Tag Archives: storytelling

#LoveWritingChallenge – Everything about Writing

And with this, week four, we already reached the end of the #LoveWritingChallenge by Katie Kling. Scary how a month flies by without anything getting done…
(For more information see the introduction post.)

Week 4

This weeks theme is Everything about Writing and as I wouldn’t have that much to say about the different topics, I’ve decided to put them all into one post again.

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Plotted-Pantsed driven Worldbuilding

From the Inspiration week I do believe one can figure that I’m a pantser. I have an idea and then just sit down and write. Everything else then comes when I start to edit (or lengthen) it and think about what things actually make sense.
Though that doesn’t mean plot isn’t involved. I usually have a few markers that I want to reach, but what I write to get there or for them is then pantsed or dictated by the characters involved. Usually these markers are rough ideas/scenes that I want to see in a chapter or part of the story, so I make notes about them and fill them out when I’ve got time to pantse it. 😉
This graphic from Tumblr, even if it is for Fanfiction, still describes my process quite well:

Other than that are there only a few occasions where I think about the world beforehand. Usually this is done, when I actually write a Fanfic, as I always try my best to have the story fit into the given narrative. When it’s my own world it’s mostly in the editing phase that I think about things in the grander scheme.
E.g. for The Queen’s Wish, which is the story I’m writing for Projekt Myra, I had to adjust the idea I had for the layout of the land, so it would fit onto an island in the Myra world, (though I’m still not sure, whether it will really work for them, but that’s just my insecurity talking again…).

Selfpublishing vs Publishing House

I’m a no-name. That’s a fact. So for me to even try my luck at a publishing house I’d have to write extremely well or so mainstream that the bigger ones would like it. I don’t do either. That leaves the smaller ones, which either are busy with their own brilliant authors or turn out to be DKZ (Druckkostenzuschuss – Print Cost Grant) publishers and so on.
Plus, I’m really insecure when it comes to my writings, so I will either one day try my luck with selfpublishing or stick to just putting stuff on my Blog, because I think no one would want to read it anyway. 😉

Weird Research

There certainly was strange research I had do make over the years, but I don’t really remember what it was. I only remember that one of the last „weird“ things I had to google was: Is it possible to kill a bear with a knife? Those who thoroughly read my Advent Calendar last year, know why I had to research that. 😉
Interestingly: I only do research when I’m in the editing process to check if what I thought up (pantsing, remember?) does even make sense. While just writing down stuff I find research to be far too distracting and counter productive…

My very first Story

was written, in second grade (together with a classmate, but I did most of the work, I think), at least I have no memory of other stories. It was filled with spelling mistakes and handwritten on small (A7 maybe?), glued together pages with little scribbles of the characters. It also has an incredible twist [/sarcasm], because somehow, as a seven year old, I thought it very plausible that people from Australia talked backwards because they lived on the other side of the planet…
I still have it somewhere, so I could photograph it, but for now, have this German transcript of „How Horse and Kangaroo [became] friends“ (Warning: Please keep tissues at hand, you might cry):

Wie Pferd und Kängeruh Freunde [wurden]
Es war einmal vor langer, langer Zeit. Im fernen Lande Australien dort wonte ein kleines Kängeruh. Eines Tages wurde das kleine Kängeruh nach Deutschland verfrachtet.
In Deutschland angekommen blieb es erst einmal in einem Reiterhof. Im Reiterhof gab es ser viele Pferde so ca 40 stück, zwischen disen 40 war auch das schwarze Pferd Robert.
Er war nicht nur das einzigste schwarze Pferd sondern auch das schnellste Pferd im Hof. Die anderen 39 fragten Robert: „Wie machst du das du so schnell bist?“ „Ich teile meine kraft ein“. Es wuselte nur so durch den Stall. Alle dachten leise: kraft einteilen, kraft einteilen, dachten sie die ganze Nacht.
Robert konnte diese Nacht gut schlaffen.
Bei dem nesten Renen war es wie verhekst. Ein Kopf an Kopf Renen. Aber Robert gewonn trotzdem. Die Anderen Pferde wahren total neidisch auf Robert.
Der ausrit aus dem Stall war eine woltat für Röbert.
Die Reiter sprachen wun einem Kängeruh. Ein Kängeruh im Stall dachte Robert.
Er wuste was ein Kängeruh ist. Als sie wieder im Stall waren machte Robert sich auf die suche nach dem Kängeruh. Robert suchte hir und suchte da, aber er fand es nicht. Aber im lestem gang fand er es. Das Kängeruh sang immer wieder „Kleine Maus komm aus dem Haus. Sonst holt dich di Katze raus und dann ist es aus.“ Sang es immer wider.
Das hörte Robert und ging sofort hin. Er sag es und fragte wie er heiße. Das Kängeruh antwortete „Hci eßieh Lrak“, Robert verhstand nicht was er sagte. Johannes das war sein Johkej. Er hörte Roberts gejammer und rannte sofort hin. Johannes fragte Robert: „Was ist los?“ Robert Antwortete: „Dieses Kängeruh hat eine undäutliche ausschbrache.“ Was hat es den gesagt.“ „Ich habe in gefragt wie er heist. Und er hat gesagt: „Hci eßieh Lrak.“ „Also du verschtestin nicht, aber ich.“ „Was hat er gesagt Johannes?“ „Er hat gesagt „Ich heiße Karl.“ „In Australien spricht mann so. Das ist rückwertz.“

I really hope you didn’t forget the tissue, I always have tears in my eyes when I read this. :’D
It’s just so…I don’t even have words for it.
(The song was from my classmate I think, no idea why that wasn’t in „Australian“…)
At least I can proudly say: I’ve come a loooong way since then or so I think. 😀

My stories in five words

For this I focused on the three stories I told you about in the Character-week.
I’m not entirely satisfies with the words, but well, it’s all I could think of.
The Unnamed One: Werwolf, Vampire, Family, Prejudices, Life
The Queen’s Wish: Intrigues, Magic, Family, Change, Compassion
Neubrandenwolf: Werwolf, Change, Full Moon*, Life, Running
Well, this concludes the challenge.
I hope you enjoyed this look into my different projects, I certainly enjoyed writing about them.
See you around
PoiSonPaiNter
* I know I cheated with this, but Full Moon in German is Vollmond and that’s one word. 😉

An Update on Writing

I know there (again) has been a lack of content lately, but this time for a good reason: I’m busy writing stories!
But I’ll get to that a bit later, as today I’d like to talk about writing stuff in general and stuff I did more or less recently.
Two years ago the Bücherstadt Kurier published their March volume including my story „Nebeljagd“ (Mist Hunt). This was the first of my stories that has ever been published in a proper medium and not just on this Blog or on DF.PP Entertainment or in The Forum (back when it still existed 🙁 ).
I remember being so proud of this.
I remember calling my Mum right away after I received the mail with the amazing „You’ve been chosen“-line.
I remember printing out the story and showing it to her and the smile on her face.
I also remember what happened next.
For me those two things will forever be remembered together: My first success and my biggest loss.
Still, that didn’t keep me from continuing, I knew she would have (verbally) kicked my ass if I had dared to do that. Just giving up, wasn’t quite her style. 😉
It took me more than a month to at least be willing to write again, the result being „Ein neuer Tag“ (A New Day), starting there a lot of my writings involved darker tones about loss, flight and/or death.
Part of me used this to talk about my own experiences and thoughts, another part just found it fitting for a characters‘ journey. I believe a prime example of this is Mina’s side-story from my second Advent Calendar.
I’m fairly certain that „Der Weckruf“ (The Wake-up call) was the first story I published on a Blog after it all happened – in retrospective it’s quite a fitting title for the situation – not counting „Der Zufluchtsort“ (The Haven), which was the last story I finished the day before it happened and scheduled for the day after. Still, from there I kind of got back into things.
Your Picture – A Story“ was (kind of still is, even if I didn’t manage to write anything for it these last couple of months…) a good outlet for me to just explore different topics and characters without going into too much details thanks to the word count. This was also where you could see the changes I mentioned earlier the most.
Another new step I made regarding my stories was/is attending a Lesebühne (Reading Stage) where I read them aloud in front of an audience (in a pub). It’s always a thrill to do that and I’m nervous time and again. Though there is rarely any feedback: A few people told me they enjoyed the stories, someone said the stories I read improved over time, another encouraged me to try my luck with a publisher, others had minor complains, but most of them said nothing. It’s still an interesting experience and with the amount of Short Stories I have yet to read (or write) I have quite some stuff still unknown to the listeners.
Speaking of trying my luck: I also managed to win Eve Estelles’s writing contest, twice, without actually expecting to do so:


With „The Raven’s Omen“ and the „Campfire Tale„, I impressed her enough to let me win and those two are also prime examples of my English Short Stories, as I usually tend to write those in German. The only downside to this is my pessimism coming into play here and telling me I only won, because (it feels like) there wasn’t much competition.
I am very pessimistic (in general and especially) when it comes to my stories, I like them, but I rarely think they’re good enough for anyone else to like them, so it came as quite a surprise when fruehstuecksflocke asked me to become a part of #Projekt24. With „Blind Date„, I hope I made an adequate addition to it. This project will soon be not just available on his Blog, but more on that when it’s officially announced. 😉
With my success here I also tried to add an entry to the Literary Advent Calendar of the Bücherstadt Kurier and some people quite laughed at my take on „The Crib„.
When this year began I told you about three stories I edited/translated for another project, namely: Ein neuer Tag, „The Quest for Ore“ and another one called „Verloren“ (Lost). These three are for Projekt Myra as exchange for some advertisement they did and as they still wanted/liked to get more I sat down to write out another of my organ-concert-ideas (see link Ein neuer Tag) concerning the Dwarfworld, I came up with back when writing The Quest for Ore and drafting Verloren. That story, however, did not want to be a Short Story and has by now roughly 30k of written out scenes and notes under the (working?) title: Der Wunsch der Königin (The Queen’s Wish). It’s still a lot of work to do and I’m still not entirely convinced it fits into the corner of Myra that we decided on – and again, that they really like what I’m writing-, but we’ll see once I’m done. Which I hopefully will be one day and don’t let it go to waste (like Michael’s story that I still haven’t managed to properly write down). Unfortunately I’m already kind of bored of writing out the notes and missing scenes, as motivation plays a rather huge part in my process and when the voice in the back of my head tells me something is not worth doing, then I have the tendency to listen to it, which is awful and counterproductive and absolutely annoying.
Another annoying thing is me jumping between ideas. As soon as one pops up I want to pursue it and everything else is then put aside (like writing this post, when I should be doing something else 😉 ). One of the last times this happened I had nearly/finally finished with last years Advent Calendar and then I somehow decided to write two more stories. The first one was the Christmas story „Santa’s Helper“ that I kind of feel like continuing in this year’s Calendar, though I’m not sure if I really should – any thoughts?
The other was „Winter Moon“ that I did get carried away with and which now has the basics for the twelfth chapters I speculate to write under the working title „Neubrandenwolf„. Though I still don’t know whether I should publish a Chapter a month (close to the full moon) or just publish as soon as I’m finished, Twitter wasn’t helpful for that decision…
The idea-jumps doesn’t make it any easier to get anything done though, quite the contrary. They are especially awful when it comes to the Fanfictions I started over the years that are still not finished yet, especially as I kind of took a year long break from them. Though I did manage to update 3/4 stories by now, even if updating one of the stories was recently postponed by writing the first ~7k version of The Queens Wish and then finished after I dreamed about one of the characters pulling me towards him…
Still, they’re a great medium where you technically don’t have to think up that much regarding the worlds you write in and just can explore different story lines with existing characters. Which doesn’t mean I did not think things through, because that would be impossible for me, as I want things to make sense, even if that makes things more complicated and nearly as bad, as if I thought up my own worlds.
Anyway, a few people keep telling me I have a talent for writing and that I should try sending stuff to a publisher, but the voice in the back of my head, still tells me that I’m not good enough, that the stuff I write is too full of clichés, too boring, too simple and that no one would want/like to read it anyway (hence the lack of motivation at times). I really don’t know whom I should listen to, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep writing – and potentially improving. All this stuff has to get out of my head somehow. There are still too many stories left untold that I don’t even dare to think about to not get distracted by them…
But don’t worry, you will get a few things to read in the future – whether you like them or not. 😉
PoiSonPaiNter
P.S. Still not any better at naming things. 😉

Webcomics: Chapter Two – Things that go bump in the night

I think it’s time to talk a bit about comics again, it’s been a while. As I said before is Hiveworks a treasure trove for great comics and I’d like to introduce you to these two relatively new titles.
I’m not entirely sure why I chose the spooky theme for this though. Maybe it’s because I recently finished reading The Sandman; maybe it’s because I’m already contemplating a Halloween-vacation to Ireland again; maybe it’s because I’ve drafted a sequel to Winter Moon and am thinking about expanding it further; maybe it’s because both comics are seemingly at a tipping point for the narration into something quite interesting; maybe it’s just because I want to write about them.
Take your pick and enjoy the read. 😉

Black Grass

© kino


This comic literally starts with something that goes bump in the night, so it was kind of also the inspiration for the title.
Black Grass tells the story of Reverent Abel Ruby (front) who besides being a preacher is also a medium (according to the description is he also clairvoyant, but that hasn’t appeared yet) and therefore able to interact with ghosts. One ghost in particular – Blue Valentine (back) gets him into a rather sticky situation involving hellish bureaucracy…
What drew me to this comic was pretty much the whole idea of a preacher-medium and I’m certain that DarkFairy’s Coelestin is entirely to blame for this – and I made sure to tell her about it when I discovered the comic (back in May last year apparently o.O) – even if he so far only had to deal with celestial poultry. 😀
Anyway, with close to a 100 pages it’s easy to catch up with this one – and hard to write about it without giving too much away, especially as the narration is quite fluid and fast. The characters are great and lovely and definitely not what you’d expect at first glance, especially Rejean seems to have a few more tricks up their sleeves that I’m quite looking forward to see…
I also really like the art style, the play with colours (especially when including the neon ones) and the way the different characters (humans, ghosts, demons) are designed. It balances well between light hearted humour and serious topics (death, duh) and I’m really curious where the story will lead.

Headless Bliss

© Chloé C


Headless Bliss by Chloé C in turn has a more adult air about it. It deals with nightmares, demons, cannibalism, but most of all: stories; or rather: What happens to the stories a writer abandons?
The Comic tells the story of Sinaj an incomplete story, created by a human, that tries to find meaning in her existence. On her way she encounters demon princess Annùn and the two of them become quite unusual friends. When Annùn’s mother Diov throws a human, that carries around the head of its twin (see picture), into the celebratory battle for her daughter things start going from bad to worse…

With a combination of an intriguing and intentionally „ugly“ (read not clean cut, but wobbly, weird and horrific) drawing style (befitting the genre) and interesting story telling, world building and characters this comic makes for a great read, even if some scenes are quite gruesome and disturbing (especially the tale of the Twins). It’s definitely not for for the faint hearted…
The story telling aspect itself is well interwoven in between the struggles of and between the characters and underlined with fascinating usage of movement without using panels and different kinds of narrative styles. One of the background stories is even told as another characters‘ weird dreams and as someone who also has veeery strange dreams that is something I can definitely relate to.
Interesting thing to know: It’s becoming more and more clear that this story has a larger connection to Chloé’s other work Go Get a Roomie, not just its creator. 😉

Afterword

I hoped you enjoyed this little look into two great webcomics. 🙂
Have you read them?
Do you know others with similar themes?
Let me know in the comments below!
I know at least a couple of other comics with a similar theme, but on the one hand do I prefer focusing on two at a time with these things and on the the other hand do I think that they would work well enough on their own too.
So stay tuned for future updates.
PoiSonPaiNter

© For the pictures lie with their respective creators. I merely used them as example of their work and hope that’s okay.