Stories Matter – Part 2 of 4 – Cobla (Original)

Following up on Part 1, I am posting the original version of my story Cobla, written during a class assignment in the 6th grade. This story was originally accompanied by hand-drawn artwork and maps but due to a recent flood I was unable to save anything of the original. Thankfully I still had the original digital version of the story.

Please enjoy reading – Cobla – Original Version!

When I wrote this story I was not an avid reader at all. I actually don’t recall reading much of anything until 7th grade when I was inspired by a friend to read “The Hobbit” and “Dragons of Autumn Twilight”. I had spent significant time with the Lone Wolf book series – specifically Flight from the Dark by Joe Dever and Gary Chalk – as the “foundation” for my fantasy literature. At a hobby convention with my father I managed to pick up (for free) The Art of Dragonlance Saga (a compilation of paintings and sketches from the novels, modules and covers) and it was these two items that served the starting point for my fantasy exposure. The interesting thing was that I had not read any Dragonlance at the time and when I eventually read the books I had all that artwork imprinted on my brain.


LoneWolf  ArtDragonlance0001

The only other “stories” that I truly recall being exposed to were the Sierra games of King’s Quest, Bard’s Tale, and Black Cauldron. The idea of a king going off on an adventure, the basis of Cobla, had its roots here. If you haven’t played these games, go and play them here now! Black CauldronBard’s Tale / King’s Quest

black cauldron  Bard's_Tale_Box_Cover  king's quest

With these books as inspiration, I dove in and wrote my first fantasy story. I later wrote a sequel to it that borrowed WAY too heavily from the Lone Wolf books.

Please enjoy reading – Cobla – Original Version – just remember I was in 6th grade when I wrote this!

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A few items to note when reading these stories:

  • Please enjoy them and feel free to let me know your thoughts. A writer always appreciates feedback when attempting to grow their craft.
  • Many of them remain unedited since their original creation date and contain misspellings, improper grammar and made up words. These are in here for flavor and as a time stamp to reflect my age when they were created.
  • Over time, I hope to include “Directors Commentary” in all of my stories. Hopefully this adds some flavor and context for the creative process and my thinking as these stories were created.
  • These are being shared for the benefit of the community and ask for respect to all who read, share, and comment on the material within.
  • All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission. Contact skillpointstation@gmail.com if interested.
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Stories Matter – Part 1 of 4 – Intro

Have you ever gone back and re-read the first story that you ever wrote? Fans of SPS know that in the past I was posting some legacy stories that were written in my youth, but this is something different. I’ve decided to take the challenge and re-visit the first story that I wrote (that I still have). There were stories that I wrote when I was younger but I don’t have them and don’t recall them. I just know I wrote (and drew and crafted live action scenarios for my friends and I).

Geek and Sundry recently launched a new series of on-going vlogs covering various geeky topics. One of those, Wordplay, is focused exclusively on writing and stars the outgoing, infectious, and exuberant Nika Harper. The current episode is focused on the topic of NaNoWriMo and the idea that Stories Matter. NaNoWriMo and Nika challenged writers to look back at the first story that you created, see how far you’ve come, talk about it, re-edit it, do something with it.

The story, called Cobla, comes from a 6th grade writing exercise I did in Jr. High. Everyone in class was tasked with doing this. As you can guess, the scope and quality varied wildly, but it still stuck out in my mind as a defining moment for me. It was a high-fantasy story that I did a handful of illustrations for. Most of those illustrations were ruined in a recent basement flood but I hope to get a few posted for flair!

Water Logged Stories

The Parts are as follows:

  1. Part 1 – Intro
  2. Part 2 – Original Story
  3. Part 3 – Re-vised Story
  4. Part 4 – Stay-Tuned Surprise!

The Inspirational Video Below:

Fantasy Writing with Brandon Sanderson at JordanCon 2010

If you are an aspiring author (those in fantasy/scifi might find this more relevant than others), then here are a series of videos from best selling author Brandon Sanderson on Plot, Description, Scene, Setting and Editing.

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There are many places to take classes, read articles or review books for these topics, but to hear them spoken somehow seems to be more effective than I would have thought. Plus, it is really amazing to watch someone in the industry revealing their process. Lots to learn!

LINKS

  1. JordanCon 2010 – Fantasy Writing with Brandon Sanderson – Session 1
  2. JordanCon 2010 – Fantasy Writing with Brandon Sanderson – Session 2
  3. JordanCon 2010 – What an Editor Does

Write About Dragons – Brandon Sanderson 2012 Creative Writing

Brandon Sanderson has made his creative fantasy 2012 creative writing course available for free online. In a series of 13 lectures (broken in 5-7 individual parts each) he covers off on all sorts of topics related to writing, the craft of writing, editing, and the business.

writing

The content is amazing and while it is long (c’mon, it is Sanderson, of course it is going to be long!) it is worth it.  I would highly recommending using some of the free YouTube download software (like Freemake.com) to pull the shows down overnight and then throw them on your iOS/Android device for offline viewing!

LINK: Write About Dragons | Brandon Sanderson 2012 Creative Writing (Website)

LINK: Write About Dragons – Lectures 1-13 (On YouTube)

Lastly, if you don’t know who Brandon Sanderson is…check out his amazing books:

Elantris

Mistborn Trilogy

Warbreaker

The Way of Kings

Article – 10 WAYS TO START YOUR STORY BETTER

As I am about to begin re-editing my novel from NaNoWriMo, I decided to do some digging into what makes for compelling novel introductions. As many know but don’t really understand, novels are not movies, television or video games. But what are the relevant differences?

That the way you grab a reader is different enough that careful consideration needs to be placed on the opening (I would go so far as to say the opening of every chapter if at all possible). NaNoWriMo stresses story movement and speed writing over precise writing. These 10 tips were very helpful in channeling my thinking towards the small and considered.

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Article – How to Revise a Novel

ARTICLE: How to Revise A Novel | Holly Lisle: Official Author Homepage.

For the holiday season I received a huge stack of books on writing and editing – which has me a bit daunted with the tasks ahead. Instead of diving into a long book I wanted to read something quickly on the art of editing. I found this article quick and effective for helping me to set the stage for the type of effort, commitment and approach that is necessary for editing a novel.

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