Ryan M. Church

Posts Tagged ‘Fiction’


In Uncategorized on June 17, 2016 at 3:18 pm

This torch has been passed into my hands thanks to Rami Ungar at Rami Ungar the Writer. This is the first time I have been invited to participate in an interactive pass it on type of post. So as it was passed on to me – I give you this posts proper introduction.

Now if you don’t know what #FirstLineFriday is, let me explain. On Fridays, you:

  1. Create a post on a blog entitled #FirstLineFriday, hashtag and all.
  2. Explain the rules like I’m doing now.
  3. Post the first one or two lines of a potential short story, a story-in-progress, or a completed or published story.
  4. Ask your readers for feedback and encourage them to try #FirstLineFriday on their blogs as well (tagging is encouraged but not necessary).

As I looked over at first lines from other stories. I discovered I had a style in which my first lines are short statements that lead into that line that draws you in. For those stories that I wrote that way I am not sure I would get very good feedback, because, these first lines give weight, backbone, background and tone for the fourth or fifth line. But here is a first line I wrote that I fell in love with all over again when I rediscovered it.

“The gray afternoon was pleasantly warm with a sweet salty vanilla breeze that whispered westward off the Atlantic.”

  • Does this opening line suggest genre?
  • or a relationship between the POV and the setting?
  • Is it compelling?
  • Does it promise possibility?
  • What do you think?

No Matter Your Skill Level All Stories and Art Are Valuable–What Really Counts Is the Appreciation of the Progressive Growth, and Evolution From Early Works To Latest, and the Final Works

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2013 at 12:42 am

Some of the most beautiful and emotionally stirring artwork is done by children. But, society doesn’t encourage artists and storytellers. You have heard the reasoning – It doesn’t put food on the table, or pay the bills. So because it doesn’t manifest in a tangible Blue Collar product you can put your hands on. But if you realistically apply the economic metrics, nearly all Blue Collar jobs are contracted slave labor. You agree to work for the MAN at a set price, which pays for your house, your car, your food, your utilities, perhaps there is some left over for entertainment, or a vacation, and if your smart or super thrifty you can save for your retirement.

Parents wish the best for their children and often encourage their children to try to study for a White Collar job, which earns more money. So studies in Law, Medicine, Business, and finances. Creativity gets excluded from White Collar work. It’s all by the  book. While White Collar folks have more money to spend on the Arts it is often given less consideration than the products of Blue Collar slave labor. Just watch the Academy Awards. The Awards mostly go to realistic stories which are given the label SERIOUS FILMS, as though they are of greater value than comedies, romances, science fiction,and fantasy. Some of those SERIOUS FILMS to me are either boring or  are of the THOUGHT PROVOKING variety that have such a convoluted narrative that make Quentin Tarantino’s version of Dante’s Inferno set in Alice’s Wonderland, traversed back and forth through dimension, time through the Mad Hatter’s tea party while exploring all the levels of hell a walk in the park. I usually end up disturbed and ill after watching a SERIOUS THOUGHT PROVOKING FILM, and I happen to like weird stories.

But, most people enjoy their movies to make them laugh, cry, scream, and grip their seats. All these kinds of stories rely on simple ideas. You can apply some mathematic principles to improve the visualization and the pacing to improve a story and art. Just take a look at the architecture of the pyramids on the Giza Plateau. They are simple four sided triangular shaped buildings which have the dimensions of both the Golden Mean and the Fibonacci Spiral. The Pyramids are also aligned with the belt of Orion and pointed toward the Constellation of Leo at the time it was built. So a little beauty, mixed with mathematical formulas, and scientific knowledge pushes Art to greater value. But culturally we only value it in Antiquity rather than in the every day.

We should change our thinking. So that an immigrant learning a second language can write simple poetry that reflects their experience within the limits of their limited knowledge of the second language can be appreciated for it’s beauty and value. Rather than judging their shortcomings before they even try to express themselves.

Then when someone shares what they can do creatively Their efforts are validated, and those who are inspired by it can encourage them to try something new, or learn something new and apply it to their imagination.

It would be even more amazing if art, science, and mathematics could be infused into Blue Collar work, so that the implied slave contract is no longer valid, because it is an art and a science all it’s own. As many of these professions once were and should be again. If only a recognition of the unity between Art and Practicality can be realized. I think this will bind us closer to our gods more spiritually than doing acts of obeisance in a holy place ever will.

I always felt closer to creation when I was making/creating something than doing anything else. This is where true growth comes from and our greatest value is in the expression of Art.

If you have few skills in Art. That’s OK. Even if your first attempts lack grace in beauty. And, you should be proud of it. Even if it is a failed piece of crap. It was an attempt and perhaps you learn that outlet doesn’t suit you, because there is more than one way. Even artistic style may emerge because you can’t do it the way everybody else does it. Sometimes just a tweak here and there might transform what otherwise be hideous into a wonderful, whimsical surprise that can only be achieved by your own hand, and every time a unique gift to the living.

The Idea of Collaboration, A Guided Storytelling Experience

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2013 at 2:34 am

I am starting something new or perhaps rare, but I hope it catches on. I am hosting two Interactive Fiction (Inter-Fi) projects on the following blogs:

This is for all aspiring creative thinkers, storytellers, writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers, audio program directors, narrators, voice actors, actors, role-players, set designers, prop designers, fashion designers, make up artists, and genre fans who are invited to join in and take part.

The Basic concept: A person presents their concept with the understanding that anyone can participate to help develop and execute the project. While the creator of the original concept retains creative and editorial control they allow the project to develop organically through fan participation. I think this is could be used as teaching tool for aspiring writers who still look to a mentor for inspiration, by utilizing roleplaying and improvisational tools. It also allows fans to contribute to the project. While I suppose any format might do. But, I think a few format guidelines should be suggested to provide some consistency to each project.


All collaborative project has two components Administrative and Creative. If you are flying solo you would make your own rules and there may be little or no need for the Administrative Component, and, the Creative Component will be anything you make it. But, when collaborating and sharing the process and responsibilities in creating, a few guidelines should be delineated for consistency and to avoid toxic chemistry between collaborators.


The Administrative Component is a living work in progress from project to project as needed. This component has a three-fold purpose:

  1. Facilitation – The Function of Facilitation is to keep the Creative Component consistent with the Project Bible, managing creative prompts, choosing the official content from submissions, and mediating disputes. Facilitation should be only evident by the quality content and exceptional execution of the second and third purpose of the Administrative Component.
  2. Rules of Etiquette – These rules serve to minimize conflicts between parties involved in the process of developing and adding content to the project. These Rules should be put into writing to attempt to eliminate conflict in the process. In Essence codifying submission requirements, acceptable and unacceptable behavior amongst all parties, and the process of preventing and resolving interpersonal and creative conflicts.
  3. Recognition – Having your ideas chosen and included in the content is recognition enough, but, I have found that it is essential to compensate collaborators for their efforts even if the creator has nothing to offer. That is why I think a system of offering a points system so that any contributor can see how their contribution matches up to contributions to others as an incentive to gain more points by submitting more ideas.

I have boiled the Creative component into three identifiable elements. The project itself can use the simple framework I describe here. I expect that even if the names are changed, expanded upon, or even  rearranged that they will still be present in the project.

  1. Narrative – The stories in all their forms need a central place where they can be indexed by chronology, storyline and offer access to available sources.
  2. Project Bible – The essential resource for any aspect of the project. In closed projects the Bible is only available to the collaborators. But in the case of an Interfi project the Bible should be publicly visible, because collaboration is open to public involvement
  3. The Gallery – For project inspired artwork, designs, and other fan and collaborator mayhem.aaaaaaaAa