Monday, June 27, 2011

Gone Fishin'

Currently taking a break from TaleBait to work on other projects. Keep your lines tight.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Morsel from Open Water

The "whatevers" were getting to me. I was seeing the child who adored me slowly turn into a teenager. I couldn't stop the process, but how could I keep my sanity? I began wearing my i-pod everywhere, retreating to the back-yard porch swing to read to the dog when my son came home from school, and then slowly shrugging my shoulders when he asked me what time dinner would be ready.

Some days he'd bounce on the old trampoline a few times before heading in the house to find his cellphone or blast Metallica, but most days he looked at me as if I'd lost my mind. Who reads to a dog?
Read the rest of this tale in Open Water
Reading to the Dog
by Texasrangersfan

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Guidance for The Send Off

Stage I - Set up: Kaddy, an aging musician, sees a newspaper photo of his friend's [Tom's] death at a posh north Dallas wedding gig. He recalls their relationship in college.
Turning Point 1 - Opportunity. Add your installment now. 

Target ending: Kaddy, an aging musician, exorcises a deep guilt from his past when faced with the death of an old nemesis.

A Postmortem on Shards

As we approach the wrap up on Shards, Angler TomFrodo  wants to know what you were thinking as Marissa’s adventures in Shards evolved. Here are his questions:

What do you think the real goals were for the competing factions—Russian Mafia, Indian factor, and the CIA? How did the competition between the Indian and Russian counterfeiting rings lead to the conflict that involved Marissa?

Was there a reason why no one picked up on the Chinese element? Why was Dimitry targeting a Chinese economics expert and what would a reaction by the Chinese mean for Marissa?

Did anyone see Dimitry as having another bigger goal? TomFrodo planned for Dimitry to contaminate counterfeit money at a G-28 meeting where the world’s leaders would be stricken. With the money system in chaos, Dimitry would call in Blackraul to maintain order. That’s one way Dimitry could have thought on a larger scale. Did you have another idea?

No one picked up on the contracting firm Blackraul. Did the you dislike the use of a contracting villain? Would you have preferred using Blackraul in a different way?

Please add your comments.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Plot Practicum

Let’s learn more about plot development while we exercise our creativity. To give our stories more structure, I’ll provide guidance in “Skipper Says” based on Michael Hauge’s “Six Stage Plot Structure.” Hauge writes screenplays, but his method seems adaptable to tales on Hooks & Storylines. Here’s an overview of the plot plan:

Follow the trail of Shards

Stage I - Set up: Marissa returns home to find her apartment in shambles.
Turning Point #1 - James is injured in an encounter with the unknown intruder.
Stage II - New Situation: Marissa is wanted for murdering a Chinese Counsel.
Turning Point #2 - Change of Plans: Marissa walks back into her old life of espionage.
Stage III - Progress: The body count adds up.
Turning Point #3 - Point of No Return: Marissa is on her way to Mumbai to face Dmitri.
Stage IV - Complications & Higher Stakes: The action is building.
Turning Point #4 - Marissa is captured by Petrov and must work with him to defeat Dmitry.
Stage V - Final Push: Marissa connects with an old friend, Haroon.
Turning Point #5 - Climax: The body count rises.
Stage VI - write the aftermath now.

Target ending:  Marissa, an ex-CIA agent, gets revenge on Dmitry, the Russian Mafia leader who killed her former partner. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Where is Allie now?

Stage I – Set up: Allie is a single mom who has just experienced a romp with an old flame (Drew) who disappeared mysteriously ten years ago.
Turning Point #1 – Allie’s son (Tommy) saw the strange man leave the house before breakfast and told Allie’s ex-husband (Jason).  Allie’s friend at work (Tina) is suspicious too.
Stage II – New Situation: Although Allie told Drew that she harbored no feelings for him, she is anxious for him to call. 
Turning Point #2 - Drew is in Witness Protection.
Stage III – Progress: Allie is conflicted. The stakes are higher—if she learns too much she may be forced into Witness Protection too. She is moving towards her destiny with Drew without leaving her current lifestyle. Progress continues as Allie contemplates life in Witness Protection.
Turning Point #3- Point of No Return: Drew is Tommy's father. He has two more days to convince Allie to join him in Witness Protection. 
Stage IV - Complications & Higher Stakes: Allie spends the weekend with Drew.
Turning Point #4 - Major Setback: Tommy is missing.
Stage V - Everything to Lose: Drew knows he's Tommy's father and races to rescue the boy.
Turning Point #5 - Climax: The happy ending is on its way.
Ivory has written the conclusion of Allie's Choice. It will be posted in three installments.
This tale is now closed. Thanks for all the great bait. 

writing, publishing, contest creative

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Kind Offer

When Michael Hauge learned we are using his plot map to help guide our tales on Hooks & Storylines, he had this to say, "encourage your members to subscribe to my newsletter, as I frequently post structure related articles. And if any specific questions arise, email them to me and I’ll do my best to answer them." 

What a kind offer! The link to his site is below the plot map. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Catch the Winners

Enjoy the winning bait! Judging was very close in TaleBait's Get Hooked Write Away Contest. We received many outstanding entries. Winners will receive $25, $15 or $10 plus a critique of 30 pages of a manuscript. Watch for these tasty hooks to launch new tales on Hooks & Storylines in the coming months.

1st Place - Kendall Furlong

The headline got my attention, an unexplained death at a posh north Dallas wedding gig. But it’s the kick-ass photo I remember; my best friend Tom spread across three columns with a beautiful dame in tears holding his head. A lot of people thought he deserved the agonizing death described in the news and I guess when you come right down to it, that included me. I could never separate my loathing from my friendship with him. But you know, it would have been worth dying just to be in a picture like that. What a send off.

 2nd Place - Sean Enfield

Daniel Beam spent the summer of 2005 dead.

 3rd Place - Hazel Fipps-Mann

The explosion shattered the windows and threw dishes from the shelves onto the floor where they broke into various odd shapes. Fortunately it also extinguished the propane-fueled fire in the cook stove, thus sparing our little four-room post-WWII home from total annihilation. Pinto beans and bean juice slid down the kitchen walls, while more beans dropped randomly from the ceiling like little hard brown raindrops. The Kelvinator, which stood beside the kitchen stove, displayed its position at the epicenter of the blast, flaunting beans and juice somehow impregnated into the once-white enamel. Mom always had trouble in the kitchen.

Thank you to everyone who entered and to the guest judges, Denise Little and John Tait.