Tag Archives: writing

Patterns in the Leaves

Brass tacks on storytelling in the Beus world.

Vroom, vroom, vroom…

“So, what’s new, Beus? Whatchu been up to lately?”

When I’m working out calculus on my master’s degree my mind be like…

“Hmm…I bet I could use this program solver to feed a string of literature prose as a data graph to use for network analysis in comparing tropes across different periods of classic literature.” 

Made of Math

The urge to create is a beast–even when doing logic! It must be let out!

Obey the Fist! Invader Zim

What am I up to, creatively, you might ask? Continue reading

Scene Retelling – The Once and Future King – Part 2

The Once and Future King - Book Cover

The Once and Future King – Book Cover

This is a continuation. To read the first part of this story, click here.

They hatch a plan

One day, while peering out the window watching their mother in the courtyard below the four boys overheard shouting with her servants. It appeared that in her desire to prove to herself she was still a beautiful young maiden she had tried to hunt down a unicorn–a feat which can only be accomplished by a virgin. Their mother, of course, wasn’t, and so spent the entire night in the forest waiting for a unicorn that would never come. She was angry at this, and likely embarrassed in front of the servants, and the sound of her shouting drew particular interest to her boys.

They had not seen her nor spoken with her more than a sentence or two for most of their lives. They felt that there must be something wrong with them for her to not spend any time raising her children. Hearing her so upset gave them an idea of how they could prove their worth. Continue reading

Graphic Novella – This Is Not The Project I’ve Been Working On For Four Years – 1

The starter painting for a graphic novella I'm creating. In the story, a woman sets out on a mystical perilous staircase to heaven in search of her lost son.

The starter painting for a graphic novella I’m creating (just as a side project, not the one I’m doing with Shadow Mountain – Deseret book). In the story, a woman sets out on a mystical perilous staircase to heaven in search of her misbehaving son.

 

A little announcement:

I’m doing a graphic novella between now and the Salt Lake City Comic Con this coming April.

This is a separate project from the one on which I’ve been working for the last few years. That’s to say, as clearly as I can, it’s not the mixed-media graphic novel I’m working on with Shadow Mountain (Deseret Book). Every time we think we’ve got that one down, we get a whole bunch of new ideas about how the story can be better, and we just can’t turn the ideas down. (I’m excited for you to read it!)

Back to this side project.

In the novella, a mother learns that her fickle son found a perilous short cut to heaven—a staircase full of temptations that pull at you until you fall—and took it without thinking about the consequences. And she sets out after her son, regardless of the fact that she doesn’t consider herself to be ready to take a short cut to heaven, either.

I’m going to be posting updates on its progress every Thursday evening and Saturday morning.

It will be black and white on the interior with a fully finished color painting for a cover. I’m self-publishing it for Kindle, and I’ll be printing it either through Amazon or a publisher in China. It will actually be available for the first time at the comic con, and I won’t be making it available online until after the convention is over.

Making a graphic novella is something I’ve wanted to do for years, but have had to spend all my time learning the basics of writing. So, I’m excited to finally put these skills to use and make something fun!

If you’d like to follow along, remember to sign up! There’s an RSS subscriber on the left, and here’s my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

See you Thursday!

Things that are funny in retrospect…

Several years ago I was going on a date with a nice girl in which I was extremely nervous and made a few boo-boos.

Before this evening I had never dated very much, as I was shy in high school and my first year or so of college.  At the time of this event I had just challenged myself to ‘get out of my skin’ as it were and ask members of the opposite sex out more frequently.

The girl whom I had asked out for this particular evening was from my local church ward and she was a very neat person: kind, smart, fun –– everything one could ever hope for.

Filled with the usual terrifying thought, I literally shook as I drove to her apartment.  What will I say? Should I talk about ‘this’ or ‘that?’ Does she expect me to give her a hug at the door? Should I just say ‘goodnight’ and leave directly when we’re done?

Well, I made it to her apartment, picked her up, and we went on a date.

I’m assuming she was her usual pleasant self –– I was far too nervous to be able to recall much of it. I can remember being in the car with her; seeing her; my mouth forming words, though I have no idea what they were; and the image of her making some kind of reply in return. I’m assuming she made it to her door alright as she wasn’t in my car when I got home, but I can’t remember anything else.

Well, as I sat with my car parked in the driveway and my mind raced, I slowly became of aware of what had just happened.

This was what I heard playing on my CD player:

“Even for Me” by Bobby McFerrin

No lyrics, odd beatbox noises, humming, chest pounding, experimental music. It’s an odd song and not one I would choose to represent myself.

I looked down at the CD player to see how long it had been playing, hoping that it had only just started.  On the CD player it read, “Repeat – One Song.”

My twitterpated horror was amplified by a metallic ‘scrape, scrape‘ on my windshield.  I looked up and saw that I had left my torn and dilapidated windshield wipers going since the last time it had rained –– a full day before.

This is the part I can remember: sheer agony for the entire rest of my night and following day or two as I repetitively analyzed what little I could remember of the date, hoping to discern whether or not she had mentioned it.

The next time I saw her she was her usual, kind self and never teased me about it or let on.

 

Tree Pose

DAY – INN’S DINING HALL – INTERIOR

A group of travelers sit on wooden benches surrounding a circular fire pit. A stag roasts in the fire on a turn-spit.

A few heads turn as a man enter. He is wearing chain mail, a red tunic with an ensign of a golden luck dragon on his chest, a broad sword hangs from his waist. His face is of Caucasian complexion and he is relatively tall.

The other travelers do not stare long before returning to their meals.

The man walks towards the inn keeper.

MAN:
(tossing a coin on the counter)
For the night.

The inn keeper glances at the man’s sword.

INN KEEPER: How about a demonstration, and you can keep the coin?

Keeping a steady gaze, the man tosses another coin on the counter.

MAN: Dinner too, please. Continue reading

Welcome back, Concentration: Ommwriter

Welcome back, Concentration.

Ever since writers began doing their work on computers they have been surrounded by a constant barrage of digital distractions.

This simple program, Ommwriter by developer Herraiz Soto & Co, is a bubble away from those interruptions. Ommwriter takes up the full screen of your computer, plays an ambient music soundtrack, and adds quiet, electronic sounds to your typing. By creating a cohesive and interactive environment,it substitutes the digital stimulus your brain is used to getting from checking your email or facebook account and creates the ideal environment for creative writers to stay focused and let the inspiration do the work. Best of all, version 1.0 is free!

Make sure to try it with your headphones if you have them.

To download, click here.

Ommwriter Website
Developers: Herraiz Soto & Co

Ommwriter from herraizsoto&co on Vimeo.

“Prep and Landing” Story Paradigm, Part VIII: Climax

Breaking down the Story Paradigm of Prep and Landing (written by Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton).

Over the course of these few posts I am explaining in simple detail the Story Paradigm, and you can also learn more about the Story Paradigm by reading the books listed in the story column of my Truth and Storytelling List of Resources.

Part VIII: The Climax

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! The audience is on the edge of its seats wondering how in the world the story will end, and as storytellers we’ve got a tremendous obligation to pay up!

When you ask someone to listen to a story–be it film, novel, graphic novel, or even just a single narrative painting–you make a contract with the viewer. You say, “I have something worth sharing with you, and if you give me some of your time, I will deliver.” The audience member says, “o.k. I’m going to trust you. Here I am.” As soon as they sit down to listen, they say to themselves, “prove it.” Continue reading