2017-11-28_1542

NaNoWriMo Progress – Day 28

I had meant to post more routine updates on my progress throughout NaNoWriMo, but I have been so focused on the novel I have barely come up for air (so to speak) all month. Now that November is coming to a close I am finally poking my head up again. As you can see from the above image, I’ve had a successful NaNoWriMo, although my novel, Artifact of the Forgotten, is not complete yet. While the core idea I had for this novel is still very much intact, how I’m expressing it in the novel is very different from how I first envisioned it. This novel is decidedly darker than my first novel, which surprised me at first. However, one thing I’ve learned over the past couple of years of writing is that my stories will take me on strange and unexpected journeys. I have stopped fighting it because the Read More

2017-11-05_2352

NaNoWriMo Progress – Day 5

I don’t want to flood people with daily progress reports. Instead, I decided to update my NaNoWriMo progress only periodically this month. As you can see from the graphic above, I’ve made good progress so far. After five days of writing, I’ve exceeded 12,000 words, and I’m averaging around 2,400 words/day. The minimum daily word count is 1,667 words/day to achieve 50,000 words within 30 days. If I continue the way I’ve been going, I’ll exceed 72,000 words, which is a healthy length for a science fiction novel. This second novel in my Artifacts of the Truth series is turning out to be darker than the first, but I think that may make it an even stronger story than the first. That’s not to say that I think the first story is at all weak. I am very proud of how Artifact of the Dawn has turned out, and I hope a Read More

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Follow the Tangents: Going Beyond the What-If?

Many of the best stories begin with a ‘what-if’ premise. What if I were the last person alive? What if cats are really aliens? What if there really is a monster sleeping under my bed? Once you have the premise for your story, then what? My mind very often goes off on many and varied tangents when I daydream and when I write. Once I have that opening premise, I begin to write and I let the various tangents lead me down winding and crisscrossing paths until I have a complete, if somewhat messy, story. I let my stories develop organically, instead of rigidly sticking to an outline. I don’t always create an outline, and when I do, I rarely follow them outside of the major plot points. As you write your first draft, if your mind takes you on a tangent, follow it and see where it leads. I Read More

No self-doubt, love your writing

Why I Lack Self-Doubt

I have written about this before, but I seem to lack the sense of self-doubt–and occasionally borderline loathing–that many of my fellow writers’ experience. I’ve had some accuse me of either lying to myself or just outright lying. Some writers cannot fathom that any writer doesn’t experience any level of self-doubt in either their ability as a writer or in a piece that they have written. I know I’m not the only writer like this, but I do feel we are a small minority. I started to think about what makes me different from the vast majority of other writers, and I think I have a theory. Most writers need to share the stories they write with the world. They write as a means of seeking other’s approval, at least on some level. In which case, they write to please others and self-doubt can creep in when they worry that Read More

Men Holding Hands

Including LGBT Characters

When I began writing my novel Artifact of the Dawn, I knew that my protagonists would ultimately end up in a romantic relationship together, although that journey for them is merely a subplot. I could have chosen for one of them to be female and have them be a heterosexual couple. However, I know there isn’t enough LGBT representation in mainstream fiction. My novel falls into the science fiction genre, and I wanted the fact that my protagonists are bisexual and gay just to be a part of who they are, without it having an impact on the overall story. Why LGBT Representation Matters While there is LGBT literature available to read, when looking specifically at mainstream fiction with LGBT characters (primary or secondary) the representation seems to be extremely low. I didn’t do an exhaustive search, but from the numbers I could find, it looks like there is less Read More

paperwork-03-may-2017

The Importance of Research

It makes sense that anyone writing a non-fiction work would do extensive research on the topic they are writing about. What not everyone may be aware of is the fact that even fiction writers have to do their fair share of research when working on a novel. The entire novel may be completely fictional and based entirely in the realm of fantasy, but that doesn’t negate the need to do research. Why Research is Important Even the most fantastical tale must have some believability to it. Otherwise, your readers will get pulled out of the story you are trying to immerse them in. If you solve every impossible nuance in a story by simply explaining it away with magic, then your readers will eventually be unable to suspend their disbelief. This is why many fantasy stories include limitations for magic users. Omnipotent characters are ultimately boring unless they have some flaw Read More

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Back to the Drawing Board

During the course of the past few weeks, I’ve been submitting my novel, Artifact of the Dawn, to various literary agencies. I am about one-third of the way through the current list of literary agents that accept science fiction and fantasy works for representation. Needless to say, none have chosen to represent me yet, and about half have officially sent me rejections. I am undaunted by this, as I know many famous published authors went through many rounds of rejections as well. That being said, from those rejections I’ve received some very constructive feedback regarding my work and this has prompted me to halt my submission process, for now, and go back and rework some elements of my novel. I still stand by where the novel was when I finished my last round of edits as being fairly solid, but I knew there would always be room for improvement. Receiving feedback Read More

editor

Deciding Whether or Not to Use a Professional Editor

I am still in the early stages of attempting to have my first novel professionally published. There are many aspects I hadn’t thought of until now, but I am grateful for all the online resources and writer’s groups that are helping to guide me. One thing I had always assumed was that I wouldn’t need an editor to land a publishing deal. That being said, I know trying to get a rough first draft published these days isn’t going to fly either. I spent two years working with a group of people who worked with me to improve my novel. I had an alpha reader, a group of beta readers and a proofreader go over my manuscript. They gave me a lot of fantastic advice in terms of fixing pacing, consistency issues, and improving the believability of some of the “science” I used in the story. So, while I’ve edited Read More

Woman typing on laptop

My Writing Process

Besides blogging, I write both original and fan fiction. I have a different approach to my process for each type of writing that I do. I know every writer has their own process that works best for them, but I wanted to share my process for the writing that I do. Blogging When I’m blogging, I just let the words flow. I sit down and open a new post and start writing. Only three things need to be in place before I can really start; the topic, the title, and the featured image. Coming up with a topic is always my first priority. Once I decide on one, you would think I could begin, but I’ve always struggled to write if I didn’t have a title first, and for my blogs, I like to have selected an image to accompany them. Once those two elements are in place, I just Read More

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Writing First-Person, Second-Person or Third-Person in Fiction

When I write fictional stories, regardless of genre, I tend to write either from the third-person or third-person limited, perspective. While I naturally blog in first-person, I’ve never been comfortable writing fiction in first or second-person. So what exactly does it mean to write in first-person, second-person or third-person? Writing from the first-person perspective means that you write using the word “I” and you are writing from your (or the protagonist’s) perspective. Second-person focuses on “you,” while third-person use he/she/they pronouns and is written from the point-of-view of a narrator. Here are some examples: First Person: I woke up and rubbed the sleep from my eyes. Second Person: You woke up and rubbed the sleep from your eyes. Third Person: He woke up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. When writing fiction, I personally find it very unnerving to write in the first-person, as if I were the protagonist. Read More