Friday, 28 February 2014

Snippets of a Story-- February.

The door opened a crack. “Yes?” His eyes seemed confused, almost frightened. “What do you want? Who are you?”
Mally gulped. “Mr. Tyler, it’s me, Mally. I wanted to ask you--”
The door closed at the sound of her name. “Go away,” Mr. Tyler said, his voice muffled as it came through the solid wooden door.
She knocked again. “Mr. Tyler! Please open the door. I wanted to ask you why you have empty frames lying around. You made me think they were people you loved and cared about. They’re just sample photos. Why did you deceive me?” She was starting to cry, making her words hard to understand. “Please open the door. I want to talk to you. Mr. Tyler?”
There was no response. The door remained steadfastly shut. Slowly, Mally turned and walked home, her heart somewhere near her toes. ~A Single Friend.

Mama took Annie’s chin and tilted it up. “Don’t let the beauty go out of your life, Annie. Don’t let love be replaced by hate.” Pearl Harbor Story.

It was raining next Monday, the day he left. Annie’s hair clung to her neck and cheeks and there was water down her back but she stood still, ignoring the discomfort. Her eyes blurred as rain trickled into them, but she could still clearly see the strange man hugging mama goodbye. Jacob. He looked so different in his uniform. So grown-up and mature... and so like papa. Annie felt like he was someone she knew well, and at the same time someone she had never seen before in her life. ~Pearl Harbor Story.

Miranda caught her breath, then waved frantically, hoping to catch his attention. “Pa! Pa, goodbye!” She wanted to say that she loved him and would miss him, but the untrue words would not come. Instead, she watched as he grew smaller and smaller as the train chugged away. And he had not seen her. ~West By Train.

Victoria’s breath slipped away from her and she felt stifled. Philip Raymond leaned towards her. Almost, she ran away. But she stayed put, wanting to accept the one thing she could not imagine accepting. ~Victoria.

When Chloe’s mama heard the news, she was probably the most surprised. No, actually, the most surprised was the mailman who had to deliver the package that was three times bigger than the recipient. But Chloe’s mama was a close second on the surprise range. ~Tubas and Broken Hearts.

“Our nation is making a big mistake, father!” It was William’s voice speaking, and he sounded upset.
“What mistake? Slavery has been around for generations! People in the Bible kept slaves, our founding fathers kept slaves! I’m not saying I condole the inhuman practices that many slaveholders use, but slavery is a necessary evil.”
Necessary evil? Hogwash! It’s an evil, and that’s the end of it, Father. Not fifteen minutes ago I stopped your overseer, Harton, from nearly killing Mamie, that orphaned slave girl. Father, she had only stopped a moment from her work and he attacked her with his whip!”
“I’ll have to speak to Harton about that,” Master Phillips said, and Mamie heard him rise from his chair and begin to pace.
“You’ll ‘speak to Harton about that?’ Father, that’s not enough!”
“Then what is?” Mamie watched from the hallway as Master Phillips turned on his son. “What do you propose to do?”
“End slavery, that’s what!” William was shouting now, waving his arms about and coming dangerously close to knocking down the many pictures hanging on the walls. “Make an end to this inhuman practice and free the slaves!” ~Battle of the Bull.

“Then a civil war must start, for America cannot go on like this for much longer! Something will have to break, and mark my words, it won’t be the abolitionists! Not if I have anything to do with it! Even if it means I have to go and fight, I will do what it takes to free those slaves!”
“You would kill, William?”
“I would!” ~Battle of the Bull.

“Morning, sleepyhead,” Chloe smiled, picking up her glass to take a sip of her juice.
“Mmph,” grunted Sam, and gave a generous helping of brown sugar to his bowl. Tubas and Broken Hearts.

The train pulled out, steaming and puffing noisily, and Jacob was getting smaller and smaller, his hat bobbing as he waved it over his head. Then the train was gone, out of sight around a bend in the track, and Annie hadn’t said goodbye. ~Pearl Harbor Story.

Snippets of a Story is hosted by Katie at Whisperings of the Pen.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Examples of My Work.

Today is that last day of the Writer's Conference, and so, to finish up my posts on HF writing, I thought I'd share some of my work with ya'll. :D

“Our nation has the chance to do great things, and help many people. And we have done just that over the years. But we are missing an opportunity that has been under our noses for generations. Black people every day are getting abused and humiliated. It is as if they were still slaves. In the 1800’s blacks were enslaved to single masters. Today they are enslaved to the nation, for America will not treat them as equals." ~Let Freedom Ring

The back of her neck was cold. Victoria reached back and let her hand rest against her neck, but her fingertips were like ice and she quickly gave up trying to warm her neck and let her arm drop. The white of her wedding dress almost hurt to look at, with the sun shining on it as the bright rays came through the window. Outside, the trees were in full, vibrant color, but Victoria’s heart was grey with sadness. Today was October 15, and her wedding day. ~Victoria

Shifting her position, Natalie peered out from under the wagon, where she and Ida were lying to sleep. By the fire, pa lay snoring softly, his rifle within easy reach. But Zach was sitting up, staring off into the darkness of the night. Natalie wished she could go to him, but she would wake pa and Ida. Besides, Zach probably wanted to be alone. ~At Home on the Frontier

“Daddy and Uncle Frank were killed,” Annie whispered, picking at her shoelace.
“I know. But that was because their ship sank in a storm. It had nothing to do with wars or anything.”
“Then why were you drafted?
“This is just a precaution, because of the war in Europe. Lots of young men are getting drafted just in case we get pulled into the war. Besides, I’ll be in Pearl Harbor, at the naval base there. I might never come into contact with that war at all, especially not if we don't get involved.”
Annie wiped the tears away that insisted on creeping up to her eyes. “Oh. I see.” She pulled herself out of the hollow and started walking towards the creek.
She started at the water, trying to calm herself, but the tears kept coming until they conquered and streamed down her face, tickling her nose and dribbling into her mouth.
Jacob put a hand on her shoulder. “Annie? I’m sorry.” ~Pearl Harbor Story

Carlos shuddered. Hie nose stung with gun smoke and he wished that the army would leave the Americans alone. He wanted to go back to his house and feed the pig and work on their small garden in the heat of the sun. Had it only been two weeks since he had been complaining about that chore? How he wished he could do it now, and be rid of war and fighting and long, scary-looking guns with their sharp bayonets sticking out next to the muzzle. Attack on the Alamo

Three people left, two, one. Then it was over. “Farewell, my friend,” Jeanne whispered, wiping the tears from her eyes. “I know we shall meet again.”
And the sun was still shining through the clouds. ~Betrayed?

Friday, 21 February 2014

Writing Historical Fiction. (Mainly Short Stories.) Part Three.

So last time, for the Writer's Conference , I talked about getting started writing HF, and this time I'm going to talk about some hard things that come with writing HF.

One thing that is VERY difficult, and I have struggled with it and am still struggling with, is language barriers. Let's face it. Not everyone speaks English. Though many countries today may teach their children to speak English, back in the 1800's, they weren't really doing that.

So what can you do when one of your characters is a Native American and one is American? They may want to communicate, but their language barrier is in the way. Now, in my story, which I just used as an example, Kolaki knows some English. But still, she wouldn't know how to properly phrase things like Joseph would.

Also, another thing that gets into the way and adds to the problem of language barriers is that I don't want to sound racial. I don't want to sound like I;m looking down on other people, and it may look that way sometimes with language barriers.

So what can you do? My answer is, I don't know. I'm a pretty inexperienced writer, and I don't know all the answers. All I can say is: #1. Try to find a good way for your characters to communicate without using English too extensively. (Who knows, you could learn another language, type in the language, and then stick a glossary in the back of the book. JK :D) #2. Have the language bared character know some English. This is plausible in some cases... others it isn't.

Another hard thing about writing HF is making your story true. When writing HF, YOU DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE HISTORY. Somethings happen in history that we may not like. The Titanic sank, around 250,000 people died in the Irish Potato Famine, thousands of men died in WWI. But though we may not like all these sad things that happened, they still happened. So my advice is, don't change history in your stories. Instead, take something that happened, whether a tragedy, triumph or anything, and make it work for you. Don;t change it, but use it to your advantage and make your story memorable.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Writing Historical Fiction. (Mainly Short Stories.) Part Two.

So, last time I talked about how to start you short story, and today I'm picking up with more of that, and moving forward. I said you need groundwork. So, let's start with that.

So, picking a topic! Well, first of all let me say that in order to write HFSS, you should need to like history at least the tiniest bit. Anyway, the first thing to do is pick a topic. There are so many different people, events and places to choose from!

I would suggest that you go with something you enjoy reading or learning about in history. Now, if you have no interest in history, then I don't think I can help you, and you might want to step back and consider WHY you're planing on writing HF. :P

Some good topics to pick from are listed below, in no particular order.

  • Wars. (These are good to do; plenty of conflict.)
  • A new invention, medicine, idea, etc.
  • Important people: George Washington, King Louis XVI, Nero, Hitler.
  • Something that was debated over: slavery, women's suffrage, temperance.
Those are just a few suggestions. Once you've picked a topic, though, it is time to get down to work. Start out however you want, but as you write, it is a very good idea to have some kind of reference to fall back on. One of the most important things about writing HF is having your facts accurate. This reference may a Wikipedia article, a book form the library, anything that gives you the straight facts about what you're writing.

Historical accuracy is important. One thing I try very hard to keep in my stories is accuracy. Also believability. Things that seem crazy and out of this world may be fun, but in the long, run something that could have actually happened is much more fun.

Finally, when you have your topic, your facts, and an idea of how your story is going to do, what can I say but get writing! :D So, that's all for now, and next post I will talk about the HAD things about writing HF.

Ta-ta for now!

Last Day, But...

Okay, on Rachel's blog, (click here) she has been holding a debut party for her book, Fly Away Home. And I saw today that today is that last day to enter her giveaway! (Wow, that was a lot of "days" in one sentence.) :D

 Anyway, Rachel's book can be purchased here, and I am hoping to be able to read it!

Isn't the cover dreamy-creamy? :)

Self Preservation has never looked more tempting. 1952 New York City: Callie Harper is a woman set to make it big in the world of journalism. Liberated from all but her buried and troubled past, Callie craves glamour and the satisfaction she knows it will bring. When one of America's most celebrated journalists, Wade Barnett, calls on Callie to help him with a revolutionary project, Callie finds herself co-pilot to a Christian man whose life and ideas of true greatness run noisily counter to hers on every point. The new friendship sparks, the project soars, and a faint suspicion that she is fall for this uncommon man grows in Callie's heart. When the secrets of Callie's past are exhumed and hung over her head as a threat, she is forced to scrutinize Wade Barnett and betray his dirtiest secrets or see her own spilled. Here there is space for only one love, one answer: betray Wade Barnett to save her reputation, or sacrifice everything for the sake of the man she loved and the God she fled. The consequences of either decision will define the rest of her life

Congrats to Rachel for publishing her book!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Link-Up for the Conference!

I think ya'll know what is going on this week, so here is the link to Anne-girl's blog ( click here) and now, let me answer zee questions! :D

1. Do you think it's more important to listen to your characters or to follow the idea of the book as originally conceived?

Listen to your characters. I started The Lost World thinking the plot was going to be very different than what it is now. Some of the aspects have stayed the same, but many have changed! :D

2. If you could pick a fictional man to become alive and marry you who would you pick? {note: this is not asking whom you consider the greatest hero but whom you would be the most comfortable spending the rest of your life with}

Yeesh. Ummmmmm...... Sir Percy. But maybe Roger Hamley.  But if I had to pick between the two, I'd pick *edit* Roger Hamley.

3.  What is your favorite protagonist and antagonist pair?

Ooh, that's a hard one. I don't know, sorry. :P

4. If you had to do without one of the following in your story which would it be?
 A. The Dark Moment when the hero is at rock bottom and can't do anything
 B. The Moment of Decision when the hero makes an actual goal and starts following it{leading thereby to the story itself}
C. The Resolution the reconciliation of the hero with his or her inner struggles and outer struggles.

Probably A. But I might be wrong, and that could change. :P

5. In modern fiction which genre do you think shows the most tendency toward good character development?

I'm not sure. I don't know that I've read that much modern fiction. Hmm, I'd better start getting more educated, so that my answers won't be so boring and I'll actually be able to answer more questions. :P

6. Have you ever "fallen for" the villain? {Note I do not mean thought he was a good guy but rather WISHED  he was the good guy and rooted for him}

How about Nicolas Ambrose? So, in answer to the question, yes. Oh, YES.

7. Do you prefer writing about your protagonist or side characters? 

It really depends. I have found that in many of my stories I prefer one of the side characters of a semi-main character rather than the protagonist.

8. What do you think is the most cliched and overdone character in fiction?

Umm, sorry, but I really don't know, I can think of a cliche event in fiction, but as for characters... wow, I'm really bad at this. :P

9. Which do you think is more important, making your reader feel or making him think?

Ooh, tough. I really can't say. I love making my readers feel for the characters and understand them, but I also would want to make them think. So I really can't say.

10.  And lastly what do you think are three most important elements to being a hero?

Bravery, the knowledge to what is right, and compassion. Argh, can't I list a few more? No? Ah well. This was fun! :D

Writing Historical Fiction. (Mainly Short Stories.) Part One.

So, over at Anne-girl's Blog, it is Scribblers Conference time! Well, actually, it started yesterday, but oh well. :P I have chosen a theme to post about, and it is, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, about writing Historical Fiction, and mainly Historical Fiction Short Stories. (This will be hereby in these posts referred to as HFSS to make the typing easier for me. :P)


So. Let me first say that I do not hold myself as a great, writer who can tell everybody how their writing can be better. However, I have been writing HF for a little while now.. maybe half a year or more if you're counting serious writing.... and I am going to put down the basics for you.

Now, there are many different categories of writing. Epic fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction, mysteries, etc., etc. And of course, historical fiction. :P I have written (and when I say written, I mean serious or not-serious-but-later-made-serious writing) two contemporary novella stories, (well, contemporary being in the 2000's) a novel taking place in the 1950's, and various short stories and Snippet Stories. But other than writing Snippet Stories, which, you may know by now, is when I see or read something in real life and write a story for it, I find that writing HF is something I can do more easily than other types of writing.

Even when I was little, I liked things to be real. When my sisters and I would play pretend games, I was usually the one who wanted to use dress-up clothes, and real cups, bowls, chairs, and what have you. I wanted to see and feel the things that my sisters were fine with just pretending about. And now, when I write, I find it easier to rely on facts and things the really happened to base my stories on. Of course, it's not like I can't just make up a story and pretend happenings. That I can do fine. But I can't, like Anne-girl does, just make up a whole new land and rules and customs. I need groundwork.

Groundwork. That is what HF needs. It need some sort background to grow on. Whether this background is historical facts, places, or people, an HF story needs something to be built on.

So how do you start a HF story? Well, for one thing, you don't have to write a short story when you're writing HF. *duh* :D But, in my case, and what I will be talking about, is writing HFSS. So, over the course of this conference, I will be publishing posts on this subject. So, I guess you could say this was just an introduction post combined with part one, but now (maybe) I have you interested in writing HFSS. :D

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

February Chatterbox-- CRITICISM.

I saw what theme for this month's Chatterbox over at Rachel's Blog, and I was very pleased! How fun to write out a scene in which your characters get criticized? *rubs hands together and give evil chuckle* SO! Let us begin!

"Hey, buster, what's up?" Tim strolled into my room and tugged gently at my hair.
I frowned, pulling away. "Aww, quit calling me that!"
He sighed and sat down beside me. "Fine. Hey, Robert, what's up?"
“Nothing much. I’ve been working on my story about criticism. Want to hear it?”
Tim shrugged. “Sure. Well, as long as it isn’t like your last one. You know, the one about the two bunnies and the fox.”
I slapped him on the arm and handed him my paper, smudged with erasing but still legible. “It was two rabbits and a minx, Tim. Don’t tease me.”
Please,” Tim reminded me, making a great show of rubbing his slapped arm. “Ahem. I will read this, if I can make out the words.” He skimmed over the first few words, then frowned, tapping the paper with his forefinger. “That’s not how you spell ‘elbow.’ ”
I shrugged. “I can edit selling later. Tell me what you think, please. Oh, and can you read it out loud? Ah, ignoring the spelling?” This last request is completely necessary, for Tim always loved to read my writing out loud and exaggerate my misspellings by reading them in a weird way.
“Very well, my lad.” Adjusting imaginary glasses, Tim began to read. And this is the story he read.
Senor Spain stretched and nudged Madame France with his pointy elbow. “Senorita, are you seeing and hearing what I am seeing and hearing?”
Madame France moved away, wrinkling her nose in disgust. “That will be Madame France, to you, peasant.”
Senor Spain’s face darkened. “I may be growing weaker now, but once.... ah once I was a great power in Europe!”
“Once, maybe, but not any more!” scoffed Herr Germany. “Now it is confederacies like me, the German Confederation, that are growing more powerful. With Otto Bismarck as a mastermind behind my ruler, surely the German Confederation will one day control the world!”
Reb Russia snorted loudly. “You just try, you new little bug. Countries like myself are much more powerful and strong! I have been an Empire since 1721! Much longer than you! You have only been around since 1815! A mere baby, at only 46 years old! You’re even younger than Miss America!”
From up on her island, Miss Britain sniffed. “Please don’t speak of Miss America to me! Ever since 1776, she has been so bold! Thinking she can start a nation on her own! Though, it must be admitted, we have become friends now, I still do not know what to think of her!”
From across the ocean, Miss America was listening, but she held her peace, worried about the trouble brewing inside of her.
Senor Spain broke into the conversation. “See? That is what I was trying to ask Madame France about! I asked her if she was seeing and hearing what I am seeing and hearing! And what am I seeing and hearing? Well, I am seeing and he--”
“Please, Senor Spain!” Reb Russia broke in in exasperation. “Stop with the needless chatter and tell us what you are seeing and hearing!”
“Very well, Reb Russia,” Senor Spain submitted meekly. “I only meant to say that I am seeing and hearing a lot of trouble and upsetment in Miss America! Her southern parts are angry at her northern parts, and vice versa! Ah, these estadounidenses!* They are arguing over the issue of that inhuman practice: slavery.”
“Slavery?” interposed Miss Britain. “Why I outlawed that back in 1833! Why are they still practising it?”
“It is inhuman,” rumbled Reb Russia.
“You’re one to talk, Reb Russia,” Madame France spat. “You, still keeping serfs and binding them to the land to be bought and sold! That is just like slavery, perhaps worse!
Reb Russia cleared his throat but said nothing.
Miss Britain gave a long sigh. “Fighting and arguing in Miss America. Such a pity. But what could you expect from a country that started as a rebellion. I always thought that Miss America would amount to no good.”
“Indeed,” contributed Madame France. “I helped her in her Revolutionary War, but as a citizen of me said when he was alive, a Marquis de Lafayette, that if I had known she would be a slaveholding country, I would never have helped her.”
Miss Britain glared. “That’s right, you did help her. I should be angry at you, but I am not, since we have become friends. Like I said before, I am reconciled to the fact that Miss America is independent of me, but still, her conduct over this most important issue is disgraceful! I do wonder what she will decide to do?”
“Nothing that can be good,” Reb Russia frowned. “No, there will be war, I’m sure of it.”
Madame France sniffed. “Just look at her clothes. She has no taste! It is shameful!”
“Shah!” Reb Russia snorted. “Style is not what is important, Madame France, but her political decisions. She must think carefully, and have persuasive diplomats. Style? Bah!”
Herr Germany cleared his throat with a grating sound that made all the other countries participating in the conversation hold their ears. “Ach, but it is not only her diplomats,” he sneered. “She also needs masterminds like Otto von Bismarck to get things done. War will be inevitable for her, I’m afraid.”
Miss Britain looked at the other countries. “We must be careful to stay out of Miss America’s way as she moves toward this great war that most certainly will come from this argue over slavery.”
“I agree,” Madame France spoke up. “But I must say that her styles are still much to distasteful--”
“Ahem,” said Reb Russia.
“--even though they are not important,” Madame France finished meekly.
“I agree as well that we should stay out,” Herr Germany spoke up.
Reb Russia grumbled his agreement as well.
All this while, Senor Spain had been very quiet, and now the other countries turned to him expectantly. “I will not get involved in Miss America’s affairs,” he said slowly, tugging at the ends of his drooping mustache, “but I still have hope for our little American miss. My rulers of old, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, had hope for this land when Christopher Columbus sailed towards it. I will not give up hope now.”
The other countries were silent, not knowing what to say. Senor Spain bowed and gave a smile towards Miss America. And across the sea, though trouble still brewed within her, Miss America smiled back.
“Well, that’s it,” I said, when Tim finished reading. “That was my story about criticism. How did you like it?”
“It was good,” nodded Tim.
“He smirked. “But... I have a few criticisms.”
He got out of the room like lightning, barely missing getting hit by my pillow as I chucked it at him. I heard him laughing all the way down the hall.

*Estadounidenses means Americans.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Aidan, which meant “Little Fire.”

Yup, it is that time of the month again! Time for Snippets of a Story over at Katie's Blog. Zee rules are here, and now let us begin!

So how could Aidan tell him that she was scared of fires? And yes, she. For dad the firefighter didn’t have a son. He had a daughter. A daughter with a name she had only ever heard used for boys except for herself, a daughter who almost hated her father's profession, and a daughter who was scared of fire. A daughter named Aidan, which meant “Little Fire.” ~Fireman's Daughter.

“Daddy and Uncle Frank were killed,” Annie whispered, picking at her shoelace.
“I know. But that was because their ship sank in a storm. It had nothing to do with wars or anything.”
“Then why were you drafted?
“This is just a precaution, because of the war in Europe. Lots of young men are getting drafted just in case we get pulled into the war. Besides, I’ll be in Pearl Harbor, at the naval base there. I might never come into contact with that war at all, especially not if we don't get involved.”
Annie wiped the tears away that insisted on creeping up to her eyes. “Oh. I see.” She pulled herself out of the hollow and started walking towards the creek.
She started at the water, trying to calm herself, but the tears kept coming until they conquered and streamed down her face, tickling her nose and dribbling into her mouth.
Jacob put a hand on her shoulder. “Annie? I’m sorry.” ~Pearl Harbor Story.

Pa and Zach walked across the yard toward the house. Zach was smiling once more, and talking animatedly about something. And pa? Pa was smiling too, and his hand was on Zach’s shoulder. ~Home on the Frontier.

The three neighbors sat on their various porches and contorted their faces into different positions. Carl’s was in a blank, gaping stare, Karl’s was twisted up in an expression almost identical to a fish with appendicitis, (or, how one would look it had appendicitis) and Tracey was trying desperately to conceal her grin and failing miserably. All in all, they were a very interesting trio to look at. ~The Cars.

"In the 1800’s blacks were enslaved to single masters. Today they are enslaved to the nation, for America will not treat them as equals." ~Let Freedom Ring.

Back in the camp, the screams and shouts still rose to the air, drifting with the clouds and swooping with the birds as one person after another fell from the swipe of a sword of blast of a gun. And on the sand beside Sand Creek, a girl lay, asleep in a hazy mist of worries and fears. ~Friend or Foe?

“C’mon, Skipper. Let’s deliver the mail. But this time, let’s do it the right way.” ~Mail Time.