16-Ezra Bridger

The Art of Storytelling – Creating My Compass

(Thanks to Bella for her title suggestion!  I was truly stuck.)

NOTE: I initially published this back in January, but decided to tweak the style and post it again.  This isn’t a guide for How To Write the Perfect Story; but the principles that have worked well for me.  ?

I once had no idea how to keep my stories focused.  I had good ideas, but I had a lot of ideas and couldn’t discern which ones truly belonged in my work-in-progress.  Was this phrase a better explanation of the theme?—or that paragraph a couple pages later?—or that note on my digital sticky notes?  Cue the pile-up of 172 pages of notes.  And I inevitably got overwhelmed.  Even more frustrating, after I sorted through those notes and reworded ideas (again), the story pieces added up—to the wrong picture.  Finally, through trial and error and through analyzing books and films, I created this list of points that help me build my story more easily and to keep it focused.

Articulate the Story Concept.  Or the general idea behind the story.  It could be a question to explore, such as “Where to draw the line in giving loyalty?”  It could be a character or situation: “A girl who was never taught to discern properly,” or a simple plot: “A girl takes up multiple hobbies to find her passion and talent.”  Or it could be a general theme, such as “different kinds of power (social, legal, abusive, and others) and what they can and cannot accomplish.”

Actually, I know the concept from the get-go; whenever I say, “Well, I have an idea for a story about…” that’s the concept.  But it could be narrowed a little–a general idea can become many different stories (which cleverly disguise themselves as plot bunnies).  So here’s a question that narrows the field: What draws me to this idea?  What do I love about it?  This not only helps keeps my story focused, it also explains what’s original about the idea, and it articulates my own passion for the subject.

As an example from my writing, one story idea is about two families whose children marry for mutual social and financial benefit.  This is the general idea.  The more specific idea is how these characters respond to the various social and familial expectations of them.  And what I like about the idea is the mindsets, values, and relationships of the characters as they handle situations in which they do not have a lot of control.  All very general, but it tells me at once that my idea about the fight between Enlightenment vs. Romanticism doesn’t belong in this story.

And then I tinker with the wording of the concept until it expresses exactly what I have in mind.  My ultimate goal is to understand what story I’m telling.  Not just the genre, but what I’m personally trying to say.  (More on that later.)

Specify the Story Conflict.  This definitely helps me discern which ideas (and subplots and side characters) belong in the plot.  And when I fail to specify the conflict, my story becomes crowded and confusing.  (*stares sadly at mountain of unfinished drafts*)  So do other writers’ stories—I may offend people with this example, but the film God’s Not Dead had a plot thread completely separate from the main conflict.  The conflict of the film is ultimately between skeptics attacking faith in the God of the Bible and Christians defending that faith.  While this is going on, a liberal feminist news reporter learns that she has cancer, and she eventually gets saved.  (Whoops, spoilers.)  But she does not meet or influence any of the other characters.  And since she gets saved near the end of the story, she doesn’t have time to contribute to the main point by defending her newfound faith.

I get why this plot was included: so that a character (and by extent the audience) could hear the Gospel.  But that character and her story does not enhance or contribute to the ultimate conflict.  That detour simply uses screen time that could have been spent on the main characters.  And on that note, a better way to include the Gospel would be to have the ex-Muslim girl remember the Gospel to strengthen herself in the face of persecution or perhaps try to share the Gospel with her family.  That would have contributed to the conflict, and it would have been an awesome addition.  (Seriously, the writers should have explored that character and her situation further!)

So, defining the story’s conflict will thin down those plot bunnies.  But here’s a catch: conflict often has two layers: surface conflict, and then what I call “root conflict.”

Surface conflict is a clash that fits the story’s concept, but that happens apart from—or because of—the root conflict.  The root conflict is the ultimate battle of the story, the clash that explains what’s really at stake.  It’s often internal conflict (but not always).  A good example of these two layers is the film Inception.  The “surface conflict” is the attempt to plant an idea in a man’s mind through his dreams.  This is something that had never been successfully done—oh, and there’s a deadline for this attempt.  But the root conflict is Cobb battling his own guilt and fear and grief.  He cannot let go of the past, and at first refuses to confront his problems.  His stubbornness and his burden endanger his goal and the safety of his team.

So I write down the obvious conflict in my story and then ask how that conflict came to be, which helps identify the root conflict.  (Or vice-versa, and I think about what action might be prompted by the root conflict.)

Make the Setting Influence the Action or Affect the Characters.  Years ago, I entered a short story contest with several guidelines: the required setting was the Titanic, and the contest theme was “Women and Children First.” I wrote the story of a couple who met on the ship; and though they weren’t close friends, the man stepped back so the woman could get into a lifeboat and escape.  Measured by the contest guidelines, the story and setting worked.  But when I looked at that story a few years later, I asked: how does the Titanic enhance the plot?  Sure, the event is a classic example of chivalry, but without the contest parameters, my characters could do what they liked and could be moved to a different setting with no big change to the plot.  Red flag that the setting was just painted scenery, and not a place with impact.

In my story Empty Clockwork, however, the setting is a late-Victorian world with strict social norms and tradition but with a steampunk twist:  scientific dabbling is a popular hobby for the rich.  And “secret” labs in the basement are an essential part of any grand house.  This setting creates conflict for Lord Fredericks, a brilliant, self-taught scientist, who can’t capitalize on his skills because he is also an aristocrat and not supposed to do manual or tradesman’s work.  The setting also affects Henry*, a doctor who is passionate for his work, but who can’t get the wealthy hobby scientists interested enough in his ideas to fund his experiments.  The third character affected is Lennox, a young man who teaches classics at Cambridge and therefore can’t get anyone to take him seriously as a scientist.  Because art and science don’t mix, y’know.  And Susan, heiress and Lord Fredericks’ ward, can’t find an endeavor she thinks worthy to support with her money because of the complacent attitudes in society.  The setting directly affects the main characters, creates conflict, and points to my theme (which I will not reveal here because spoilers).

*inspired by Henry Jekyll from the 1994 concept album of Jekyll & Hyde.  As such, I might eventually change his Christian name so as not to be sued by Frank Wildhorn, Leslie Bricusse, and the ghost of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Discover why the Story Matters to the Characters—and to Me.  Goal, stakes, conflict…those can be found anywhere.  A character could set the goal of opening his own business, with the stakes of providing for his family, and face obstacles in the lack of money and an affordable building to rent.  But why doesn’t he go another route to provide for his family?  Why does he choose this hill, the hill of the story, to fight and possibly die on?

This point is a cross between the character’s motivation and the stakes of the conflict–it’s why the goal matters to the character.  Not just the external repercussions of failure, but the internal consequences.  The more personal the story conflict and stakes, the more the readers will care about the characters and their struggles.  For example, Inception deals with complex concepts: the actions of the subconscious, the unique nature of dreams, and how each can be manipulated.  Truly engaging stuff—but the principles matter because of how personal they are to Cobb.  If he can complete the inception attempt, he can go home to his kids—but ironically, experimenting with dream manipulation and inception is what tore him from his family in the first place and created the guilt that plagues him throughout the story.

The author also needs personal motivation, and a second question I ask is: why does this story matter so much to me?  What are my own personal stakes?  This is partly practical; I’m more likely to finish the story if I’m passionate about it.  But understanding the personal stakes is another tool that narrows the focus of the story.  Suppose a writer believes that it’s ridiculous for 18-year-olds to choose their life passions before college.  They only just got out of school; they haven’t observed and experienced life to the degree that a 30-year-old has; how on earth can teens be expected to know what they want to do with their lives?  With that question, that drive behind the story, the writer can quickly discern that his other story idea about how the elderly are ignored doesn’t fit in the plot of this story.

Work Backwards from the Conclusion.  Articles and tutorials say “figure out your ending first.  Write toward your ending.”  I never understood this.  Doesn’t the outcome depend on what the main characters choose?  Won’t choice A create one outcome and choice B create another?  Should I just make up events regardless of what the characters chose to do?

Not necessarily.  The ending is more than the final dramatic events.  It’s also the conclusion of what the story says.  Which is an extension of what the author is trying to say.

Oh, please.  There’s no need to ask “What am I trying to say?”  Stories are just to entertain, right?

Right.  And wrong, because every story, even the fluffiest, feel-good novel makes some statement.  Even as untrue as “everything will turn out okay if you dream hard enough.”  Or whatever.  Continuing to offend people with my examples, The Battle of Five Armies film had no idea what it was ultimately saying.  Fight Ye Olde Evil?  All Gold is Evil?  Something Vague About True Love?  Reclaiming the Characters’ Ancestral Homes?  Hobbits Are the Saviors of the World?  (Epic fail on that last point, as Bilbo was demoted.)

By contrast, the Lord of the Rings (book and film) made a clear statement with its ending: sacrifice is the price of freedom.  When Frodo leaves Middle Earth, it highlights the price that warriors and defenders pay so that others may live in their homes in peace.  This theme is shown throughout the story.  Didn’t Frodo leave the Shire in the first place to protect it?  Didn’t Sam help Frodo no matter the cost to himself?  Didn’t Aragorn conceal his lineage and walk in humility for years and protect the Shire unseen? Didn’t Tolkien lament the fallen defenders all through his story?  Sacrifice is the conclusion—sacrifice for the land and peoples of Middle Earth.

Once I recognize what I’m saying with my story, it’s easier to work backwards from that and figure out what events and final conflicts would fit the story.  (And I often have an inkling of how everything will turn out, even if it’s cliche and obvious.)  Then I ask: where do the characters need to be, emotionally, physically, and mentally to drive the final events?  Then I create conflict and events that push the characters to that stage of readiness.

What’s ultimately important is that I understand what story I want to tell.  This means more than the genre.  It’s the big picture: the concept of the story, the tone, the stakes, what I’m trying to say, and what I want the story to accomplish.  Do I want it to be lighthearted or a cautionary tale?  Is it just a practice project or something I’m passionate about?  Do I want it to amuse or criticize or inspire?  If I don’t know what story I want to tell, it will end up dissonant.  It will read as though it tried to say one thing, but ended up saying something something very different.  It has happened in the past–and I’ve seen it happen to too many other storytellers.  The makers of the Hobbit films clearly did not know what kind of story they were telling.  In a film trilogy called The Hobbit, Bilbo is almost a side character, and the story focuses on the other races of Middle Earth.  The franchise tried to be dark and epic, but the slapstick humor and roller coaster chase-and-battle sequences undermined that tone (not to mention that when Smaug’s fire doesn’t burn rotting tapestries, tension vanishes anyway).  The main plot was the quest to reclaim Lonely Mountain, but the subplots didn’t really enhance that—Thranduil’s white gems, for example, and the romance between Kili and Tauriel, and Tauriel as a character in the first place.  *ducks volley of rotten avocados*  The result is three films with some good aspects, but with so many conflicts, characters, and plot threads that the story feels stuffed.  *ducks more flying vegetables*  And the root problem is that screenwriters didn’t seem to know what story they wanted to tell.

Now, confession time: I don’t have every one of these points articulated for every one of my stories.  Several are missing the ending.  A couple are missing the general concept.  One does not have specified conflict.  And that’s okay.  Stories take time to develop.  Some take more time to grow than others.  And these points are just general guidelines to help me build a strong foundation for my story.









16-Ezra Bridger

Writing Tip # 11: Skip Ahead

Who says you have to write your story chronologically? It can be helpful–but then again, it can also get you stuck. If you know generally where your story is going, you can jump ahead to a less difficult spot, to a segment where you know which events happen and what the consequences are. Jumping ahead and working on a different part of the story could spark ideas for that trouble spot as well.  Anyway, the story is a draft, right? It doesn’t have to be a smooth read from start to finish that first time. 🙂

16-Ezra Bridger

Writing Tip #9: Learn How You Work

Every writer has a different writing process.  Some writers need more time to make notes and outline than to draft.  Others need to create well-developed characters before starting chapter one.  Still others may need only the general concept, and they’ll dig deeper into it while writing.  Other writers just write and see what happens.  You get the idea.

Learn your own writing process–what works best for you.  Whether you need to spend more time outlining (if at all), developing characters, organizing themes.  Whether you find it easier to focus on the details or to start with concepts.  Whether you need lots of notes or only general ideas.  Discovering the writing process that suits you best will take time and experience—and failure, but all this pays off.  Because once you know your own approach, you can be flexible in non-essential areas and prepare adequately for a project.

For instance, I’m the planner sort.  (Can you tell?  🙂 )  I need to know the general concept of the story, the conflict, and the conclusion of what I’m trying to say (see this post for further explanation of those points).  I also need characters developed pretty deeply before drafting.  And I’m definitely an outliner.  It took 10 years, a lot of trial-and-error, and about 7 abandoned or paused stories to figure that out—but now that I know, developing and planning any story is much easier!


16-Ezra Bridger

Phantom Film Remake Wish List

I do like some aspects of the 2004 film–it’s a film of one of my favorite musicals, after all, and the instrumentals and sets are fabulous.  And some of the character moments are touching.  Gerard Butler was a better actor for the Phantom than singer; I have no objection to him portraying the character, but I wish the filmmakers had dubbed his voice over with John Owen-Jones’s or some professional singer.  Also, I think Patrick Wilson was underused in the film, and is under-appreciated for his portrayal of Raoul, which I discussed in this post.

Point being, the 2004 film has a few good points–but a lot of flaws that could be corrected in a remake.  So here’s what I’d like to see should anyone undertake that task:

  • #1 requirement: a cast who can sing. This should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, it’s not.  Half of the story’s beauty and power would vanish if Christine and the Phantom lacked professional and polished singing voices.  And hey, since it’s a musical, the rest of the cast also needs to be able to sing!  Melody and vocals are the storytelling medium here, and part of what drives the plot.


  • #2 requirement: a cast who can act.  Since this would be a film version of a stage musical, both singing and acting abilities are essential.  And it’s not a shot for the moon to require both: in the 2012 film Les Miserables, Aaron Tveit was a polished singer and talented actor; in the 2000 Broadway production of Jane Eyre, James Barbour not only had a powerhouse voice (and very versatile) he portrayed Mr. Rochester almost perfectly.  Same for his portrayal of Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities.


  • #3 requirement: a deformity that looks hideous.  This is essential to the power of the story.  If the Phantom is only moderately ugly when unmasked, it destroys the whole reason he was outcast from society, and destroys the power of Christine’s compassion and sacrifice.  The cool thing is, with all the special effects filmmakers have at their fingertips these days, they could make the deformity really horrific and gross.


  • #4 requirement: no Love Never Dies set-up.  No longing looks back as Christine leaves, no over-aggressiveness or pushiness from Raoul, no hints that Christine and the Phantom got too cozy down in the lair—nothing of that sort.  The idea of a sequel actually undermines the mystery and tragedy of that last Phantom scene—and LND not only destroyed that power and mystery, but it ruined the characters as well.  For example, in LND, the Phantom still pines for Christine–understandable–but also ignores the choice he made to let Christine and Raoul go, and pulls almost the exact same kidnapping and threats he performed in the last musical in order to keep Christine near him.  Seriously?  That completely ruins his sacrifice in the original musical.  Would the Phantom miss Christine?  Of course.  Would he perhaps dream about “the way things might have been”?  Possibly.  Would he try to take her back?  I don’t think so–I think he would have stuck with his choice.  And I’m not even going to mention what LND did to Raoul, or I might explode.


  • #5 requirement: filling in of “missing scenes.” The following are what I particularly want to see:
    • What, exactly, did Raoul do after discovering Christine gone from her dressing room? Given the lengths he goes to protect her in the musical, I don’t see him thinking, “Whelp, she’s gone.  Might as well go home and get some supper.  Like, on my own…thanks, Christine.”  He’s going to get to the bottom of the matter.  It could be set up something like this: after Christine vanishes into the mirror, Raoul comes back and looks around in bewilderment.  During the opening notes of the title song, the Phantom and Christine head through the passages to the lair; then the scene cuts to a quick shot of Raoul speaking to two or three people, his face worried, and they answer by shaking their heads.  Then the scene cuts back to tunnels, and Christine begins to sing the title song.  The sequence continues until after “Music of the Night”—the camera cuts to Raoul in entrance to the Opera House, and the managers tell him, “We’ll send word if we find her.  Go home, Monsieur le Vicomte.”  Raoul looks over their shoulders to the policemen conferring inside, and then puts on his hat and reluctantly leaves.  As he crosses the street, a tower clock strikes 3: 00 a. m.   (I don’t think the timing is too far-fetched: if the opera started at, say, 8: 00 p. m. and lasted until 11:00 p. m. or 12:00 a. m., it would probably take an hour or so for everyone to become aware of the disappearance and summon the police, and another hour or two to realize that nothing further could be done that night.)  Then Christine wakes up in the Phantom’s lair, and “I Remember” starts.
    • How long was Christine missing after her debut?  The musical indicates it was only one night, but the newspapers somehow got wind of it–as I mentioned in my Raoul Defense posts, I have a head canon that a journalist showed up to interview the new soprano, but before he had a chance, he ran into a worried Raoul, and, well, there you go.  (This discrepancy in the story’s time line probably occurred by ALW’s condensing how long Christine was kidnapped.  In the book, it was two weeks, giving everyone plenty of time to notice and discuss her disappearance.)  There aren’t huge questions or gaping plot holes, but a film could devote a few lines to answering them.
    • What happened in the 6-months the Phantom was absent?  Did Christine continue to sing?  If so, was it as a soprano or as a background vocalist?  This would be interesting to answer, as both she and Carlotta are at the masquerade, with apparently no enmity between them—possibly suggesting that Christine sung as a chorus girl or understudy.  Which then begs the question: why didn’t the Phantom do anything about this?—all these questions could be answered in some dialogues between the managers or cast members wondering where the Phantom is and scenes of rehearsal in which Carlotta rubs the role reversal in chorus-girl-Christine’s face.


  • Lavish sets.  ‘Nuff said.  But I’ll say more anyway.  The stage versions of the musical just can’t convey the power of atmosphere and color that a film could.  A film has the opportunity to show the glitter of the stage; the richness of the theatre boxes and the (non-ghostly) occupants; the bustle and messiness of backstage; the roof of the Opera House, so high above the rest of the world and drenched in moonlight; the dark elegance of the Phantom’s lair lit with hundreds of candles and strange inventions in the corners; the underground tunnels and lake…


  • Nods to the Leroux novel, such as the Phantom’s violin-playing.  It would be amazing if, after Christine’s swoon, he plays a little of Music of the Night on his violin before finishing, “help me make the music of the night…”.  Perhaps also, Raoul could mention (with some disgust) his elder brother who’d gone to see a mistress in the north of France, and Christine referencing the family that took her in after her father’s death and provided for her education.


  • Raoul swimming the lake to get to the Phantom’s lair.  A strange wish, maybe, but it’s a cool piece of action, and it would heighten the tension by showing how frantic he is, what danger he is willing to risk in order to find Christine.  It would also show that, no, he is not a sissy.

So that’s my Phantom film remake wish list.  What would you all like to see in a remake?













16-Ezra Bridger

Thanksgiving Tag!

I absolutely love blog tags and memes, and it made my day to see that Bella tagged me!  (Thanks, Bella!)  Go check out her tag; she gave some great answers.

What are you most Thankful for?

A lot…but this year, I was particularly grateful for:

  1. The freedom to elect our leaders. I fuss about how the federal government violates the Constitution (verbally, if not yet on the blog).  But the American people still have enormous legal and political freedom.  No, our leaders do not uphold the cornerstone of our laws.  But political control over the country could be a lot more restricting and dangerous.
  2. The blessings God has given our family, such as our house, a home in a safe neighborhood, our delicious Thanksgiving food, my laptop, my drawing supplies, our sweet fluffy dog, the list goes on.  🙂
  3. My health problems. I’ve struggled with a compromised immune system for years, and the number one symptom is fatigue.  Sometimes a task as simple as loading the dishwasher wears me out.  And I am a type A person, y’all, not to mention that I take all my responsibilities seriously.  And just can’t fulfill them consistently.  However, in the 10 or so years I’ve struggled with this, I’ve become more compassionate, which is not a trait I’ve had naturally.  The weakness has forced me to pray constantly, to rely on God for strength I do not have.  It’s taught me perseverance.  And it’s definitely given me a lot of writing material.  It was only recently that I matured to where I was truly thankful for those difficulties—but this year, I can see the blessings from them.
  4. Little things that make me happy, like a nice, tidy backyard, the way the sun falls on the trees, lunch heated up to just the right temperature, coffee in a pretty mug, and illustrations in my favorite books.

What is your main source of Happiness?

Definitely writing.  Also pondering God and His character and creation.  (Seriously, think for a while about how perfectly He designed the physical world and how its details fit together, and you’ll end up amazed and humbled.)  And watching my siblings talk and play together.

What are some dreams and goals to Aim for?

Let’s see…I’d like to (finally) finish writing a picture book that I started a couple of years ago.  If you thought a picture book was easy because it’s short, well, not necessarily.  And certainly not in my case; I think it’s because I’m so used to reading and thinking on complicated and multiple levels, that sticking to one plot (no subplots, aaarrgh!!!) and one point-of-view is a challenge.  But I’ll stick with the project and Lord willing, get it finished eventually.

I’d also like to continue singing lessons and learning how to use my voice.  And I always want to grow in Christ, grow closer to God and trust Him more and more.

Who is a Neighbor you are especially grateful for, or have recently found friendship with?

Going stretch this one a bit and apply it to friends (I don’t know the people in my neighborhood very well).  And one friend I’m very grateful for is Julia.  We met at the wedding shower of a mutual friend in February, and Julia and I started talking about our siblings.  I was impressed and pleased that she valued friendship with her siblings the way I valued friendship with mine; we both enjoyed spending time with our siblings and took seriously the fact that they copy our examples (we’re both the eldest in our families).  From there, we discovered that we’re both writers, avid readers, and history buffs–she’s studied the Revolutionary and Civil wars; I’ve studied the British political landscape of the 1830s.  We talked about literature, history, and classics; we swapped book recommendations and discussed favorite films and how well or poorly a book was adapted.  We exchanged email addresses that night and have been emailing ever since.

Another friend I’m thankful for is Bella.  We struck up an acquaintance over the Tale of Two Cities musical, and chatted via Pinterest messages about both the book and the musical.  We’ve also discussed other musicals (such as The Phantom of the Opera), and talked about music, writing, and storytelling.

And a third friend I’m thankful for is Treskie.  She has a fantastic art blog, and I look forward to her Picture Saturday posts every week.  We’ve discussed art as well, and critiqued each other’s artwork.

What are some acts of Kindness you will always remember or treasure?

Julia’s prayers during my recent fight with pneumonia.  I would often e-mail her to let her know what was going on and ask for prayer, and she always let me know she was praying and offered encouragement.  And on a similar note, Gingersnap’s friend Krista also prayed for my healing, which was sweet and special because Krista knows me through Gingersnap and not personally.

What are some Special Thanksgiving Memories or Traditions?

Honestly, the most cherished Thanksgiving memories and traditions are of just being with my family for the holidays.  Dad gets to stay home for a couple of days, which is really the highlight of the holiday (his work schedule is hectic the rest of the year).  We relax and chill for the holiday and have lively conversations around the Thanksgiving table and in the living room afterward.  Sometimes we play games as a family; sometimes we go out for a treat–last year, we went to see the Peanuts movie in theaters.

Now I get to tag someone else!  *rubs hands*  I tag Treskie, Julia, and all my siblings!

Happy Thanksgiving!

16-Ezra Bridger

“Now…Where to Begin?”

To borrow a quote from The Fellowship of the Ring film.  🙂  Well, for starters, here’s a list of random facts about me:

  • I grew up reading.  Reading anything I could get my hands on, and my parents never told me a book was too hard.  Mature novels, such as The Scarlet Letter, were off-limits when I was in single digits, but if I wanted to read Ivanhoe at age 12?  They let me go for it.
  • Consequently, I struggle to decide what age groups my own stories are for.  “Whoever wants to read them” is probably not what a publisher will want to hear.
  • Though I’m a writer, I’m not a published one yet.  Unless you count a letter I sent into Nature Friend magazine at age 9 or 10.  🙂
  • I do not have a favorite actor.  I do, however, have a favorite director: Christopher Nolan.  His storytelling style is masterful, combining high-concept ideas with basic story techniques.
  • I have drawn more pictures of Sydney Carton than any other literary character.  He’s so vivid in my mind that I have to capture him on paper.
  • I sometimes refer to myself in third person, e.g. if a family member says, “Christine can do that for you, if she doesn’t mind,” I will reply, “She doesn’t mind, but she’ll have to drop a project from her schedule; can she have some free time to finish the project this weekend?”
  • Nothing gives me amnesia like writing facts about myself.  Seriously, I’ve sat in front of my laptop for half-an-hour trying to think of an interesting list, and have now turned into Thor: “I am running out of things to say!”

But rest assured, more content will follow!