Sunday, January 24, 2010

Trolling TaleBait

The activity on TaleBait is building. In case you haven’t ventured far from the landing page yet, here are a few tidbits to explore and enjoy.

Bloodsuckers wanted. I’ve had a request for a Vampire story on Hooks & Storylines. Drop me a line to suggest a Hook if you’re attracted to the undead. I’m sure we’ll cast a line that’s O Positively dripping with appeal.

Don’t miss Allie’s Choice in the Romance Category. TexasWordsmith got us underway with a Nice Twist that’s deliciously naughty.

In Open Water, a few Anglers seek comments and collaboration: The Dream, Central Heat & Air, Fable of One Footprint, and Southern Belle Hell.

My current Open Water favorites are Central Heat & Air, Reading to the Dog, and The Pause. Each story contains something fresh and unexpected.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Choose Your Identity

Do you want readers to know you as a writer? Maybe you’re published and want to show your style to expand your following. Use an identifiable name.

Do you want to explore new styles and genres, but worry about falling flat? Maybe you’re a nonfiction writer and want to test the waters in Sci Fi, Romance or Mystery. Use an alias.

Do you want to improve your writing and lack confidence about your skills? Use an alias.

Do you want to keep your options open? Create two Angler profiles, identifiable and alias.

TaleBait serves a diverse group of writers, each harboring different motivations for sharing ideas. As the site’s activity grows I hope to offer several opportunities. Published writers can get attention by sparkling in Hooks & Storylines and sampling their work on Open Water. My plans for the site include a means for published authors to promote their work through Angler Profiles.

Aspiring authors can refine their skills and catch the attention of others. I’m looking for tales on Hooks & Storylines to publish as “Best of TaleBait 2010.” If your submissions are voted into the storyline you will be credited.

Dabblers can enjoy a free 15 minute imagination vacation anytime. Dive in or dip – make a splash and feel refreshed.

Here’s a look at a few Angler names and descriptions:
Wordlinger. Wordlinger is like a Nerdlinger. A nerd who’s a word freak. Hmm, maybe that’s redundant.
Ruphass. One cool cat.
Litmoo. Author of Lost in LitMOO, a book for kids that captivated 150 fourth-graders and their teachers at readings in local public schools. This engaging story for 8 to 11-year–olds combines contemporary and classic themes in an amusing and fast-paced suspense/jeopardy story. Distinctive, vivid imagery and engaging characters make Lost in LitMOO a fully engrossing environment.
Jack. Retired professional sumo wrestler now working as a part time surgeon at the Gun Barrel City Amputation and Lobotomy Clinic. In my spare time, I am a consultant for the regional Federal Reserve in Dallas and work on my collection of antique elephant turds.

Add a comment below to guide us to your Angler Profile.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Do You Have Control Issues?

Gender-neutral language was a zero-tolerance issue for me as a rhetoric teacher. Probably because I grew up reading he and him in print and was told those terms included me. Bull. When many texts were written he and him meant precisely what they mean today – men, not women and men.

I explained to students that when they choose to use male pronouns in place of gender-neutral pronouns, they choose to exclude me. As a writer you have complete control over the words you choose to put on that blank screen or page. You are the Master of that Universe. What power!

Some of us are reluctant to let go of control in our writing and squirm when our contribution on Hooks & Storylines doesn’t end up directing the story as we planned. A few anglers have expressed a bit of frustration to me: Why isn’t someone following up on what I started? Where did that name come from? I named her something else. How did so-and-so get from career A to career B?

These discussions reminded me of the difficulties rhetoric teachers face when crafting a writing prompt. What we think is perfectly clear may be interpreted differently. I was delighted with the hook an Angler suggested for Sci Fi & Fantasy. However, I changed Heaven’s Annex to Destiny’s Annex because I thought the story might skew religious. No problem now; Destiny’s Annex became a bar.

The challenge on Hooks & Storylines is to write a compelling installment that’s true to the tale. Add something to inspire the next Angler. Then let it go, enjoy the excursion, and bite with a new idea on Live Bait later. If you want to develop your idea your way, add it to Open Water.

Some of us dream of ruling the universe; some of us hope for a good night’s sleep.