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The Things I Love Most About Serial Fiction

The Things I Love Most About Serialized Fiction

Serialized fiction has been around for quite awhile. It was exceptionally popular during the Victorian era, and it is becoming increasingly popular now. People don’t have as much time for leisure reading as they once did, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have time for stories. While books like the Mysteries of Udolpho reveled in long drawn out descriptions, modern readers want their storytellers to get to the point. Even those who enjoy

immersive worlds such as Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Shannara Chronicles, and so on still need stories that can fit into their day. And the time spent on reading is no longer a long leisurely afternoon (though honestly I still look forward to those), but rather 10 – 15 minute intervals scattered throughout the day.

Alexandre Dumas is one of my favorite serial writers. He sometimes wrote several at once, crafting intricate storylines and complex characters simultaneously.
Alexandre Dumas is one of my favorite serial writers. He sometimes wrote several at once, crafting intricate storylines and complex characters simultaneously.

Serial fiction allegedly began in the west during the 1600s in response to the Stamp Act. To save on the tax and cost, writers and publishers started selling smaller sections of stories. And serials became even more popular during the Victorian era with renowned authors such as Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Alexandre Dumas, Gustave Flaubert, Leo Tolstoy, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. For Dickens and Dumas, most of their livelihood was based on these serials.

When I read many of these stories, I had no idea that they were serials to begin with. After all, I had the final copies. One thing that they share though are flowing narratives and often large casts as well as multiple story lines. But there are a few other things that stand out from serialized fiction that I love just as much.

Serials Offer Opportunities for More Surprises

In this case, I’m starting with the biggest reason I love serials: they are more surprising. The traditional novel is often structured with three acts and set to fulfill certain expectations and beats, similar to the traditional movie. That can, unfortunately, lead to a certain level of predictability. Stories that follow this must hit certain beats, and once you have read more than a few, you know what’s coming unless the author leaps off the beaten path. For instance, in most chick flicks, you know that there will be a misunderstanding, and if the misunderstanding happens around the 2/3 mark, it’s fairly likely that the couple will be back together. Similarly, if a villain is unmasked too early in a movie or book and other factors are present, you can bet that it’s a red herring and the real baddie has yet to be revealed.

But with serials, it’s harder to do because you don’t know how long the series is going to go or what all it will cover. The covering of the beats may or may not happen. A serial is placed in the main genre that fits it, but the narrative itself will continue to grow and adapt along with the characters, and that may change. As such, you can always guess what you think will happen, but it isn’t quite so easy.

Serials Change the Reading Experience

Confession time. I’m a speed reader, and I retain what I read. I read Game of Thrones in a day. On the one hand, this is great because it means I get to read more books. But on the other, it is quite saddening because I get through the book so quickly I can’t savor the experience. (And please don’t

A hot cup of tea, a good book, a cool place to read...and I am a happy woman.
A hot cup of tea, a good book, a cool place to read…and I am a happy woman.

suggest that I slow down. I’m afraid I’ve tried that, and that doesn’t work.) It’s just a part of me that I have accepted.

But serials do change that up a bit. See, with a serial, I do not have the whole book in front of me. Instead, I have to wait as it is released chapter by chapter. It whets my excitement for the story, and it forces me to continue to come back, wondering what is going to happen and concocting exciting new theories. It only takes me a couple minutes to read most of the modern serial chapters, so I can fit it in at various points throughout the day whether I’m waiting for a representative to take me off hold or a client to show up for his legal consultation. And though it takes only minutes to read, a good serial segment keeps my mind engaged for quite some time.

Serials Are Great Rewards

Maybe it’s just my because I’m a bit cantankerous, but I do need rewards to keep at my highest productivity levels. Having something to look forward to makes it so much easier to deal with a trying client or push through a rough day. And let me tell you, when you have found a great serial, opening up that new chapter is the perfect reward.

Books take us on wonderful new journeys and introduce us to incredible people. It's my favorite way to travel.
Books take us on wonderful new journeys and introduce us to incredible people. It’s my favorite way to travel.

My favorite way to enjoy this reward is curled up in the corner of the couch or in the back corner of a room. (It’s very important to have walls to your

back and sides so that people can’t sneak up on you while you’re engrossed in that fictional world.) Sometimes I brew myself a cup of peppermint tea and other times I just kick off my shoes and start reading.

And while it’s true that you can do this with a traditional book that requires a bit of will power that I don’t have. If I have the whole book in front of me, I will probably binge on as many chapters as I can cram in.  And it’s also quite likely that dinner will be whatever I can whip up or is left in the fridge.

 

A New Player Has Arrived in Serial Storytelling

There are already some great platforms out there for serial storytelling. One of my favorites is Wattpad, which has been the home to some of my best writing friendships. And now there’s a new one called Radish.

Radish is similar to Wattpad in that it offers serialized stories through an app, but it also allows readers to purchase stories through the app and read chapters early. In some cases, the stories are even exclusive to Radish. And I am writing some of those stories! (I’ll tell you about the serials I’m doing and what you can expect in another post, and you can sign up for updates about my work on Radish here: radishfiction.com/?a=JMButler.)

This must be turned into a plushie! It is adorable.
How can you refuse the Radish? He’s got so many great stories to share with you! You should stop by and see if you find a new favorite!

The app is brand new, and it just rolled out into the iOS market first. Now if you can’t find it, you may have to look under the iPhone only option in the app store. You can use it on an iPad and so forth, but it seems to only be showing up under that category. You can go here to check it out.

I’m so excited to see this project take off, and I know that the folks at Radish have been working hard. You can view their landing page as well to see some of what they are offering. While most of the stories on there are romance, I promise that it’s not only romance. There are great non romantic stories on there as well ranging from fantasies to mysteries to horror stories.

As time passes, I look forward to seeing the Radish Team further develop this, including additional rollouts to the Android platform and web app as well as commenting and interaction features. And I am even more excited because I get to read some wonderful new serials. Just in time too because it’s tax season, and lawyer life gets a lot more stressful right about now.

Talk Story to Me Episode 007 and Radish Blurb 01

Talk Story to Me is now back up and running. I’ll get into reviews once more. But today I’m going to talk about an exciting new serialization app and a little bit about the surprise I’ve been promising you. I’m now practicing embedding videos into WordPress. The guide makes it look easy, but I’m not holding my breath until I see the final product after I click “publish.”

 

The first blurb promo is up now as well. This one is for Carole McDonnell’s new serialized novel, Daughters of Men

 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Keep stopping by for more surprises. It’s going to be a fun ride.

P.S. It worked the first time! Oh my goodness! This is wonderful! Do you know how often that happens for me? Hardly ever! This month is closing out beautifully.

A Quiet Weekend And Thoughts on What is Shared

For once, it looks as if this will be a quiet weekend. It has been so long since I have been able to say that. James and I are going to try to slip down to the civic theater and watch Our Town. It should be great.

Of course, there will be the usual events. Grocery shopping. Church. Small group with the youth on Sunday nights. I really miss having them over for dinner beforehand, but I am trying to be relatively obedient. We never did get around to the Hobbit movie party. Perhaps we can do that later on. The students are such dears, even though some of them would claim to be otherwise. Oh well, I am grateful God has given me the time with them that He has.

I’ll also be working on stories of course. There is not a day yet when I haven’t written almost as far back as I can remember. Ray Bradbury’s advice, I think it was him, was particularly compelling in this. Some days the words do not come out as easily. Lately I have been going through a relative dry spell. I’ve only been writing between 5000 and 7000 words. And those have been hard words to reach.

I suspect it is just because I am healing. And that seems to do a number on the inspiration. Some have suggested that I should just take a break from writing. But I don’t want to. I am at a point now where to go without writing for more than a few hours is quite stressful. I don’t want to do anything to add to that, so instead I am just making sure that I don’t stress about how far I get. It is very enjoyable to write without the pleasure of deadlines.

One other thing that has occurred to me is the need to potentially put up a disclaimer on my blog. It shouldn’t be necessary, but you know, lawyer and the need for disclaimers. But there does seem to be done sort of miscommunication and even misunderstandings.

It is not my intention to deceive, but just so that my readers are on notice, I do not write about everything happening in my life. In general, I tend to focus on the positive and the interesting. Certain aspects of my life are not discussed and others are glossed over.

This isn’t because I am ashamed, but rather because I don’t want to talk about them. It is not deceitful to not mention that one of in relatively little pain for what one is usually in. Sometimes I just want to say that I am doing well without a lot of disclaimers.

Everything that is put out there is part of the story that we tell about our lives. Very few people decide to share everything. What is shared should be up to the individual except in a few situations. For some, that is fine. But for me, that just doesn’t work. Some parts of my story are such I only share it with those who are closest to me. Not because I am trying to pretend I have a perfect life, but because I just don’t want to talk about it or know that it’s for the best if I remain silent.

That’s also why I don’t talk about the law firm except in general terms.

Anyway, given some emails I have received (sorry that commenting isn’t working; I’m still working that out), it seemed that this clarification is necessary.

Returning to the weekend, I am so grateful for this relative calm. It doesn’t look like we’ll get much of the big snowfall, if any. Which is rather sad. I do love a good snow.  But even so, there will be hot cups of tea, good books, and time with family. So all in all, there’s much to be grateful for. 

A Brief Update

So the doctor has insisted that I start taking more rest. Adrenal glands among other things. Insomnia and pain management makes this difficult, but I am hoping that there will be an improvement after a few more days.

This does mean that I might have to reduce my writing goals for the year. Particularly before my birthday. It’s bothersome. But I’d rather get back to full health than destroy my health in an attempt to reach my goals.

So I haven’t given up the 30 stories by 30 published through Amazon. But I think I might allow myself to the end of the year or so to get it done. And I’ll do a special release for my birthday.

On the positive side, I’ve been learning about the formatting of print books and more of the in-depth details of ebook formatting.

I’ve also been learning a lot about Photoshop. Currently, my computer can only handle three actions before I have to shut it down and start it again. At some point, I’m going to have to get another computer. For now, this works as both an opportunity for patience and precision.

Faceplanting into Concrete

Have you ever been running along and then suddenly faceplanted into freshly laid cement? While I’ve only faceplanted into slightly hardened cement (it was no less fun, let me tell you), I feel as if I’ve been metaphorically faceplanting for the past couple months.

I suppose that it’s just the way that things go. Technical errors caused a number of problems. The live Nanowrimo writing went fine so long as I didn’t try to put it up on the Internet. Currently, my Internet speed is so low that a five minute video takes almost a full day to upload. We’re trying to get that fixed. And the software I was using to record the writing process crashed my computer on November 30. I didn’t lose more than one chapter and one video, thankfully. Eventually I’ll get everything processed and uploaded, but for now, it’s fallen to a back burner.

Other writing goals and activities have not gone as planned. Formatting difficulties as well as disappointed expectations have been at play. And chronic illnesses love worsening at times like these. I recognize that many of these issues could be resolved by hiring people to do them, but that requires money or bartering. And I don’t have the funds for anything else, and I am fairly tapped on time as well.

So I have plugged along, doing the best I can. One of the more odd recent developments is that sleep is not restful, and the insomnia has worsened. For now, I’m trying to make the most of it. I spend a lot of time in prayer and meditation as well as plotting out different stories and working on projects. But I also know that this can’t continue like this.

Hopefully as several projects draw to a close, I’ll be able to rest again. In the meanwhile, I am still trying to take time to enjoy life. The time I have doesn’t change based on whether I enjoy it.

Now it may sound like this isn’t a good start to the new year, but…I still believe it will be a great one. Hard starts don’t mean hard roads all the way through. And perhaps this is necessary. I never really learned how to rest. I’ve always been so focused on my stories and other projects that I struggled to take time for myself or to relax. (In fact, I actually don’t know how to relax very well.) So perhaps the purpose of this is to teach me what that means. Eventually exhaustion will claim me, and then I will rest. (And if it doesn’t, I’ll be contacting some medical institutions to see if they’d like to conduct a few studies. Provided they fund my writing, of course. ;))

There’s lots of writing news on the horizon. I’m participating in more events and have many more stories about to be released. I’ve decided that 2016 is the year that I move through my backlist and see what is a good fit for traditional publishing and what is a good fit for indie. But more on that later. For now…blessings and joy to you all. Have a wonderful night, and may your sleep be sweet and restful.

Nanowrimo 2015 Day 01

Today is the first day of Nanowrimo as well as the first of a new month. New beginnings always excite me. They hold so much potential. November 1 is a particular favorite because of Nanowrimo.

I’ve been doing Nanowrimo since I was 11 though my parents didn’t give me permission to sign up on the official site till I was a fair bit older. It was a great experience with lots of fun along the way, and it stretched me. That first book was less than ideal, of course. It had so many holes and tons of problems. (I think one character’s name even changed halfway through, and many other details spontaneously changed or became contradictory, lol.) But I was glad that I did it.

I’d encourage all writers to give it a shot. While it is a great challenge to complete 50,000 words during one of the busiest months of the year, that isn’t the only reason to do it. There’s a spirit of camaraderie throughout this month as thousands of writers support one another in this endeavor. It’s about shutting off that inner critic, dig into the stories that you have inside you, and start exploring them. You can’t fail in this. You won’t do it perfectly. In fact, you’re going to miss some days. You’re going to fall behind. But that’s okay. The point is to get as far as you can and get as much of the story down as you can. Every year I have found material that I can use.

Now some of my tutees, students, and friends have asked me to consider doing an additional challenge this year: write my Nanowrimo novel live. I’ve received a lot of questions about my process as well as what it looks like when I write. And since I’m not comfortable with people sitting next to me and watching what I write, recording it through a screen capture along with commentary on what I’m doing and how I’m doing it seems like a better choice.

I finished conducting some tests, and it looks like I can do this. I’m a little concerned about the upload speeds because the Internet is often slow. It can take an hour to upload 15 minutes. So there may be some delays. My other concern is how long a video with an actual writing session is going to run. After all, writing a novel takes a lot of time. (Not really sure how long, but I guess we’ll find out.)

What I’ll do to offset this is doing a brief recap that details what I did, how it’s going, and what tools I used. That way if you don’t want to slog through the whole video, you can get the highlights.

To help facilitate this, I’ve come up with some rules for myself.

  • All the writing will take place in front of the camera. This is going to be the hardest thing for me. But when I’m not writing on the screen capture, I won’t be working on the story.
  • I’m starting entirely from scratch, and I will document the whole process.
  • If I use a notebook while on camera, I’ll be sure to show you what I’m writing if I can.
  • I will be doing minimal editing before uploading to Wattpad. I’ll include that as well.

Since I’m trying to document the whole process, I’m starting with a fresh story. I’ve had this title and cover rattling around for awhile, potentially going to one or four stories. But I’m not going to use a story that I have already started. The story will be based in part off a dream I had, but that’s more for the general premise. I don’t even have character names yet or the Scrivener files prepped.

Frankly, I’m rather nervous, but I’m also excited. This is going to be a great month. I hope that I don’t fall flat on my face. I imagine there will be a fair bit of dead space and staring at the screen because that camera is going to add loads of pressure, lol.

So what about you? Are you doing Nanowrimo this year? Feel free to let me know what your project is and leave a link if you like either here or on the Youtube video. Have a wonderful night!

 

Musings on What I Fear, Good and Bad

Tuesday night on the Wattpadres chat on Twitter, we all had a great time talking about horror and the things that terrify us. (A number of people also met an untimely end at the tiny jaws of vicious dust mites…who would have thought the dust mites would end more people in the haunted house than the zombies, vampires, and werewolves combined!)

One of the questions was what terrifies us most. Personally, I find the subject of fear intriguing especially since fear can limit and shape us in ways we don’t anticipate. For quite awhile now, I’ve practiced the Month of Fear, which has become the Year of Fear. I try to do at least one thing that makes me uncomfortable or afraid or at least pushes me out of my comfort zone every day. On the whole living in fear is something that I don’t believe to be biblical, healthy, or wise. So, since I am trying to live consciously and fully, I attack my fears and discomfort when I can.

Initially in my challenges, I chose fears that I could confront and that negatively impacted me in some way. My fear of cameras and having my picture taken was connected unfortunate incidents, bullying, and more. In confronting that fear, I attempted to tackle something that held me back and to not be hypocritical when I tell my amazing students and mentees to be bold and courageous.

Then I started to wonder about other fears. The deeper fears. The ones that really shaped me. True, my uneasiness around spiders and men with blue eyes have shaped part of who I am and came from specific incidents. My camera and mirror avoidance has resulted in certain consequences. But there are other fears…the kind that truly send chills through me and that actually change my behavior in more meaningful ways.

So what do I fear…deep down…it isn’t death. I know where I’m going and that it is but a transition. But a living death of the mind, whether my own or of others, that is horrifying. Particularly when it is multiplied.

I am terrified of being delusional, of losing my capacity to think or respond, and of being trapped in mass hysteria (doesn’t matter whether I’m part of it or am someone aware of it, it’s all terrifying). I value my mind and my independence. I love being able to think and break things apart to see how they work and understand them better. I hate being wrong, but I will take being wrong if I can still think, reason, and understand.

So…should I be tackling those fears? Targeting these core fears seems far more difficult. In fact, I don’t even know how one would begin to put oneself in those situations or whether those are fears that one necessarily wants to lose.

Fear can serve a purpose and be valuable. My fear of losing my own mind and mental capacity as well as being caught up in mass hysteria propels me to take care of my mind, conduct my own research, and remain aware. In this case, the fear is not so much crippling as it is cautionary. True, sometimes it takes unhealthy forms. When I go into a room, I’m almost always considering an escape route of some time. And if I’m stuck in a hall with lots of people or waiting in a long line (like at an amusement park), I do sometimes wonder about what would happen if some catastrophe struck such as the zombie apocalypse or a rabid wolf or a fire. It’s the same thing that happens when I’m sitting in a tunnel in my car, waiting for traffic to move along and wondering what the solution would be if water started spraying through the bricks. (Social etiquette point here: don’t share these thoughts with anyone around you unless you’re certain they’ll find it just as intriguing as you.)

Perhaps this is why I enjoy psychological horror stories as opposed to straight up monster movies as well as my general preference for complex strategizing villains. Maybe in a small way I am confronting that fear.

Regardless, I don’t plan on confronting my fear of losing my mind or being trapped in a violent mob or hysterical crowd. I think I can live with those fears. But I may see about researching possible survival methods and strategies, and I’ll continue to do what I can to keep my own mind healthy and aware.

 

Short Story on the Run: Thoughts on Beauteous Intentions

Short stories have always been my bane. With my mind leaning toward epic fantasies and tales that span the years, the shorter forms often elude me. Which is part of the reason I pursue them.

But here’s a surprising reality: the short stories can be just as shocking and have as many twists for the writer as novels.

The WattVampires announced their competition at the start of October. Competitors needed to write a short story between 1000 and 5000 words. It had to involve vampires, candy, and Halloween. Pretty open ended?

Well, I had just recently had a bit of a story dream that I decided to base this story on. Initially, I thought it would have to be a novel to adequately deal with one of the themes: living ethically and fully even at great cost and how far should one go with that cost and is it ever too much? And can it be dangerous?

The shorter length forced me to condense it. I decided to have three sections, each one focusing on the last couple hours of a Halloween night. What surprised me was how the most crucial scenes came into focus. And I finished the rough draft with 612 words to spare.

After a short break, I then edited it, polished it, summarized it, and shipped it off. A complete short story within eight hours more or less. Beauteous Intent is off to the contest!

This story will take place in a world where I’ve been developing a number of short stories. Don’t have an official name for it yet. But I’ll come up with something.

I can’t stop laughing though because Beauteous Intent is not at all what I intended. It was supposed to be spooky, chilling, much darker. But Aestan turned out to be a far more passive and gentle character than I expected and that changed everything. Despite the danger underlying his and Summer’s relationship, there was an idealism and romance that insisted on pressing through.

During the writing process, I did feel cold though. Sometimes I just don’t write with a lot of feeling, and I know that that shows through. It becomes far too intellectual (what a shock coming from the lawyer). I know what I want to feel just as I know what I should feel. And though I put myself in the character’s shoes and imagine myself in his position, there are times when it still doesn’t hold up.

However, instead of stepping away from this story and digging in later (after the deadline passed), I pushed through. And it represents one of the core questions I find myself mulling over more and more while always addressing the perpetual question of balance and too much.

I won’t win with this story (and that’s not a problem). Even though it meets the guidelines, I’m all but certain this isn’t what the judges are looking for. After all, who reads vampire stories for a story on ethical living, sacrifice, hard choices, and bad decisions? Not many. It’s more of the romantic sort of story that fits a darker Valentine theme, and it’s lacking the sensuality of most vampire romances. The other stories in this competition are spectacular and precisely what I imagine the judges are looking for without being cliché.

But there is one thing I remind myself of: let each story be what it is. There are so many stories to write. Struggling to force one story into something it is not will often just weaken it.

While I started off writing The Celebrity in the hopes of writing a story my mother could enjoy, Beauteous Intent turned out to be the better option for her. It’s funny that at a time when I feel in the most turmoil and the most frustrated something so sweet (and dangerous) would come out. But ah, such is writing. Such is storytelling.

 

The First Annual Story Fair Write Up

Story FairSo September 19 was quite a busy day. In addition to having some legal work that needed to be tended, I also had the privilege of participating in the First Annual Story Fair. This event was a joint project, created by Rebecca Sky, Malice Authors, Dilyana Kyoseva, and the Wattpad4. This kind of project takes a lot of hard work, so a very hearty thanks to everyone involved.

I was actually able to be involved multiple times, and the fair was what most fairs are: chaos and chatter with plenty of tasty options. Here are some of the highlights for me.

Fun Treasures I Came Away With

While I got to feature one of my own stories (a couple if you count the WPC2014 booth), I wanted to keep my eyes open for new authors whose stories I wanted to read. Qualifications: any author who wasn’t a fellow member of the WPC2014, lol. While there was a lot of competition, I narrowed it down to these authors of whom I had never heard:

Priestess and Dragon

 

The Priestess and the Dragon by Nicolette Andrews. This is to be released on Amazon October 17. Check it out here. If all goes well, I’m planning to read and review this book quite soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost

 

Lost By J.S. Nox. This is a short story of travels available for free on Wattpad. Quite looking forward to reading this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catwalk

 

Catwalk by Nicole N. Gabor. While the farthest from my usual reading style, I love pushing myself to things, and this one fits the bill. It’s available for free on Wattpad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Honorary Fourth Treasure

HelNow, I am adding a fourth, but it doesn’t seem entirely honest: Frost by E. Latimer. And it’s not because it isn’t a stunning book (because it is) or that the cover isn’t gripping (because it is).

It’s because I actually already planned to read this book, and I have already bought a copy (yet another upcoming entry to review!). But I do want to give Frost a shoutout.
It involves Norse mythology; and Latimer understands the agony of writing about mythology, making it your own and customizing it, and people assuming you’re trying to rip off Marvel (I have actually had some readers argue with me that Stan Lee created Thor and Loki.

So while the fair made me more intrigued about Frost, it didn’t convince me to read it anymore than E. Latimer’s launch, blurb, and spiel. But that’s more because you can’t convince someone who is already convinced. You can pick your copy up here if you like.

Tardis
If Stan Lee did create Norse mythology, then he must have hijacked the Tardis (or perhaps the Doctor wanted to take part) and gone back a thousand plus years to create the myths. Now there’s a story waiting to be written! Which incarnation of the Doctor do you think Stan Lee teamed up with?

The Corner Booth

Nat, the amazing host of The Corner Booth, decided to host an impromptu episode of The Corner Booth, and I had the privilege of participating in it. It’s been incredible to see how The Corner Booth has grown over these past couple months. I started off watching it, but then I had to stop because small groups met at that time, and I had a house full of hungry teenagers. I also ran into problems with watching the videos (nothing on their end; it The Corner Boothwas an outdated driver). So I went from watching the first couple episodes to watching the last ones, and wow, I liked it before, and I love it even more now.

Personally, I was quite nervous doing it. Just as I was on Episode [#]. But that’s part of the reason I do it, and what makes me even more grateful that Nat has allowed me to participate. He has always been so kind and encouraging, and he pours his heart into that program just as he does with his own story (Chlorine Halos: if you haven’t checked it out yet, try it now). It’s one of the most fun online writing programs I’ve ever participated in or listened to.

He gave some previews for what’s coming up on The Corner Booth. There’s going to be poetry coming up next time around, which I can’t wait to see. And as always, Nat sounds like he’s going to be pushing everyone to excel and become stronger. So make sure that you subscribe.

WPC2014 Banner

WPC2014

And then, at two different times, the WPC2014 members and I gathered together to host a booth. It was chaotic and fun, and the responses were great. The best part of it was seeing how well we actually worked together as a team. Generally speaking, I’m not fond of working with teams. But I found with this that there’s such a thing as a good team, and that’s what those who were able to make it accomplished.

One of our most popular attractions turned out to be this little game. So if you haven’t played yet or you just want to let me know what you are, feel free to comment.Quiz

We took advantage of this time to make several announcements. Here’s what you’ll want to know:

Weekly Twitter Chats with WPC2014 starting on October 13 at 8 pm (follow @amberkbryant for more details)

A Quarterly Wattpad Profile Makeover Contest (details announced on Twitter and on our Wattpad profile October 13 at 8 pm)

We offered some great prizes. In fact, you can still sign up for this if you want. It’s open until Wednesday at midnight here! (And make sure you pick up Sarah Benson’s fantastic case study on Wattpad. It’s to the right on that page.)WPC2014 There’s books from our members plus critiques, shoutouts, and swag.

The Celebrity

At the start of the day, I had the privilege of hosting my own little booth for The Celebrity. I have a bad habit of speaking of that story almost disparagingly, but that’s not because I don’t love it. I do. It’s just that it was such a divergence from my usual writing that it really challenged me, and I’m not confident I told a good story. I did the best I could. But it was this story that really convinced me that writing good contemporary romance does take great skill. I won’t get into this too much here because I think it deserves a post of its own.

The Celebrity Story Fair Submission 03Reading the responses and seeing folks add my little romance to their shelves delighted me. It won’t be the best romance they ever read, but if it helps them escape for a time and warms their hearts, I’ll be happy.

It still has some additional edits before it gets officially released. On the plus side, the Story Fair forced me to get promotional materials prepared in advance. (Once Parnimo’s Prize is done and Ragnarok Unravels, Little Scapegoat, The Celebrity, and Of Blood and Teeth and Magic are edited and published, I will be pushing hard on marketing. Up until then, Mermaid Bride will continue to float in the Amazon waters [though if anyone wants to write a review for it, it would be greatly appreciated].)

I’ll be announcing my prize winners tomorrow. Keep your eyes open. You might be one of the lucky winners!

Brief Update on the Competition

Now as some of you may know, I was pouring heart and soul into finishing one of my romance paranormals or romance fantasies in time for Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write 2015. I’ll go into more details on this tomorrow, but short summary: in two weeks, I wrote over 120,000 words, but I only got one book done. Blessed? Battle for the Lunar Realms is now complete. It will need to be edited, revised, and then professionally edited, but I have arrived at the competition.

First Annual Story Fair

One of the things I love most about being a freelance writer, author, and an attorney who shares a firm with her husband is that I get a decent amount of flexibility. Which means that on days like today WPC2014-Giveawaywhen I have legal work that needs to get done, I can still take breaks and participate in fun opportunities like the First Annual Story Fair!

The first annual Wattpad Story Fair is today Sept. 19th at 12:00 – 12:30 and 3:30-4:00 PST. Join me and the amazing Wattpad Class of 2014 to learn about all the exciting things we’re doing for fellow Wattpadders! It’s going to be a blast!

The WPC2014 will be appearing at two time slots – 12-12:30 and 3:30-4:00pm PST. Learn more about our Profile Makeover Contests, Twitter Chats, Story Reviews, and awesome articles on how to succeed as a writer. We also have this amazing giveaway from the WPC2014 going on – Books, ebooks, interviews, chapter dedications and chapter critiques! So please stop on by!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1628644337393871/The Celebrity Story Fair Submission 03

Oh, and before I forget, I’m also being featured as an author! Yay! Today I’m focusing on my first ever sweet romance with no fantasy and no paranormal elements: The Celebrity. I’m also giving away some great prizes plus a special Reader’s Dream Package if you sign up for my newsletter http://forms.aweber.com/form/13/666935913.htm or answer questions on my Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/jmbutler1728
 or at my “booth” at the fair https://www.facebook.com/MALICEAUTHORS/photos/gm.1634720403452931/905388482877091/?type=1 .

I hope to see you there!

 

 

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