In the recent republishing of Book Two: Crown of the Dreamer, a sneak preview was included. This is presented here on this blog for your reading pleasure. Spoilers after the jump. Don’t jump if you don’t want to be excited for the upcoming continuation of the epic prequel story, The Hidden History of Oz, Book Three: Crown of the Dreamer. Really, this is the last warning. There are a few spoilers if you haven’t read Book Two yet.
I have some great site updates to share with you. As you will notice in the sidebar, there are two new covers for the published novels. I think they look much better.
If you navigate through the buttons on the menu bar, you’ll see some new entries. There is a Media Kit for each published book, including author bio, author interview, reviews, and more.
Now, for the piece that I am most pleased with. With each book there is a Guide for Parents.
As the Hidden History novels are intended for ages 10 and up, I felt it was important to provide a guide for the parents so that they are aware of what is in the novel.
The Kalidah is the most ferocious and feared predator in the Land of Oz. We first read about Kalidahs in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel. The Kalidah has the head of a tiger, the front paws and body of a bear, and the rear legs of a tiger. But what would a Kalidah look like in real life? How would the features of these two fearsome predators look? Read the rest of this page »
This question drives my writing and my explorations into character.
I am flawed. I struggle. I move forward a little bit, and then I fall. I get tired. It’s hard to get up and continue. What do I need to go on? Pretty much, I just need a hero to look to. Read the rest of this page »
A hero is someone that inspires hope. A hero stands in contrast to a villain, who inspires hopelessness. Villains are explored in a previous post.
Based on this simple definition, the hero type can be broken down into several categories. This post contains short videos that I believe demonstrate the aspects of heroism that I look for in my characters.
There are many real-life examples of heroes. This post is limited to fictional heroes and heroic qualities that I find inspiring.
These everyday heroes may not change the world, but they can change your world.
Consider Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie (1978). Read the rest of this page »
A good villain is the embodiment of that which makes you feel helpless.
With that in mind, three types of villains emerge:
Inhuman forces of nature
Shadows and hordes
Inhuman forces of nature that run rampant are always scary. A few examples include: Read the rest of this page »
Can you tell a story in six words? This super-short storytelling has a history dating back to Ernest Hemmingway when he shared the following with a friend:
For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.
iO9 has a couple of super-short science fiction writing contests here, and here. This got me thinking about how to tell a story in six words. You see it many times in newspaper and magazine headlines. The story needs to pull you in so that you buy their product – their product being both a magazine and a message. If you buy their message, you will most likely come back. You become their audience.
So how do you build an audience in six words? You find common beliefs that allow you to use shorthand to tell your story. You find double-meanings in words that give you more mileage. And you find a way to look at events or attitudes that allow people to think they know what is happening, and then surprise them.
The power of each word is multiplied when you can only use six of them. Here are three of my favorites from my six-word sci-fi brainstorming session:
- Substitute time traveler wanted. Provide references.
- Successfully removed cancerous microchip. Now lonely.
- Vegetable uprising. Time travel. Primordial soup.
I thought even further – could this work for Oz stories?
Given only the limit of six words to tell an Oz story, can you do it? Can you rely on your audience’s understanding of Oz to share an entire story in scarcely a handful of words? I’m going to give it a try.
- Silver slippers returned to the dust.
- Giant robot destroys tribe. Survivor cowardly.
- Powder of life activates Tiktok’s heart.
- Teenage Glinda battles two Wicked Witches.
- Lonely Wizard dreams monsters for Witch.
- Yellow Brick Road guided hopeful slaves.
- Young Locasta hides from apprenticeship. Found.
Some of these may be actual story ideas for The Hidden History of Oz series. Time will tell. Distilling the essence of a story down to six words is quite an interesting exercise.
Why don’t you give it a try? In the comments below, leave your six-word Oz story.