The Strange Origami of Story Construction by Janine Donoho

What my Mistborn Chonicles look like when printedWhen it comes to storytelling, I view myself as a fusion pantser/plotter. There’s an inherent thrill with going where story takes me and once the first fold connects points 1 and 2, I’m hooked. Then inexplicable clusters, timelines, and abstracts recombine into more intricate patterns.

Still once I’ve developed basic folds and angles of characters, setting, scenes, and

Basic origami of what's to come

Basic origami of what’s to come

plot, I know it’s time to begin shaping the work toward a final vision. Central shapes pleat in macro and then micro gradients with affinity for movement toward or away from certain objectives. The permeability of each segment changes the structure. Visualize folds bisecting lines and angles at various degrees in progressively complex ways through cube doubling and angle trisection.

Complex origami foldsOne fold at a time, the next two Elementals have been forming into specific and recognizable shapes for years now. A few weeks ago, I pulled all accumulated files and references for the Earth Elemental before plunking them into a bag—my first clumsy origami of what’s to come.

Each story progresses through this cycle of fold, open, deconstruct, and reconstruct until it’s gone as far as I know how to take it. In that final stage it looks either like reams of stacked paper or a much less intriguing, yet substantial, electron file.

If I’m very lucky, it begins to look like this.Cover Collection 2

The New Day by Janine M. Donoho

Okay, I considered ‘going rogue’. Unfortunately, that phrase has taken on an abysmal political stench even as Urban Dictionary defines it as a sexual act. Then there was the option to ‘shoot the moon’ or ‘go commando’, each featuring unintended connotations and neither quite right. You may be glad to know I never contemplated going postal, since we all know how that ends. So now I’ve decided in a purely creative way to run with scissors.

Call me Ella Disenchanted. I’ve tried to play nice. My efforts to forge ties with agents and editors at expensive venues exhaust me. Conferences cost too much as do obligatory lodgings and transport there. Besides, I often feel like an outsider. Then there’s the process of submitting work from afar. Postage for multiple mailings puts serious dents in grocery money.

So here I sit, mass quantities of ‘how to’s’ on every aspect of publishing crammed into my head. I’ve queried my little heart out, then published two novels with a tiny literary publisher. Together we built lovely and substantial books. The unexpected gift of designing my own covers fell to me. Yet the company’s distribution flat-lined at nonexistent. My attempts to expand on that? Well, allow me to express how uncomfortable I felt as primary in all aspects of this endeavor.

Now for some insight into this writer: What I yearn for are readers. They makeup that temporary herd with whom I want to run. However without dispersal, it doesn’t matter how many awards your stories win, you still lack readers. Obstinate pursuit of the wily reader is one thing. Going around gatekeepers to find them? That’s quite another.

Remember the Luddites? They were a group of lacemakers in England who faced new technology. Their answer? They combined forces to tear down the machinery against which they could no longer compete. Guess who won?

Thus I’m embracing the grand e-cloud of tech. Launching two previously published novels, WILDFIRE and CALLING DOWN THE WIND, you’ll now find my work available for download. I’m starting with Amazon’s KINDLE, then possibly SMASHWORD with distribution to iPad, Nook, etc.

Since one of my favorite reading periods occurred when paperback books cost what straight black coffee from Starbucks does now, I’m pricing my downloads that way. After all, expense should not stand between me and my reading herd. Thus flip-flops, certain Apps, and too many non-nutritious fast foods cost the same as a download. I believe my novels offer more value. Yes, your Grande and Venti chai latte or espresso sets you back more. However, you could choose both a great read and a hot cuppa.

 My only caveat? If readers want new content, they must show me the love and download. For a limited time, you can do so through the KINDLE Owners Lending Library.

So celebrate my independence with me by visiting my site or to download my stories. If this experiment works, you can look forward to my high fantasy MISTBORN CHRONICLES along with more ELEMENTALs.

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27, 2015
The big day is here.

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