Monday, October 22, 2012

A Challenge to Write

Did you ever consider writing a novel?  Join me by participating in National Novel Writing Month (, which begins November 1st!

"But I'm not a writer," you might say; however, the only difference between a writer and non-writer is that writers write.  Allow your creative side to have some fun and tell the story that you want to tell.  It does not have to be perfect.  Just write the story, and worry about fixing the mechanics later.  The goal is to write at least 50,000 words between November 1st and 30th.  If writing has been a goal, now is the time to go for it!

Best wishes, and may your muse motivate you!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Developing Story Ideas and Characters

Story ideas and characters can come from many places, but I have found that looking inward and at personal life experiences generate some of my best ideas as well as my true-to-life characters. 

I have an active imagination, so I like to create stories that take place in a world that I have created, which is why I prefer fantasy and science fiction stories; however, I also think about "what if" scenarios in the contemporary world.  What if I would have chosen path B instead of path A when I was in high school?  What if I would have applied myself better when I was a college student the first time I went to school?  How would my life be different now if I had made different decisions?  How would the world be different if a particular historical event, such as a war or election had a different outcome?  Many times I combine the imagination with the "what ifs" and develop the ideas through other or future world settings.

No matter what the story idea is, I tend to focus on relationships among the various characters.  I used to write fan fiction in the world of one of my favorite TV shows, and one of my friends commented on the "family feel" that came through in my characters.  The relational quality of my characters is a part of who I am, so it tends to permeate my writing even though I do not intentionally include it.  I have heard and read many times to write what I know, so that is how my characters are developed.  Many times, my characters remind me of people that I have known or they are sometimes representative of different aspects of my own personality.  It is through my personal relationships with others and intra-personal relationships between my different internal traits that the stars of my stories are born.

If I am to write what I know, then I need to know myself, my family, my friends, and the experiences of my life in order to develop ideas for good stories and characters.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Welcome to my world

Hello and welcome to my blog.  My name is Cleve Johnson, and I enjoy reading and creative writing.  I prefer fantasy and science fiction writing because it gives me a chance to let my imagination run wild; however, I am open to writing in other genres as well.  I like to integrate humor and romance in my writing. 

I do not claim to be a professional writer, but I self-published a fantasy novella called The Unicorn and the Dragon:  Tales of Ishland through Wheatmark, a print-on-demand publisher, in 2008.  The book is now out of print, but there may be a few copies that were purchased and still available at  I recently republished The Unicorn and the Dragon and a romantic short story as ebooks, which can be found at  I plan to do more writing and publishing as ebooks with the hope that people in the traditional publishing industry will "discover" me as I work to continually improve my writing and develop stories that people enjoy.

The purpose of this blog is multi-faceted in that I plan to give my perspectives on writing and reading as well as occasionally review articles and books that I am reading.  In addition, I plan to discuss ideas for creative fiction, character development, plot and setting, and other topics such as history, learning styles, and life in general.

Well, that is all for my first post.  I look forward to receiving feedback as the blog progresses.