Fall is here and Halloween is just around the corner. All during the month of October, there are scary movies on television, people are deciding what type of scary creature they want to be for Halloween and kids are dreaming of plastic pumpkins full of candy.
It's also a time for creepy stories. It was about this time last year I released my first horror/scary YA story, "Ally Ally Oxen Free." It seems the majority of readers have enjoyed this creepy story about a boy who is fascinated with bones and the human skeleton. Tom gets a change to dig and vacant lot and what he unearths makes all the neighborhood kids tremble with fear.
"Ally Ally Oxen Free" is available as a Kindle book for $0.99
My second horror/scary YA short story, "Alfred C. Bogeyman," was recently released from Fire and Ice. This story is about three boys who set out to find the boogieman and give him taste of his own medicine. Adrian and his two friends with the help of a dog, find who they believe to be the boogieman scaring Adrian's little brother. After their discovery, the boys and the boogieman have a battle of good and evil that involves bravery and laughter.
"Alfred C. Bogeyman" is available as a $0.99 PDF and HTML eBook from Fire and Ice
For adults, Tales from Imagination's Closet has 29 short stories that range from creepy and horror/scary to downright bizarre. Right now the Kindle version is only $4.99. You can also find the print version from Melange-Books and on Amazon.
Natalie is one determined young lady, and she stops at nothing to find out if the boy resembling her brother in Colombia is in fact her little brother who the family was told drowned. In this touching story, I felt like I was taking the trip right along with Natalie, feeling her elation with good news and disappointment with bad, and it isn't until the end that both Natalie and the reader both know if the Colombian boy is her brother.
Since his father's deployment, Adrian feels he has to be the man of the
house. So when the boogieman scares his little brother, Sam, every
night, he and his friends, Ralph and Sean, are determined to find the
boogieman and give him a taste of his own medicine. With the help of
Socks, Sean's dog, their search leads them to small cottage behind the
park where they encounter Alfred C. Bogeyman and the forces of fear,
bravery and evil collide.
I don't know about everyone else, but I LOVE to watch the movie made from a book--after reading the book of course. :)
The Women of Brewster's Place by Gloria Naylor is not a novel I would have chosen to read on my own. I actually read it because it was required for a women's literature course in college. I loved the book and just recently came across the movie on television. I began watching it only to realize it is a long move--mini series, I suppose. Anyway, I had missed half of it.
I was disappointed, so what do I do? Go to Amazon and buy the darned movie. :) So, hopefully I find it in the mailbox soon. I am anxious to see if the movie makes me the feel the same as the book.
Naylor does an excellent job of creating true-to-life characters, and I became absorbed into their life and problems and actually cared about them. I think that is a difficult task in writing, making the character to true to life, so real, that the reader forgets these are fictional characters. In the movie Oprah plays Mattie Micheal, the main character, who is one determine lady--if you ask me. :)
I won't go into the details of the books, but Mattie's son, Basil, ends up being arrested and charged with manslaughter. His mother puts up her house as bail, which she worked hard to pay for, and he skips bail, leaving her without her home. Mattie if forced to move to a tenement where she is a mother figure to the other girls living there. Each lady has her own story and that is what I think makes this such a great book. The reader learns about each character and becomes caught up in their life struggles. If you haven't read it, I'd recommend it. Although, I don't know how well I'll like the movie version, yet. :)
When you write a story, do you always start at the beginning? I used to and it made me crazy. At times, I felt so much frustration that I gave up on the whole project.
Then...while in college, I took several types of creative writing courses, and discovered that there is no rule that says you have to start at the beginning--no laws broken, no one hurt...nothing.
This works great for me, and I think it would work for others writers who do not already piece their stories together this way.
How does it help?
It helps me in a few ways:
Sometimes I have a conversation between two characters in my mind that starts to develop into a story, but trying come up with a beginning, and then building up to that specific scene is frustrating. So, I start with what I've got in mind and fill in the rest of the story around it. Sometimes, I write the scene and put it away for a while, and then come back to the story as ideas develop.
My creative juices, so to speak, flow better when I don't have to start at the beginning. I just start writing what has already developed, so I'm not sitting at the keyboard watching a blinking line on a blank page or wearing out my "backspace" key. Both make me crazy!
Writing other scenes first helps me decide on a beginning or an end. For me, writing a scene with the main character in the middle or end of the action helps me flesh out my character, and in turn, helps me create more realistic characters. I understand their motives and can begin the story with that in mind.
If you are a writer who hasn't tried this technique, I'd recommend it. I don't always write this way, but doing so frees the mind and allows you to concentrate and build on what has already developed in your imagination and getting that out on paper frees your mind to create the rest of the story.