Thursday, April 16, 2015

Nuanced Storytelling

"A Girl Writing; The Pet Goldfinch" by Henrietta Brownne 1829-1901 (Google Art Project)

The craft of writing is the impetus for my A to Z Challenge theme. I've been seemingly railing out against exclamation points but that's only to make a point. Really this is a conversation about nuance.

I am attempting to crystallize thoughts that have arisen during the lengthy process of developing my books. One aspect central to my work, whether it's the nonfiction that has been published, or the fiction I'm working towards publishing, is storytelling. I love storytelling and that is the reason I've gravitated towards mythology and folklore. Universal themes on life and death, and everything delicious in between, can be found by gaining a deeper appreciation of mythic tales.

Holy Fire Daces of Hirucan Tuva by Kent Dorsey 2003    

My novels take themes I've explored in my other published books - magic, healing, belief, spirituality and transformation, and marries those over-arcing subjects with story. At first, I ventured into this area through memoir. Over the years, I tired of the constraints presented. 
Word- by-word I opted for novel over memoir.

Now, I am balancing a second draft of my first novel, with a work-in-progress, which is also a novel. I also have two nonfiction works in development; one half finished and one newly started. To relax, while sharpening the tools of the craft, I'm reading daily.

Apart from researching, I don't want to read authors too closely connected to my writing. Instead, I'm reading about the process and craft of storytelling. Those books that resonate are the following books:

Stephen King "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft"

"Making Shapely Fiction" by Jerome Stern

and I'm called to read "Novel Ideas" a second time because of how helpful it has been.

Each of these books helped me tease out nuance and subtlety in the art of storytelling during my daily work on the four books. Through reading and writing I'm finding out more about abilities I didn't know I possessed or needed for effective storytelling; nuance being chief among them.

Notes on my Theme:

This post is written for the 2015 A to Z Challenge. During this challenge, participating bloggers post once a day, in alphabetical order. This is done 6 days per week. Sundays are off. My theme presents words that are exciting. These words serve as thematic motifs in my writing. My theme also revolves around exclamation points. The words I've chosen to explore can replace or stand alone from the dreaded exclamation point, which writers are urged to avoid.


  1. It’s officially the second half of A to Z. Time to catch that second wind, rest up on Sunday, then it’s that mad dash toward the finish line!

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    N is for Numerology

  2. Good luck with the writing projects. Nuance is a great word choice for N, easily explained but hard to achieve. Thanks for sharing the book recos. Very helpful.


    1. You're very welcome. Each book is wonderful in a different way. Enjoy!

  3. 4 books on the go. You must be nuts. Most people seem to have enough to handle with one book. Not to mention doing the A to Z as well. Love that painting at the top.

    1. Yes, isn't it gorgeous. I'd never heard of the painter. I like the bird coming out of the cage--sort of tongue in cheek. I'd always hoped my parrots would double as Muses.

  4. Nuance - to say something or write something to express what one wants to say, subtly. I guess it applies to art (as in painting) as well. Actually, anything. Lovely post Stephanie thank you.


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