Welcome, Fantasy Nerds! We cannot believe it has already been two years since we started Clever & WTF! Thank you so much for your support of our blog. It means the world to us!
We decided to celebrate by sharing our favorite stories: one that we wrote ourselves, one that was written by the other sister, and one that we wrote together. We’ll also reveal some behind the scenes info about how we came up with the story idea and/or what makes it special to us. If you see any that you haven’t read (or want to reread), we hope you will click the links!
The Connection was the first short story I wrote for this blog, so it holds a special place in my heart. It has a unique magic system, and creating it was one of those “aha” moments for me. It started with me wondering what if magic worked like the internet, and only so many people could access it at once before the connection began to slow down or glitch? The main characters’ relationship was based on my relationship with my own siblings, and I think the arguments and protectiveness are something all siblings can relate to.
My first thought when reading The Moon Guard was I wish I had come up with that! The story is so imaginative and the magic is creative. The worldbuilding is fantastic and hints of a backstory are sprinkled throughout. Amber’s descriptions of the Cloud Clashing and magical battles drew me in. When I finished, I immediately wanted her to write more stories set in this magical world of Cloud Gliders and Lightning Heavers!
The Only Dragonrider is our longest story on this blog (5 chapters) and the first one that Amber and I wrote together. We still talk about expanding the story into a novella because we love it so much. I wrote the beginning of this story a long time ago, and filed it away to finish later. When Amber and I started talking about writing a collaborative story, I thought of it again because of our mutual love for dragons. I gave Amber the intro and challenged her to continue the story. Our ideas then built off of each other and made the story better than either of us would have written it on our own.
When I was younger I used to have horrible nightmares almost every night, I would hear terrifying noises like dripping liquid and footsteps in the middle of the night. I would sometimes see shadows and eerie figures out of the corner of my eye, it got so bad I would live every day in fear of when the sun went down and the horrors came out again. This was the basis for this story, what would happen if those “imaginary” thoughts and fears manifested into reality? Was it even possible? If you believe in magic, it’s possible it’s not all good.
My WTF persona for this blog stemmed from stories like this and my writing style. I like to leave readers wondering “WTF did I just read?”. I want to write stories that stick with people, and I feel like Dark Thoughts is an excellent and early example of that, as well as an embodiment of my own fear.
I remember clearly when I first read The Spell Merchant. I was having a rough day at work, and then I remembered it was Sunday, and Ashley’s turn for a new story. I was so excited, her stories always intrigue me, are always so well structured and suck you in almost immediately, and this story was no different. The way Ashley describes the struggle within Lyursa, and her taking the risk to explore what she desires is inspiring. The ending is so heartfelt, and equally sorrowful. The descriptions of the shop, the potion and scroll making pull me into the world of The Spell Merchant so immersively, and I LOVE IT! Lastly, without giving too much away if you have yet to read it, the banshee is such a perfect twist and the perfect character ingredient for a most potent magical story.
Secret Magic was one of the most fun writing experiences I’ve had! Ashley had written the beginning of the story prior to us collaborating, she thought her idea for this story was right up my alley. When I read what she had written I was instantly pulled into the world she created. Immediately I had ideas on where to take the characters, and how I wanted to end it. I wrote a few paragraphs and sent it back to get approval on where I was taking the story so far, and it evolved into a collaborative story! We went back and forth creating what I think is a beautifully tragic story.
Ashley’s writing style makes it so easy for me to visualize the setting she is trying to convey, and how she wants the characters portrayed. I look up to her very much, and I hope to be as talented a writer as she is in the future. I look forward to many more collaborations, and I hope you guys do too!
What did you think of our choices for favorite stories? What are your favorite Clever & WTF stories? Let us know in the comments!
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Thanks so much for reading!
-Clever & WTF