Life Lessons of Writing in Different Mediums

I have a little writers’ club within my family, as every one of us is a published author, though granted, all working in different mediums. During our get-togethers/meetings, we often have long discussions about movies, television series, books, short stories, video game plots, limited series — pretty much everything under the sun that has to do with writing in some aspect. We analyze what works, what doesn’t, and what we can learn from it all.

And turning back the clock even a bit further, I used to appear in a number of stage plays while I was in college. During that time, I came home one summer and agreed to take part in a locally produced soap opera. It was the era of the over-the-top nighttime soap-operas like Dallas and Dynasty, so our little production on the local open channel was a bit of a parody of these sudsy offerings. What I did find interesting was that coming from a background of stage performing, it was important I adjust my acting and dial it down quite a bit for the subtlety of the small screen. On the stage, you are always encouraged to go bigger so the people in the back seats can see you, but the camera, being so close up, catches all the small nuances. And if you don’t adjust, you seem to be overacting.

Getting back to writing, just like acting, working in different mediums of writing demands its own rules. A short story is very concise and focused on perhaps one element of the narrative. A novel is a different beast, depending on its length. It can be very focused if short, though needing usually more complexity and more characters, and several threads or layers of plot — maybe more if an exceptional length. Now a book with intended sequels is really just a piece of a book, a part of an overarching narrative — big picture and little picture stuff.  And of course, all of these loose rules are made to be reinvented and broken at times by a skilled writer.

In my writing, I’ve primarily come from a background of short stories and novels. Some of my novels are longer, but I would say predominantly on the shorter side. I usually have a plot worked out or at least the endgame of a book, though I have found some narratives like to take a twist and turn that is unexpected. I did write one series of books, The New Orleans Paranormal Mysteries that weren’t hard sequels as each book focused on a different character.

And this meandering brings me to my point — Kindle Vella. As you might know, the last three books I’ve been working on have been in the Kindle Vella medium, a sort of episodic/serial format. It is really up to the author how long the story goes on. For me, as I’ve said, I like to have an end game in mind. This format has brought its own “gifts” for me so to speak. As well as developing some narratives that needed to get jump-started it has also taught me patience. These stories I’ve found have to unfold at their own pace. Some episodes are character-driven, fleshing out that aspect of the narrative, and some plot-driven. There has been an interesting flow in writing this sort of episodic tale, definitely trying to always leave the reader with a reason to return as well as taking my time with developing the story without overstaying my welcome. It really has been a gift working in this medium. I suppose the old adage there are lessons in everything is true. I am about to begin the final arc in my paranormal romance, Dumaine Street. I confess, when I began, I couldn’t clearly see where this story was going but now, I see the path home. Of course, there are always opportunities for unexpected turns. And I, as well as the readers I hope, look forward to those.

Thanks for Listening,

Take Care,

Evelyn Klebert

Dumaine Street

Voices in her head, catastrophic emotions, hallucinations, Rebecca Wells is more than convinced that she is losing her mind. And as a last-ditch effort, she contacts a self-professed counselor who seems convinced that he can help. Gabriel Sutton has abandoned the world of medicine to navigate a realm filled with psychic phenomena. Diagnosing Becca with extreme empathic abilities, he struggles to help her stabilize her gifts while trying desperately not to fall in love with his patient.

A New Chapter – The Story of Enid

Some years back a good friend of mine and I had a pact that every Halloween we would write each other a Halloween story. After a few years of this, I wrote one entitled “Wolves” which was the story of a sort of vigilante who was on the hunt for a diabolical werewolf that had killed her parents. Well, it turned out the werewolf in question wasn’t so diabolical but rather an enigmatic European fellow who at present was a carpenter who built his own furniture. A few years down the road, this particular character, Ethan Garraint, made another appearance as a supporting player in a Halloween story that I called “The Broken Window.” At this point, I was beginning to get the feeling that my werewolf needed a solo outing. So, I decided to write The Broken Vow: Vol. I of the Clandestine Exploits of a Werewolf. This story took Ethan Garraint, or rather Etienne at that time, through a very tumultuous period of his life when he lived with the Cathars at Montségur in Southern France, and hundreds of years later was in New Orleans tracking down a mysterious entity who had largely been responsible for their massacre. Within the novel, I explored some mystical concepts as Etienne was essentially mentored spiritually by the Cathar people. I always knew that I would write a sequel to this book and that the tone of this new one would change a bit. It would have to be a love story. So, as I’m finding Kindle Vella to be a very productive conduit these days, I decided to put The Story of Enid on Kindle Vella where it can function as either a stand-alone tale or a sequel. Once I complete it on Vella, I will be publishing it as a regular book and eBook. So, if you are in the mood for a werewolf tale that is just a bit unusual, I hope you’ll drop by Kindle Vella and check out The Story of Enid: The Clandestine Exploits of a Werewolf. (The first three episodes are free to read)

Take Care,

Evelyn Klebert

When one realizes that a long-lost soulmate has been reincarnated, it poses some complications. When you have been a werewolf fThe Story of Enidor nearly a millennium, the complications explode exponentially. Ethan Garraint understands that he should stay far away from Erin Holt, but she is in his city, New Orleans, and possibly in danger. And the truth is, he doesn’t want to stay away. He only wants to remind her of the lifetime they lived long ago, when they were more than lovers, when they became legend.

New Reel for Dumaine Street

Check out my new Dumaine Street reel for Instagram!

Voices in her head, catastrophic emotions, hallucinations, Rebecca Wells is more than convinced that she is losing her mind. And as a last-ditch effort, she contacts a self-professed counselor who seems convinced that he can help. Gabriel Sutton has abandoned the world of medicine to navigate a realm filled with psychic phenomena. Diagnosing Becca with extreme empathic abilities, he struggles to help her stabilize her gifts while trying desperately not to fall in love with his patient.

Dumaine Street- First 3 episodes Free!

A New Writing Process

Whenever you ask an author, what is your writing process you get widely different answers. I remember reading once that Margaret Mitchell wrote the last chapter of Gone with the Wind first. I’d also read that Agatha Christie would first figure out who committed the crime in her novel, how they did it, and then weave everything else around that core. The short answer is that for a writer their process is whatever works for them and may well change from project to project.

In my case, sometimes I will have a novel well-plotted out, and sometimes I’ll start from page one having no idea where it is going. In the case of An Uneasy Traveler, which I have since renamed A Quiet Moment, I wrote the first paragraph of the book about two years before I actually started writing the novel. I have a pretty large collection of extraneous pieces that I may have started or dabbled with and then abandoned, only to pick up at a later date and complete. By the way, for anyone who is interested, A Quiet Moment has been posted in its entirety on this website. I did that during the early days of the pandemic as a diversion for those who might need it.

So recently, when I first discovered this new project of Amazon’s called Kindle Vella, I thought about some of those pieces, some which I’d actually written a substantial amount on, but sadly still remained incomplete. I wondered if this episodic format would be a way to flesh some of these out. So, I gave it a try and am happy to announce that I am closing in on the completion of The Lady in the Blue Dress. For me, it’s a somewhat grander tale than I ordinarily write, spanning across several generations of a family embroiled in a paranormal lineage that they really have no knowledge about. I combine fascination of the paranormal with my love of Pre-Raphaelite art – a good combo for me.

Any brave soul willing to dive into the world of Kindle Vella can access it through Amazon looking up Kindle Vella or actually on their Kindle Device. I’ve just posted my 17th episode, but the first three episodes are free to read. So, you can give the process a try before you pay for any coins, which cost about $1.99 for 200. My episodes which average about 2000 words are averaging a cost between 20 to 25 coins a piece.

I do hope you drop by and read at least the first three episodes, and hopefully join me as we head to a potentially intriguing and unexpected conclusion for The Lady in the Blue Dress.

Thanks, and Take Care

The Lady in the Blue Dress

Mika Devalieur desperately wants to deny her beloved grandmother’s last wish, but she can’t. Reluctantly, she travels from New Orleans to rural Virginia to deliver a priceless Pre-Raphaelite painting into the hands of James Clairmont, someone she’s never laid eyes on before. But something isn’t right, and James Clairmont knows much more about her family and the painting than he is letting on. There are so many secrets about him, about her, and most especially, The Lady in the Blue Dress.