Storytelling Forms: For or Against?

(n) Those who read too much
Coined by H.L. Menken in 1957: There are people who read too much, bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing.

As readers we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to genres, and now with the revolution of eBooks, we’re privy to all sorts of forms at the push of a button. Whether it’s the short story, novella, full-length novel, or even series and serials. There’s an ideal book to match the mood and time you have.

The beauty of writing is that there’s no limitation on imagination. So why should storytelling be subjected to something as constrictive as word count?

As a writer, I let my characters dictate how much they have to say, it’s their journey not mine. Because of this, I’ve written a series of full-length novels, a 3-part serial and even a bunch of short stories that come together with the same theme. I’ve recently been polishing a novella I’m submitting for my Master’s degree, and come next week, I’m going to be starting on the longest novel I’ll have written to date.

It’s all incredibly exciting because there’s so much room for creativity. If I bound myself with the ties of a mundane routine, sticking to the same style, form, genre, even the type of hero/heroine, there’d be no joy and life in what I write. The characters would be as dead as I’d feel. And you, the reader, would be throwing the trash back at me for wasting your time.

I know that there’s a lot of controversy when it comes to the length of a book. Some people love the episodic serials, they’re great for commuters with limited spare time, or for those that like to consume its entirety before bed. Others complain they’re not getting their money’s worth, but in this age of eBooks the pricing has no limit. And it’s all relative. How do you base the amount you’re willing to pay for an eBook? Is it on length? Quality? The author? Would you consider the daily cup of coffee you buy from the local chain-store is worth more than the story you pondered purchasing?

I love to read. And like my characters, I don’t confine myself to just the one genre, form, and size. Having the choice is what makes it enjoyable. Do you agree? Or would you rather we took a step back and stuck to more traditional rules?

You can make anything by writing.
– C.S. Lewis


Seven 11 Blog Hop

Seven 11 blog hop


I’ve  been  staring  at  the  screen  for  hours,  trying  to  determine  the  best  opening  line  for  this  blog  post,  but  my  brain  is  frazzled,  dead  to  any  and  all  words.  I’m  a  blank  dictionary  hiding  in  the  burnt  out  corner,  hoping  for  lexis  to  come  flooding  back  to  me.  It’s  exhausting,  isn’t  it?  Trying  to  find  the  right  thing  to  say  when  you’re  mentally  drained.  I  think  I  need  a  power  nap,  or  something  a  little  longer.  Is  it  too  early  in  the  year  to  go  into  hibernation?

This  month  I  have  a  treat  for  you  all.  While  I’m  suffering  with  airhead  syndrome,  it  hasn’t  escaped  my  attention  that  a  lot  of  you  are  anticipating  the  fourth  and  final  book  in  the  Nature’s  Destiny  series.  As  it’s  the  ONE  YEAR  ANNIVERSARY  for  this  hop,  I’m  going  to  share  with  you  the  first  few  lines  of  the  novel.  I’m  in  the  very  early  stages  of  creating  this  one,  but  I’m  still  aiming  for  a  release  this  year.  Please  bear  with  me!

*Unedited.  Content  subject  to  change.  Copyright.  Justine  Winter.  2015. *

“It’s  all  my  fault.”  I  stared  at  nothing,  blind  to  the  gravestone  I  knew  was  in  front  of  me.  The  rain  catapulted  from  the  sky,  splashing  down  on  the  ground  around  me. 

“You’re  gone,  and  it’s  all  my  fault.”  I  sobbed  into  my  cold  hands,  my  body  heaving  with  motion.  I  cried  harder,  my  throat  sore  from  the  lump  that  had  been  building  with  each  tear.

Water  dripped  from  my  hair  and  face  on  to  my  already  soaked  clothes.  I  was  drenched  to the  bone,  my  arse  numb  from  sitting  in  the  middle  of  the  pack’s  lonely  graveyard  for  hours.  My  burden,  my  despair  had  brought  me  here.

“I  tried,  Lara.  I  tried  so  fucking  hard  to  get  to  you!”


Heather  Hildenbrand  is  offering  a  $70  Amazon  Gift  Card  on  Instagram.  Click  here  for  full  details.

Steph  Nuss  is  giving  away  a  signed  paperback  copy  of  Fantasized  By  You  on  Goodreads.  Enter  here.

Amanda  Aksel  is  giving  a  free  eBook  copy  of  The  Commitment  Test.  Enter  here.

And  I’m  offering  a  signed  paperback  copy  of  Alpha  Wanted:  The  Complete  Serial.  Read  this  post  for  details  on  how  to  enter.

Also,  today  is  our  blog  hop’s  creator,  Amanda  Aksel’s,  birthday.  I  just  want  to  wish  one  of  the  kindest  women  I  know  a  super  HAPPY  BIRTHDAY!  In  honour  of  her  turning  the  Big  3-0  she’s  set  up  a  campaign  with  Charity  Water,  an  organisation  that  brings  clean  water  to  third  world  countries.  Please  consider  helping  her  reach  her  goal  of  $750  by  donating  here.  And  here’s  the  interview  that  inspired  it  all.

As  always,  don’t  forget  to  check  out  what  this  great  group  of  talented  authors  have  to  share  this  month.

Amanda  Aksel
Heather  Hildenbrand
Kayla  Smith  – Check  out  her  latest  novel  releasing  today!
Steph  Nuss
Felicia  Tatum

Suit Up, Strap In, It’s Game Time

The  year  of  2014  closes  in,  and  I  sit  here  changing  my  thoughts  over  the  type  of  post  this  will  be.  While  many  have  blogged  about  their  highlights  of  the  past  twelve  months,  including  ways  in  which  they’d  like  to  change  for  2015,  that’s  not  what  I’m  going  to  do.  This  time  last  year  I  posted (here) that  I  wasn’t  one  for  setting  resolutions  I  knew  I  couldn’t,  and  wouldn’t  keep.  And  again,  I’m  not  doing  that.  It’s  not  who  I  am.

My  mindset  works  on  the  fact  that  if  I  want  something,  I’m  going  to  do  whatever  it  takes  to  get  it  from  the  moment  I  think  about  it –  not  wait  until  a  new  year  begins.  So,  if  you’re  the  type  of  person  that  needs  the  reset  button  of  a  new  year,  that’s  fantastic.  Now’s  your  chance  to  suit  up.  You  can  do  it.

I  planned  on  writing  this  whole  spiel  about  my  goals,  what  I’ve  learned,  how  I  keep  my  optimism  even  when  negativity  comes  knocking  on  the  door,  and  how  I  intend  to  increase  productivity. But  I’m  not  going  to.  I  don’t  need  to.  My  mind  is  at  peace  with  my  decisions,  and  all  you  need  to  know  is  that  I’m  going  to  rock  them.  Tackle  them  down  like  a  raging   rugby  player,  and  rise  with  a  satisfactory  grin  on  my  face.  Because  that’s  what  I  do.

What  I  will  say  is  I’m  diving  into  the  new  year  with  a  business  mind  ready  to  conquer  the  world  one  story  at  a  time.  This  picture  is  exactly  my  current  state  of  mind:



In  2013  Nature’s  Destiny’s  first  draft  was  written.
In  2014  Nature’s  Destiny  published.  Sapphire’s  Divinity  was  written  &  published.  Guardians  Dynasty  was  written  &  is  now  with  beta  readers.  Plus  numerous  side  projects  I  haven’t  finished  developing  yet.
And  2015?  Well,  it’s  going  to  be  an  explosion.  My  sleeves  are  rolled,  my  specs  are  on,  and  my  mind  is  filled  with  many  inspiring  embers  flickering  to  life.

This  is  one  Winter  prepared  to  stay  indefinitely.

2015  – I’m  coming  for  you.