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  1. As we work through the logistics of keeping the article pipeline fed, and it's a hungry beast, I thought I'd open a dialog about choosing what we write. For example, when I started writing for the public, I went to the root of writing FanFiction. Those who immediately scoff, remember that some really prolific authors started out that way, including Mercedes Lackey and Stephanie Meyers. In fact, Mercedes Lackey publishes a yearly anthology. For at least 10 years now, she has short stories written by other authors in her world... you know, FanFictions. I was interested in Harry Potter.
  2. Comicality


    There's an old proverb out there, and I'll have to paraphrase as I don't remember it word for word...but it says 'the Sun doesn't enjoy its own brightness. The river doesn't drink its own water. The tree doesn't eat its own fruit. And living without giving...isn't really living.' As a writer, I really do believe in that. Being able to create something out of nothing and then share it with people who really enjoy and relate to it brings me a lot of joy. That's my way of giving to my readers. And the more they love what I do, the more inspired I am to give them even more. But...there is one part
  3. Comicality


    And then the pig drop kicked the goat into a meat grinder, and finally...he could rest easy, knowing that justice was served! Hahaha, WHAT??? Does that make much sense? Does it have any impact at all? I'm willing to bet that you guys are quite confused. Hehehe! As you should be. (Unless you're not...in which case, you should seek psychiatric help immediately...) Who? What? When? Where? Why? These are all questions that every writer should be prepared to answer in their projects at any given moment. It should actually be included in the story itself, and not just when they g
  4. I always go through a certain three-part process when it comes to putting a story together in my head. The first part is creating the idea and the theme. What kind of tone will it have? Some stories can be playful and happy, others can be sad and deal with heavy subjects, others can be full of anger and/or regret. But whatever the story is about, I try to flesh that out first. It usually doesn't take very long as it's usually just a vague outline of what the story is about and a few of the events that I want to happen in the long run. The second part is to flesh out the characters for my story
  5. You know, when I started the Comicality Library on Voy (http://www.voy.com/17262/), I found out that even when I tried to alter the length of the posts that were acceptable...my chapters were still a little bit too long to fit within the confines of the space that I was given. And I didn't want to put 85% of a chapter in one post, and a measly 15% in the second post, just to split them up to make them fit. That would have looked weird. And, to me, looking weird is bad presentation. As Stan Lee used to say...you have to write comic books as if it's everybody's first comic book. And when I
  6. What creates a story? What creates an unexpected thrill? What connects the writer to the readers that they're attempting to entertain? These are all questions that should be lingering in the back of your mind when you're writing your story. NOT in the forefront, because writing a story isn't all about catering to an audience. Instead, it should be about exploring your true self and your deepest emotions. Having an audience enjoy and appreciate what you do is a thrilling side effect to all of the hard work that you put in to making it a reality and then finding the courage to share it with
  7. Comicality

    Short Stories

    While an extended story with multiple chapters and layers of depth may give a writer enough breathing room to truly build and explore the lives and personalities of the characters they′ve brought to life, I think it′s still a good practice to occasionally go back to writing short, self contained, stories to keep that particular part of their creative muscle strong. Short stories and flash fiction can teach you things than the ′wide open canvas′ style of writing can′t. It can help you to focus your talents, work on self editing, and keep your storytelling less complicated than your average epic
  8. Ok, so you all may remember an article that I did on exposition in your fiction a few months back...but I'd like to go a little bit more in depth when it comes to finding ways to create and finesse that exposition, how it works, and why it works. Basically, it's the art of writing without writing. It's the craft of being able to paint a vivid picture in the minds of your readers to deliver a message without having to write it out for them. There are certain techniques that you can use to accomplish this, but in order to truly understand how and why they work, you have to realize how you'r
  9. Comicality


    So...I want you all to take a few seconds, and think about your life in it’s entirety. Your entire life, as a whole. Childhood, adolescence, adulthood. How do you envision it in your mind? Do you think about that day you picked up some extra eggs and milk from the grocery store? Do you think about the night you sat on the couch and watched TV for six hours straight? Or maybe you’re thinking about that gas bill you paid, or that time you got a parking ticket? Hehehe, you might be, I don’t know. But I’m willing to bet that it’s unlikely. I like to think of life as a series of ‘moments’
  10. One element of storytelling that really makes a difference when writing is the ability to immerse your readers into the world that you are trying to create. Now, that pretty much goes without saying, of course...but one thing that I’ve learned over time is that this immersion works better when there’s a balance between ‘imagination’ and ‘information’. (I hope I’m saying that right. Let me explain...) As I’ve stated in previous articles on my writing process, I always think of storytelling as a symbiotic relationship between the writer and the reader. We are both creating this story in dif
  11. Comicality


    It’s the weekend again! So...let’s talk about climaxes! Wait! Not THAT kind of climax! Stay out of the gutter! Geez! We’re talking about story story climaxes. This is the grand finale to your story! This is the big finish! This is where you’re able to give your readers the big pay off that they’ve been waiting for since they got hooked on those first few sentences of your story. A story’s climax can really make or break a wonderfully written project, depending on how well it works with your audience. It expresses the overall theme of your story, the reason that you wrote it in
  12. Comicality

    MaryGary Sue

    I have to be 100% honest here... I had NEVER once, in my entire life, heard the term 'Mary Sue' used in any writer's discussion, ever...until "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was released in theaters a few years ago. Never. Not once. Since then it has become this weird 'buzzword' that a lot of people have weaponized to use as a criticism in a variety of stories, movies, and comic books, and while I don't really use it myself I think it is an attempt to point out a certain flaw that authors may run into when creating their characters and building an engaging story around them. I do wish
  13. Comicality

    Emote Control

    And here we are, distinguished ladies and gentlemen! This is officially the 50th article in the 'Comsie Rambles On' series! Hehehe! I just want to take a quick second to thank you all for the likes and comments, and for offering your own touches and advice on the topics being discussed. I'm still learning too! So I love to see them! And now...let's take the first step taken towards Article #100!!! This weekend's topic took some extra effort, trying to figure out how to put it into words that people could understand. Emotion can be such an intangible idea when it comes to explaining it or
  14. Comicality

    Taking Notes

    As many of you guys already know, I grew up being a fan of Stephen King's writing. Something about it creeped me out, but more importantly...it spoke to me. The setting, the characters, the almost claustrophobic feel of the events taking place...I could feel it as if it was really happening at that very moment. So, I was, and still am, a fan. I remember watching an interview with him once as he was talking about his writing process, and he was asked if he actually sat down and took 'notes' and jotted down his ideas before he started a new book, or at any time during his efforts to finish
  15. Comicality

    Plot Holes

    There are five words that always make me laugh whenever I watch one of the videos from the Youtube series below, hehehe! Because it's SO true for every story and every TV show and every movie that I've ever seen! And it's true for your work too. Can't help but to get a few chuckles out of it! Those five words? "Super easy! Barely an inconvenience!" Don't worry, an explanation is coming. One thing that I hope many of you will take from this week's discussion is the idea that any story...literally, ANY story...can be picked apart and scrutinized to the point where it simply m
  16. I have such fond memories of working in a big music store in the heart of downtown Chicago for a number of years. Easily, the best job that I've ever had in my life! No other job has ever been more fun, more meaningful, more beneficial to me in my growth as a person. No contest. Hehehe! Just a bunch of high school and college kids with a love and passion for music and art and film, to the point where we appreciated the 'misfit' in one another and embraced as being something to be proud of, instead of judged. It was one of the most tight knit families that I've ever been a part of that wasn't b
  17. I can't imagine anything feeling better than finding some level of pride in one of my projects. (Well, there might be a few things that feel better, but I can keep my clothes on for this one! Hehehe!) And that pride doesn't just come from favorable responses and good ratings. In fact, it comes from finishing a new chapter or project before anybody ever even sees it. It's like the planets and stars align, and everything is finally fitting together the way that I pictured it...or at least as close as I can get to that ideal presentation. I honestly get excited about releasing new stuff on the si
  18. Ensemble In one of my stories, "Savage Moon", I write about a teenage boy who gets drawn in with a bad crowd of misfits...who later turn out to be a pack of werewolves. (Don't worry, that's not a spoiler. It's, literally, the plot of the story. And it's practically given away in the title. So I didn't ruin any surprises with that one! Hehehe!) However, the 'alpha' tells their potential recruit about what it takes to build a strong pack. A family unit. And the key is in the personality traits of everyone in their circle. Every member of the pack has something unique to bring to the table. Somet
  19. One thing that I have always loved about writing stories is the idea that I can finally allow my mind and my emotions to exist in a world that I, alone, can actually control! Hehehe, and that probably sounds pretty narcissistic, but it's the truth. In the worlds that I create, the shy guy can get their first kiss from the prettiest boy on the block. The lovable 'friend zone' kid can get the boy of his dreams to finally see him for the perfect mate that he is. Justice is always served where needed, bullies and evildoers always get their comeuppance, and fate is always conspiring in the favor of
  20. Comicality

    Story Arcs

    Beginning. Middle. End. Setup. Conflict. Resolution. All stories have a certain formula to them. That formula can be played with, rearranged, and altered, in a variety of different ways...but even that has some form of structure, when you sit down and think about it. Straying from a conventional method of telling a story doesn't mean that the original blueprint doesn't exist. We just choose to find a way of subverting expectations concerning the norm. A norm that set the standard for us in the first place. The most interesting stories and character revelations aren't drawn as a
  21. Comicality


    It was 1997, around this time of year, when James Cameron's big blockbuster movie, 'Titanic', was bout to hit movie screens around the world. I remember it vividly! Hehehe, mostly because my best friend and I were like, "We'll put that off until later! We're not missing 'Tomorrow Never Dies'! It's James Bond, dammit!" Anyway, as they began advertising 'Titanic'...I noticed something different about the way the commercials were doing it. This was actually a sneaky little trend for a short time in the late 90's. You'd see one commercial, and it would be full of emotionally stirring music, and fa
  22. Comicality

    Story Blurbs

    So...readers have decided to sit down and go to a quality archive full of some really well written, really hot, stories online. They get comfortable, open their laptops, head on over to GayAuthors.org because we've obviously got the best game in town when it comes to this sort of thing, hehehe...and BAM! They're looking at hundreds upon hundreds of stories all at once. Whether readers feel overwhelmed by that, or they take the happy 'kid in a candy store' approach, it can be a daunting task to figure out where to begin. Tags and keywords help to narrow things down, sure, but your story might s
  23. The thing about having a dialogue with someone in real life, versus having a dialogue in written prose...is that, more times than not, prose demands a sense of purpose from its characters' interaction. There's very little room for fluff and small talk. The words being spoken have to actually 'say' something about the current situation and add to the story. It doesn't have to be forced, but I think it helps to know what your intentions are as a writer when adding dialogue to the scenes you have in your project. Now, there are writers and critics that will tell you that every single spoken
  24. Most of the time, when I'm writing stories or new chapters to existing stories, it's spawned by some sort of inspiration or emotion that I'm feeling. That's just something my personal creativity feeds off of, and sometimes the muse for one particular story or another can be a 'feast or famine' adventure. What can I say? When the time is right, the stars and planet align and they let me know when it's time. Once that happens, the words just seem to flow naturally as if they came from somewhere else entirely. I'm sure that many writers can say what a glorious experience that is. The feeling is a
  25. Every now and then, when writing one of my stories, I find myself trying to demonstrate a point that might not be recognized fully without a specific example or short dialogue surrounding it. As I always say, it's better to 'show' than to 'tell' in your stories. Sometimes, the point being made is just for the sake of a scene or two, or for the development of a certain character arc. And other times, that one point might be the sobering moment of my entire project. The true theme of it all, and the reason I wrote the story in the first place. While many of these moments may seem spontaneous and
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