Character Archetypes: The Ally

C. S. Boyack is running a series of very helpful posts on Story Empire, all about Character Archtypes. This one tells you everything you need to know about creating the perfect Ally or Sidekick. Some great tips here, along with a cool video, and all of it wrapped up in a well-written, entertaining way. Check it out, and then remember to share far and wide, thanks. And thanks to Craig for such a helpful post and series! 🙂

Story Empire

Hi gang, Craig with you today. This is post number three in the character archetypes series. In the Hero’s Journey, there are some common characters that are likely to show up in all stories. This doesn’t mean each archetype shows up in every story, and aside from the hero, the rest are kind of optional. Almost every story will have an assortment of them.

This series is to introduce you to them. Once you’re aware of them, you can decide if they can benefit the story you’re writing.

Most stories will have the Ally character to one degree or another. Some of them play pivotal roles in the story, others come along for the ride.

I think everything is better with a bit of Bruce Campbell, so this instructional video is included to help us all out:

I tend to wing my posts, but I also do a bit of…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 16th – 22nd February 2020

And yet another wonderful, jam-packed weekly review from Sally Cronin on her fabulous Smorgasbord blog. Check it out! Lots of good stuff here. And don’t forget to watch the videos for some good laughs to start your day! Then, of course, pass it along, thanks. And thanks once again to Sally for this great recap! You ROCK (but then you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?) 😀 ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the weekly round up with posts that you might have missed on Smorgasbord during the week.

It is a windswept Saturday morning although thankfully it has stopped raining. I do feel so sorry for all those affected by the floods in the UK and other countries at the moment. Water is so destructive.

We came home after being away for two weeks at Christmas one year, and opened the door at midnight to find water running down the stairs and the whole house warm and humid, like a tropical greenhouse. Luckily our taxi driver from the airport was a plumber in his day job and he had his tools with him. He and my husband went into the attic and found that a hot water pipe had a one inch long rupture and had been pumping water out since a freeze within days of us going on holiday…

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Week in Review

Wonderful Weekly Update from Joan Hall, with some super links. Be sure to check them out. I found 17 Speedy Book Marketing Ideas to be very useful! After you’ve had a look around, pass them along, thanks! And thanks, Joan for another super post! 🙂 ❤

Joan Hall

Hey everyone. It’s Friday again! I’m always glad for weekends. We’ve had lots of rain in the past two weeks. Nothing like our friends in the deep south, but nonetheless, I could use some sunshine.

There’s a river not far from our house that often floods during the rainy season. Hubs and I drove there a few days ago to take a look. This isn’t the highest I’ve seen the water, but it’s enough to close the road. I’m sure the water level has risen even more since then.

Well, enough about the weather. It’s time for this week’s links.

On this site:

On Story Empire:

On Other Terrific Sites:

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#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz, and the Name of Our Winner!

Yep, you read that right, folks. Only ONE winner today, and I’m pretty happy to have one at all. As usual, I never know what’s going to happen when I post a first line. I thought this one would have folks jumping up and down, waving their hands in the air, and going, “Ooooh, ooooh! Pick me!” But nope. Only one person took a guess, but that person was absolutely right, so congratulations to Pat Stuckey! Way to go, Pat! 😊

Now, without further ado, here’s the answer you’ve all been waiting for:

“This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.” is the opening line from The Princess Bride by William Goldman. 

 The Princess Bride is a 1973 fantasy romance novel by American writer William Goldman. The book combines elements of comedy, adventure, fantasy, drama, romance, and fairy tale. It is presented as an abridgment (or “the good parts version”) of a longer work by S. Morgenstern, and Goldman’s “commentary” asides are constant throughout. It was originally published in the United States by Harcourt Brace, then later by Random House, while in the United Kingdom it was later published by Bloomsbury.

The book was adapted into a 1987 feature film directed by Rob Reiner from a screenplay written by Goldman himself.

William Goldman said, “I’ve gotten more responses on The Princess Bride than on everything else I’ve done put together—all kinds of strange outpouring letters. Something in The Princess Bride affects people.”


Here William Goldman’s beloved story of Buttercup, Westley, and their fellow adventurers finally receives a beautiful illustrated treatment.

A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts—The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchman, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini—the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik—the gentle giant; Inigo—the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen—the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

Buy The Princess Bride HERE

And there you have it. Hope you enjoyed playing this week, even though this seems to have been much more difficult than I imagined. Stay tuned for next week, though. You never know what I’ll pick from my various lists of Top 100 Titles. It just might be YOUR favorite book! See you then!


#FirstLineFriday #GiveawayContest #FreeDownloads

Welcome once again to #FirstLineFriday, a little quiz designed to help us appreciate some of the best opening lines in literary history. From the classics of long ago to the latest best-sellers, everything is fair game.

As always, the rules are simple:

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at 4:00pm, with the title and authorof the correct book. 
  2. Do not reply here on the blog.Email only:
  3. Honor System applies. No Googling, please.
  4. Submissions end at 4:00 P.M. EST, or when I receive 5 correct answers, whichever comes first.
  5. Winners who live in the U.S.may request a free download of any one of my books for themselves, or for someone of their choice. OR, if they’ve read all of the offered books, they may request a free download of my next publication.
  6. Winners who live elsewhere may request a PDF file of the same books, since, sadly, Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for! (Hopefully, this one will be a bit easier for many of you.) Here’s today’s opening line: 

“This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.” 

Remember, email answers only, please. Thanks! And now off I go to await your guesses. 


Review: Finding Hunter by @MarciaMeara #TuesdayBookShare

Since I didn’t have anyone scheduled for the afternoon #ShareAReviewDay slot, I decided to reblog this wonderful review of Finding Hunter from Joan Hall. Hope you’ll check it out and pass it along. Hunter Painter could use the love! 😀 Thanks so much, and thank you to Joan for such a super review! 🙂 ❤

Joan Hall

Hey everyone. It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another book share. I read Finding Hunter last fall. Due to my blogging break during NaNoWriMo, I didn’t post the review here. Better late than never.

My Review:

After reading and thoroughly enjoying the first book of Marcia Meara’s Riverbend series, I eagerly awaited this one.

Hunter Painter is the youngest of three brothers, much different than his siblings. Where they are bold, brash jocks, Hunter is quiet, reflective, and somewhat shy. He’s been in love with Willow Greene since high school, but always thought he wasn’t good enough for her.

When a friend encourages him to call her, Hunter discovers the feeling is mutual. All too soon, their happiness is put to the test with a tragedy strikes Hunter’s family. He blames himself and leaves Riverbend. Some, including his brother Forrest, believe he may have committed suicide. But Willow refuses…

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#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Speak Flapper – Slang of the 1920s by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

It’s Tuesday again, folks, and time to welcome our guest of the day, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.  Teagan is sharing a review of her book, Speak Flapper – Slang of the 1920s, and I know you’ll enjoy reading about this one. I’ve always been fascinated with the  decade, myself, and I have this book coming up  very soon on my Kindle. Really looking forward to reading it. In the meantime, please help Teagan get the word out by sharing this review far and wide. Thanks! (And by the way–how perfect is this wonderful cover? Exactly right, if you ask me.)


Ms Fiza Pathan
An entertaining & informative book
Reviewed in India on February 3, 2020

Format: Kindle Edition, Verified Purchase

I really enjoyed this book. Author Teagan Geneviene’s book ‘Speak Flapper’ is entertaining, informative & a good introductory book to the words & talk of America in the 1920s. I loved all the ‘Jazz Age’ words in the book. The book was really enjoyable & a fast read.

I loved the history notes & 1920s trivia mentioned in the book; they gave me a lot of perspective about USA in that decade of the 20th century. I loved the reference to James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ & many other trivia that made me realize the origins of so many words related to the Jazz era. I also realized that I unknowingly use so many Flapper words & phrases which all originated during this era. Some of these words are Baloney, Big Cheese, Clam, Crashing Party, Get it, All wet, Old fruit, Mrs. Grundy, Jalopy, Hitch, Killjoy & so many other words.

All this is penned beautifully by talented author Teagan Geneviene. This book certainly gets 5 stars from me. Kudos to her on a job well done! I look forward to reading more fiction & non-fiction books by her in the near future.


Speak Flapper – Slang of the 1920s is a dictionary of slang from the Roaring Twenties.  I collected these terms while researching my various fictional stories set in the 1920s.  I am a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club (#RRBC_Community) and this book is part of their catalog.  Speak Flapper debuted an Amazon #1 New Release in its category.

The book is intended for entertainment purposes.  It is also peppered with history and trivia about the era.  You might use it in preparing for a 1920s costume party, or for a gathering to watch a favorite movie or TV show set in the Roaring Twenties.  Or use it for the simple personal fun of speaking flapper!

You’re the cat’s pajamas!

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Buy Kindle Speak Flapper HERE
Buy Print Speak Flapper HERE

Author Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene’s work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the southwest (of the USA). Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy 1920s mysteries, steampunk, and what she calls Twilight Zone-ish stories. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or an urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Her talents also include book covers and promotional images.  She makes all of her own.  Teagan is currently exploring the idea of offering that service to others.

All of the books by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene are available at her Amazon Author Page.

Amazon Author Page  

You can reach Teagan on Social Media Here:


#BookReview – A BOY NAMED RABBIT by Marcia Meara

Even though it’s not #ShareAReviewDay here on The Write Stuff, I can’t resist sharing Deborah Jay’s review of A Boy Named Rabbit with you this morning. It simply made my morning, and after the events of last week, I really needed some warm fuzzies! I’m always so happy when readers fall for this little boy who’s such a joy to write. Please check out what Debby has to say, and then pass it along if you would. Thanks so much, and a million heartfelt thank-yous to Debby, too. 🙂 ❤


My first review of the year was for book #1 in Marcia Meara’s WAKE-ROBIN RIDGE series, and I’m moving right along with my review for book #2, A BOY NAMED RABBIT. I read all four back-to-back, so I will get around to reviewing the others shortly.

A Boy Named Rabbit (Wake-Robin Ridge #2)A Boy Named Rabbit by Marcia Meara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sarah and Mac survived a terrifying encounter with a vengeful ghost in book #1 of this series, ending up happy and settled together, but nothing could have prepared them for the way their world is turned topsy-turvy in book #2 by the arrival of an elusive figure on their land. Quite what – or who – is the wild, half-starved boy Sarah sees near the grave of Mac’s son?
Meara has created a truly unique character in Rabbit – a child raised in complete isolation from the modern world. The only…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 9th to 15th February 2020 – Food, Music, Guest, New book releases, Book Reviews and Laughter.

Once again, Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog’s Weekly Round-Up post is jam packed full of goodies. Funny videos, news about fellow writers, all sorts of great stuff. Check it out, and don’t forget to pass it along. Thanks, and thanks to Sally for assembling this weekly post. I really look forward to these! 🙂 ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the round up with some posts you might have missed here on Smorgasbord during the week.

I hope that those of you who celebrated Valentine’s Day had a wonderful time… we always enjoy even after 40 years, but this year we managed to both buy the same card for each other which we had a good laugh about… luckily there were a few others that were anonymous to make up for it!!

It was my 67th birthday on Thursday and rather than go out for a meal we decided to indulge in pizzas and ice cream. We don’t give birthday gifts anymore since I have more clothes, handbags and shoes than a department store, don’t have occasion to wear bling very much, and don’t need something else to dust. The most precious gift to me is that we are still going strong and able to eat pizza and…

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#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz.

I had a feeling this one was going to stump a lot of people, but as I promised, this is a book I’d bet that every single one of you has at least heard of. For some reason, it appealed to my wicked sense of humor to use a line from a very well-known book, but which would probably fool all of us, me included. I was willing to be wrong and give away some downloads today, but alas. I called it correctly. Sorry to say we have no winners.

So with that in mind, are you ready to find out which very famous book none of us can recognize from the opening line? Okay. Here goes.

“You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.” is the opening line from Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus written by English author Mary Shelley though first published anonymously in 1818. Her name did not appear until the second edition published in Paris in 1821.

Frankenstein is infused with elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. Brian Aldiss has argued that it should be considered the first true science fiction story because, in contrast to previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later science fiction, the central character “makes a deliberate decision” and “turns to modern experiments in the laboratory” to achieve fantastic results. It has had a considerable influence in literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories, films and plays.

Since the novel’s publication, the name “Frankenstein” has often been used to refer to the monster itself. In the novel, Frankenstein’s creation is identified by words such as creature, monster, fiend, and wretch, but it is the monster’s creator who is correctly identified as Victor Frankenstein. 

There are many editions of this book available on Amazon, but I chose to use the one featuring what most of us think of when we discuss the book or, more likely, one of the many film adaptations. No one can forget Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster, I’m sure.


Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley about the young student of science Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque but sentient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty.

Shelley had travelled through Europe in 1814, journeying along the river Rhine in Germany with a stop in Gernsheim which is just 17 km (10 mi) away from Frankenstein Castle, where two centuries before an alchemist was engaged in experiments. Later, she travelled in the region of Geneva (Switzerland)—where much of the story takes place—and the topics of galvanism and other similar occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her lover and future husband, Percy Shelley. Mary, Percy, Lord Byron, and John Polidori decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for days, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made; her dream later evolved into the story within the novel.

BUY Frankenstein HERE

And that’s it for this week, folks. (See? I told you this was a book familiar to all of us. I’ve even read it. More than once, back in my misspent youth. But be darned if I recognized that opening line.) Next week, I promise to go easier on you! Hope you’ll join me then for another #FirstLineFriday.