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!


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 if interested.

NYCC Fantasy Authors Video Panel

As I continue my quest to understand writing, the writer and the craft better, I stumbled across an old video from 2010 with a bunch of great fantasy authors. They talk about their influences, their advice, and their approach in brutal honesty. It is worth the hour of your time but here are a few highlights below…


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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.


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 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:


Mistborn Trilogy


The Way of Kings


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 – 25 Motivational Thoughts for Writers – By Chuck Wendig

25 Motivational Thoughts For Writers « terribleminds: chuck wendig

This list of 25 things is an excellent resource for a writer at any state of the creation/development/execution stage of a project.


One theme that continues to appear everywhere I read about writing is simply this – WRITE. WRITE OFTEN. NO EXCUSES.

A popular quote that I have used, or reworked, for myself when I am approaching new challenges or projects has been this – You either worked out today or you didn’t. Inside that little phrase there exists no wiggle room and it forces you to be completely honest with yourself about whether you did the activity in question or not. You are your own judge and you’ll know when you start making excuses for yourself. When translated to you either wrote today or you didn’t the excuses become fairly clear. If you want to think that really, really long Facebook post is “writing” – that is your call – and you have to search your heart to know whether that is true or not. My guess is that when you really look at it you’ll feel very different when you write something of substance than when you make a few great tweets, post on Facebook or send an email to a friend. That doesn’t exclude all those items and depending on what you are writing, any one of those items might take an extreme amount of thought, of honesty, of courage, of editing to get it to the point where it can be publicly consumed (which is also something many writers don’t do – which is share their writing).

For those interested in using a tool that can keep your daily writing going in an interesting way, give a try! The goal is 750 words a day (roughly 3 pages) and they have lots of nifty tools to help keep you motivated!

The few on here that I really loved: 2, 3, 7, 9, 11, 13, … you know what?! They’re all good so read them all and let your heart and mind be open to their meaning.

Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection – 8 Movies on 31 Discs

The entire Harry Potter movie series on DVD & Blu-Ray = just as much overkill as the books. I enjoyed the books well enough and was pleased by the impacts it had on children and fantasy reading – but some things do need editing.

It seems that most of the reviews of the movies/bonus content are not pleased as well.

Although, if this was Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Back to the Future, I would probably be considering the same thing!