behind a flag pole!”

The second version takes a lot more words but it's more interesting to read. Think about the characters in the books you like to read. Look at how the author describes them.

Recommended reads: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Peter and the Star Catchers.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Writing Contest! Extremely Short, Short Story

Storee Wryter Encourages you to Write!
Extremely Short Writing Contest
Write a complete story in 500 words or less.
You pick the topic.
Fiction or nonfiction. No horror or adult content.
Violence, swearing, adult content not accepted.
Writers of all ages are invited to submit their best work.
One winner will be chosen in each of the following age groups:
1. Adult 18 and over
2. Teens 16-18
3. Teens 13-15
4. Youth 10-13
5. Under 10
Winners will receive a Certificate of Excellence suitable for framing signed by Storee Wryter. The winning entries will be posted on the blog, individually, along with a brief bio of the author.
Submit your story on or before March 15, 2013 by posting it as a comment to the blog labeled -Short Shorts.  Winners will be announced March 31, 2013. Decision of the judges is final.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Inspiration Friday - Stay Motivated

You cannot decide once and for all to be a writer.
You must renew your commitment to writing every day.
What keeps you going?

What gets in your way?