Stories in Media – What is This About?

Jackie Coleman Jackie Coleman of FLOOR 21

In June of 2015, my book, FLOOR 21, was released. It was the culmination of two decades of training and practice in the art and craft of writing. I’d made my first attempt at writing a book in sixth grade, and it turned into the usual fluff you’d expect of an 11-year-old mind.

Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo from the first Star Wars.

Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo from the first Star Wars.

Over the next few years, I wrote fan fiction. I didn’t realize it was fanfiction at the time,but this was before the internet was a common part of every home. I’d sit in my bedroom, creating up new Star Wars stories and trying to write stories that would make me a household name. Of course, by the time I was 15, I was bored of writing fanfiction and wanted to start writing my own books.

I finished my first attempt at a science fiction, Star Wars style when I was 16 and kept refining it over and over well into my 20s, never able to let the story go or realize how flawed it was. I made my first pitches to agents by the time I was 22 and got my first rejections my 23. Later in my 20s, I took another crack at writing a book. This time, the concept got attention from agents, but the writing just wasn’t good enough. The characters were flat, the plot got repetitive – basically, it had all the flaws of a bad story.

Batman the Animated Series, an early inspiration.

Batman the Animated Series, an early inspiration.

It wasn’t until after I finished my doctoral work that I became good enough to become published. The doctoral program taught me to edit my work, a skill a lot of writers lack. At the same time, I returned to writing fanfiction for a while – Superman and Batman stories. It was the fanfiction that taught me an important lesson about characterization. I realized during the process that I was able to make my characters sound like the ones from the television shows. Afterward, writing good characters was never a problem for me. I’d learned how to mine voices of their own.

During the same time frame, I’d become good friends with a lot of local actors and rediscovered my love for television and film. Unfortunately, I also discovered a lot of storytelling was just bad. That was when I got the idea of creating a place where I could discuss good and bad storytelling. Two years later, I’ve finally followed through on that idea.

I hope you’ll enjoy Stories in Media, a place where we can discuss narrative and storytelling in television, film, and games.

Jason Luthor is the author of the science fiction and dystopian horror, FLOOR 21.

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