Dariel's World

Hi. I'm Dariel Raye, an interracial/multi-cultural paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and psy/suspense author, and every day of this journey is a learning experience. I'm also a counselor, musician, and animal lover. My stories are about all-conquering love and romance, and I enjoy hosting other authors as well. Enter a world where werewolves, vampires, multi-shifters, vamp-like Nephilim, Vodouin Fey, and all things paranormal capture our hearts...

You might also like to visit my website.

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Rave: Interactive Character Storytelling

A fantastic author and friend of mine recently introduced me to yet another world to explore! I invited her today to share some information about this latest, intriguing genre called interactive character storytelling. RP World Group is a group of talented writers with a site dedicated to this genre. Enjoy the video below (The Aeonian Guard) - it's one of theirs!

Interactive Character Storytelling
By LaVerne Thompson
There is an interesting genre of writing right now that is popular on Facebook and other sites around cyberspace called Role Playing. But it’s not your Dungeons and Dragons kind of role playing. It’s a lot more adult. It’s where the writers tell their stories in character form and stay in character form even when they interact with their fans.
The most common dictionary definition for traditional role playing I found on Wikipedia is. NOUN:
1. Psychology A therapeutic technique, designed to reduce conflict in social situations, in which participants act out particular behavioral roles in order to expand their awareness of differing points of view.
2. An instance or situation in which one deliberately acts out or assumes a particular character or role.
The second definition is what’s popular now. Most of the role playing done on Facebook is really fan fiction based. In that the writers adopt the characters from popular New York Times authors and role play the published stories, usually without the permission or support of the authors whose works they are role playing. Sometimes, these characters are also from popular television or motion pictures. Then there are other role players who craft their own original characters and role play them in much the same vein. Developing a character and role playing the character on Facebook.
Then there are the role playing sites or groups that role play based on games, board games or electronic game programs or characters based on games. Much like Dungeons and Dragons. Interactive storytelling stems more from these electronic game programs.
Interactive Storytelling [IS] is a form of digital entertainment in which users create or influence a dramatic storyline through actions, either by issuing commands to the story's protagonist, or acting as a general director of events in the narrative. Interactive storytelling is a medium where the narrative, and its evolution, can be influenced in real-time by a user. Wikipedia.
Usually role players on Facebook or the other game sites just set up a character or group and begin to role play. Much of it is free form, in that anyone just begins to write about the copyrighted character and behave in a manner that may or may not be in line with the author’s work, sometimes it’s more organized in that it’s loosely done around events in the published works or the game goals. Good writing isn’t necessarily required sometimes it’s more important to know the book, or game, and the character you are role playing. And even in those instances where the characters being role played are original creations of the writers, there usually isn’t a real storyline or plot. Just loose events or more journal style writing. More character development rather than story or plot.
Neither type of role playing really addresses the most recent format and what’s being pioneered by RP World Group. http://rpworldgroup.org RPW combines it all, what they are calling “interactive character storytelling”. Membership there is free, all that’s needed is an email addy and to create a password and the stories are free. This is where the original characters tell their parts of the story themselves but more importantly their original stories are actually plot as well as character driven. The writers are more storytellers who focus on the story as opposed to role players focusing on a role. They too post parts or a chapter at a time of their storylines, and fans come back each week to read the continuation of the story or book. But unlike a publication, the story is more like a soap opera because you get it in pieces. And the story is told from the point of view of each character within the story. It’s a fascinating phenomena, and one RPW is pioneering by having some of the most talented writers as part of their storytelling line up. For one thing RPW is run more like a publishing site, in that, unlike Facebook and other sites, you are not allowed to just join the site and begin to role play. You must go through a process. First submit an application to become a registered role player on the site. The application must have a bio of the character or characters you want to write, a brief of the storyline, and a sample of your writing. A group of five site admins go over the applications. And not everyone who submits is accepted.
So keep your eye on this new phenomenon. It’s another form of popular writing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What I have in Common With Verdeen
Renee Wildes

Riever’s Heart came out Tuesday, 9/27/11 from Samhain Publishing. I have a lot in common with the elven heroine, Verdeen and thought I’d share a bit about the both of us. Maybe you’ll see a bit you can relate to as well.
Verdeen was born to high parental expectations. Her parents were so proud when she became lady’s maid to the queen, Dara, in Duality. They though “queen” but she saw “lady’s maid” and it wasn’t enough for her. Dara asked what she wanted and Verdeen was honest and told her. So Dara helped her enter the military academy—first female to do so in generations. Her parents were…disappointed. I used to be a waitress, and living off tips getting pinched by drunk businessmen was not where I saw for the rest of my life either. So I went back to college—and became the only vet tech in a family of nurses.
We’re both black sheep, following our own dreams instead of that of others’.
Verdeen and I are both tomboys. We’re both bookworms, both inclined to “look it up” when we have a question. I’m terrible about never wanting to stop research to actually WRITE. There’s so much interesting stuff to learn! But she and I both learned that sometimes, there’s no substitute for actually getting out there and LIVING life instead of just reading about it! Research is also EXPERIENCE. (And we both love to read just for fun, too.)
We’re both major horse lovers. I’ve always had Arabians and have two half-Arab mares now. Temptation Fyre N Ice (aka Sassy) is a gray 7-year-old Morab and Moonlight is a white 20-year-old half-Welsh pony who technically belongs to my daughter Tami. Verdeen’s always dreamed of having an elven war mare select her to partner in becoming a full elven ranger—those beautiful, glowing white, sentient war mares. Only when she graduates from the military academy, Verdeen DOESN’T get her war mare. None of them choose her. For me, I just had to buy one. Verdeen doesn’t have that luxury and her disappointment is crushing. What to do when the one thing you want most in the world is denied you? How to come up with Plan B? I’ve also had to deal with disappointments and roads not taken.
Sometimes it’s not about what you want. It’s about what you need.
I’ve started gaming on Dragons of Atlantis with my son, but because I never do anything halfway I’m now second in command in our mutual alliance. I’m basically the go-between between the overlord and the rest of the tribe. I’m counselor, resource allocator and diplomat. I also fight when necessary to protect what’s ours and defend my fellow alliance members. Verdeen is assigned by King Loren to accompany the human riever Daq Aryk back to his kingdom of Isadorikja and help him unite his warring clans into a single cohesive nation. She also is a go-between between Loren and Aryk. Part counselor, part spy. But she’s also right there to guard his back and defend him when threatened. Diplomacy when you can, war when that fails, diplomacy again when the war is over.
Always have a plan, and a backup plan, and a backup to the backup. Turn disappointment into triumph. See a failure as a new opportunity.
We both struggle to balance “warrior and woman.” Career vs. family. Time constraints. Choosing one thing means NOT choosing another. Time management and prioritizing. Coming to grips with the realization that you can’t do everything. Recognizing that every day you set an example, both good and bad. Learning to accept that your best is all there is, but it’s always enough. If you can look yourself in the eye in the mirror every night then you have nothing to apologize for.
We’ve both faced our fears. Verdeen had to climb a mountain, face her fear of falling. I’ve gone rappelling and faced my own fears of heights and falling. We both trusted the person holding the other end of the rope (belaying) not to let us die. Sometimes it’s out of your hands and in the hands of another. Sometimes you just gotta check that rope and step over the edge.
Both of us have dealt with the insecurity of wanting another’s approval, not getting it and slowly coming to the painful realization that we can’t please everyone all the time. You have to be secure within yourself. You can’t let others’ opinions dictate who and what you are.
The best characters are like real people with the triviality burned away. They’re multi-faceted. They have insecurities, weaknesses, moments they’re not proud of and things they want to do over. But they’ve got a good heart, learn from their mistakes and always try to do the right thing. Learn and grow. Be open to change. Be able to adapt. Celebrate life’s triumphs both great and small.
I loved hanging out with Verdeen, seeing how much she’s grown between Duality and Riever’s Heart AND how much she’s grown from the beginning of Riever’s Heart to the end. I hope you all find some part of her and her story to relate to your own life. - Renee

Come see us tomorrow to meet the hero of Renee's fantasy romance!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Renee Wildes is My Guest Blogger Today

Renee will be visiting me for the next few days. We worked on a project together a couple of years ago and I was impressed by her writing and our mutual love for animals. Visit us each day and share your thoughts. We'll be talking about everything from Renee's new release, "Riever's Heart," to writing what you know.

Renee Wildes is an award-winning Wausau WI writer. She grew up reading fantasy authors Terry Brooks and Mercedes Lackey and is a huge Joseph Campbell fan, so the minute she discovered romance novels it became inevitable that she would combine it all and write fantasy romance. Renee is a history buff, from medieval times back to ancient Greece, esp. Sparta. As a Navy brat and a cop’s kid, she gravitated to protector/guardian heroes and heroines. She’s had horses her whole life, so became the only vet tech in a family of nurses. It all comes together in her Guardians of Light series for Samhain Publishing – fantasy, action, romance, heroics and lots of critters!

Stop by tomorrow to meet the heroine in Renee's new fantasy romance!

Visit Renee At:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ReneeWildes (@ReneeWildes)
Publisher: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/renee-wildes-pa-319.html?PHPSESSID=af835b2df90961e336f60f4aaf69b518

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Banishing the Scene Stealer: Show, Don't Tell

Let’s just jump right in. Think of our stories as movies. How do we convey the same excitement and garner the same involvement from our readers? By showing instead of telling. Here’s an example of telling:

The two people had just met – or so it seemed. They exchanged words. It was obvious that she was furious with him as she turned her back and started to walk away. Suddenly, he wrapped his arms around her waist, pulled her around to face him, and suctioned his lips to hers. The crowd went wild.

Sound interesting? Obviously there’s some interest between these two characters, right? What about this one?

“H-hi.” Her voice wavered a bit as she stood facing him.
“Hey.” He smiled tentatively. “H-how are you?”
She took a deep breath, steadied herself, and plunged. “How am I?” She kept her voice low. This was nobody’s business but theirs. “I am pissed. That’s how I am. Do you really think I planned this? That I wanted this? You landed on my turf, did God only knows what to me with your, your unreal green eyes,, disappeared, and now you, you, you think you can just walk away?…Oh! Go back wherever in hell you came from!” Iris took a step back from him. She had to get away and forget about all of this.
One moment she was turning to walk away, the next she was flush against him.Gideon. She opened to him instinctively as he foraged her mouth – a searing kiss of ownership. So he didn’t want to walk away after-all. Good. Right now she just wanted more of this.
Somewhere, she heard the dull echo of a crowd cheering and opened her eyes. That’s when she remembered she was about to allow Gideon to have his way with her at the observatory with 30 pairs of middle school eyes bearing witness to her madness.
                                                                                  Excerpt from draft of The Alerians: Gideon

Same story, different style. The first paragraph is telling, and although it’s not the worst telling incident I’ve seen, it’s still a no-no. Whenever we can show instead of tell, using dialogue, more action, etc., that’s better writing. Long narrative is dull and breaks the flow of the story. A little tip that I like to use is to think of your novel, novella, or short as a movie. Within the movie there are scenes and within each scene there are acts. Telling instead of showing is like having a narrator step into the scene in the middle of an act and start telling you what’s happening. We want our readers to see, hear, smell, and feel our characters as much as possible, and as writers we draw them into the story through dialogue, action, and minimal description or narrative.         


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Series Blurb: "The Alerians"(wip)

Just submitted the beginning of my new series, "The Alerians," to a publisher for consideration. The name of this one so far is "Jordan's Wings." There are three more in the works already about a race of warriors who are the descendants of the Nephilim. Only one female Alerian is born to every 500 males. Wouldn't that be nice! Anyway, imagine the possibilities and consequences. As each warrior's story is told, I'll give you more of the "big" story behind it. Here's the blurb. Tell me what you think.

Jordan is a sexy, strong BBW with a no-nonsense attitude, but when she meets a tall, gorgeous, steel-gray-eyed hunk with wings who looks like an angel but defintely doesn't act like one, unexpected, unimaginable things begin to happen.

Jacoby’s been alive more than 200 years, yet he’s only seen a female once. He’ll have to break the most sacred law of his brothers, abandon everything familiar to him, and stay two steps ahead of a special force of law enforcers to capture the heart of the woman meant for him - and wouldn't you know that woman is Jordan. As if all of that isn’t enough, he’ll need her blood to stay alive.