This is a collection of my short stories, novels, and activities as a writer coping with a dynamic craft.The menus above will present more specific information and allow you to jump to where you can download much of my work for free. Scroll down to review a record of my activities.
I hope you will find something you enjoy and will want to share with others.
E L Russell
Here we go again … another novella in the works.
Adam, a cynical graduate student majoring in microbiology, lives with six friends in a old, dilapidated house on fraternity row. He attempts to solve his geek roomies’ unfullilled social needs in a most unusual way. Getting geeks hooked up is far from trivial, but adding to his challenge is that these geeks cover the GLBTQ spectrum. Adam was smart to think their problems would be minimized by placing them in a dark room so he begins by taking them to a late night club. Then things really get strange, in a terrifying and horrible way.
Worth checking out, draft2digital appears to have revolutionized eBook and POD. I will test this and report here on what I find. You are welcome to comment about your experiences with this new application.
We enjoy writing several stories at once. I can think of no other reason why that’s a good idea for me. Many writers have told me to simply focus on one thing. Oh, well.
When Enid and I write, our output is supported by constant focus on the structure of the story and usually craft or outline eleven chapter milestones
1. Opening scenes – Hook within 15%
2. Part 1 Setup – intro protagonist, get reader buy-in
3. 1st Plot Point ~ 20th to 25th percentile (aka: inciting incident, everything changes, reveal what’s at stake)
4. Part 2 Response – protagonist develops initial reaction
5. Pinch Point 1 – about 1/3rd into story (def: sticks nature of antagonist in your face)
6. Mid-Point scene makes the transition and sets up attack
7. Part 3 Attack – protagonist fights back
8. Pinch point 2 – about 2/3rds into story (def: sticks nature of antagonist in your face again, better)
9. Part 4 – Resolution
10. 2nd Plot Point ~ 75th percentile (aka: everything changes again)
11. Closing Scenes – Climax within 15%
Then we add the lead-up chapters/scenes along with the follow-ups or reflections. I find our process continues to be a fresh approach.
Craft your Milestone scenes and you have structured your story.
I started doing this procedure after reading Larry Brooks’ book Story Structure Demystified.
Check it out on Amazon:
The original short story, Onset, screamed to become a full eBook novel. Onset earned an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Global eBook Awards.
It is about a young woman, confined to a wheelchair, who struggles to overcome injuries from a bike racing accident. She does not associate the voices in her head with emerging powers. Instead, she fears she may have onset schizophrenia and her efforts to protect herself from falling into the hands of those who would control her powers and realize her true destiny takes the reader on a journey full of surprise and some romance.
Part 2 is titled ReSet and completes her victory. We received the manuscript from our editor, Tina Winograd on a Friday, and by the following Tuesday we had published ReSet on Smashwords, Amazon, Createspace, and setup production for an audiobook on ACX.com.
We also have been writing the 3rd story, MindSet (surprise!) and reading it at critique circles. We hope to have it ready for the winter holidays.
The series of covers, for OnSet, ReSet, and MindSet, among my most enjoyable to make, give clues to Chloe’s progress in this fast paced medical thriller. Just as manuscripts evolve, so do covers. Here is the latest rendering, we hope you enjoy them.
I just designed a t-shirt: “I’m a Raconteur learning to be a Writer so I might be an Author.”
In the Spring of 2010 my wife gave me a membership to the Houston Writer’s Guild and signed me up to attend their Spring conference.
I did not know how to write. I’m a math major. We don’t do papers. However, in one of my careers I researched new and interesting technologies for my company. I wrote white papers for mid and upper management who had little time to read. If you have any experience reading essays, a white paper is like an up-side-down essay. The conclusions, including possible impact to ROI (Return On Investment), are presented first. When I discovered that good stories must have a hook upfront, I was thrilled. I mistakenly thought, “Now I know how to write my novel.”
That moment is called an ‘up’. There are also many ‘downs’ that writers must endure. This is my list of bottom line recommendations for new writers, of all kinds.
- Join a writer’s guild, association, club, or group.
- Attend their critique circles or start one.
- Plan to find a place where you can write every day.
- Write every day.
- If you write something that interests you but does not seem to fit into your novel, save it for a short story.
A critique circle (cc) meets often enough for each of the 6 to 10 writers to bring sufficient copies of 200 lines of story content. The writer, or someone else in the circle, reads his or her work aloud. Notes are made on each copy and a brief discussion ensues. I’ll post the rules of engagement we use later. Just know that the critique circle is (can be) a valuable experience. The ‘can be’ will be included in the post on cc rules.
- Attend workshops. Look for small classes by respected writers. (That usually mean published.)
- Most of all, write. I know it’s a cliché for some, but set a time, make a space, get ear plugs if you need to, but write, write, write …