Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: story

Help Me Tell A Story


Ever wanted to write a story?

Storytelling Game

Image courtesy of Eduardo Siqueira Filho ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/edududas

Ever thought you couldn’t do it?

Well, there’s a new game that helps folks tell stories :-)

I’ve written three posts, so far, about it:

Storium — The Online Storytelling Game

Games, Life, and Storytelling

Let The Game Begin!

That last one has the details about the first Story/Game I’ve created with Storium and how you can be one of the Character/Players in Forging The Future :-)

That’s all I’ll say about it for now since, if you like games or you want to take a go at telling a story, you can check out those posts

One last note :  I’m looking for players in a couple other places as well, so act fast—the Story/Game might start this weekend………
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Are You A Storyteller? ~ Of Course You Are :-)


Have you ever answered one of these questions?

How did you meet your husband/wife/significant other?

Why did you buy that car?

How did your parents meet?

Why in the world do you like that food?

What was your college life like?

Why do you believe that?

Even if your answer was short it probably qualifies as a “story”:

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition: n. An account or recital of an event or a series of events, either true or fictitious…

You may not talk like a novelist but it’s exceedingly hard for a human being to get away from telling stories.

Joel Friedlander, book designer, has been featured in this blog many times.

Joel’s blog post today is Storytelling is Us and it’s definitely worth a read.

Here’s a snippet (with Joel quoting Henning Mankell):

” ‘It struck me as I listened to those two men [sitting on a park bench] that a truer nomination (name) for our species than Homo sapiens might be Homo narrans, the storytelling person. What differentiates us from animals is the fact that we can listen to other people’s dreams, fears, joys, sorrows, desires and defeats–and they in turn can listen to ours.’ ”

And, concerning the selling of books, Joel says:

“When I watch a really accomplished marketer at work, I’m always looking at the stories they are telling. It might surprise you to know just how much even the most dedicated pitchmen rely on stories to reach their audience.”

So………

What stories have you told today?

Were they more like history or fiction?

Did your listener what to hear more than you at first told?

Did you tell a longer story than you at first thought you would?

Did your listener chuckle?

Laugh out loud?

Cry?

Look at you with suspicion?

How many stories did you tell last week?

Last month?

In your whole life?

Can you tell I want to hear a bit of one of your stories in the Comments? :-)
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

When’s The Last Time Someone Read You A Story?


Remember the joy of being read to?

Was your last time when you were a child? Has anyone read to you in your adulthood?

Ever been to an author reading?

I remember, when I was in my 50s, having someone read Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy to me—pure joy! :-)

I found a post by Kimberly Mayer called The Power of Story in which she says:

“The long lost art of readings, where writings are offered as gifts. I come away from each one knowing I am holding and have been entrusted with an enormous bouquet. Readings reintroduce each one of us to the primal importance of story. At a reading we are in that heaven again and wonder why it ever stopped?”

I guess I’m lucky my friend read Douglas Adams’ story to me.

I know I appreciate the author readings I facilitate on Book Island in the virtual world Second Life.

We gather at the Book Island Library at 1pm US Pacific Time for our Open Mic; folks from many countries—each represented by our avatars (the particular figure you adopt to represent you in a virtual world—some folks go for fidelity to their Real Life selves, some are far more creative).

There’s the lady from Wales with the intriguing voice and her often dark stories

There’s the man from Maryland who reads his MicroFiction (short, short, short stories)

There’s the avatar, Car Johnson, representing the main character from Rebekah Webb’s book

Plus, we never know when someone new will show up, reading portions from published stories or works in progress

What is the Magic of Story?

How does it’s texture change from when reading to ourselves to being read to?

What does it feel like inside when you’ve read to a child?

Have you ever read to an adult?

Have you ever had a story read to you as an adult?

Does it makes sense that some of the Power of Story comes from our Unconscious—from the race memories of our ancestors, long before folks put their stories down on rock or paper?
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For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

Writing Challenge ~ Use The 1200 Most Common Words To Write A Story…


EDIT: [ This is the most-read post on this blog ~~~ be sure to check out the others
in “Top Posts & Pages” in the left side-bar ]

“For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”

It’s said Ernest Hemingway wrote that six word story. I checked my list of the 1200 most common English words and “sale” wasn’t there but “sell” was. “Worn” wasn’t there but “wear” was. All the other words were there except “shoes”. Not even “shoe” was there

Of course, that particular list may not be definitive but there is another list of 1000 most common words that has “shoes”.

Even though I’m not the kind of person who actually takes writing challenges, I’ve noticed that many of my blogging buddies do :-)

So, the challenge is on!

I got my first list of most common words quite awhile ago and saved it till I could figure out how to use it in a blog post.

This quote from Mark Twain gave me the idea for my challenge: “I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English—it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them—then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.”

And, even though the first list I’m going to give you may not be definitive, from the description given about its sources, it certainly sounds useful: “This list is from Rebecca Sitton’s “Spelling Sourcebook”, pages 77-82. It is a ‘cross-referenced compilation’ of several massive word studies, including the American Heritage Word Frequency Study (Carroll, Davies, Richman), and several other studies, including the work of Gates, Horn, Rinsland, Greene and Loomer, Harris and Jacobsen.”

So, even though I doubt any of my readers will take the challenge, I’ll still spell it out:

You can use any of the 1200 words in the list at that last link (which is a downloadable Word .doc) or go to the W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center website to use a slightly different list of only 1000 words ( and, it has “shoes” :-). That last list is on ten pages of 100 words each, and it’s beginning description is priceless:

“The first 25 [words] make up about one-third of all printed material in English. The first 100 make up about one-half of all written material, and the first 300 make up about sixty-five percent of all written material in English.”

You can write a story of any length but I hope you’ll make it fit into the comments section of this post (or, send it to me at amzolt (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll put it in a follow-up post). And, finally, you can use both lists and, if you don’t see the exact form of a word (like there’s no “worn” but “wear” is on the list), you can change tense or plurality

The Challenge Is Over :-(
But…
Find out who the winner was :-)

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Looking Past Limits . . .


Whether you’re reading, writing, or publishing, the worst thing that can happen is to believe in a “limit”

Limits on your reading will make you miss meanings.

Limits on your writing will hobble the story.

Limits on publishing will kill a book.

I found a wonderful video by an amazing woman. A woman who soared past a potentially grave limitation.

Watch and soar with her :-)


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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
Take Part In Our Reader Survey
Follow the “co-author” of Notes from An Alien, Sena Quaren:
On Facebook
On Twitter
AND, Get A Free Copy of Our Book