How To Write A Great Story – Pixar rules

Source: How To Write A Great Story – The Meta Picture

Sharing a Quote

You are not alone

 

The actual picture is not made by me. Copyright lies by Konstantin Tilberg . I only increased the contrast a little and added the writing.  Thank you for sharing your work, Konstantin, with us and allowing folks to use it as base for their stuff!

 

“Enemy of my Enemy” Reveal

A few times I have been asked what I am working on at the moment.  One of the projects is getting into stages at which I can tell you more about it! I have mentioned my dear friend Jonathan Snyder before and he is working on a Sci-Fi Roleplaying System called “Blood in Space”.

It is an honor for me, that he has asked me to write a novella based on that universe. I’m excited to tell you that the first draft of that novella is done now! The part of the universe I chose to write about is a member of a species Jonathan invented called the “Atelak”. The Atelak are a proud species of hunters and warriors. One of the steps in the life of an Atelak is to go on their own personal hunt to either hunt or battle enemies for prestige and honor. My story is about one of these proud people and their own personal hunt.

Larenssa had always dreamed of her life as a strong warrior and worked all her young life to be ready to bring glory and honor to her tribe. Passing her initiation rites was a challenge, but it would pale compared to what she would endure on the traditional hunt.

Leaving her tribe behind, Larenssa began one of the most important journeys of her life. She will find herself at the mercy of her prey and be forced to make a decision. What will happen when the tables are turned and she becomes the hunted?

I will continue working on its edits and hope that we will be able to bring the exciting story about Larenssa’s hunt to you very soon!

Digital Cross-stitching fun

Usually I try to stick to writing, but I had a little too much fun for the last two days with this little App on Facebook, I want to tell you about. It’s called “Cross-Stitch World”.

Some might ask why anyone would want to cross stitch online, and I can totally understand that. I had the same question, at least until I tried it. After playing around for a while I found it oddly calming, almost like coloring books, or painting by colours, which is basically the same thing just with cross-stitching, that you do with your mouse (which is a good thing because I can’t cross-stitch in Real Life). You choose a picture and you get a color palette of yarn and when you zoom into the picture you can see where which color belongs. You put each color into the respective boxes and the picture takes form.

But the really cool think about it is, that you can turn your own images into cross-stitch patterns. And that was what I did last night. I cross-stitched the cover of my book “Sra’kalor” and the female lead Alana. And I possibly had a bit too much fun. I’m still playing around with other pictures but need a break, because my hand started to hurt. 😉

06108-83b9652b-8d9f-4463-b4da-eda5c59d580e 06109-5aa1b124-7f00-465a-ae2d-265cfed5225b

Why don’t you head on over and take a peek, play around. And share your cross-stitches with me? I’d love to see what everyone does with it. 🙂

Coloring Hope

I don’t know about you, but I love coloring books. I always have loved them. As a child I kept filling them with all kinds of color from crayons, pens, even ink if I didn’t have anything else. I especially enjoyed using unexpected color and colour outside of lines, adding backgrounds that were not implied. I even have a coloring book for adults, but that is NSFW (adult adult lol) so I am not sharing pictures here. It is calming and relaxing to me, also because I cannot paint, so I appreciate someone delivering the shapes and leaving the rest to me.

Today I felt like coloring but didn’t have anything to color. So I made one myself. It is super simple and leaves a lot of details to the colorer’s interpretation and mood. I thought it would be fun to share it with you. You can download it and color it, digitally or after printing it out, whatever you like. It’s my gift to you.

Coloring Page Hope - Preview

This is merely a preview. The download version is 7654 x 5385 pixels big. You can grab it here.

If you like feel free to share your final colored pictures with me in the comments. I’d love to see them. Who knows maybe I’ll make more in the future.

Handwriting challenge

A few days ago a friend of mine issued a handwriting challenge on one of the social media platforms I lurk around. It was actually supposed to write something nice, but well call it artistic freedom or something: I did my own thing. And I thought it’d ba fun to share with you, sharing why I do not handwrite my drafts.

Have you done the challenge? If not, feel free to join in! Share yours in the comments, be it video or picture 🙂

Guest post “Meet the Villains”

A few days ago my dear friend Jonathan Snyder has written a guest post on this blog “You Have to Torture your Characters!”. Now I had the honor of writing a guest post for him!

The post I chose will talk about writing an interesting Villain character! So head on over to “The Musings of the Crazy One” and read “Meet the Villains”.

Again, thank you Jonathan!

MeetVillains

You Have to Torture your Characters!

So tell me, did you look at the title and go, “What the hell is he talking about?” If so, then mission accomplished, if not, then why are you still reading?

Hello all! I am Jonathan Snyder and I have been dying to tell you all why you must torture your characters for the sake of a good story! This is also the first time I have ever written a guest blog and so I extend my uttermost thanks to Jessica Werner for this opportunity.

Let’s get back to torturing characters. For the record, I am not referring to medieval style methods or worse, Fifty Shades of Grey. I am referring to the concept that you have to make your character go through tough times to succeed in their goals.

Have you ever stopped and thought about some of your favorite characters outside of the context of their story? In honor of the new Star Wars movie, take Luke Skywalker for instance. His only home and two loving relatives were destroyed by Stormtroopers, he’s been thrust in to a giant galaxy by himself, not to mention he has to find out his parents were horribly murdered and became the most feared man in the galaxy. Even his mentor gets slaughtered after a few weeks together. That’s a lot of stress! Characters need to go through hardship to grow and become more than they are. To be unchallenged is no way to find out who or what they are. Like real people, characters need experience and adversity to be molded to their full potential or in the case of villains, to crack and break in to the monsters they become. They must be tortured by life and their enemies to become better. Not only that, it makes for great stories!

Now, after all this stuff about making sure your characters suffer horrible things, there is one final rule that I feel must be remembered. No matter what you do to your characters, you need to reward them in the end. Give them what they are striving for or find a way to make sure what they did was worth it all. Luke became part of something greater and in the end came to understand what being a Jedi means. Do not just torture your characters and never give them anything in the end, unless you’re trying to mimic Russian literature.

So, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this post and have a great time sitting at your computers thinking, “So, what horribly thing can I do to you today?”

 

 

Ongoing Worlds: Fall Festival V is coming!

Some of you already know – the rest will learn now – that I am an avid Roleplayer. I have been filling evenings with this fun activity for over 20 years, be it Pen & Paper, IRC, Forum or EMail. For about 3.5 years I am member of the fantastic Star Trek PbeM UFOP: Starbase 118, and this upcoming Saturday, we are hosting the Ongoing Worlds: Fall Festival V.

FallFest

That’s right, the 2015 Simming Fall Festival will be held on December 5th from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM EST (1:30 PM to 10:30 PM GMT). Ongoing Worlds is proud to announce that UFOP: StarBase 118 will be hosting, with James Drysdale serving as chairman. You may remember that UFOP also hosted the 2013 festival, which was wildly successful. For a few short hours in December, the entire simming and online role playing community will come together to share ideas, role play, and join in a few trivia games–all in IRC chat rooms. James and UFOP will be on point to make it all happen.

Now why am I telling you that. First and foremost, this even it a lot of fun, and very informative with discussion chats for not only those that enjoy roleplaying, but also for writers. While the chats are based mostly on what roleplayers want to talk about, hosted by great people all over the community, some subjects can be interesting for everyone who builds worlds on paper.

I will be hosting two chats myself and invite you to join me for the following discussions:

Chat 1:
SESSION TIME:
9am Pacific / noon Eastern / 5pm GMT
SESSION ROOM: #FallFest2
SESSION NAME: Writer’s block and how to break through the wall
SESSION DESCRIPTION: Writer’s block is common among writers, no matter if alone or in a group. Let’s take a look at different techniques to break through

Chat 2:
SESSION TIME:
1pm Pacific / 4pm Eastern / 9pm GMT
SESSION ROOM: #FallFest1
SESSION NAME: Developing Relationships in Roleplay
SESSION DESCRIPTION: The chat will be about developing relationships in Roleplay: romantic, friendship and even fiends

The chatrooms will be available through a web-based chat client that you do not need to download. Simply go here and connect.

A full schedule for all chats, trivias and so on can be seen here!

I am looking forward to the chats and hope to see the one or other of you there! Mark your calenders for Saturday, December 5th!

Sra’kalor revision is now available in print!

A little more than a week ago, I have released my revision of Sra’kalor! As promised it is now available in print as well.

I have received my proof copy and all went well, so now you can head on over to Lulu, and grab yourself a copy as a perfect-bound Paperback!

You can find Sra’kalor in print here.

What can I tell you, it’s a great feeling holding it in my hands and smelling this wonderful book smell. See for yourself!

Sra'kalor Paperback

Get Sra’kalor for 50% off for Black Friday Weekend!

It’s Black Friday and that means everyone wants to get some great deals! And I want to join in.

For this weekend you can get Sra’kalor (Ashwood Falls Part 1) for 50% off on Smashwords.

Sra'kalor 50%off

  • To get the great deal:
  • head on over to Sra’kalor on Smashwords. If you do not have an account yet, you should make one, they have a great variety of fantastic books!
  • click the buy button. That puts the book in the cart.
  • when you are directed to the cart, you see a little box at the bottom that says “Coupon code”, put this code into the box: YT84F
  • hit the “Apply Code” button on the right

Now you can check out and after completing the purchase you can download the book right away in different e-reader formats such as: mobi, epub, pdf and more.

Hope you’ll enjoy your little treat! Have a fantastic weekend!

4 of 5 Stars Review for Sra’kalor!

My dear friend Jonathan Snyder, a fellow writer and sounding board for my crazy ideas, has agreed to give Sra’kalor a try, even though it is not his kind of genre. One of the many things I like about him, is that he is very honest, so I am super excited that he gave Sra’kalor a 4 of 5 star rating!

I am not a big supernatural fantasy fan, but I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised in what I found in those pages. A good friend of mine asked me to read her book and it turned out to be a great suggestion! Jessica Werner’s Sra’Kralor, the first book in the Ashwood Falls series is a very interesting take on the supernatural creatures living in our world theme. It follows the story of Alana who has a mysterious ability that her family cannot deal with and when she turns eighteen, she is placed on a bus and sent to the nearby city of Ashwood Falls. If she thought her life could not get stranger, she would be in for a big surprise.

You can read more of his review on his blog “The Musings of the Crazy One” here. Head on over and check it out!

Sra’kalor Revision is out now!

As I have told you before, I have been working on a revision for my first book Sra’kalor, and it is finally out! I have taken comments and reviews to heart and improved my first novel.

SraKalor

The story is the same and has not changed, but many many grammatic and spelling errors have been fixed with the help of an editor, the lovely Emily Roller. I am rather grateful for her help, since writing in English is not as natural as it would be for a native speaker. I am excited and thrilled for this revision!

For now the updates are in place for the ebooks on smashwords and amazon. An update for the print edition on Lulu will come soon, since the test delivery usually takes a while. So head on over and grab your own copies:

Sra’kalor on Smashwords
Sra’kalor on amazon

And while you hopefully enjoy the first book, I will keep working on the second! Read you soon!

Jessica ❤

Sra’kalor – Revision in the works!

As you might remember from my last blogpost, there are exciting things at the horizon for me, all kinds of different projects. One of them, I can finally share with you!

Sra’kalor – which I have released in March this year – is undergoing revision! The fantastic editor Emily Roller, has been working hard on the novel and I have just received the final edit. That means that I will be able to soon release an even better Sra’kalor!

I hope that this will be really soon and I’ll be busy to make that happen! Stay tuned and get ready for the freshly edited Sra’kalor, part one of the Ashwood Falls Trilogy!

The wrath of the cold

Remember when I posted to tell you that I’ll be writing more here and soon? Yeah, a day later I got struck down by a nasty cold. One would think that mother nature values us keeping promises. 😉

Well I got sick and if you ever tried to think properly with a brain full of snot and pains you know how that goes. Then when I thought it’s finally over, it came back with a laughing “fooled ya!”

That is where I still am. But I am starting to get better. Slowly. Very slowly. At least I get in the mood for writing again and I cannot wait to continue on my projects, as soon as my body lets me.

I hope you all are doing better! Enjoy the cozy autumn time.

Writing and writing more!

I have been quiet, but only here. That is because I have been busy and still am with working on several stories at once, that are all super exciting for me!

Of course, one thing I’m writing is the second book of my “Ashwood Falls Trilogy.” I just recently rewrote a full chapter, because I did not like how it had turned out in the first place and continued from them on. I still have a lot more in my mind for this book, so I will continue being busy with this one.

Another story I am working on is a short story I had on my mind for a while, which is actually a twist on a fairy tale. I won’t spoil you now, but I am having fun with this. Not only because I like fairy tales, but also because it is different from what I usually write.

And then my dear friend and fellow Author Jonathan Synder is working on “Blood in Space”, a Sci-Fi based Role play system, which I find super interesting and would love to play myself. I have been a huge role player for over 25 years and so I almost freaked out when he asked me, if I’d be interested in writing a novella in the world of “Blood in Space”. Of course I said yes, and I have begun to work out a story featuring one of the species he has invented for this system. I will be able to tell you more about it, as I progress. Right now it is still in its fledgling stages.

The reason I have not told you about all these fantastic developments yet is, because despite my nature to write a lot, I do keep occupied with the actual writing so much, that I forget to share the good news! But knowing that you really would like to hear more from me, otherwise you would not check in here, I’ll try to update this blog more often and share more interesting news with you!

But now I am going to return to getting the jumble of words down into my file, maybe interrupted by an hour of watching the newest Doctor Who. It’s been too long! Until next time!

Let’s talk about … rewriting

Letstalkabout

Today I want to talk about rewriting. Now that is some scary stuff right there. You have a story in your mind, a poem, a speech – anything really – and somehow it doesn’t work out. I don’t know about you, but that completely blocks my mojo and it can happen that I stop writing for a while, breaking my brain on how to make it work.

Well, just recently, while writing on my first draft of the second part of my book series, I stumbled over that problem. I kept reading the last chapter I had written, but I was still blocked. So I did something that proved to be the first step in the right direction: I questioned what I had written. The reaction of Alana getting some news just seemed wrong, despite me feeling it was alright when I initially wrote it.

So what do you do in that situation? I don’t know what you would do, though I’d love to know, but I asked some friends. I explained the situation and asked them how they would react. The answers were eye opening. Only one of them told me what I have written, the others all had the an answer similar to another, but it was the opposite of mine. So I decided to rewrite the whole chapter.

It might sound strange to some, but that is an extremely hard thing to do. A story is like a baby to me as writer, so changing or even deleting it is tough. To be honest, while it is difficult I do know that it is for the best. It will make the whole situation more believable and I am excited for that and the added development it will provide. Of course I cannot tell you what situation that was, because that would give away an important part of the second book. It is important though, which I keep realizing and learning over and over again, to not be afraid to change things up, to delete scenes if needed, or to adjust them. I want it to be more realistic, so I’m getting on that. Cross your fingers!

What is your experience with this? I believe every writer had to go through that at least once, if not even more often. I’m curious to hear your stories, so share them in the comments. 🙂

Snippets – Prompt #3

It is past time for another Snippet! For those among you who are new here, here is how this works:

I am posting a Snippet below. It is something I wrote down at some point and did not develop, but I would love to see get its own life. Then you go and write whatever pops into your mind. You can make it a story about how it came to this, or maybe it is the beginning or the middle. You can write a poem, or anything else that is inspired by the Snippet. If you want, you can share it in the comments, because I would LOVE to see what you did with the Snippet, and show it to everyone. Easy enough, right?

So here we go, the newest snippet for you guys:

Snippet3

I can’t wait to see what you are coming up with. Please share your stories in the comments, I would LOVE to read them!

Fireworks!

Fireworks Today is my Birthday.

Now that this is out of the way, I want to share with you a anecdote about happens on my birthday, and the day after. Well one thing is, that I become a year older, but that happens to everyone I suppose. Though someone used to tell me that women do not get older than 29, so I am not actually getting older, I just repeat it a couple of times.

The other thing I connected in my mind, when I saw the 4th of July fireworks for the first time. I was about 12. And not being US American, or any kind of American, this day does usually not have any meaning to me. I know why it is celebrated but that’s it. Now imagine 12 year old Jessica seeing the fireworks on TV. What does a child think of a Firework that is held a day after their birthday? No idea, but this child thought “OH! They do that for me!”

And so it was born. Ever since then, every year on July 4th I pretend enjoy the celebratory fireworks in my honour. Why they do it a day after my birthday, you ask? Easy, out of respect to not pull any attention from my friends and family who celebrate with me. So we have the 3rd for us and the 4th the sky all over the states lights up for me.

Well I do of course know that it is not the case, but a girl may have some dreams, right? After all, my 12 year old self should not be disappointed.

Do you have something like this? Events that happen completely unrelated to each other but you put them together in some way to make it more awesome? Share with us, I’m curious to hear about them, since I cannot be the only one, right? Right?

Character Interview – Meet Dracon

Dracon
Dracon

Why hello there. Who might you be? Aren’t you lovely, look at that face, these beautiful eyes. I regret I have not come here earlier, now that I know what- no who was waiting for me here. Will you be busy tonight? If not, we could..

Dracon!

Yes, dear? Ah it’s you. I already made the acquaintance of your lovely readers. How stunning they are. Look at this one over there…

Yes, they are fantastic. I am glad you approve. And imagine, they are here for you.

Me? Of course. Who would not want to meet me. Look at me, honey.

Of course. I apologize for the strange welcome. You all have met Alana and Tyler before. Today we have Dracon with us. So Dracon, since you enjoy to talk about yourself so much, why don’t you tell us who you are?

The corner of his mouth twitched, as his long fingers brushed through the shoulder long hair. Very well. As you have heard by now, I am Dracon. I’m a master of illusions, trickery, magic of the mind, the enticing curves of women, the tantalizing spiral of lust..

Dracon.

He raises his hands in defense. All right, all right. I am a demon, an incubus to be precise.

And for how long have you been in Ashwood Falls?

I’ve stopped counting the years, so let us say that I have been there for a very long time. I’ve seen many come and go.

Speaking about that, have you met Alana yet?

Casting a glance, he leaned back, a smirk beginning to form on his lips. Alana. The little gold eyed, raven haired girl. I have indeed. I believe that I am going to have a lot of fun with that one.

What do you mean by that?

His gaze appears to be far away, in thoughts or a dream, maybe both. After being addressed it takes a moment before he blinks and is back in the present. What? Nothing in particular. I believe she is a lovely girl and will fit just well into this small town.

I could have sworn you said…

Leaning forward his one eye dials in on me, a cocky grin on his lips as he interrupts the comment. Why would I want to talk about her, if I could talk about what you and I should do after this interview.

Because there is nothing we will do afterwards.

Ah, come on. You, me, the darkness of the night, some candle lights and music. He approaches me like a hunter its prey. I would love to see if your skin is as soft as it looks.

This interview is over.

He smirks. I knew you would come to your senses.

You will be brought back outside. Thank you for taking the time.

With that Dracon was escorted outside, the ‘cooing’ calls continue until the door is closed behind him.

Now that was different, but what would one expect with an incubus. I should probably remain here for the rest of the night, just to be sure. Now that you met our three main characters of Sra’kalor, the character interviews are coming to a halt for a little, unless we have someone else who would like to speak up. You will be the first to know – well, after me.

If you got curious, about Dracon or more of Sra’kalor, check it out and I’ll see you here again very soon. If you would like to stay up to date, follow the blog, or subscribe to the newsletter, and you won’t miss a thing.