Monthly Archives: January 2023


An interesting piece today on Story Empire!

Story Empire

Hi SEers! Denise here to talk about when a story hits some unexpected roadwork and comes grinding to a halt.

The ideas and words flow until that one day, and they don’t. It’s like riding in a convertible, watching the sunset on a warm summer evening. A cool breeze is blowing the story onto your computer screen or paper. Everything is right in your world until that one moment when you see a stop sign ahead, and everything suddenly stops.

I had this happen to me last fall. The idea came to me, and I jumped right into writing the story. Several pages in, I researched to ensure I was accurately writing about a real person. The problem was I had written an entire plot around what I assumed was correct but turned out to be false.

At that point, I had to stop and rethink the entire story. The…

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How to Use Prologues, Part 11, Prologues and Epilogues

More writing tips on Story Empire!

Story Empire

open book with sketch of 3D pirate and treasure on the left and a sailing ship on the right.
Image courtesy of Tumisu via Pixabay

Hi SErs! It’s a day of Harmony here at Story Empire 🙂 Today, I’d like to talk about epilogues in relation to prologues. Here’s a link to the previous post on Recap of Tools.

What is an Epilogue?

An epilogue is like a prologue in that it adds to the main narrative. The main difference is that an epilogue comes at the end of the book rather than the beginning. So, where a prologue comes before the main story, an epilogue comes after all the other events have happened. An epilogue can jump way ahead in time or only an hour or a day or two. However, it MUST be linked to the events and characters your reader has become familiar with throughout the main story. As with a prologue, only use an epilogue if the information doesn’t fit within the main…

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1/25/23 Guests Mark Herndon and Leah Seawright

Former Alabama drummer Mark Herndon returns!

Voice of Indie Podcast

VOI 130 Show Placard Jan 25 2023, Herdons LIVE

Legendary Country Music Hall of Fame drummer Mark Herndon yearned to fly jets as a military brat, then discovered the dream of playing drums, vowing to come back one day and perform at the very place where he once had to stand outside just to hear. Along the way, he loved and lost and made plenty of mistakes, persevering to achieve all that he imagined before having so much taken away. After decades with one of the most celebrated bands of all time, he still lives his dreams, playing, producing, flying, and now writing with keen observations about life and living in the spotlight.




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Narrative Choice, Part 1

Quality writing tips!

Story Empire

by Stephen Geez

Every new story project offers me the challenge of finding a narrative style and format that are different than any I’ve previously written. I don’t make choices to be gimmicky, but rather to find what works best, which is usually something I might not have routinely considered. The obvious choices come down to who (singular or plural) is narrating, and which tense (or mix of tenses) is being used. Beyond those, though, narrative offers nearly unlimited possibilities. Is your narrator talking to readers—or another character? Is the narrator speaking of believable events, or might that person be unreliable, speaking opinions rather than facts, or even spinning a yarn from delusion? How much does your narrator know—and is s/he revealing or holding back—or deceiving? Seems the more we consider options, the more choices we need to make.

For this post, I’ll start with the basics in narrative choice—voice…

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Fake Social Media Accounts! Should I Worry?

This one is on Story Empire!

Story Empire


Greetings, SE’ers! Happy New Year! Beem Weeks here with you again. Today, I’m discussing fake social media accounts.


Recently, I received notice of a new follower on a certain social media platform. Not unusual, as this account is attached to my podcast and publisher. We gain new followers daily. But this new follower stood out among the others. I know the person. I know she had already been a follower of the account. The photo and bio were legit, but the name had subtle misspellings. A quick screen shot and message to the legit person revealed this was not a new account helmed by her. She reported the fraud to the platform in question.

I’ve seen this sort of deception many times over the years. As authors, we tend to become familiar with those who follow our accounts. They may be fellow authors, publishers, podcasters, bloggers, or readers. We…

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John W. Howell’s The Last Drive Arrives! #NewRelease @HowellWave

Greetings to one and all. Today, I am honored to present John W. Howell’s latest release, The Last Drive.

I am so pleased to be with you today, Beem. I want to thank you for helping spread the word about The Last Drive. Your stories have always impressed me with the authentic characters, setting and dialogue. Of course, I don’t reach your level in this stead, but it occurred to me that there were some historical events that could only have been crafted by the devil. I had not thought about creating a sequel to Eternal Road, but the opportunity to visit these historical events with my characters was too compelling to ignore and so The Last Drive was born.

Here is the blurb and then we can get to a short excerpt from the book.

The Blurb

In the sequel to Eternal Road – The final stop, Sam and James are reunited to look for two souls, Ryan and Eddie. Ryan was killed in Afghanistan, trying to avoid a schoolyard with his crippled plane. Eddie Rickenbacker, Ryan’s hero, is to guide Ryan to his Eternal Home, and now both are missing.

The higher-ups believe that there has been some interference in Ryan and Eddie’s journey by Lucifer, so Sam and James have the task of finding Ryan and Eddie to get them back on the road despite the evil interference. Unfortunately, the machinations designed to prevent Ryan and Eddy from completing their journey takes the pair to horrifying testing grounds. The places visited represent the best work of the Devil. They are the trenches of World War I in France, gladiators at the Roman Coliseum, the sinking Titanic in 1912, Hiroshima 45 minutes before the bomb, and the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

This book is for you if you like plenty of action, strong characters, time travel, and a touch of spiritual and historical fiction. So, join Sam and James as they try to find the missing souls while staying one step ahead of the Prince of Darkness, who is determined to destroy all that is good.

An Excerpt.

Sam approaches James, who sits on a chair in a meadow, reading a book next to a glass of iced tea on a small table. Her old friend appears comfortable in his Eternal Home. Butterflies take wing in her stomach. Maybe not bothering James might be the best alternative. As she turns to leave, James glances her way. His eyes widen, and he thrusts out of the chair and makes a semi-sprint over to her. “My God, Sam. It’s you, isn’t it?”

Sam smiles. “Yes, it’s me.”

He turns, throws the book toward the chair, and takes Sam’s hands in his. “How’ve you been?” James radiates warmth.

With a squeeze of James’s hands, Sam gazes into his eyes. “I’ve been great. How about you?”

James releases Sam’s hands. “I can’t believe I haven’t sat around thinking about you.”

“That’s not what you’re supposed to do for eternity.”

“But you would think you’d cross my mind sometime.”

Sam smiles. “That’s the beauty of this place. You only have great thoughts about the things you want to think about.”

A Link to the Trailer

You Tube

Buy Links

The Last Drive is available in paper and Kindle editions on Amazon. Here are the universal links. The Kindle edition is on sale for 99¢ through mid-February.



Author Bio

John is an award-winning author who after an extensive business career began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written Six other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author links

Blog Fiction Favorites,

Facebook –

Twitter –

Goodreads –

Amazon Author’s page –

BookBub –

Eternal Road Buy links

Kindle Universal link

Paper universal link

Using Dialect and Vernacular

A wonderful piece on writing dialect!

Story Empire

Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and the new year is off to a good start.

Regional dialect and vernacular are commonplace. Here in the United States alone, we have Appalachia, the deep south, Texas, the Midwest, and the northeast just to name a few. We speak English, but many of our sayings differ.

For instance, in Texas and many parts of the south we use the word “y’all” when referring to a group of people. People on the west coast might use the term “you guys,” and those other parts of the country are known to say “youin’s.” I’ve even heard the term “yous guys.”

Regional dialect and vernacular are what make each area unique, much like accents. I’ve found folks from New Jersey have slightly different accents than those living in the neighboring state of New York. A southern…

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Final Examples of Types of Humor

More tips on humor and writing!

Story Empire

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Hi SEers. John is back with you again. Happy New Year to you all.  Last week I  gave you some humor examples from the list of nine types of humor. Today I want to finish the list. If you need to check back on the Types of humor, go HERE. If you want to review the previous post, go HERE. Well, now that I have directed you all over the place, let’s begin.

Topical Humor – Using current events to create humor. Political cartoons are obvious examples, as are Saturday Night Live skits. As to writing, any story of a topical nature can have an infusion of humor. Narration and dialogue both work.

Trying to find topical humor in literature is tough, but if we go to YouTube shorts, there is plenty. Here’s one.

Here is another about old people. He talks about…

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