Posts Tagged With: Short story

You write like who? Part I

Neil Gaiman bibliography

Neil Gaiman bibliography (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When my writer friend, Ann Everett, posted her blog about a site where a sample of your writing can be analyzed and matched with famous authors, I was intrigued.  Visit it yourself for your example –  http://iwl.me/.  It’s fun to find out which great author your writing resembles.

My first thought was it couldn’t be valid, just something for fun.  I mentioned this in a comment before another reader posted a check by entering a classic children’s story and got H.G. Lovecraft as a match.

To find my resemblance to real talent I checked the prologues (where available) and the text of the first chapter.  I matched many writers, depending on the style of the story.

When I immediately clicked on the site I first entered a portion of the novel I am working on at the moment, One Unicorn Wish.  When it was matched with the writings of Neil Gaiman I was really shocked, and excited.  I am a big fan, but no one writes like Neil Gaiman, do they?  Isn’t he a genre unto himself?  Well, I admit I thought this particular story might be similar, and was reading it internally with his voice, but I never would have suspected a match.  I’m definitely going to finish the novel this year.  I’m excited about it anyway, but now…

Cover of "The Graveyard Book"

As for a style of writing Neil is an enigma.  All his publications are different, but so are mine or anyone’s, perhaps.  Gaiman apparently writes best when he writes short stories, putting them together as a novel.   In The Graveyard Book he wrote what is being called a Shnovel.  He admitted at his Newbery acceptance that’s how it was put together.

Okay, I did the short story thing with the three separate stories in TREE & SKY: An Introduction to the Secrets of Meshyah’s World, and will follow with two more stories.  I’m presently doing it with The Citadel series, beginning with Little Duke and the Rat Princess, but I can’t figure out how the first few pages of One Unicorn Wish could type me with this part of Neil’s style.  Besides, with a trilogy where each book borders the 500 page range, all telling the continuing story, short stories are not how all my works are accomplished.

I do agree we both are Sci-Fi/Fantasy authors whose writings are difficult to put into any sub-category of that genre.  And while some say Neil aims to become part of the circle of great literature, I know I would like that for myself.

My best example is the trilogy again.  An apocalyptic vision of our future, its just different from most.  It’s basically a search for the place where the horses have gone in order to be there and safe before the end comes.  It predicts a catastrophe through the character’s evaluation of evidence and clues.  It focuses on science, ancient pre-history and/or mythology while the fact the horses all vanished in an instant all over the world is more fantasy (unless you consider the decrease in their numbers by 2 million since 2005 and the current attempt to ban horse slaughter).

The characters feel it means something serious and they must get over their lose in order to figure out what it is and what to do.  But I’ve had to cut a lot of information due to length.  So, while Neil  leaves out some information to allow the readers to decide I haven’t done it here.  I am doing more of that in more recent works, which may be what the analysis picked up on.

What I find most intriguing about Neil’s work is his rhythm, often almost poetic, but it flows like a melody.  It comes out when he reads his own work.  I didn’t read The Graveyard Story, I listened to Neil read it.  In this sense he is definitely an artful storyteller, as others have said.  In a by-gone age he would have been the storyteller for the children, telling a tale even adults would be captivated by.

When I re-read my work I often use another voice, in my head, to hear it.  It’s really to test the rhythm.  I consider a poetic rhythm, like music, an important essence of the story.  And I’m learning from him.  I don’t like horror (Stephen King) or much of thrill seeking stuff young people are drawn to, but he writes macabre without it being scary for kids, or me.  I’m also learning that disconnected things can be connected in stories.  It’s a reminder of a children’s literature course I started but didn’t quite finish.  I had to pick three words from a dictionary at random and use them in a story.  I vaguely recall something about a light bulb and an elephant, but can’t remember the third word.  It’d be interesting to re-read that today.

So, except for a few superficial similarities I can only be flattered by the comparison without really understanding it.

As far as other works and other matches, only the third of my trilogy, Where the Horses Run, is matched with Dan Brown.  I mention that because of the above description of using pre-history and/or mythology to blend with the plot, which is something he does.  But it also matched me with him for the first chapter entry of Ariel’s Cottage and the prologue for The Furies of Orestes, another yet unfinished.

According to: http://nickmomrik.com/2004/06/11/dan-brown-writing-style/  Dan’s style also includes short chapters and his story takes place in a short amount of time.  I’m not sure what constitutes a short chapter for me ~ three pages?  In one of Brown’s books I read a chapter of one sentence.  Now that’s short.  That my trilogy and most works take place over two weeks may be long by Dan’s standard.   Dan has good character development which is something reviewers have said about my stories.  And he has a lot of suspense.  I know Ariel’s Cottage does, so I’ll agree with this match.

I will leave the other matches for Part 2.  Let me know who you match with on one of your stories or great works of literature.

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A New Publication on Kindle

Full BookCoverPreview.do

Just published on Kindle this morning.  Available  on Amazon, only $.99!  It appears in my anthology, Twisted Vine, but I thought YA and older could find it and enjoy it more this way.  A small booklet is now available (as of 7/13/13), priced at $3.75, but Amazon now has it for $3.56 with free shipping.  It’s dedicated to all horse lovers and is a spin-off of my trilogy, Where the Horses Run, following long after that story is over.  If you’ve read Book I, Mass Extinction, you will understand this one a little better.  Book II, Sacred Hills will be release later this summer.  If you want to see both books click here.

The Look Inside feature isn’t there for the book yet, but it is for the Kindle edition.  The synopsis is available on Amazon, as usual.

Categories: About My Books, Marketing, New Release, Recommendations, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Twisted Vine: An Anthology

BookCoverPreview.do

This is the Amazon address for the Kindle version of my anthology, Twisted Vine.  It has the Look Inside benefit of seeing some of what you would be getting.  It’s only $2.99 and available through the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.  Check it out.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DJTUYSC

The book version is also available now ~ only $12.00 list, but Amazon is presently selling it for $11.40.  It doesn’t yet have the Look Inside benefit, but will soon.  You can find it here:  http://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Vine-Anthology-Short-Stories/dp/1478360720

As an anthology Twisted Vine is a genre assortment of my poems and short stories, a menagerie of tales spun for your enjoyment.  While time is a theme, a twist in time conflicts a few.  Some appear in my published and yet-to-be published novels and are here as stand-alone excerpts.  These include stories with Celtic backgrounds and of Native Americans.  Many are here for the first time.  Skim through the Contents, review the Introduction and learn how a variety can interest you.

Categories: About My Books, About Social Media, Recommendations, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Tis the Season

ETWA Anthology full cover copy‘Tis the Season is an East Texas Writer’s Association Anthology.  It’s release date is June 25.  Its price is $14.99.  It will be available on Amazon, also in Kindle, and Barnes and Noble, also in Nook.  Purchase from the publisher, White Bird Publishing,  http://www.whitebirdpublishing.com, is also available.

The book contains a group of short stories and poems of various genres written by writers in East Texas.

There are four of my works included:

Traveling Sands is a flash fiction. It won second place in a club contest.  It had a word limit and a bottle of sand as the prompter.  It’s magic in this case.

Sweet Cherie Pie is a romantic short story.  It begins with the sentence that placed fifth, by readers vote, out of ten top Writer’s Digest magazine editor’s choices from among four thousand entries.  The story begged to be written.

I also have two poems.  I Dream of Horses is from Book I of my Where the Horses Run trilogy, and O My Heart! is from the second novella, If I Could Only Sparkle, in my book Painted Tree: Two Novellas.

These four are also included in my own Anthology, Twisted Vine, which will be available soon.

Categories: About My Books, About Writing, Introductions, Random Thoughts to Share | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concept Video Shows The Book Of The Future

You should look at this and then look up more things about the changes coming, especially if you’re an author or have great aspirations to become one someday.  If it doesn’t play correctly go to this page for it:  http://edudemic.com/2013/02/book-of-the-future/

After watching it I began wondering how such a book would be written by an author.  Maybe they’ll make a special program for that, like some of the author/writing programs available.  It could be interesting.  And the future should be filled with  more readers because more and more people are loving their gadgets.

Sorry I’ve been away.  I’ve been working on several books at once.  That’s how I do it.  When something can’t move forward on one, I go to the next.  I’m focusing on my anthology because my writer’s club is publishing theirs and it has several of my short stories in it.  Since they’re not doing a copyright and I want to, I’ll have that part done by the time their book comes out.  Mine will follow soon after…next month sometime.  I’ll post it.

I finished my granddaughter’s book, but all kinds of technological problems have haunted me about it.  I keep wanting to blog about what I’ve learned, and will soon, when I get a minute after its finally completed.

I have four proofs I’ve reviewing and an old story I wast editing for the anthology, but it will be a novella…too long for a short story.  Another to miss the anthology pages is one I wrote in a day.  It needs a couple of more chapters or parts.  It’s for middle grade readers so I want it a little longer.  I have another for my granddaughter, but the illustrations are still figments of my imagination at the moment.

It’s the same old problem I wrote about last time.  I can’t finish one because another idea pops up.  The story I most want to write is waiting in the wings for me to finish the ones with less to do for a finish.

Oh, but I finally found myself on the Library of Congress list – one out of three copyrighted books.  It must take a long time to get those things cataloged.

Well, I did spend the day posting everything that came my way and a few I looked on the meteor in Russia today on my tumblr site~Menagerie.  And I listened to the comments on the other “big” asteroid that did a flyby.  It was a spacey day for sure.  And not one of my family or friends on FB “liked” any of the postings I also put on my FB page about it.  Very disheartening.

I did find this tidbit on the books of the future.  What an interesting future it will be.  We’ll just got to step lively through the muck on the way to tomorrow.  Hope I’m up to it.  I have a lot of editing to do.  Did you ever notice that edit is a four letter word?

Categories: About My Books, About Writing, Marketing, Random Thoughts to Share, Recommendations, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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