How to Choose the Right Antagonist for Any Type of Story – Written By K.M. Weiland

Thank you for an amazing blog post on how to choose the right antagonist. This is an interesting and very educational post.


Here’s how to choose the right antagonist for your story. You know “If I Didn’t Have You”—that song John Goodman and Billy Crystal belt out at the end of Monsters, Inc.? It’s this total bromance duet about the undying friendship of our two favorite monsters. But pretty much every lyric in there could also be crooned in gratitude by any good protagonist to any good antagonist:

I wouldn’t be nothing
If I didn’t have you
I wouldn’t know where to go
Wouldn’t know what to do

The antagonist may not be the big-money reason readers pick up a book or audiences flock to a theater. But he is ultimately the reason the protagonist either a) has a reason to stop wasting her life eating potato chips on the couch or b) doesn’t just coast through every obstacle with boring ease.
So we gotta give our antagonists some love.

Continue reading HERE

 

A possible new novella or novel. It’s up to you! – Written By Jack Eason

Jack Eason posted an excerpt of a possible novel or novella on his blog. He would like feedback on his writing and would like to hear if we want him to continue with this. Check it out, please – you won’t be disappointed. Then leave your comment! Thank you!


https://youtu.be/6n9EyT1R3l0

Have We Had Help?

The Instrument

~~~

Because of the hubbub in the stadium no one saw or heard the thumb of an insignificant elderly man’s left hand snap against his left forefinger, before sweeping both of his hands in front of him in an imperceptible way, close to his body. But, everyone there that day experienced the carnage that transpired.

As far as he was concerned the time to rid the nation of everyone who didn’t deserve to live had arrived! He sat at the back of the crowd in the stadium listening to Miserere mei, Deus (Agnus Dei) on his headphones, oblivious to the chaotic scene unfolding before him. Whenever circumstances appeared to be getting beyond his control, Allegri’s beautiful choral work always restored his inner peace. With his right hand he once more waved it from left to right in an almost dismissive gesture. Instantly peace returned to the stadium. Apart…

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Don’t Let Your Plot Hijack Your Story – Written By Janice Hardy

Janice Hardy published an interesting blog post about plot and story not being alined in our book. Thanks a lot for that article, Janice.


The plot illustrates the story, but sometimes, it has a mind of its own and takes your novel in the wrong direction.

It’s a common enough tale. You’re writing away, listening to your characters and letting them run the show. They’re diverting a little from your outline, but that’s okay because where they’re going is good stuff. Or maybe you’re the kind of writer who doesn’t have an outline, and you’re enjoying this unexpected path your characters have taken.

 

And they keep doing it.

And doing it.

And doing it.

You follow because the plot is moving and it seems like a good idea, and the words are coming fast and furious. You’re getting a huge amount of writing done. You’re feeling so productive!

Continue Reading Here

Moodboard Of My WIP

I’m currently drafting book 7 in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series. It is quite some work. By a list of blog post ideas, I felt challenged to publish a mood board of my work in progress, using 9 pictures. It took me forever to decide what the most important parts of the plot are and how to express them. Then I had to pick the images and, of course, spend another few hours to choose the ones I think express best the feelings of the story.

Picture courtesy of: https://spark.adobe.com/make/mood-board-maker/

This is the mood board of book 7.



I hope I could give you an impression of how the emotions will be within this book, caused by the story and the plot.

This is the first mood board I ever created. I’m curious to read in the comments what you think about it.

A Kiss – A Memory – A Scene In The Book

It’s been a long, very long time I’ve been kissed the last time. I already started feeling like an old withered shed on the edge of the woods.

But last month, exactly April 18, at about 1 pm, after lunch, I experienced the sweetest, cutest kiss in about ‘a century.’ It wasn’t an ‘intimate’ French kiss, as some would suspect. It wasn’t a long, lustful, greedy ‘smooching,’ nor was it just a peck.

It was a gentle, soft touch of lips, filled with affection and attraction, tender and delicate.

Someone else might think: “Where’s the point? What’s the big fuss about it?”

That kiss, however, didn’t go out of my head. In silent moments I remember it and catch myself wistfully smiling at the memory.

Currently, I’m writing book seven in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series and yesterday the story turned into a situation where a kiss like that would be just the perfect thing to happen.

But for some reason, I cannot describe what I felt when I got that kiss. I’m at a lack of words for my emotions.

Now I’m lost. I’m writing paranormal romance. In the six books, I wrote for ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, I described several scenes with wonderful loving and tender kisses – and each one of them is good the way it is.

But in this case, I don’t know how to describe my own experience and wake the feeling I had when I got that particular kiss a month ago.

What am I doing wrong?

Does anyone have a hint or tip for me how to do that? Did anyone try to interlace their own experiences into their stories, and how did you do that? Let me know in the comments. I need your help. Thank you.

P. S. I was asked about the man who kissed me that day – I hope you’ll understand I won’t mention any names here. That’s my secret.

picture courtesy of: pexels.com

Tales from a Modern Dinosaur. Characters from my Past. – Guest Post Written By Merlin Fraser

Last year, sometime in October, I published a hilarious story, written by Merlin Fraser. I named it “On a different note” and the ones who read it had a good laugh with Merlin’s humor.

With this guest post, Merlin shows us that he’s not ‘only’ a great writer, and has his well known, a bit rough humor; but he is also a talented author of great sensitivity and treasures his memories with a warm heart and a trace of sadness many of us would not have expected.

I wanted to share this side of Merlin with you and I’m sure you will read his guest post and find it as valuable and admirable as I do.


“And now for something completely different,” to coin a phrase, I pinched it from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, in case you were wondering where you heard the expression before.

I’m sure you tire of my exploits with trees so a change of tack is required as I explore some of the many characters I have met during my country upbringing.

Journeying back to the 1950’s I think this character reflects a slightly cruel streak in our past due to a complete lack of understanding as to the causes of what is now considered a mental illness.

Bernie was a gentle soul never known to harm anything or anyone but to all he was cruelly known as the village idiot and to my everlasting shame I have to confess that as a kid I was no better than the rest.

To this day I have no idea what the problem was within Bernie’s brain, as I remember he was looked after an old lady at the far end of the village but as to their relationship, I have no idea. To her great credit, Bernie was always clean well fed and fairly well dressed in hand-me-downs’, presumably donated from other villagers.

Bernie would do odd jobs, take letters to the post box, that sort of thing and could always be relied on to hold one end of a long skipping rope for the girls or go in goal for a friendly football kick about. Although I suspect today’s parents would have a different view of a Bernie in the midst of their offspring and would probably demand his removal from the community, however, as I said Bernie was absolutely harmless.

For a while, he did the daily village paper rounds, until one dark stormy winter’s day all the daily papers were found thrown inside the door of the village church. With hindsight, I think that in that thunderstorm Bernie just got scared, panicked and ran home. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that was the end of the only paying job he ever had.

After that, the paper delivering job fell upon us kids, and we took it in turns to bugger it up as best we could but in a crafty way so as not to raise too much suspicion or acquire a thick ear. Whether this was a childish attempt to get Bernie his job back or just a piece of rebellion I cannot say, but in my case probably the latter. However, whichever kid had the duty Bernie was always a constant companion chattering away and pointing at anything and everything that caught his eye. Except on Sundays, his guardian always insisted Bernie went with her to church.

Not very far away from our village there was a large agricultural college and quite a few of the students had their own transport, mainly vintage motorbikes but there was the odd Ex Army Land Rover that could, somehow or another, manage to hold about ten students, more depending up the season or how drunk they were.

Back then, any such college was way beyond the means of the average family and the agricultural college more so and it seemed to be populated by the children of the landed gentry or well to do Farmers. In other words, ‘Privileged OIKS,’ who because of their often-rowdy behaviour would get banned from more and more pubs and have to travel further and further afield to get a drink. They used to invade our village pub on a regular basis. Now our pub landlord was a genial host, far more tolerant than many and more than happy to take their money, and it is the subject of money that brings me back to Bernie.

Most days, thanks to his never-failing routine depending on the time of day you could always find Bernie. If there were cows or horses in the fields close by that’s where he would be feeding them handfuls of grass stroking and talking to them.

As kids it took us ages to win the confidence of big animals, Bernie, on the other hand, was always surrounded by them. Even little birds would take food from his hands. While if it were me the little sods would sit on the ground about twenty feet away with their head cocked at that jaunty angle and that look in their beady eye that said, “you have got to be joking!”

On sunny summer evenings Bernie had a favourite seat on a wall across from the pub, he never went in unless he had found or was given an empty bottle and then he could reclaim the three pence deposit. From his perch, Bernie had a grandstand view of the pub and as he sat there in his own little world, he would sit swinging his legs and waving at all who came and went.

On the occasions when the invading hoards came from the college, some would try to engage Bernie in conversation, which was impossible. If he wanted something he would ask or more often just point, he talked, more often than not any response to your reply was never connected. Therefore, we learnt to simply listen and smile in understanding.

However, one Sunday evening there was much hilarity outside the pub close to Bernie’s wall and Bernie seemed to be in the centre of the action. To Alan, my best pal, and me it looked like the college students were picking on or making fun of him and we went to investigate. What exactly we intended to do was unclear since there was about twenty of them and only two of us and at that time there was a considerable age and size difference. Thankfully, it never came to that because as we got closer, we discovered that there was some sort of game going on and by the happy look on Bernie’s face, he was winning.

To explain the game, I have to take you back to pre-decimal British coinage, I won’t bore you with the confusing facts as to why there was 240 pennies in a pound or 12 pence in a shilling but the size of the coins of the day played a significant part in the game.

Therefore, a sixpenny piece was half the size of a shilling piece. A shilling was half the size of a two-shilling piece and there was another coin, which was called half a crown that was slightly bigger than a two-shilling piece and worth six pence more.

I’m already confused, and I grew up with this crazy system, but fear not it’s not critical because the game here is based upon size and as you can see from the above description size relates to value, all very logical, however, I doubt Bernie had any notion of logic.

The students seemed to be taking it in turns to challenge Bernie by showing him two coins of different sizes and demanding he chose one. Bernie always took the smaller coin and therefore the one of lesser value, this was the cause of the hilarity and so the game went on until the students tired of the game, they sweetly called ‘idiot baiting’ and returned to the pub to throw beer and darts at one another.

Allan and I tried as best we could to explain to Bernie the error of his decisions, even showing him the difference in size from the collection of coins he had won by playing the same game between Allan and me, Bernie just frowned and shook his head.

We gave up, well I did, Allan had one more question, “Bernie why can’t you understand?”

Bernie emptied his pockets and at a rough guess he had at least two pounds in loose change, by kids standards a King’s ransom in those days, he looked at us and said, ”If Bernie take big coin they don’t play with Bernie no more !”

I learnt a valuable lesson that day and I suspect Allan did too.

What happened to Bernie?

Sad to say I have no idea after I joined the Navy in the early ’60s my family moved away from the village. When I eventually went back for a visit a few years later he was gone. The old woman who looked after him had died and I suspect the local authorities moved in and sent him off to an institution somewhere.

Nowadays in the mad rush and tear of modern living, I often think of those far off days, it was a far gentler time, the pace of life was far slower, and I can’t help thinking the world is a sadder place without the Bernie’s and the gentle humanity of a close community.

Picture courtesy of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coins_of_the_pound_sterling

On A Different Note – New Guest Post By Merlin Fraser

“On a different note” is not the title of this guest post, it’s my title. Merlin Fraser is an excellent storyteller and author. He is also a wonderful advisor, knows how to challenge me, push me a little bit, and light up my mood.

Merlin has a unique and sometimes a bit rough sense of humor, but he never failed to make me laugh.

When Merlin sent me this story, his exact words were: “I make no apologies but do warn you not to be drinking anything while you read !”

I was grateful for the warning, and herewith I’m forwarding it to you.

Have a good laugh with a funny story!


Who Farted? I Really Want to Know

 

Whichever way you look at it, this is a great question. No ! Seriously I mean it.

I know, even as I sit here trying desperately to breathe through my ears having just let one go, that there are many readers out there sniggering already at the subject matter but it is a subject that commands a great deal of thoughtful research.

There’s is no great secret or mystery as to what a Fart is, or where it comes from. We all do it, albeit some more loudly and more frequently than others and if you are of the male persuasion it is likely you take a high degree of pride in being able to clear a room before anyone can point a finger in your direction.

There are also times when it is sensible to hold back, for instance you enter the chamber and prepare to squat do not, under any circumstances, fart on your way down because you are going to descend through it and have to sit there, eyes watering, until the rest of the business is concluded. This is a lesson that should be taught at the ‘Potty’ stage of life but, as far as I am aware, seldom is !

Additionally, Farting half way down the inside of a 40 foot steel container you are unloading should be avoided as well, again this is a common sense suggestion based upon Newton’s laws of Motion, IE you will be constantly moving backwards and forwards through it.
(I should charge for lessons like this …!)

Anyway, I am again indebted to Stan, a friend of mine who asked this question because it is one area where I feel I can speak with a great deal of authority having been exposed, if that’s the right word, to some of the worlds more renowned Farter’s and until now have had no suitable outlet for the knowledge.

My first hero was Sam, a couple of years my senior in school and a Farter of, at least, Olympic Silver medal standard. Whatever the occasion he could, produce one almost on cue. So why only the Silver medal I hear you ask, well Sam was a noisy farter and was therefore limited to the classroom or other confined spaces. Or put another way he lacked the true skill of a champion by being able to produce an SBD (Silent But Deadly) in places like parents night or end of term prize giving. The Gold medal was never awarded, we had a candidate but he, like his smelly silent butt remained anonymous. (My money was on the little blonde haired kid in first year who had the face of angel but I suspect the arse of the devil).

However, Sam does rate a special mention for being the first pupil in the school’s history to attempt to ignite a human fart with the aid of a Bunsen burner.

The effect, as I recall, was a rather pleasing yellow bluish flame of approximately 6 to 9 inches long, which may have gone unnoticed by the teacher if Sam had allowed for what I can only be describes as the ‘Blow Back’ effect in his calculations.

To be honest I failed science as a subject so you will have to bear with me if I make a complete Dogs Breakfast of describing the theory of blow back.

We were only school boys, doing what school boys do, well at our school we did, therefore I can only assume there was a lot more science involved in what happened than we previously knew.

OK, first of all there is the speed of sound (The Fart) that’s 1,126 feet per second or 768 miles per hour.

Then we have the speed of light (The Bunsen Burner flame) which is 186,282 miles per second.

Plus, we needed to consider (and didn’t) the Calorific value of Methane Gas under an unknown pressure. With hindsight, perhaps we should have given a little more mathematical thought to the reaction elapse time of the following equation:

From fart generation to ignition where the source of ignition is a constant but the actual timing of the fart was a variable as was the duration of said fart. A-n-d… Now here I’m just guessing but I think it was the elusive duration factor that caused the side effect.

You have to remember I’m going back over sixty years here but if memory serves it was one of Sam’s special Knicker Rippers, or it would have been if he hadn’t been mooning at an open flame at that precise moment in time.

The resultant nasty side effect was that by producing a Fart that close to a source of ignition turns it into a naked flame, which one assumes as a source of light actual travels at the speed of light, previously indicated of 186 thousand miles per second, which by Newton’s Laws of acceleration is knocking on a bit!

In addition, I think another thing we failed to consider is that at the time one expels a Fart oxygen is displaced thus creating a mini vacuum, which may only be present for a millisecond, but at the speed of light, that is plenty long enough for the Blow Back effect to scorch your Arse. Or in this case Sam’s arse !

REPORT CONCLUSION:

To this day, I still think if Sam hadn’t screamed we might have got away with it.

However, that and the complete failure to get his pants back up in the 2.3 seconds it took the science teacher to cross the full length of the science room. Of course, by this time there was additional evidence that not all had gone entirely to plan, the room smelled of Barbecue, and there was still a faint whiff of smoke from his singed pubic hair.

Needless to say the Head Master was summoned, Sam, now in tears and shock was led away to the Matron’s office, with his pants still round his knees leaving me to face the full force of the ‘Screaming Scull’ all by myself. (This was the nickname of the School Head Master because of his facial resemblance to the one you see on Pirate flags).

You can just picture the scene, can’t you ? The full gravity of the incident had by now sunk into all assembled some prize Pillock had panicked and hit the Fire Alarm, so now the town Fire Brigade were on their way to the scene as senior members of staff led the whole school out of the building and onto the school playing fields.

The science lab was quite a large airy room, which to me seemed a hell of a lot bigger with me at one end and everybody else looking at me from what seemed then and now as an extraordinary large distance of safety.

Then the penny dropped, they thought it was me ! That I was the Bad Ass at the party and to ensure their total innocence from the shit storm we all knew was coming they had backed into the furthest corner away for me.

The Scull duly arrived took the room in at a glance, the relief on his face, that the science lab and his school were not actually on fire, lasted for about the same length of time as the time lapse of Fart to Ignition to Scream.

His eyes fell upon me, “You Boy…Come Here and Explain Yourself !”

“Me Sir ?”

“Yes You Sir !”

QUICK ASIDE : I’ve just thought of something, I have just realised that it’s probably because of this incident in my life that I look guilty even when I haven’t done anything. You know like going through the ‘Nothing To Declare’ Exit at an air terminal, looking guilty as Hell but you really… really have nothing to declare ! Just a thought.

Anyway, I should digress no further. Needless to say I was frog march out of the room with my right ear in the tight grasp of the Scull’s thumb and fore finger. He only let go because at that moment two gorillas in yellow water proof leggings and funny hats came thundering up the passageway towards us with an axe in one hand and a fire extinguisher in the other.

I won’t bore you with the exact details of what followed, other than to say I explained the entire incident in fantastic schoolboy logical detail, purely from the stance as an innocent witness’s point of view you understand.

No ! It was not my idea.

No ! I didn’t try to talk Sam out of it. It was a purely scientific experiment after all and I was as interested to find out the result as Sam was.

In addition, needless to say the Scull didn’t believe a word of it.

Upon receipt of the Matron’s report the Scull decided that Sam had suffered enough for one day. Having walked half naked through a giggling mob adding to the loss of his dignity, not to mention his pubes, that and a 6 inch long scorch mark which would probably cause him more pain and last longer than the pain I was about to receive.

Just to end upon a happy note you will be pleased to know that dear Sam suffered no lasting long term effects, and like me, probably went on to dine out on the story for many happy years. Yet, many years later I did hear from a mutual friend that in Sam’s version it was me who had the scorched arse.

He continued to impress the school with his farting abilities including a two toned one that resembled the horn on a passing diesel electric train. By the time, we left school to go on to greater things he was working on and had almost perfected the Doppler effect.

In case you were wondering, I know my loyal readers like all the details, Sam did reveal his secret and that was ‘Beecham’s Liver Pills’. I think they were a mild cure for constipation, although I never found out why he, at his age, may have been prescribed such a thing, maybe he hadn’t. Perhaps he had been pinching them off his mum…. which at one point led to wondering if she suffered the same side affect her son did…. What a Happy household that must have been, what’s that saying; “They who Fart together Stay together !” Or something like that.

Nevertheless, one thing I did find out, to my cost, was that over the years he had become immune to their laxative effects leaving him only with the side effect of his farting skills.

Why to my cost I hear you ask? Two things, you know the World War Two movie ‘The Damn Busters ? The one about Barnes Wallace and his Bouncing Bombs ! One rainy Saturday afternoon Sam and I went to the see the film… we had lunch at his house, this was the day he let me in on the secret of the Liver Pills and he gave me two to try.

Yep they worked !

We were having a whale of a time timing our farts to coincide with the aircraft bombing runs…. Remember I said he was immune…

I wasn’t !

There’s another famous British WWII move ‘ A Bridge Too Far,’ I could so easily re write that as a ‘Fart Too Many !!’

So in answer to Stan’s question; Who Farted? I Really Want to Know…

It was Sam !!!