<![CDATA[Story Shoals - Blog]]>Sun, 14 May 2023 01:04:14 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Thanks to Those Who Helped!!!]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2023 19:57:19 GMThttp://storyshoals.com/blog/thanks-to-those-who-helpedNovember 18, 2016 Yes, YOU! Thanks to those who purchased a copy of the paperback edition of my novel, "Treasures of the Lost Knight," over the past 6 months, from (May 12, 2016 thru Nov. 12, 2016). As promised, I donated 100% of my royalties of same during this time period to the Bahamas Hurricane Restoration Fund c/o Deltec Bank and Trust Limited, Bahamas! Please keep reading and if you enjoyed it or found a measure of pleasure, please consider leaving a review via your favorite online retailer where you purchased. Thanks again, and drop me a line with any questions. Best Wishes,
<![CDATA["You'll Never Change" - or you might, but not your villain]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2023 19:54:14 GMThttp://storyshoals.com/blog/youll-never-change-or-you-might-but-not-your-villainFebruary 23, 2013 In the previous post we said, "Readers engage characters waiting for them to change and antagonists engage characters hoping they wont." Some people wondered about the latter part of this statement so I'II address that. The antagonist usually has his/her goal in mind and singularly acts toward it. It's his/her nature to be singularly focused. Incidentally. an antagonist doesn't have to be what we normally think of as a "villain." It doesnt even have to be person. In some stories. the antagonist can be an inanimate entitv - somethind the protagonist or "hero can't directly communicate with. Examples of this would be if the protagonist is up against a force of nature, like a storm, or a mountain that must be conquered. Could we make an event o time itself the antagonist? When the antagonist is something other then a person, it poses some of the most formidable challenges in writing to keep the story fresh and the plot points turning. But getting back to the issue, if our protagonist is static, the antagonist soon knows what is needed to complete his/her goal to worry about much conflict with the protagonist. Thus, the "villain" will be happy, but the reader won't be. because this also leads the protagonist to be predictable and therefore boring - one of the biggest writina sins an author can commit]]><![CDATA[Losing Your Character's Grip on "Reality"]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2023 19:53:34 GMThttp://storyshoals.com/blog/losing-your-characters-grip-on-reality​T.J. Garrison February 15, 2013 Readers engage characters waiting for them to change and antagonists engage characters hoping they won't. While this statement may seem vaguely familiar to some, there's something deeper at issue. But first, back to "reality".. Why is it sometimes so hard to have someone see another point of view? Have them step out of their comfort zone? Change their perception? Because our world as we individually know it, is based upon what our brain says is a series of facts. If something a person holds as a 'truth' (e.g. an impression of someone, fact' of an event) is successfully demonstrated otherwise, it can force that person's suraconsciousarairo pose the question, "Could other guarded perceptions held as 'real,' not be real?" For better or worse, this could possiblv chande that person's whole view of the world. ..Or, at least as they had known it. Now consider the character Scrooge in, A Christmas Carol. Why do we stay with that cold, unlikable character through the storv? Perhaps the first time we experience it. we're waiting for Scrooge to get his punishment. But would it have been the classic it is if author Charles Dickens had Bob Cratchit pick his moment and then beat Scrooge with Tiny Tim's crutch? I think what makes it so good is that we experience not onlv an enlovable character arc. but the profound chande in the realitv for scroode. I he world chanded for the character and the character then changed his corner of the world letting go of what he had been cenain was previously concrete. While achieving this in reality can be difficult at times, it's one of the most satisfying reading experiences when plotted well. It IS by our lavorite stores and te characters we crant, mat we test our own waters inching up to the possibilities of our own perceptions through those characters - and hopefully, becoming better for it]]><![CDATA[Welcome to visitors from Wattpad and AuthorsDen]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2023 19:51:23 GMThttp://storyshoals.com/blog/welcome-to-visitors-from-wattpad-and-authorsden​Time to dust off the cobwebs. Been awhile since a new post due to time spent working on a new book and other projects screaming, "Me next!" Anyway, "Blog" and I would like to warmly welcome any visitors who have surfed on over from Wattpad or AuthorsDen and say a humble "thanks" for your support!]]><![CDATA[Still Thankful?]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2023 19:50:47 GMThttp://storyshoals.com/blog/still-thankful​November 24, 2012 Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. May it not be only one day, but rather one of many, where good fortune and blessings are yours in abundance. But if you find that these are scarce, never forget that some of life's greatest opportunities and achievements have been born out of great difficulties.]]><![CDATA[Message in a Bottle]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2023 19:50:01 GMThttp://storyshoals.com/blog/message-in-a-bottle​T.J. Garrison September 07, 2012 It had been a great day of diving. Trumpetfish had been playing hide-and-seek behind the coral fans while queen angelfish darted in and out among the coral fingers At dive's end, I made my way to the dive platform of the boat where I found my daughter all excited. Cha said she had found an old bottle while she was with the dive master on the surface in her SASY (Supplemental Air Supply for Youth) rig. She was quite insistent on sharing it with me yelling, " know right where it is, let me show you!" With us still some yards offshore, the waves had kicked up, the boat was bobbing and drifting around the anchor line and I was tired. I thought no way was she ever going to relocate some bottle among the sand and coral out in the middle of nowhere. But my daughter is nothing, if not tenacious. Reluctantly, I agreed to go. I maximally inflated my buoyancy compensator vest to stay on the surface with her. She grabbed my hand and we began to fin away from the boat, as the boat's captain kept a close eye on us. I was certain that it would only take a few kicks or so through the rising chop before she tired of the search and we would be back aboard eating sliced cantaloupe to get the salt taste out of our mouths Suddenly she began to point excitedly toward the bottom. There, sure enough, rested a squat, round, black glass bottle with a rather short neck. Part of it was covered with coral encrustation and its rim was chipped. it was detinitelv old. possibiv from the earl 1800's. Incidentall. old bottles have been used to help date shipwrecks She popped her head up from the water and took the regulator out of her mouth, ' told you so," she said. We took one more look before heading back to the boat, leaving the bottle there, as we were in a protected marine preserve area. Removing anything from the bottom of such an environment could result in fines or severe penalties. What my daughter reminded me from this is, that if you journey with confidence and determination, you can face a challenge as vast as the ocean and discover your goal. May your journeys be rich in discovery!]]><![CDATA[Imagination]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2023 19:49:37 GMThttp://storyshoals.com/blog/imagination​T.J. Garrison May 25, 2012 If necessity really is the, "mother of invention," imagination has to be it's dad. As someone who writes, I'm always interested in how to spark it. More importantly, what in our imagination strikes a nerve with others that they themselves find what you've written fun and entertaining? Im currently reading a non-fiction book entitled, "The Imagineering Workout, by The Disney Imagineers (Published by Disney Editions). It's an interesting look at now the creative minds responsible tor the theme park attractions come up win, design and build, their visions. When using my imagination, I don't always accept the first idea or answer that pops in my head. (I'm talking using your imagination here, not the answer you remember for a pop quiz.) Neither do I show that creative idea the door yet either. I let it sit, give it a beverage, ask it how it's friends are, maybe offer it some snacks. mentater chance to rest, I walk around it as it rests in my mind's recliner chair. I turn the idea Inside out. stretch it. squeeze it. pull it apan and put it together backwards and upside down and study it some more - dont panic. no ideas were harmed in the writing of this bloo. You can't hurt your ideas unless you just ignore and torget about tem. The point is, the best thing you can do for your creativity is to work your idea, then re-work it. Even if you think it's a great idea, don't settle, make it even better than it is. May all your creative sparks become dazzling firelight.]]><![CDATA[Good vs. Great, Debate]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2023 19:49:10 GMThttp://storyshoals.com/blog/good-vs-great-debate​T.J. Garrison May 16, 2012 So recently, I sat in on a chatroom discussion with other writers on what makes a "good" vs. "great" story. Most of the conversation picked apart character details vs. story plot, setups and payoffs (where small or puzzling details that appear early in a story, later are revealed to play a bigger or surprise role), what's more key, etc. While these are important, to me the marker of "good vs. great" is the, "Enterchangement" factor. A good story entertains (duh), but a great story is taken in by the reader and brings about an evolution. It's as if a story lesson, mannerism or ideal, settles beyond the reader's mere imagination and actually brings about a change in the person's soul, influencing his/her actions - hopefully in a positive way. What books give you enterchangement? Think about it and do read more like them.]]><![CDATA[And here we go...]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2023 19:48:22 GMThttp://storyshoals.com/blog/and-here-we-go​T.J. Garrison May 08, 2012 In this blog, I hope to occasionally give a little insight into what drove me (temporary craziness?) and inspired me (love of possibilites) to scribble your stories. I say your stories because they are written for you. To enjoy, to love, to hate, to escape life for a paragraph or a page, or to eat up that last bit of available memory on your mean aunt's electronic reading device. Inink about your lavorite place to escape. Thats what I want to share with you. One of my favorite means of escape is on the stern platform of a dive boat. Though strapping on enough lead weight to sink a body to meet whatever is at the bottom of the ocean may not conjure images of fun for some, that plattorm is my trapdoor to an allen world tor us land monals. Allen enougn that i'm Torced tO reorient my view when I'm down there. On the surface, things in life that bothers us are often larger-than-life and in-your-face close. Everything underwater however IS about 33 percent bigger and closer. Well, not reallv. it's just an underwater illusion when vou re looking througn a dive mask. but it vou take a moment tO observe, you'll begin to see wondrous things in the rocky coral or beyond that sand ridge. Things that you might not have notice on Tirst lOOK, ...causing you to retocus]]>