The Rule of Three is Here!

So we’re doing a month-long fiction blogfest for all you writers out there: The Rule of Three Blogfest! 

The Rule of Three is a month-long fiction blogfest,

The Rule of Three at Renaissance

By us, I mean Fighter writer, J.C. Martin, Flash Fiction Author Lisa Vooght, and Storyteller and author, Stuart Nager. We’re excited to present a blogfest tailor-made for fiction writers to showcase their skills and receive comments on their work, and we hope you enjoy taking part in it as much as we enjoyed creating it!

So without further ado, announcing the Rule of Three Blogfest!

 A. What is the Rule of Three?

The “rule of three” is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader/audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. A series of three is often used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, built up even more, and finally released. –Wikipedia

B. How does the Rule of Three work in this blogfest?

The Rule of Three is a month-long fiction blogfest, where we’ve created a ‘world’, the town of Renaissance, and challenged you to create a story within it. The story will feature 3 characters of your creation, who will be showcased on your blog on 3 different Wednesdays, following the Rule of Three. The 4th Wednesday, we’ll have the culminating scene.

C. What is the Shared World of Rule of Three? 

 Renaissance is an outpost town in the middle of nowhere, but many routes pass through or beside it. The desert is encroaching on one side (to the West), a once-lush forest lies to the East and South. A large river runs through the forest, but it is not close to the town. Mountains are to the North, far, far away, and when you look towards them you don’t know if they are an illusion or real. Closer by are the smaller hill chains that fed the mining, creating caverns and passages underground.

The town has had a number of identities throughout its history: A trading post; a mining town; a ghost town until it was rediscovered; a thriving community; the scene of a number of great battles; the scene of one great tragedy (that led to its Ghost Town standing); a town of great joys and celebrations, and so much more.

At this point in time, there is a general population of 333. A mixture of a community. It boasts families that have lived there for generations upon generations, but they are in the minority, and are not in positions of power. There are traders who have come back here, at the end of their many travails, to settle in. The new families and power-players have taken this as a last refuge for themselves, hoping to rebuild lives torn apart on the way here.

Everyone has a secret. Welcome to Renaissance. Enjoy your stay. 

D. Writing Guidelines for the Rule of Three Blogfest:

  1. Your overall story can be in any genre, time period, or style you choose. 
  2. You must have three characters (Rule of Three), but the relation between them is up to you. 
  3. Every Wednesday or Thursday (48-hour window), post a narrative fiction: story, poem, song lyric, play, monologue, soliloquy– any style you choose to work in.
  4. Each Friday you will be given a choice of writing prompts that will escalate the inner happenings of your story. Please choose one or more, and state the chosen prompt at the beginning of your post.
  5. Choose one of your characters to showcase that given week as the main protagonist for that posting. Of course, you can weave in your other characters as you see fit, but the main action/conflict or point of view should be the showcased character of the week.  
  6. In the fourth week, give us your tour de force, a culmination of the story that will make us weep, weak at the knees, jump for joy, whatever…and know a writer’s job was done well.
  7. Upper limit for each post is 500 words. A little higher is okay, but not more, please.

E. We have Prizes!!!!!!

We as hosts would read all the posts and put up a shortlist of possible winners, and then hold a poll for votes on the shortlist to decide the winners and honorable mentions.

The prizes are:

1st prize: $ 50USD Amazon voucher

2nd prize: $ 10 USD and Guest posts or Interviews on the host blogs: 

Stuart Nager@Tale Spinning     J.C. Martin@Fighter Writer

Lisa Vooght@Flash Fiction           Damyanti@Daily (w)rite

3rd prize: A bundle of the following e-books featured by Rule of Three:

1.Michael Hicks,    “In Her Name: Empire

2. Marcus Clearspring, “Walkabout Gnomes

3. Alex J Cavanaugh, “Cassa Star”

4. S.L. Pierce, “The Hate”, “The Devil’s Game”, “Secrets”

5. Faith Mortimer, “Echoes Of Life and Love”

6. Talli Roland, “Watching Willow Watts”

One ebook each from the following for the Honorable Mentions:

1. Damyanti Biswas, “A To Z Stories Of Life and Death”

2. J.C. Martin and Michelle Davidson Argyle, “Stories For Sendai”,

3. Stuart Nager, “Dawn Of Indie Romance”,

F. How to Sign up:

  1. Sign up at the Linky list by the 3rd of October. Please do so only if you intend to write a story, and participate in the writers’ community, not because you want to promote a soap, a website, or a random electronic gadget. We promise to remove all spam and advertisements.
  2. Leave us a comment after you sign in. For instance, talk about which genre you want to write in, whether your Rule of Three story would feature characters from your current WIP or you would introduce us to new ones…anything at all about your plans for the blogfest.
  3. Visit this blog or those of the other hosts tomorrow, or any time during the next week to find the first batch of Rule of Three prompts.
  4. Please let us know if you’ve signed up but find yourself unable to write for the blogfest for some reason, so we can remove your link as a courtesy to everyone using the Linky list to visit the participants. Most visitors find it annoying to reach an irrelevant post by clicking a name on the Linky list.
  5. Schedule for prompts and posting: save these dates on your calendar! (The posts have a 48-hour window)

Rule of Three 1st  prompt                    1st September

Rule of Three Part 1                              5th October

Rule of Three 2nd prompt                   7th October

Rule of Three Part 2                             12th October

Rule of Three 3rd prompt                  14th October

Rule of Three Part 3                              19th October

Rule of Three 4th prompt                  21st October

Rule of Three Part 4                             26th October

6.  Poll for shortlists will be up on 2nd November, and winners will be declared on the 11th of November. 

                    7. All the hosts would take part, but they will not win any prizes.

G. How to become part of The Rule of Three Blogfest Success:

a. Copy the following code for a widget on your sidebar to help spread the word!

<center><a href=””><img width =”200″ alt=”REN3″ src=”” height=”200″ /></a></center>

This will give you the Rule of Three badge!


b. Post and/or tweet about the challenge in the weeks leading up to the Rule of Three. Spread the word on on Facebook, Google+, or on twitter with the Hashtag #REN.

c. Throughout the blogfest, visit as many other entries as you can and give the entrants some comment love and suggestions!

We now declare the Rule of Three Blogfest open! Please visit us tomorrow for the first prompt, so you can plot the beginning of your Renaissance story following the Rule of Three and make your first post between October 5 and October 6!

Sign up in the Linky List here, and enjoy the ride as we all go on different journeys in the shared world of Renaissance!

Stuart Nager Interviews me at Tale Spinning

After yesterday’s interview by J.L. Campbell, today I’m being interviewed by professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Teacher and published author  Stuart Nager . He is another kind and generous author-friend I made on A to Z Challenge.

Click through here to check out the questions he asks me, and the answers I attempt to give him.

Two interviews in two days! I feel good…lol…leave me a comment at the interview to make me feel even better!


Also, tomorrow we announce the month-long fiction blogfest, THE RULE OF THREE, which I’m co-hosting with Lisa Vooght of Flash Fiction , Stuart Nager of Tale Spinning and JC Martin of Fighter Writer .

Here’s a preview of what it is all about:

A to Z Stories of Life and Death, Author-friends, Interviews, Blogfests Galore

Bite-sized Stories of Life and Death

Bite-sized Stories of Life and Death

After publishing the ebook A to Z Stories of Life and Death, the one thing I’ve realized is that I have very kind blog-friends.  They have helped spread the word: AlexJCavanaugh, Arlee Bird, and Rachel Morgan have spoken about the book so far, and I’m really touched.

Today,  I’m being interviewed by the multi-published, super-talented J L Campbell at  The Character Depot  who has even linked my e-book Kindle page on her blog! She has been a long-time blog-friend, with whom I reconnected on the A to Z Challenge.  I can’t thank her enough for hosting me on her blog. Please come over there to chat with me after this.

THE RULE OF THREE WOULD BE HERE SOON! Check out the above trailer by professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Teacher and published author  Stuart Nager .

He is going to interview me tomorrow. He is another kind and generous author-friend I made on A to Z Challenge. I’m collaborating with him and two other blog-friends J.C. Martin and Lisa Vooght for an exciting month-long fiction blogfest, The Rule of Three, details of which would be coming soon! His interview with J.C. Martin is up today, and I encourage you to check it out :)

Another announcement: Arlee Bird from Tossing it Out  is visiting Daily (w)rite this coming Friday, September 2. I hope you’ll join us at the party!

Okay, now I’m off  to The Character Depot to answer some questions so please come join me there!

Patricia Lynne: Being Human

Being Human, by Patricia Lynne

Being Human, by Patricia Lynne

I write quite a bit of short fiction on this blog, some of which resulted in A to Z Stories of Life and Death.

This week I’ve decided to switch it around a little–still short fiction, only I’m not writing it.

On the 25th, I hosted Stuart Nager’s flash fiction, and today I give you Patricia Lynne, whose book ‘Being Human‘ is making a quite a splash just now. If you haven’t heard of it, I suggest you follow the link here and take a look! Without further ado, I present:

Stars In Her Eyes Flash Fiction by Patricia Lynne

The first thing he saw was the stars. They shined brightly, filling the inky blackness. For a moment, he admired them. As he watched, one shot across the sky. A voice murmured in his head, a memory flitting to his forethoughts.

Look honey, a shooting star. Let’s…

The memory disappeared before it could finish. He tried to recall it, but it was gone. More memories followed, disappearing before he even had a chance to recall them. A knot of panic filling his chest, propelling him to his feet and into action. He ran as fast as he could, racing the disappearing memories and trying to reach… Where was he going?

When he finally stopped running, he didn’t recognize the house before him. Despite that, he found himself moving towards the door. Energy hummed at him, pushing him away. He fought against it, knocking on the door until a light flared overhead.

“Darren!” The woman at the door grabbed him, hugging tightly. She pulled him inside, the energy fading from the invitation. “Why were you knocking? Did you lose your key?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, where have you been? I’ve been worried sick.”

He glanced at his unfamiliar surroundings. Was this home? A whisper of instinct said yes. It said this woman before him was important to him. But the reasons why were gone, vanished with his memories. He felt something else take the place of the memories, a pulsing and thumping that vibrated through him. It resonated in his stomach and as instinctively as he knew this house was his home, he knew what it was: Hunger.


He looked at the woman. “Yes?”

“Where have you been?”

“I don’t remember.”

He could tell she didn’t like the answer, but she didn’t comment on it. Instead, she sighed deeply, as if the action hurt. “You’re filthy, come on, I’ll help you clean up.”

As she led him through the house, the hunger pulsed louder. It burned through him, yanking on him and demanding to be sated. His eyes locked on the back of her neck. So easy…

No! He banished the idea. He couldn’t hurt her. But he was so hungry. He swallowed, his mouth feeling on fire.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” she asked when he softly whimpered.

He tried to find words to describe the pain he was in, how the hunger burned him. But her eyes had caught him, locking him in. In awe, he stared, forgetting for a moment the raging hunger and pain. Her eyes sparkled like stars and he swore he saw his missing memories. Each moment filled her eyes, telling him of his life – their life. It sucked his breath away.

“I love you,” he whispered.

A smile filled her face, eyes sparkling more. “I love you too.”

He lunged for her neck.


Being Human by Patricia Lynne will be available on Amazon, Smashwords, and hopefully Barnes & Noble and other retailers August 30th 2011. Thanks for reading.


Twitter:  @patricialynne07


Have You Read Flash Fiction by Stuart Nager?

Flash fiction A to Z stories by Stuart Nager

Pops Sat Under Pig and Duck, Copyright (C) Andrew Graeme Gould.

If you haven’t, here’s your chance. And believe me, you don’t want to miss it.

I met Stuart during the A to Z challenge, which resulted in the book of flash fiction A to Z Stories of Life and Death. He was one of the few who wrote fiction on all the 26 posts for the 26 days of April, and I loved his work.

For today’s post, he wanted to work on prompts.

So I sent him this picture to the left by wonderful photographer friend Andrew Graeme Gould and the word prompts: Pencil, Hourglass. I specified the word count at 250.

The following is what Stuart created from this bizarre mix I provided him, and I LOVE it.


Pops sat under the Pig and Duck, waiting.  His juju bag sat at his feet, and his divining material set up on the ground in the proper order: plastic bottle of juice; name tag that he found in the garbage; and three copies of Cavo-Relievo Magazine.  Squinting in the sun, reading another copy of the magazine, Philippa sauntered up.

She had an hourglass figure, with long legs and long, jet black hair. Philippa took off her sunglasses, put her hand on her hips, and glared at Pops. Putting down his reading, Pops looked her squarely in her eyes. He reached into his shirt pocket and took out a pencil, circling the air around her face.

“Stop that. I want to…”

“Shh, …shhhh! Ah, there. It’s off to the left of your head; your thoughts are wide open to me. Philippa, he does not love you.” He pointed the pencil down to the last magazine to her right.

“Shit.” She looked down at the top magazine, and there was a picture of Jorge with another woman. The photo moved: Jorge and the blonde embracing; Jorge taking off her dress; Jorge running his hands along this other woman’s body. Philippa shed tears, watching this unfold.

Pops put his foot on top of the magazine with Jorge, grinding it back and forth. The paper tore and shredded under his feet. Philippa started to scream “NO,” but felt that urge drift away.

She put money into Pop’s hands and went back to her car.


Stuart Nager is a creative individual with many areas of passion that he explores in his daily life:

Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Specialist/Educator; Teaching Artist; PUBLISHED Writer of Fiction; Playwright; Professional Development Coordinator & Facilitator; Workshop Leader; Arts-In-Education Advocate; Puppeteer;  Director; Performer; Curriculum Writer and Developer; and sometimes more, as the needs arise.

Check out his fiction writing blog (Tale Spinning) at:  and his Arts-in-Education blog

Stuart can be contacted at:;  website:

Pictures and Words: Rains in August

A lot of rain, a green-washed village, a storm, rain, a walk on metaled roads amid lush fields, no internet, no electricity, no phone calls…the clock turned into an hourglass…this was my day yesterday. I leave you with a few photos taken by my husband as he walked out and about. I know they’re not enough to bring you with us on the journey, which I’ll do some other time.

Allan Douglas Writes on E-books: Converter, Formatter, Printer – Who is For Real?

Writing for Profit of Pleasure by Allan Douglas

Writing for Profit of Pleasure by Allan Douglas

The publishing world is in a state of flux, and I for one believe that writers must keep abreast of trends, and technology. As regulars at my blog know, I used the A to Z Challenge in April to learn the ropes of the e-book world, by recently publishing my first e-book,  A to Z Stories of Life and Death.

But, to tell you the truth,  after I had my manuscript ready, I was fuddled for a while about the whole geekspeak of e-books. I thought of hiring a professional to do the job, and then I realized it would defeat my purpose. If I hire a professional to do all the formatting and uploading, I’ll learn zilch.

I read up a lot on the technicalities of e-book publishing, and in the process came across Allan Douglas’s articles.  Today, I’m going to share one of them with you, because e-book savvy Allan is absolutely the right person to educate newbies like me, and has agreed to do a guest post!

Converter, Formatter, Printer – Who is For Real?

Over the past few months I have received a fair number of inquiries from aspiring authors about e-mails they have received from “publishers”.  I have received one or two of these myself.  The messages vary, but in essence they portray the sender as a publisher, generally they use impressive names that include the word “press” to give the impression that they print books.

Some offer to convert the author’s book manuscript into an eBook for a minimal fee – often about $50.00.  Others offer to oversee the entire publication and printing process and request fees of several thousand dollars.  Are any of them on the level?  Do any of them offer genuine value?

First let us deal with “conversion”.  It needs to be clearly understood that “conversion” of your manuscript needs to be done only if you plan to sell your eBooks exclusively through your own web site or on places such as ClickBank.  If you plan to sell your eBook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, or Smashwords, conversion of your text manuscript into the appropriate eBook format will be done by the distributor as part of the submission process.  They will not accept your pre-converted file.  In the vast majority of cases, paying someone to “convert” your file is a scam.

Formatting your manuscript, however, is a goose of another color.  Formatting is essential prior to submitting your file to distributors (Amazon, B&N, Apple, Smashwords, etc.) for conversion.  You can produce a manuscript in any word processor that will print out a fine looking book manuscript.  But, the actual formatting you used as you wrote will have a tremendous impact on whether the eBook looks as you planned it.  Just one example would be chapter titles; did you use the Header 2 formatting command or simply make it a larger font size and bold it?  Did you perhaps mix the two methods in the manuscript?  Printed on paper, these may look identical, but during parsing for eBook conversion, a header will produce one effect, large text something else – if it is accepted at all.  There are, in fact a bevy of hidden command codes that will wreak havoc on your beautiful manuscript if not stripped out and replaced with the proper formatting commands that the conversion script will be looking for.

Those skilled in this formatting process may use terms like, author services, publication services, book designer or interior layout and they will certainly not be offering to format a novel length manuscript for $50.  The work is not difficult – you can do it yourself if you want – but it can be time consuming, therefore tends to be expensive.

Then there are printers or presses.  When considering eBooks, the term is totally superfluous.  I find the terminology annoying, especially in light of the fact that this “press” will probably submit the file they produce to Smashwords and Smashwords will produce the eBook and distribute it through their network of dealers, but not necessarily deceitful.  They may be trying to pattern their electronic publication business after the model of traditional publishing.  And, being known as Big Pants Press is more impressive than being Big Pants Publication Services.

There is one last bone to pick on this topic however, and that is to clear up the business of “printing” actual paper books.  Last time I checked, there were only two companies in the USA capable of actually printing and binding real paper books on a commercial scale:  Lightning Source and CreateSpace.  One of the publishing companies I have worked in could and did print small numbers of paperback books using an off-set press and bindery set-up.  But if large quantities of books were wanted, or if they needed to be hard-bound, we sent it off to Lightning.  In the vast majority of cases, “publishers” who say they will print your book are hedging the truth.  They will have it printed, but they themselves will do nothing more than the design work.  If that.

If you are a hands-on sort of person you can format your manuscript and submit it directly to the various eBook distributors individually, or to Smashwords to cover them all with one submission, or to the printing service all by yourself.  If you are a very busy author and don’t want to spend the time on these technical details, by all means hire them out.  But, make sure you do your homework and investigate those you hire to do the work.  A reliable formatting or lay-out service can save you many hours of labor and produce an exceptionally nice looking book.  However, as in any industry, there are many weasels skulking the woods hoping to separate you from your money.

My most recent book, Writing for Profit or Pleasure, Where to Publish Your Work, devotes several chapters to a detailed discussion of cleaning and formatting your manuscript as well as the exact process of submitting your files to eBook distributors and printers.  My book is available for Kindle, Nook or as a paperback, and yes; I formatted the files and submitted them all by myself.

About The Author:

Allan Douglas has been an author, writer, and prattler since the 1970’s; published mostly in magazines and newspapers, but has three books to date, more on the way.  He lives on a mountainside in the Cherokee National Forest in East Tennessee with his wonderful wife, a genius border collie and a Prima donna hound dog who is queen of the mountain. He serves as an ordained Elder in his church, is a master woodworker, former custom furniture maker and once dreamt of sailing the world in a Bristol Channel Cutter.  Stories about this and his life as a mountain man wannabe are posted to his Simple Life Prattle blog: He also runs a writer’s blog; The Write Stuff at