Long Short Stories!

May 20, 2023

My science-fiction novelette collection is nearing completion. Eddy Shinjuku put together an eclectic cover sourced from the various stories I plan to include. I've always dreamed of publishing long, epic fantasies (and I will), but much to my surprise, I’m on the verge of publishing a collection of short science-fiction stories instead. So where did these stories come from? How did I go from writing long narratives with more than twenty characters each to snapshots in the daily lives of a few?

I’ve been writing since grade school and excelled at any assignment that required creative words on paper, limited only by the directions and the amount of paper handed out. All of my stories were hand-written in notebooks, including one my classmates and I wrote in fourth grade about Sonic the Hedgehog playing basketball. When my family got its first computer in the mid-nineties, I learned how to type, and expanded my story-telling from backyard adventures to massive universes, fantastical reality, and mind-bending worlds, all without the internet.

After we connected to the internet (cue the electronic sounds of dial-up calling aliens for authentication), I began writing stories with people across the world in role-playing groups, such as The Crystal Palace, where we appended story describing actions and thoughts from the perspective of our custom characters in an ongoing narrative. I learned from a variety of people with different ideas, styles, and skills. My writing improved, so much that I spawned my own forum, An Empire, to answer the requests of many who wanted to write with me exclusively or as part of a larger world. After managing characters, online and offline, became a challenge, I created a desktop application called Roleplayer to help manage the creation and archiving of characters (another story for another time).

During college, I expanded on a few of the many worlds I’d started, including a high epic fantasy piece titled The Summoned (see Bellator anthology for a prequel story). I wrote more than one hundred and fifty thousand words between engineering classes. I went on to make digital maps, commission artwork, and even create a demo video game with characters from the series. After I graduated, I moved to Huntsville, AL and joined the North Alabama Science-Fiction and Cake Appreciation Society (NASFCAS).

I brought my epic fantasy stories to Huntsville, and the NASFCAS writers challenged me to write and complete shorter pieces, so I could experience all the phases of creating a work of fiction, from brainstorming to publishing. And I did. Like getting a tattoo, completing short stories became an addictive form of art.

I still had one challenge: My stories often exceeded 5,000 and 8,000 words, the maximum word counts of short stories for many online publications. I'd molded my craft into novellas and novelettes, not short stories. “The Path of Time” began as a novella. The dream story I mentioned earlier in this article is a novella. Every story in The Dark Side of Light, with the exception of one, are novelettes. And I’m happy with them. I set aside the word count requirements, and wrote until the story was told. And when I couldn’t find a home for them, I created one—much like An Empire—a novelette collection without limitations.

I tried to stand in the light of my dreams, but that meant casting shadows on all the norms along the way.

Kenny Emmanuel

Music Across Time!

September 18, 2022

Since I published “The Path of Time”, readers have been surprised by a number of “features” in the novel, such as the music. “The Path of Time” has lyrics for multiple songs written by me over several years. I didn’t write most of them for the novel. In fact, a few of them were written during the later stages of the second draft. The words for each song came to me after relative, both small and large, life-changing events. The experiences kept me up at night until I put the words down on paper in one way or another.

The first way was through poetry. At first, every line needed to rhyme, and a stanza always included four lines. When my writing couldn’t keep up with the emotions running rampant, the structure fell apart. No, it evolved. Middle and alternating rhymes created variable flow that felt good to read, and words that didn’t need to be spelled the same for the sake of rhyme gave me the creative freedom required to truly express myself with the right words. I have tons of poems, but none of them made it into the novel because my writing had evolved again.

As we’ll see in my upcoming novel, “Dream Watcher”, music played a major role in my life. I turned to music to have fun, relax, and deal with emotional challenges. Specific beats, lyrics, and voices were called upon for various purposes. Whether they were played on a radio, a cassette tape, a CD player, or a MP3 player, they answered that calling every time. Over the years, reciting my poetry while listening to music added rhythm to the reading, and turned one of my poems into a song.

From then on, the words came to me as lyrics. Repeating them with rhythm helped me remember them because ideas often came during the most inconvenient times, such as long days on the road, and I would often forget the key words that made the flow perfect and still captured the meaning. Music on the radio had phrases here and there that I could relate to, but every word in my songs addressed my experiences.

When I started writing “The Path of Time”, I realized that the main character struggled in some of the same ways I did, and so it seemed fitting that he would resolve those challenges in a similar way. That’s when music entered the story. I combed through all of my songs and poems, and found several that fit into the world without any modifications. Even a few incomplete ones found a home as freestyle rap used by the other contestants at Karaoke.

Those poems-turned-songs answered the call on another level. They helped the characters in the novel, and I hope they’ll one day help someone else as much as they helped me. Of course, I don’t have rhythm, so whether these “songs” can be turned into real music with instruments and a singer is unknown. But that was never the intent. Although, that would be cool.

Kenny Emmanuel


June 28, 2022

Welcome to my author page or my game development page or whatever it turns out to be. For now, it’s a place to share my creative works with you. As I develop the brand more, it will be a place to interact, too. You’ll find links to my novels, short stories, and games, so feel free to explore.

Writing and game development are hobbies that I enjoy during my free time (whatever that means and whenever that is). I am a computer engineer during the day. My job is fun and rewarding. It shows me new things and takes me to new places, which inspire and feed ideas for the worlds I create. At night, I’m either writing stories, developing games, or sitting back and enjoying the creation of others.

I love to write and have no shortage of stories, characters, and worlds in the queue. A few have seen the light of day, while the others are waiting for their turn. In fact, as I make the final edits to The Path of Time, I am halfway through a collection of short stories. The collection focuses on individual people and the decisions they have to make, which are often influenced by technology, morality, and love.

The games I develop are based on characters from the stories I write. If a story doesn’t already exist, then I create one as immersive, heartwarming, and heartbreaking as the ones you’ll find in my books. You’ll find dialogue unique to each character, powers and abilities that match personalities, and motivations that align with a character’s morals and history. Game development for me brings stories from the pages of a book (or an electronic reader) to life in another way.

I have a solid circle of influence, support, and friends. I’m a part of online communities for board and video games. I watch streams from the members while working on my own projects. I’m part of a writer’s group who are among the first to hear my new stories. We read and critique each other’s stories as if the words belonged in our own books. Then I have my readers. My alpha readers see a story before it goes through real editing. Their opinion is crucial for the overall flow, plot, and cool factor. Editors ensure I picked the right words for the moment, which is a challenge because my ideas are far from normal. Then my beta readers make sure all the plot holes and storylines have been addressed.

I couldn’t do any of this without my circle. Or you. So thanks for stopping by. No, really, thank you.

Kenny Emmanuel