We Storybirders are so cool; we’re fighting the Potato Apocalypse!


I just reread @firstredhead’s Fighting the Potato Apocalype, and I HAD to write a blog post on YSBU after my line in Chapter 4:

Cherry’s mouth gaped open in awe as she viewed the approaching army dig and push beneath the earth.
“I know this is a really bad time,” she said, not removing her gaze. “But this is so going on the blog.”

In case you didn’t know, APTers (a term we use for members of A Pointless Task) are obsessed with potatoes, for some reason. FtPA is this super-potatorific longform book which has a star-studded cast of characters which consists of various Storybirders (not all could be mentioned in this blog post, unfortunately). The plot is face-paced, intriguing and just – amazing. Even if you don’t know those Storybirders, it’s a great read. Now, onto the post:

Click the above image to start reading FtPA by firstredhead on Storybird

Continue reading “We Storybirders are so cool; we’re fighting the Potato Apocalypse!”

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2014 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for YSBU. A big thank you to the people who made this year awesome: our active administrators, our wonderful viewers and of course, potatoes. Well, I guess potatoes don’t count as people but… who cares?

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,700 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

“The Elements of Freedom” – A Storybird Review


The Elements of Freedom by mojoco11 - Chapter 1 - Storybird 2014-12-17 18-18-00Hi wonderful readers. Before we move on to a Storybird book review,  I would like to apologise for being so inactive and also for not being able to post all the review requests you guys sent us. You’ll see them soon. Enjoy this one, and tell us what you thought of the book!

The Elements of Freedom
by mojoco11
Format: Longform Book
Age range: Teen (13-19)
Artist: Alina Chau
 

Continue reading ““The Elements of Freedom” – A Storybird Review”

Pre-PiBo Day 5: Molly O’Neill Looks at the World with New Eyes


#proud
Molly (@molly) did a guest post!

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

mollyby Molly O’Neill

It’s day [whatever] of PiBoIdMo when it finally happens . . . you run out of ideas.

The blank page. It mocks you. And you’re panicked, because you’ve already plundered every cute/amusing thing your kids/pets have ever done, looking for inspiration. You’ve already turned your own experiences into rollicking, rhythmic (but never rhyming!) texts. You’ve perhaps even transformed Buzzfeed videos about unexpected animal friendships into whimsical odes to human emotions.

what nowSo now what? Well, now comes inspiration in the form of one of my favorite quotations:

 The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.                                                                                                                                                     Marcel Proust

Even though this quote is nearly 100 years old, it’s meaningful, especially for a writer. In fact, Proust probably made this observation because as an author himself, he knew well that reaching past one’s initial, obvious, or cliched…

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The Official Storybird Day – Coming Soon


Guess what? We’re probably having a Storybird Day soon! 😀 *So exciting!*

Guinevere (@guinevere) was asked if this could be a thing, and you’ll never guess what she replied (or maybe you can):

This is such a fabulous idea! We definitely want to make it an Official Thing. With the holidays right around the corner, I would propose that we wait until January. That also gives us some time to work on the worldwide details. @SkyBluePurple is right… I loovvvveeee party planning!

Does anyone have any ideas on what we can do as normal community members?

Maybe we can pin the SB logo (or draw it on a piece of paper) onto our shirts. That’s all I’ve got. Share your ideas in the comments. You never know, they might become a Thing. x)

Creative Writing Tip: Going Deeper in Your Fiction


One last one… =D
All aspiring authors must visit this blog (crimsonleague.com) by Victoria Grefer, the author of the Herezoth Trilogy.

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

1341529_shoreline_rocks_2We authors–at least, authors who are like me–are always aware of a need to take a first draft deeper. To connect with the characters more, make them more alive.

This is particularly true in my case, as I have a simple, precise style and my first drafts are rather minimalist. (Are you that way, a fellow Hemingway? Or are you a Faulkner?)

But what does “going deeper” mean? What’s the difference between going deeper and adding fluff?

Writing is never easy, and it’s not something you can do alone: you will always need beta readers and editors to help you fill in holes and iron out the excess.

Still, there are general ways I find myself taking a draft “deeper” before I ever send it off to beta readers.

  • I CUT DOWN ON WHAT FEELS SUPERFLUOUS. A book can only have so many words, after all, and you…

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Creative Writing Tip: Factors that Affect Dialogue


Once again, a post which can really help you improve your story and deepen your characters as well.

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

786038_fightDialogue that really hits–that’s intriguing, and funny, and just sounds genuine–is one of the best things about a great book. Writing dialogue, though, isn’t easy.

One reason that writing dialogue is so tricky is that there is so much that goes into it, and also, there are just so many variables in play. Really great writing takes all of them into account. Now, I’m no dialogue guru or anything like that, but as a student of literature, I’ve noticed these are the things that really make me judge dialogue as excellent. Consider the following criteria when you’re editing:

  • WHERE IS THE CHARACTER FROM? Dialect’s much more than an accent. Every region and place has its own turns of phrase. In New Orleans, where I’m from, a “median” is always called a “neutral ground;” “snowballs” are what we call snowcones, and they’re eaten, not thrown; people call you “chère” sometimes; you…

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5 Psychological Struggles That Enhance Great Plot in Fiction


A must-read. Certainly helped me improve my writing!

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

shiny-brain-1254880-mI used to study literature professionally, so you could say I feel very connected with, and know how to appreciate, the psychological depth and intensity of fiction.

Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE books with heavy action, and I definitely believe writing should be about the characters. Some of my favorite novels–Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Les Miserables–involve deadly struggles or social uprisings. That means “ACTION.”

The thing about action, though: while it might work on its own for some people, it’s not enough on its own to attract me as a reader. I have to know the people who are behind that action and being affected, deeply, by what is happening as their world threatens to fall apart.

Otherwise, things feel cheap. I can’t invest in or care about what’s going on. And that’s what I mean when I talk about “following the characters” in my writer’s handbook:…

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