EXPLORING FICTION FORMS

EXPLORING WHEN, HOW AND WHY I USE CERTAIN FICTION FORMS     

Most people are familiar with the fiction forms of novels and short stories. However, there are three other forms which exist and are on the rise amongst many writers these days; the novella, the novelette and flash fiction.
While none of these three fiction forms are new, they are different from their more contemporary counterparts. In this blog post, I will distinguish those differences and explain why and when I choose to use them in my own writing.

***Please note***
The average word count for novels will vary based upon genre and who you ask. The word count which constitutes these other fiction forms will also vary, however there is a general range that’s accepted and I am illustrating the range which I use.

FICTION FORMS

  • Novels: Works of fiction which are 50K+ words in length.
  • Novellas: Works of fiction which fall between 20K and 50K words in length.
  • Novelettes: Works of fiction which fall between 7K and 20K words in length.
  • Short Stories: Works of fiction which fall between 1K and 7K words in length.
  • Flash Fiction: Works of fiction which are fewer than 1K words in length.

Why I Use Certain Fiction Forms

Let me first say that I encourage writers to explore ALL of the various forms of fiction at least once. DO NOT limit yourself based upon the preferences of another writer or their suggestions. That said, I mostly untilze the following fiction forms in my work: Novels, Novellas and Novelettes.
This is a personal preference, as I tend to do quite a bit of world building and write character driven content. These three forms are what work best for me and the stories I tell. Every writer is different, some use less number of forms and others use all five.
If you’re not familiar with my work, I write speculative fiction which covers a variety of genres and sub-genres. My work is also heavily influenced by comic books and action cinema. Because of this, one of my biggest influences on how I use these fiction forms is the comic book format and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in particular.

When I Choose to Use a Particular Fiction Form

Novels
I use novels for works which feature prominent characters within my literary universe, dubbed the Ivoryverse. These stories tend to have far reaching significance and consequences within my world and therefore I need more time to properly develop the characters involved.
The events depicted within my novels/novel series, resonate throughout the Ivoryverse and have an impact on every other character in every other work, at least in some significant manner. This is similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe catchphrase, “It’s all connected.”
For example, the Ivory Blaque novel series is the hub for my other works of fiction within the Ivoryverse, hence the name. As the first novel in the Ivory Blaque series, The God Killers, is a first glimpse into the Ivoryverse, all other stories which follow are in some way connected to the events which occur within that novel series. Although, it should be noted that the stories told in the novels are self contained and can be read individually and independent of other works. However, reading all of my works maximizes how in depth your understanding/following of the Ivoryverse will be.
Also, I DO NOT leave cliffhangers! I use what I term, “Epilogue Bridges.” What the Epilogue Bridges do is give the reader a glimpse into how the novel they’re reading is connected to the next novel in the series and/or other works such as novellas and novelettes. In this regard, the title character(s) have resolved (at least for the most part) the conflicts which they faced within the novel and there is a clear beginning, middle and end to the story. Epilogue Bridges are like the end credit scenes in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that sets up the anticipation for next film.

Novellas
As I write stories which delve deeper into the Ivoryverse, yet don’t feature the character Ivory Blaque and are centered around another important character, I choose to write those stories as novellas.
My novellas are almost like annual, digest sized, single issue comic books with self-contained stories about a specific character or group of characters. These works tend to focus on one character, three at most and they usually have one general setting. Now just as I lay down these general “loose” rules, I am just as apt to break them.
Depending upon whether I intend to publish the novellas as a “One & Done” work, which I don’t plan to visit again or expand upon in the future, I will generally follow the one character, one setting focus rule. I use this for stories which fill in gaps between novels or novellas with the maximum word count which serve as part of a series. An example would be where a minor character, or group of characters in a novel resonates with my readers and they inquire about the further exploits of this character(s). I use the novella form to further develop the character(s) and provide stories for my readers using characters who will not recieve their own full length novel series. As all of my stories/books are written by me and I DO NOT utilize ghost writers, I have to limit the characters who receive full length novel series and gauge reader response as the whether I explore a novella series for the characters who don’t quite make the cut.

Novelettes
The third fiction form which I use in my writing is the novelette. This form is like a monthly comic book or weekly TV show if you will. The stories are short glimpses into the lives of certain characters who may have appeared and/or been featured in a novel or novella. Noveletes serve as a vehicle to either fill in gaps between novels and/or novellas, but can also be used as serialized installments which will be collected into a larger body of work and marketed as a volume collection of inter-related stories. Think, seasons of a TV show or collected editions of single issue comics. While these stories may not be chock full of character development, they do offer the reader a visit with a character(s) they would otherwise have to wait a year or longer to get.

This year I plan to set some things into motion which will maximize my writing output, further flesh out my literary universe and exponentially increase my body of work. This not only allows for me to get more stories written and shared with my audience, but it also allows for me to position my properties for the possibility of being developed in other media forms into the future.

Copyright © 2015  John F. Allen. All rights reserved.

THE 5TH ANNUAL THAT BOOK PLACE AUTHORS FAIR!

I had a BLAST at the 5th Annual That Book Place Authors Fair!
I had the opportunity to hang out with some GREAT authors and AWESOME folks this year. Here are some photos to illustrate the FANTASTIC time I had!

Indiana Comic Con 2015

This past weekend of March 13th through March 15th, the 2nd Annual Indiana Comic Con 2015 occurred in downtown Indy and I was there! It was a GREAT selling day for The God Killers and a GREAT promotion day for my upcoming e-novella, Codename: Knight Ranger!

Indiana Comic Con 2015 Pic 7While I was there, I had the opportunity to meet with one of my writing idols, comics legend and brilliant writer, Denny O’Neil! I had the honor of getting a photo with him and he’s an exceptionally nice, warm and genuine human being.

One more thing checked off of my Bucket List!

This was my first time at this event as a vendor and I would highly recommend it for other speculative fiction authors. The atmosphere was ripe with plenty of genre readers and potential, future fans. Registration and set up was a breeze and the event was very well organized and HUGE!

I also had 5 Free, hand made nail polish by Akira Lacquer on sale as well, with colors inspired by The God Killers! Click the link above to learn more and see the variety of FABULOUS nail polishes available!

My friend, 2-time Indiana, karaoke champion, Frank Smith III was also on hand, selling his memoir, Confessions of a Karaoke Singer and promoting his brand, the K.N.O.W. (Karaoke Ninja Outlaw Warrior) Warrior!

Please check out more pics below!

I will definitely be attending Indiana Comic Con 2016…SEE YA THERE & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

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CYBER MONDAY SALE FOR THE GOD KILLERS & MORE!!!

Hey everyone! Now that we’ve recovered, or at least we’re on our way to recovery, from Thanksgiving and Black Friday, we have Cyber Monday to look forward too!

TGK OFFICIAL COVER ARTToday, and today only, the ebook version of my debut novel, “The God Killers,” will be on sale for only .99 cents!

That’s right, only ninety-nine pennies and you can own a copy of “The God Killers!” So, if for some strange reason you haven’t already purchased my novel, now is your opportunity to do so and at a HUGE SAVINGS!

Click here to purchase: The God Killers

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But wait Johnny, there’s more!

REVISED_SWORD_COVER_1200X840Not only is “The God Killers” on sale, but also the anthology, “Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword, Vol 1,” featuring my most acclaimed short story, “Forest of Shadows!”

Click here to purchase: Thunder on the Battlefield:Sword, Vol 1

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SEVENTH STAR PRESS

SEVENTH STAR PRESS

Also, follow the link below to enter into the Seventh Star Press, “Feel the Fire III Contest,” offering a Kindle HDX (7 inch screen) as the grand prize with bonus entries for tweeting and posting about the sale. Only USA-based winners can receive the Kindle grand prize, if an international winner is chosen, a cash prize of equivalent value will be substituted and sent via PayPal. Contest entries will end at 12 AM EST on Monday, December 22nd. Winner will be selected that Monday.

Click here to enter: Feel the Fire III Contest

After you enter the contest, feel free to look around at the other wonderful Seventh Star Press titles, written by other exceptionally talented authors, also on sale for .99 cents during Cyber Monday!

Thanks and remember TBIYTC (The Best Is Yet To Come)!!!

Review of Arrow (Season 3, Episode 7, “Draw Back Your Bow”; Airdate: 11/19/14)

Hey everyone! Welcome to my weekly series of blog posts, which will review the following Comic Book Themed TV Shows:

  • Gotham
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • The Flash
  • Arrow
  • Constantine

I will be giving my TOP 5 Moments in the weekly episodes, Easter Eggs (if applicable) and my predictions for future episodes and seasons (also if applicable)!

BE WARNED, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!!

So, if you haven’t seen the week’s episodes, DO NOT READ THE REVIEW! I’ve broken it down by show, so you can skip reviews of episodes you haven’t seen yet, or don’t intend on watching. The blog post for the prior week will be posted on Monday mornings, so that most people have had a chance to watch the episodes.

 

Arrow (Season 3, Episode 7, “Draw Back Your Bow”; Airdate: 11/19/14)

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Synopsis

When an Arrow-obsessed serial killer, Carrie Cutter aka Cupid, leaves a trail of murdered criminals in her wake, Ollie must race to stop her. In her psychosis, Cupid is convinced that The Arrow is her one true love and continues her murder spree to get his attention. Meanwhile, Felicity is asked to accompany Ray to a work related dinner thrown by important clients. Thea clashes with a cocky DJ when she holds auditions for Verdant.

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Top 5 Moments

  • Enter Cupid! Amy Gumenick as Carrie Cutter aka Cupid was a great introduction to a crazy character with a manic fixation on Arrow. Her obsession, let alone her fighting skills and prowess with a bow, make her a very dangerous adversary. She appeared in the comics as a former Special Forces soldier who was experimented on and granted superhuman strength as well as mental instability. For the show, it seems they toned things down a bit and made her a former cop with mental instability issues. This works for the show and I’m not really trippin’ on the change from the comics, as it’s the mental issues which most define this character. I like how Oliver pretty much dumped her on the doorstep of A.R.G.U.S. as a potential Suicide Squad member. This hopefully means we’ll be seeing her again in the future.
  • Ray-licity! I don’t have a problem with this relationship, as it allows for the show to follow the true mythos of Green Arrow, as he is destined to be with Laurel Lance aka Black Canary. This also gives viewers a stronger glimpse into Ray Palmer and allows Felicity to have a life after Oliver. I think there is a burgeoning chemistry there and it will be interesting to see how their relationship develops alongside his evolution into the role of Atom!
  • Dwarf Star Alloy and the Atom suit! I had a mini Geek-gasm when I saw the holographic image of the Atom suit. I’ve been waiting on this since the character of Ray Palmer was first introduced. They were true to the comics costume colors (red and blue), while modernizing the look and feel of the suit. It seems much more functional and techy. I like this aspect of it and can’t wait to see Brandon Routh “Suit Up” in it.
  • Katana in action! There’s nothing like seeing a badass female protagonist with a sword! From The Bride in Kill Bill, Lady Sif in Thor to Michonne in The Walking Dead, Katana is in EXCELLENT company. We get a glimpse into who Tatsu is and what transpires to help her develop into Katana. I look forward to seeing more of Katana as the season progresses. So far, the fight choreography for this show has not failed, imo.
  • Enter the Boomerang! I have been looking forward to the introduction of Digger Harkness aka Boomerang, or Captain Boomerang as he’s known in the comics. He was always one of my favorite members of The Flash’s Rogues Gallery. This is a great set up for the upcoming Flash/Arrow crossover.

Easter Eggs

  • Sherwood Florist! Arrow and Arsenal This little Easter Egg is from the comics and harkens back to the days when Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance moved from Star City to Seattle. Dinah owned a flower shop called Sherwood Forest. Ollie and Dinah lived in an apartment above the shop. This was an obvious play on the Robin Hood mythos and its influence on Oliver. They used the florist as their base of operations while they lived in Seattle.
  • Dwarf Star! In the comics, and apparently on this show, it is the Dwarf Star matter which gives The Atom his shrinking abilities. I was GEEKED when this was dropped towards the end of the episode. This just means that we’re that much closer to seeing Ray “Suit Up!”

Predictions

Despite the buzz about “No Powers” on Arrow, it appears that Ray Palmer aka The Atom, will be suiting up here on Arrow. I personally don’t have a problem with this at all. Barry Allen was introduced on this show and he’s set to make an appearance in crossovers, so I don’t see the BIG deal.

I also see Tatsu aka Katana, resurfacing in present day (probably towards the end of the season) to assist Team Arrow with the League of Assassin backlash which is sure to come. I wouldn’t be surprised if the catharsis (the murder of Tatsu’s husband and son as it is in the comics) is tied to the League, which would put her at odds with them in the present and solidify her alliance with Team Arrow. I don’t think Katana will be a permanent member of Team Arrow (I don’t think they’ll need to make room in the Arrow Cave or anything), but I’m hoping that she’ll be seen at least once or twice each season as the show progresses.

Finally, this isn’t a prediction, so much as a suspicion. All you fans of the comics, please bear with me. But,Thea’s NEW DJ is a young man named Chase, who I’m wondering isn’t either Adrian or Dorian Chase aka Vigilante. I know there’s nothing to be revealed yet for this to be a logical conclusion, however given the track record of Arrow, in terms of introducing and developing NEW characters from the comics, this wouldn’t surprise me if it in fact came to be. I suppose only time will tell.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed this episode. I am glad that the flashback storyline is moving forward and it was AWESOME to see Rila Fukushima own the role of Tatsu Yamashiro aka Katana. I like the direction this plot thread is headed and I can’t wait to see Katana in action during the present day. I think that this episode is a tipping point towards the future of the show and I’m totally diggin’ it!

I give this episode a solid B+.

Please be sure to subscribe to my blog and let me know what your thoughts are on the episode. Also, if you spot any Easter Eggs that I missed, please be sure to point them out in the comments section. Thanks!