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Complete Stories

"Children need to read about ‘heroic legends."

JRR Tolkien, author of The Hobbits and Lord of the Rings

WHAT’S YOUR END GAME?

BOOKS

Fun: Share with family & friends in a “rough draft” form (minimal revising & editing)

 

Private Publishing: Create informal printed copies for family & friends (moderate revising & editing)

 

Self Publishing: Make a commercial book (maximal revising & editing)

TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING/MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT PROJECT

Idea: Submit TV show/movie script or proposal for board/video game or graphic novel (maximal revising & editing)—either directly or via intermediary, e.g., agent

CREATIVE PROCESS

Plan: Generate new idea or concept

Organize: Move into action

Implement: Make it happen

Complete: Finish, submit, or publish

  • Personal copy for family, & friends

  • Proposal for media/gaming companies; also likely will include storyboard

  • Manuscript for “family & friends” private book

  • Synopsis + Query Letter + manuscript for literary agent, e.g., fiction book

REMINDER

  • Prioritize

  • Focus

  • Complete

TOP 3

  • Wake up thinking, “What are the Top 3 things I must accomplish today to advance my story project?”

  • Start with #1 on your ACTION LIST—such as write, revise, or verify consistency—and try not to do anything else until you get that done

EXAMPLES

Road Map 

Star Life Keepers: Roadmap to Track Act 1 Chapters and Point of View

Roadmap

Storyboard

Spider-Man 2004 Movie (https://upqode.com/storyboard-examples/)

Storyboard

SLK binders vs single printed SLK book

Star Life Keepers: An Example of Competing a Book Project​

  • Started with notebooks for brainstorming (left)

  • Created binders to develop project (center)

  • Organized complimentary computer files

  • Ended up with 354-page Star Life Keepers book (right)

  • Studied & followed writing books (bottom shelf)

SLK binders vs SLK Book

TIPS & TRAPS

  • Perfection is the enemy of good

  • Pareto Principle: 80% of a project’s impact comes from 20% of what we do

  • Parkinson’s Principle: The project will expand to the time allotted

  • Close out project for review or submission unless it’s a fun project to pursue indefinitely

  • Avoid "Fantasy Worldbuilding-itis"

  • A common problem with building new fantasy worlds — and new sci fi worlds — is to fall in love with the project and work on it……endlessly

IF WE CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU!

LEARNING & DOING

When my grandson Brady and I embarked on our fantasy kidlit journey, we knew nothing about fantasy story development, worldbuilding, Hero’s Journey, etc.

 

We studied comparable successful books and used those as a catalyst to establish our own model

 

Fantasy writing is learned through trial & error just like coding, painting, music, etc

ORIGINALITY

It takes a lot of time to be “original” or, as Brandon Sanderson says, “familiar but different.” We must strive to be the best we can be; not a poor copy of someone else.

ROLE MODELS & RESILIENCE

We need pathfinders like Brandon Sanderson who have gone before us to slash through the rainforest and carve out a trail we can follow.

 

“Overnight successes” are usually people who worked for years and failed. Brandon had a drawer full of rejected manuscripts before publishing of Elantris in 2005.

OUR JOURNEY

On this website, we’ve shared details about how we developed/completed a creative project— such as Star Life Keepers—plus some resources for you to consider using. In the back of Star Life Keepers, we included a list of comparable books/series that motivated and activated us.

 

Feel free to contact us with your questions: team@storymakingwithkids.com

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