Friday, December 15, 2023

Movie Inspired Flash Fiction #WEP #WEPFF

 I'm absolutely devastated that this is the final WEP flash fiction challenge! I love doing these. Given my own volunteering experience in the writing world though, I can see how it must have been a great deal of work for the team. I am very grateful to have found them and to have enjoyed so many of their challenges over the years. I feel like I've grown as an author by working on flash fiction because of WEP. I learned many lessons that blew my mind. (Such as, even with a strong male name from an Egyptian god, readers still need more context clues to know the gender of a character. It was relevant to the story, but every commenter thought the character was female. Whoops.)

Given that this is the final WEPFF, this is likely the final whole-scene sneak-peek installment of my forthcoming high fantasy story. I could post the drawing of character sizes again. Instead... there's been a commercial playing for a resort near me, and I feel like this ad does a great job showing sizes. Please imagine one brown wolf to be slightly larger and older-looking. 

Origin Story of the Seven

By J Lenni Dorner

Word count: 627 Full Critique Acceptable and VERY WELCOME ๐Ÿ˜Š

Movie Inspiration: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist PG-13 2008 ‧ Comedy/Romance

"How did you become one of the Seven?" Phin Fynn asked between bites.

Monoghan licked his lips. "The free woman who sings the song of happiness went missing. Humans blamed my pack. They were preparing to enter our territory, to cut and burn the forest in search of her or her remains. I went to find her, knowing she was not with us. That was when I met Ellanorah."

"The rogue?" Candra asked as she moved closer.

Monoghan nodded. "I didn't know her. We bonded over a maze that requires specialized movements to traverse. She was on a quest for a certain fluffy bunny. Sounded tasty to me." 
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist Where's Fluffy band logo

Candra gasped.

Monoghan laughed. "It had unique properties. Magic that brought harmony to those who found it. Those who failed, who found the wrong one, were fated to break societal norms and destroy all of their relationships."

Phin Fynn stomped his feet. "Get back to the good parts!"

"Impatient one. Both the fluffy bunny and the singer were thought to be in a secret keep. Ellanorah walked right in. I could have never gained access without her. We learned there was another keep. Clues were given to get there. When we arrived, Ellanorah left me to fend for myself. She knew someone there, the man to whom she was once betrothed." 

"What?" Candra grabbed Monoghan. "Ellanorah? Bethrothed? Ellanorah the rogue?"

"How is it that you know her name, yet had no idea who I was?" Monoghan asked as he freed himself from her grip.

"Most of the Seven are considered myths. Especially you. Stories parents tell to teach lessons or instill fear. But Ellanorah? She's a hero to the repressed everywhere. A symbol of hope. To suggest she isn't real is to say the world could never be better. Who needs such darkness in their heart and mind?" Candra crossed her arms.

"Right. Well, your symbol of hope was kissing the man. He promised her a blade or something, I wasn't paying much attention. As I was leaving, Ellanorah asked to join my search for the singer."

"Why?" Phin Fynn asked, bouncing on the log where he sat.

Monoghan chewed a piece of meat. "I didn't ask. I was just glad of the company. We found the singer, not in a keep, but in a needle tree. She had been run off by a villager. Learning that the people actually missed her and wanted her back, she agreed to go home. Except now Ellanorah had told her about the fluffy bunny, so she wanted to find it. Bringing harmony to her people, well, that's what the free woman who sings the song of happiness is all about. Instead of going home, she followed our clues, figuring them out for herself after chewing on the riddles alone." 
Caroline name definition

"You weren't with her?" Candra asked as she poked the fire.

"Not at that moment. Ellanorah wanted to show me the cave where wolves are thought to have originated. A very special place." Monoghan rubbed his cheeks. "Very special."

Candra's eyes widened. Monoghan looked away, staring at the sky with a grin he could not hide.

"What?" Phin Fynn looked back and forth between them. 

They both replied, "Nothing."

"Anyway," Monoghan cleared his throat. "We eventually found her path. She was easy for me to track by then. And sure enough, that led us to the fluffy bunny."

Phin Fynn clapped. "Yay, you both completed your quests. Then what?"

"Ellanorah showed me that the villagers I knew were using me. That I deserved more life than they 
allowed me to have. The quests, I wouldn't miss them. I was missing journeys, trips more important than destinations and goals. Together, we set off to learn more about the world. The other five joined us later." 

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist poster

It wasn't easy to combine my high-fantasy story with a modern-day romance set in NYC and parts of New Jersey. Honestly, this would have been easier with Existence character Jezebel taking on Norah's role. If you haven't seen this fun film, here's a quick SPOILER HEAVY summary. Nick is heartbroken and trying to get back with his ex. Norah is really into music. Nick is in a (very crappy) band who plays a show, and both Norah and his ex are there. Norah's friend Caroline goes missing. Nick is hoping to find a secret show by the band "Where's Fluffy?" rumored to be in NYC that night. (The band keeps locations a secret, fans have to follow bunny signs and use clues to see them.) Norah also wants to see the show, but Caroline has to be found. They locate her in a Christmas tree ๐ŸŽ„ costume. Nick and Norah eventually hook up at a famous recording studio her dad owns. (Her dad is why she's able to get into every club they search.) She breaks up with a guy who is using her. He gets over his ex. They find "Where's Fluffy?" but decide the real journey is each other. 

I hope you enjoyed this flash fiction based on a movie that is based on a book. ๐Ÿ˜„
Please check out the WEP site and visit all the others in the hop.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Who is a Book Review for according to #IWSG members

Shout-out to Alex and the awesome co-hosts for today: C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray!

Dec 6 question -

When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

I wrote "Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier" because I feel book reviews are absolutely critical for an author.
In this reference book, I suggest starting reviews with the following:
  • Was the book good?
  • Include the fundamentals, such as the book title and name of the author (be sure gender terms ๐Ÿšน๐Ÿšบ๐Ÿšป๐Ÿณ‍๐ŸŒˆ are correct).
  • How is the book interesting within its genre?
  • How did you get this book? You want to write an honest and unbiased review, so it's important to mention if you were given the book for free.
  • Would you recommend it, or not, and to who? The review might mention if you feel the book appeals to sci-fi fans, cancer survivors, sporty teens, etc.
  • Is this the sort of book you usually enjoy reading? If you don't like horror books, and you're reviewing one, how much you like or dislike the book has a different weight than someone who frequently reads that genre. People who read reviews will appreciate knowing this.
  • Including a short excerpt that was especially powerful, funny, moving, or meaningful to you is a great way to hook a reader and boost an author's confidence. Or the excerpt might be an example of why you hated the book, in which case the inclusion gives review readers a chance to see if their feelings would match yours.
  • Stimulating. What about the book held your interest? Or why didn't you finish reading it?
  • Author Supporter ๐Ÿ“ฃ Would you read something from this author again?

There are many more tips in the book. I've been using this method to write reviews for years and it really streamlines the process for me. I feel that my method creates reviews that help readers and authors alike.

Some authors shy away from writing reviews because they worry about hurting the feelings of fellow authors by giving less than 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  Which might be why less than 10% of buyers tend to leave a review. There was a time when it was said that hitting a certain amount of reviews (10, 50, 200...) would result in more promotion from the Amazon algorithm. This has now been denied by the company. However, surveys suggest that book buyers are more inclined to buy a book if it has some reviews. 

Please visit author J Lenni Dorner on Smashwords Writing Book Reviews As An Author


Could you please give me your opinion -- based on the above summary of part of my book about writing reviews, does it seem like I review for readers, authors, or both?

A to Z Challenge Happening at the A to Z Challenge
John, on December 25, will present: A'phabet Day or No "L" Day, a day to skip the 'L' in all your correspondences and communications - written or otherwise. ๐Ÿ˜‰