The Joy of a Tale is in the Telling Part II: Magic Beans

During the first ever Adventures in Storytelling Suds and Stories (a real life meetup where community members hang out to enjoy company, beverages, and talking about stories), Amanda described Stephen King as ‘supernaturally talented,’ which is both incredibly apt and an incredible pun.  I can’t give you any proof, but I feel that King’s talent flows from an innate understanding of a simple storytelling truth (a truth that he puts on to the lips of Roland in The Dark Tower series): the joy of a tale is in the telling.

As we explored in Part I, a story is a space where the audience and the author meet and together generate meaning. Stories possess a wonderful quirk that complicates this idea, though. Once a story is told, it continues to exist independent of the person who originally did the telling. That might mean it was codified or recorded in some way, or it may just mean that it lives on in the memory of a person who was listening, but a story becomes an entity unto itself. Continue reading “The Joy of a Tale is in the Telling Part II: Magic Beans”

The Yarn: Section 4

The final section! Interestingly, this is the section where I stuck closest to the original outline, and it’s also the section where I came closest to 1500 words (1482, to be exact). I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I think the formula works, you’ve just got to be very dedicated to following it. 

Continue reading “The Yarn: Section 4”

Master Plot 5 – The Fourth 1500 Words

We’re in the home stretch, folks!1 Here’s the plot for the final 1500 words. I found my way back to the original plot somewhere along the line and this is actually pretty accurate to what’s on the page.

You can read the last section of the story here. Stay tuned2 to the central pillar for my final thoughts and a critique from My Greatest Critic.

Continue reading “Master Plot 5 – The Fourth 1500 Words”


  1. I have no idea what this means.

  2. I have only the vaguest idea of what this means.

The Yarn: Section 3

Now for the third 1500 words! I admit, I thought this was finished and that I had just forgotten to post it, but there was a whole chunk missing that just said “tdk figure this out later”. I guess I just forgot to finish it? MY BAD. If you click through to the master plot for this section, you’ll see just how badly I deviated from it.

Regardless, this section is actually only 1300 words long, even with the bit that I figured out today. So far I’m actually on track for Mr. Dent’s suggested word count, even with the too-long first half.
Continue reading “The Yarn: Section 3”

Adventures in Terminology: Verisimilitude

I’m going to be honest with you. It’s a bit rich of me to be spewing wisdom like “‘show don’t tell’ is reductive and potentially crappy advice” and “ideation is a key to success” because I have absolutely no formal training in writing whatsoever. Everything I know about stories comes from the other side. I have a lot of training in critical thought, and I’d like to think I’m at least adequate at it.

As a result, I’ve made some assumptions about writing in the past. When I make those assumptions, Luke (who does have formal training as a professional writer) usually manages to say something that surprises me. Often it’s insightful wisdom or highly organized, process-based logic, but he did throw me for a loop once. When I went off on a tangent about whether a character would be able to see mountains from where they were standing in a comment on a section of Charlotte’s Journey, I learned that Luke was largely unfamiliar with verisimilitude. Certainly not the concept itself, but the word. I always sorta figured it was writing 101 stuff, but there you have it. Continue reading “Adventures in Terminology: Verisimilitude”

The Yarn: Section 2

Here’s the second 1500 words (… 1650. I did my best, I swear!). The first 1500 can be found here, and the outline for this section is here. Careful readers will note that I shifted some things from the end of section 1 to the beginning of section 2. I’m still not convinced that this section works as well as I want it to, but it sure was fun to write.

Continue reading “The Yarn: Section 2”

The Yarn: Section 1

Here’s the first 1500 words as suggested by Lester Dent. It’s more like 1600 words, but that’s better than draft one’s 3000 words. So where did the last 1000 go? I tried to cut things down word-by-word (superfluous “that”s, “she said”s that were explained by the text), but even I’m not that purple. Continue reading “The Yarn: Section 1”

Make Your $hitty Pots

To begin talking about writing strategies, we’re going to talk about pottery. Specifically, the kind of pottery created by a bunch of Psychology students who do not, normally, create pottery. The students themselves were given an assignment where they were split into two groups, each with their own similar yet different goals. Members in group A were asked to make as many pots as physically possible for the span of a month; the higher the number of pots, the higher the possible grade. Members of group B were instead asked to submit a single pot, whose quality would determine their individual grade.

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Taste Your Food

The last time I made a post here, I set myself a goal of writing a chunk of this every week. It was probably foolish to start right before the holidays and a vacation, but I figured I’d find time, that finding time would be part of the fun.

Best laid plans, right? Continue reading “Taste Your Food”

Freedom To Be Wrong

I’m going to try a little experiment here—just a small one, because I’m not sure how it’ll turn out (poor scientific method again already!) but that’s kind of the point. But I’ll get to that in a bit. Just know that this article isn’t going to be exactly like my previous ones. It’s going to be a bit rougher, for The Reasons, but if you’re keeping up with all of Adventures In Storytelling it’s not the first time you’ll have read something of mine that’s “rough”. For example, CC.004-5.L.2 – The Charismatic Augusto—Love Him Before He’s Gone! Any of them, really. See, the experiment I’m attempting on this article shall be aptly named (read: stolen): A Shitty First Draft. Continue reading “Freedom To Be Wrong”