My Journey


I originally posted this on APT 18 and the Feedback Page. I just felt like posting it on YSBU too 🙂

I’ve been on Storybird for over two years now, and it’s home. It’s family. It’s life, to be honest.
On October 27 2012 (my birthday), I was flipping through a children’s magazine, b0red. In the website reviews section, something caught my eye:

storybird.com

I decided to visit it, even though most websites they reviewed were too childish for me. I typed in the URL and pressed Enter, and I was taken to another world. Storybird was very different then from what it is now: there were no mentions, reposts, notifications, longform books, poetry, or anything of the sort. The layout was totally different from what it is now. Still, I found the website intriguing and made an account on it with the username, NancyBlake – a pseudonym I liked to use often.
And then, I started to read.
Continue reading “My Journey”

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!”

“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”

How to Make Your Reader Cry – TeenInk.com


How to Make Your Reader Cry

It’s the ultimate test that your writing must pass: can you make your reader feel? That means not just feeling a little interest or pleasure or sadness — can you make your reader cry ugly tears and get the page all soggy? Some writers can, and they’re the ones succeeding these days; just look at John Green and his The Fault in Our Stars. The good news is that making your reader feel is a skill that you can learn. You’ll be making your friends sob uncontrollably in no time.

Choose a A Sympathetic Character.

While villainous or even annoying characters have their place in literature, they’re not typically the ones that make us weep. To make a reader feel, we need to feel connected emotionally to a character, as though the character is someone we could befriend or at least admire in real life. Choose an accessible character with a personality that intrigues you. The characters we connect to most strongly are often characters with desires we share or can identify with. So give your character a passion or a dream. Whether it’s a desire to find her long-lost brother or a passion for boat-building, we like folks who dream big and who want things.

Choose an Accessible, but Painful, Obstacle

Here comes the most crucial part; that character must be put in harm’s way. We need to feel that character is in eminent danger, whether that danger is emotional or physical. Oddly enough, it’s the more intangible problems that make us feel the most. We feel excited if a character is surrounded by rabid bears, but we feel emotional (and downright weepy) if the character is surrounded by cold people who don’t understand her. Give your character a problem that is clear and identifiable, but that carries real emotional risks. Look no further than John Green for that classic example of a very real problem (cancer) that carries heavy emotional baggage with it. And remind us that your characters are normal human beings, who are struggling to deal with this in normal human ways. We don’t cry when super heroes can use their laser vision to get out of a mess; we cry when ordinary humans can’t.

Give your character an impossible choice.

You’ve set us up beautifully for tears now, but you’ve got to bring it home by presenting your character (and us) with a terrible choice. There can’t be one good and one bad choice here — there have to be downsides to either decision. After all, that is what feels most real to us; in real life we often have to choose the least bad choice out of a series of bad choices. Don’t let the problem be solved too easily. If you give a character a life-threatening illness, for example, it feels like a cop-out to suddenly discover a cure. If your character finds a long-lost brother, perhaps the brother is not the person she thought he would be. There must be complications, because life is messy, and that’s why life makes us cry sometimes.

Follow these steps, and your readers will be bawling in no time!

“Buddy” by BlondieBallet – A Storybird Review


Buddybuddy
by BlondieBallet
Format: Picture Book
Age range:
Published: March 20, 2014
Artist: Inkymum

Buddy is a heartwarming story about a deaf girl who longs for a dog. It gives a very warm message about sacrificing things you love for someone else, and how little good deeds can make someone’s world colourful. The narrator, Melanie, whose father teaches at a school for the deaf, takes her dog, Buddy, with her as she waits for her father. She meets another girl, Jackie, who has hearing problems but communicates using sign language. Jackie likes her dog because it reminds her of one of her therapy dogs, and as she plays with Buddy, Melanie sees Jackie’s face light up and offers her to keep the dog.

Buddy is written in a beautiful manner, with matching pictures which complement the story perfectly. It gives loads of positive messages, and is recommended for readers 8+.