Ever since Twitter exploded into the social media juggernaut it’s become, I’ve been thinking of a way to interact with fans and followers in a unique way. I even got close to starting this experiment a couple of years ago, but the idea faded into the background in favor of some other projects I was working on at the time. But now that I have this blog, have officially joined Twitter, created a Google+ account, and have linked them all together in one big happy social media family, there’s no better time to jump start this idea than now. Find out how to participate
In the most recent chapter of my interactive writing experiment, Write A Novel With Me, I introduced (or at least referred to) a new character named Lauren. Since its posting, there seems to be a bit of confusion as to whether Lauren is a girlfriend, a sister, or even a mother, which has led a couple of readers to ask me directly, “Who is Lauren?” My answer to them:
“You tell me.”
To clarify, the point of this experiment is to have the reader decide where the story goes after each chapter. This initially meant answering the question I pose at the end of each chapter. But after posting this chapter, I’ve realized now that there is another level to this that is much more hidden — a subtext, if you will — and that is how the reader interprets what I’ve written. Now, I could go back and add a little something here or a small phrase there that would help clear up this dilemma, however, that would go against the point of the experiment. Most books will include chapters that are left open, or include vague or unclear elements in order to sustain a level of suspense and keep readers reading, and there are plenty of stories that are left up to interpretation, which allow for strong debate. In this regard, that’s all this is — and isn’t that the point? If something I write is unclear, or could have several different meanings or interpretations to it, it’s up to the reader to give me their answers based on those interpretations, which could very well alter or change the story in significant ways depending on how the story is read and what clues each individual decides to pick up on. Did I mean for this to happen? Certainly not, but it does fit in quite nicely as part of the fun and the creativity I originally wanted to bring to this project.
Who is Lauren? That’s for you to decide.
Welcome back to my interactive writing experiment, Write A Novel With Me. If you are unaware of what this project is, please click here to learn all about it. You can also read Chapter 2 (Chapter 1 is here) and check out the best answers provided by you, the reader, to the question: “Who is at the door?”
And now, without further adieu, please enjoy Chapter 3 of our story where we find out who’s been knocking at Jaden’s door based on your votes. Read Chapter 3
When it comes to horror movies, I’ve always been more a fan of the paranormal (such as Poltergeist and Stir of Echoes) than the psychotic killer chasing after a bunch of screaming sorority girls, so I expected a lot from Ouija, a film that revolves around a board game that itself is inherently freaky (and has been used in dozens of other supernatural films, including various films with the same title). Like a lot of kids, I had a Ouija board growing up, and though I don’t remember much about the content of playing the game, the experience of participating was always a bit dicey — whether it was not knowing if one of the other kids was deliberately moving the planchette, the energy of everyone’s thoughts was unconsciously pushing it, or if something more was happening — which lends itself well to creating an extremely creepy atmosphere. But when a movie like Ouija asks you to believe in something greater, the extraordinary must be grounded in some type of logic, a step the filmmakers forgot to include among the unoriginal scares. Don’t Stop — There’s Plenty More
If you’ve been following me on my various social media platforms over the past year, you’re aware that I’ve been slowly building my new business, Phoenix Moirai, as well as attempting to build my fan base, generating as much interest in my writing and other artistic projects as a possibly can. This means, I’ve been spending a lot of time (which more often than not has taken a small bite out of my time — and energy — needed to finish my next novel) in finding ways to network, getting my name out there and building a solid reputation that will bring in new business while keeping my current clients happy. I will admit, it’s been hard to keep the motivation levels high sometimes, especially when I lose a client (for one reason or another), when my efforts bear absolutely no fruit whatsoever, or I watch my bank account trickle away. There’s an occasional job here and a possible connection there that have so far been able to sustain me just enough, but none of them, no matter how appreciative I am for them or what might happen with them in the future, have yet to scream SUCCESS! Don’t Stop — There’s Plenty More
As long as there have been movies, there have been movies on or about war. More to the point, there have been commentaries on the bravery of the men and women who fight for the ideals they have sworn to protect and how the perils of war affects the state of mind of dedicated soldiers. The best war movies don’t revel in or glorify the physical actions of war, nor do they dwell heavily on the mental or physical ramifications of those acts so as to become overly melodramatic. They take care to balance both aspects to understand the mentality of people who choose (or are elected) to participate in such intense, and in some cases unthinkable, situations. That exploration plays a major part in Fury, the new World War II drama that does a terrific job presenting this mindset, even though it can’t seem to find a strong narrative footing to represent its characters. Don’t Stop — There’s Plenty More
I’d like to thank those of you who participated in answering the question for Chapter 2 of my interactive writing experiment, Write A Novel With Me. All three answers that were given are up for your vote. As you consider these three very good choices, make sure to take into account the story thus far and where you would like to see it go. Here’s a link to Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 if you haven’t yet read them (or would like to reread them before making your decision).
Welcome back to my interactive writing experiment, Write A Novel With Me. If you are unaware of what this project is, please click here to learn all about it. You can also read Chapter 1 and check out the best answers provided by you, the reader, to the question: “What happened to Sawyer?”
And now, without further adieu, please enjoy Chapter 2 of our story where we learn of Sawyer’s fate based on your votes. Read Chapter 2
Robert Downey Jr. knows a thing or two about second chances. After nearly throwing away a lucrative career to alcohol and drugs that landed him in a rehab prison, his future prospects looked dead in the water. But what he learned from those mistakes allowed him to clean himself up and return to the spotlight with a stronger will and a clearer mind. He started small in some independent films and supporting roles to help rebuild his reputation in hopes of finding a public that would forgive his past sins. And forgive they did as they helped him jump start a new revolution in film with the success of Iron Man and the Marvel cinematic universe. To capitalize on this good fortune, Downey Jr. (and more to the point, his wife and producing partner, Susan Downey) has now turned to producing a film all about forgiveness and second chances in the dreary familial courtroom drama, The Judge. Don’t Stop — There’s Plenty More
After watching Annabelle, the newest horror film from producer James Wan (who directed The Conjuring, from which the film is spun off), the freakiest part was finding out the lead actress’s name is Annabelle. I jest, but in all seriousness, with the series of Saw and Insidious films under his belt, Wan has found his niche when it comes to delivering the same story in different packaging, having gone from provocative innovation (such as the reveal of Jigsaw rising up off the bathroom floor) to tried-and-true generalities. I don’t fault him for going back to the well of good fortune to spin a yarn about something as freaky as Annabelle; the least he could have done was try and give it an ounce of originality. Don’t Stop — There’s Plenty More
I’d like to thank those of you who participated in answering the first question for my new interactive writing experiment, Write A Novel With Me. Normally, I would choose the top five answers for you to vote on, but because there were only three answers given for this first chapter, all of them will be up for a vote. As you are considering these three very good choices, make sure to take into account the story thus far and where you would like to see it go. Here’s a link to Chapter 1 if you haven’t yet read it (or would like to reread it before making your decision). Cast Your Vote