Thursday, November 29, 2012


I finished up a major rewrite of Blood Plague last night. It has a totally different ending, one that fits the story better. It was about a 40,000 word rewrite so it was quite a process. I had to reread what I had a couple of times to make sure I tied up all the loose ends of subplots, but it’s done.
Time to put it on a shelf again, and let it sit while I write something else, and then I will go back and start editing it. I finally came up with a title and can scrap the working title of Blood Plague, now it reads The Truth of Iron at the top of the manuscript. In this particular world, those who are around iron for extended periods of time gain some special abilities. I am considering a subtitle that does mention plague.
Now that I have a 92,000 word monkey off of my back its time to pick a new project. From my post a few week ago you can see that there are quite a few partially finished items on my to-do shelf, and I am not sure which one I will pick to yet. I did read some  advice from published authors via the internet that I am going to consider as I try to pick what I want to do next.
It is pretty straight forward and something I should have thought of before. Authors get pigeon holed depending on what they get published first. When you are first starting out, write want you want to known for (in my case fantasy), and then later once you have a few things published, write a YA novel or a vampire novel.
Setting aside the projects that are not fantasy and the ones that are more idea than anything concrete narrows my choices to Empire’s End, The Rising Dark, or Godswar. I am going to have to reread what I have done and then decide.
I love getting stuff off my to do list.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wheel of Time REREAD

I got an email today telling me that the last book in the Wheel of Time series is coming out in January. I can't tell you how excited I am by this. I have been on the incredible journey through Robert Jordan's world for my entire adult life. I read the first book in the series back in 1992 when I was twelve. This amazing story is told through fourteen books and nearly four million words. The scope and detail of the series is truly breath taking. It is one of the major influences on my own writing.
I have decided to do a reread of the entire series (excluding the prequel) before reading the final book. As I read I plan on posting my thoughts about the series here. Expect to see them over the next few months, these posts will be filled with spoilers, just to give you fair warning. So here is the first post on book one The Eye of the World.

I am ten chapters into the Eye of the World. I have to say I still love the way Jordan introduces the characters. It has been twenty years since my first reading of the books and my tastes have changed quite a bit, but now I can really appreciate the introductory chapters in a way I didn't before. Jordan does a great job of showing the character's "normal world" before tearing it apart around them. I still felt the nervous tension with the Trolloc attack and the injury to Rand's father. I knew that his father would be okay, but it still really struck home with me in a way it hadn’t in my original reading. I am guessing it might have something to do with losing my own father since my first reading.
It is interesting how different scenes are resonating with me. My own life experience has changed why I like the book, but I am still enjoying it just as much. One thing I like just as much now as I did back then is the story of Manetheren. The first time I read the book, I read that little scene about a dozen times in a row. I usually don't go for characters in a story telling a story but it really works here. It adds a sense of wonder to the story, something I think is lacking in my own writing. In my works in the planning stages I am really trying to figure out how to imbue them with a sense of wonder, because it is one of the reasons I love to read fantasy.
Lastly I found myself annoyed with Mat and Perrin for leaving home to travel half-way across the world and saying goodbye to their parents with a note. Their parents are going to be worried sick, it didn't bother me when I was twelve, but now I think it makes Mat and Perrin look a little inconsiderate.
So there's the first 148 pages of the 11,000 page story. These posts will not always be regular and I think most are going to cover more chapters, I just wanted to get a good start on my reread project. Until next time: May you always find water and shade...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Changes To The "Man Rules"

Okay, so here is a post to distract you from the super boring one I just posted so that I could refer back to it.
I hurt myself yesterday. And it made realize just how much has changed in my life since I was younger. Injuries use to be something you could be kind of proud of in a weird way. They gave you a few man points and you got extra if you pretended like they didn't really hurt.
Here's a quick list of a few of these so that you see what I am talking about: Tweaked my back roofing the house, twisted my knee playing basketball, cut my hand putting in the car stereo, sprained my ankle diving for a touchdown, sprained my wrist seeing who could put the biggest dent in broken refrigerator, twisted my neck "car surfing", broke my…well you get the picture. These are all real injuries I have had in my life. And some of them were admittedly stupid injuries, that you only get when you’re a drunk 20 year old but you could tell people what happened and you looked like a man – a stupid man, but a man just the same. You could practically smell the testosterone just hearing the stories about how they happened.
Yesterday, I was on the floor playing with the babies and the phone rang, I stood up weird and sprained my big toe. Sprained my toe carrying a baby. Hmmm…not a great one to put on my man resume. At least I pretended like it didn't hurt. Not sure if I still get points for that.
I am starting to wonder if the "Man Rules" change as you get older. When I am 100 years old will walking down the hall without breaking a hip get me a couple of points? Hmmm...I need to get an updated rule book.

A long boring post about writing projects and goals

This blog post is a game plan for writing. I am posting it online because if I just kept it on my computer I would call it something stupid and generic like List or just hit some random keys like adafd and then I would delete in a month or so when I couldn't remember what it was anymore. So you might find this boring but I am going to refer back to it frequently.
See, the problem is that whenever I finish something, I just start a new project and ignore the huge pile of half-finished novels sitting in a folder on my desktop, on flash drives, and on my wife's computer. So I am going to go around find all of my partially finished novels and set up a game plan and some achievable goals for getting everything done. So I'll be back in just a sec…
Okay, so I'm done. I have to say I am surprised at just how much stuff I found. Anyway here are the projects, the current word count, and a one sentence description. The stuff I found that I can't give a one sentence description of is going in the recycle bin right now.
1.       Blood Plague War- Set in a fantasy land this is the story of a group of plague survivors who have to learn how to survive once civilization collapses. I didn't shelve this one, I actually finished it, but going back through on my first reread I decided that I needed to rewrite the last 30,000 or so words. The story does not end the way it should. Word count: About 50,000
2.       YA Superhero novel- The story of earth's last superheroes dealing with an alien occupation of the planet. Originally a YA nanowrimo novel I lost the flash drive with this one on it. Like BPW above I have about 30,000 words or so left, and a very clear outline. Word Count: 36,437
3.       History of Blood- The first person diary of a vampire, following his life from prehistoric times to the present. This one took so much time to research, I kept feeling bogged down. And I was starting to think it might actually work better as a series of short stories each set in a different time period.  Current Word Count:  23,590
4.       Godswar- As the gods war in heaven a god his struck down and falls to earth, forgetting who he is, his power, and the secret that will stop the war in the heavens.  I got stuck on this one, there is no other way to put it. It was really hard to find a conflict worthy of the protagonist. I mean what could really pose a danger to a god except another god? And who many times can you play out that scenario before it gets stale? About 40,000 words left to write. Current Word Count: 45,694
5.       The Rising Dark: The story of living darkness swallowing a fantasy land, and the people trying to stop it. I stopped writing this one when I watched a movie and read a novel with same plot, within two weeks of starting it. Sigh, I thought it was such an original idea too. Current Word Count: 12,489
6.       Veil of Embers:  Set in a fantasy world, the story of a volcano threatening to erupt and the people trying to stop it, who soon discover that the eruption might not be altogether natural.  I started writing this because I had created a fantasy world for a short story that I loved and watched a documentary on Pompei in the same week. It didn't take long to realize that the characters were too weak and one dimensional to carry the story. Current Word Count: 8,490
7.       The Well: Set in a fantasy world the story of a necromancer who must keep a magical artifact from the hands of the invading barbarians, he soon discovers that the uncivilized tribesmen are not the only threat to the kingdom.  Another attempt at setting a story in that fantasy world I loved. This one got so confusing that after just three chapters I couldn't keep track of everything, a reader would just throw it away in frustration. Current Word Count: 9,890
8.       Empire's End: The story of various people effected by a warlord's desire to create an empire. I just kept going down the wrong path with this one and then gave up. I have a folder of material I cut, and altogether there is about 30,000 words of stuff I think I will just have to throw away. Current Word Count: 15,890
9.       Everdawn Chronicles: My newest project, just started last week. It is a little too new to summarize in a sentence. Okay, I lied it isn’t going in the trash. But two other ones did. Current Word Count: 7698
Okay there they are nine different novels that are partially done. Didn't think there would be so many when I started writing this. I had totally forgotten about a couple of those. Also, though it is barely started (less than 1000 words in) I want to write an adult choose your own adventure zombie novel, just for the heck of it. By adult I mean written for an adult audience not sexy time with zombies (gross).
Finish Blood Plague: I plotted out how it should end, just never got around to writing it.
Finish the YA superhero novel: It is a really fun story, and I got to use some of the characters I made for my Marvel Super Heroes role playing game back in the day. It will be a nice change of pace, plus again I know what needs to be written. I can probably do some of the plot stuff below while I am writing it.
Reread History of Blood decide if it should be short stories or a novel. If it is short stories write a few as I go through the stuff below.
Reread Godswar: Try to figure out where to go next, I wrote this almost three years ago and the details are a little hazy.
Take the characters from The Well and put them in Veil of Embers. It should be an almost seamless switch over. Delete what I have written for both of them.
Look over Rising Dark and see if there is a way I can make it more unique. If I can't it needs to go in the recycle bin.
Write Empire's End
Write a CYOA zombie novel
Write Everdawn Chronicles
Wow. That should to keep me busy for a few years, plus I know I am going to get at least a few new ideas here and there that I will have to fit in there somewhere. I am going to set my new writing goal at…hmmm…how about 5000 words a week? That should not be too hard to keep up and will give me something novel length in about 16 weeks. If I don't keep up with my goals and my to do list you have full permission to mock me horribly. After all, ridicule is a great motivator.