Monday, January 31, 2011

Got My Proof Copy!

The proof came in today! It's completely awesome and looks like a book I'd buy from Barnes and Noble! Here's some pics:

There's only one thing I can say I didn't care for and that was the way the cover attracts finger prints. But I think that's only because the cover is mainly black so it might not be like that for everyone. Formatting the pages was hard for me, but that was just me. Otherwise everything went smoothly and I am so happy! To see my book like this is just. . . wow. I'm still going to be rewriting it, of course but for now: awesome! To those who have a code for a free proof, don't let it go to waste, you don't even have to pay for shipping.

Hope everyone gets a proof of their books!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Very Short Summaries

Hi everyone!

I have revamped my blog again. That last background with the black splatters and stuff just wasn't working for me, it was too dark and stuff. I like the way it is now, nice and clean and bright. I think I could live with it looking like this for awhile.

I've also updated my About Me page and added a Project page which lists the stories I'm working on and gives a short summary of each, if you've been curious about what any of my stories are about. And do you know what I realized when I was done with my project page? I wrote nearly perfect 1-2 sentence summaries for each. Which I have before agonized over because there was just NO way I could summarize my story in a single sentence or two for a query. Yet I did it without realizing. Nearly effortlessly. Huh. At least now I know that I can do it.

How many of you guys have had trouble summarizing your story in a single sentence? Or two? Or is it easy for you? If you have a single sentence summary and are willing to share, please do. I'd like to see other peoples summaries.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Getting a Proof Copy

I've just submitted year '09 NaNo, Angels, to createspace to get a free proof copy. The reason why I've submitted the NaNo from '09 and not the one from '10 is because I accidentally let last years free proof copy code go to waste. I had totally forgotten about it, kept putting it off because I didn't think it was ready to be in such a printed form. And before I knew it six months had passed and the code was no good.

Anyway, I didn't do a proof of The Chronicles because I'm actively working on it and the first draft is bad. Well, Angels is bad too, horrible really I cringe every time I read some of it, but it'd still be nice to have an actual copy of it. I'll probably begin to rework it, I've got so many different ideas on what I could do with angels, maybe I'll work on it during those times I get tired of working on The Chronicles.

So here's the cover that I made for the proof copy:

(Click it to make it bigger)

That's the spine and back cover too. I don't really like the summary, but couldn't really think of how to make it better. . . Otherwise I really like it! I think it's a lot better than the one little cover I made back in '09, right before I wrote the book. The book in total also came out to 190 pages after it was formatted. That surprised me because I thought it would be 150 pages at the most. So I'm really excited and can't wait to get the proof! Has anyone else gotten a proof copy of their book(s)? Did it come out good?

I've also found this really awesome place called the Cartographers Guild, a forum for people who like to draw maps. There's some really useful tutorials there for doing things in photoshop or gimp and stuff and many of the people there are very talented. Some of the maps are really artistic and beautiful.

Hope everyone's doing well!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Characters and Contests

Hello everyone!

I don't think I've said anything yet (cause I've been so busy reading The Name of the Wind) but I've got all my writing help books in! Well, except for the one about making languages because, apparently, it took them four days to figure out they no longer had that book before shipping off the other three.  And unless I want to buy a new one from 84$ and a used one from 190$ I don't think I'm going to be getting one very soon.

Anyway the other three books are awesome! I got How to Write a Damn Good Novel which is awesome so far and Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting which is awesome as well. Though so far I like the damn good novel one more than the screenplay one. The Tough Guide to Fantasyland isn't exactly what I had expected, it's more like an encyclopedia of cliche's than. . . Well, a 'help me write' book.

I'm actually starting to do some character development as well, for only my main character so far. It's fun, I learned a few things about him that I didn't know (like an unfortunate encounter with acid) so things are coming along nicely. However he's not very nice and if he ever met me he'd probably try to kill me, being his author and all. . .

Oh! For those of you interested in contests Tahareh at Grab a Pen is giving away two gift cards for those who follow her and comment on this post. You can do a couple other things to up the number of times your entered, just read the post. If you enter I wish you luck!

Have a nice day everyone!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's Finally Here!

Oh my gosh. I finally, just now, got the book The Name of the Wind in. It feels like I've been waiting forever! But I guess that's what I get for having to get the one from England. I haven't started reading it just yet since it just got here but I will read it in just a minute, I'm just trying to draw out the anticipation for as long as I can before I start reading. . .

I also got in those alchemy books that I talked about last post and, again, that is a subject that has defied my expectations. Alchemy is actually really interesting, like way interesting. I had not expected to get sucked into the subject for much more than a bit of research but I'm getting invested in the subject. If anyone has ever wanted to learn about alchemy I highly recommend The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy. It's jam packed with information and easy to understand; I find that most of the Idiot's Guides are pretty good books for whatever subject you want to learn about.

Anyway, off to read that book!

Monday, January 17, 2011


I have officially begun to research things for my book. 'Officially' meaning that I have got books about certain subjects and am reading them to generate ideas for my books and world. Namely, I am reading books about witchcraft and runes, divination and all that stuff. And witchcraft, or Wicca, is far, far, from what I ever expected it to be. From my understanding of it so far, it's (almost disappointingly) about order and balance and good stuff. Maybe I was naive to think otherwise but that's not what I thought it'd be about. Anyway, it's giving me many ideas on different ways I can go with the magic system in my books, which is really really good because I had absolutely no idea how it would be before. The subject I can't wait to read about though is alchemy and I'll have to wait until tomorrow for those to come in the mail.

I've also got a load of writing books that will be here in a few days, most of them are recommendations from I found one of the books he recommended at the bookstore, it's called The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler. Oh my gosh. I wish I had this book the first time I decided to write a book! It's like the best thing in the world! It explains the different character roles that come up in books and the structure and everything and I can see it all now; next time I write a draft I will actually know what goes in the middle! I can't wait to get my hands on the other books now!

I'm also getting The Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder since I may want to create my own language. His website here gives a lot of information about how to create realistic languages as well, so, if you've ever wanted to create a language go check it out, it's got some very useful information.

Also, you may have noticed the word count chart in the sidebar (from here). Those are my goals for each month! 25,000 words a month, I have no idea if I can do it. Though I'm sure that NaNo will catch me up if I'm behind ;) And yes, I really haven't written a single word this month. I'm still developing everything.

And you might see the blog background and templates and stuff change a bunch until I find something I really like.

So, what books have helped you with your writing and idea generating process?

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Has anyone heard of this place called I found out about it through the blog Writing at High Altitude in her post The Big Questions. Margo, I thank you so very much for mentioning that site in your post because I would have never found it otherwise! And everyone else, if you are a writer of any type and haven't heard of this website you need to click the link to there right now! You will be so grateful that you did!

You see, this website is like a godsend for writers. This website tells you, in no uncertain terms, exactly what the structure of a book needs to be to make it work, what characters need to make them compelling, how to write simple outlines and tons of other things. He even explains how writing a first draft that is not garbage is actually possible. And it all makes near perfect sense!

I haven't actually had time to try out any of these ideas for myself, as I'm still developing the plot and stuff of my story and not quite at the writing stage, but if you go there and read the things he has to say, everything about writing things will make so much more sense!

I know I haven't even scratched the surface of all the information he has to offer on his website because I've only discovered it existed like two days ago, I can't wait to keep reading his stuff! Because now, I will be so much better prepared when it comes to writing my story this time around, and if you go there, you can be too!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Map and a Fantasy Reference

Wow, I'm already writing another post! Hurray :D

Well, I just wanted to show you guys my updated map of my world! It's still not finished, needs some more islands and I have to add the major lakes and rivers but it's about done:

(Click it!)

I also need to think of names for the oceans and the countries but I'm very satisfied with this!

On another note:

For probably a year now I have had this fantasy reference book that I got from an out of town Barnes and Noble, and have skimmed through some of it every now and then but never actually used it.

What a mistake that was.

I haven't thought to look through it again until someone on the WriYe forums brought it up, listing some very useful magic/worldbuilding questions the book asked. So last night I opened this book up again after so many months and found a wealth of fantasy information, including - but not limited to - some commonly used magic rules - as well as uncommon - and the different magics that have been practised in history by different cultures! This has greatly helped me with the problems I've had developing my own magical system. But magic isn't the only thing it talks about. It has a section on traditional fantasy cultures, real world cultures and a ton of other things! If you are a fantasy writer then I highly advice you get this book. It's The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference. You won't be disappointed.

Happy writing!

Some Major Changes

My first post of the year!

Yeah. I have no excuses for not posting for so long. I was just being lazy. So much for the 'Quit procrastinating' thing.

BUT! The good news is that my story, The Chronicles, is slowly coming together, bit by bit. I think that I'll actually begin writing it within a month. Something that sorta bothers me though is that the story is pretty much completely different then what I wrote for NaNo. I mean, don't get me wrong; what I have now is way better than what I had during NaNo. But this will just be another first draft, not a revised or second draft or anything.

The basic idea of the plot I originally used is still there, if you peer really closely. It's been so stretched out of shape that it's almost completely different. New elements are being added, one of which I am so excited to have thought of, and others are being taken away some that I wish didn't have to go.

Like the dragons. I'm still on the fence about it but I'm pretty sure they wont make it into the story. At least not with human or greater sentience. If dragons appear in the story it will most likely be as an animal. This is disappointing for me, because I am attached to the dragon characters I had, Oris in particular, but there's just no need for them, really.

Another race of beings will be taking their place though, and these beings aren't there just to be there, they are actually important to the plot this time around. If only I could figure out what they looked like. . .

And remember the remnants in my first NaNo book (the one named 'Remnants' :p)? I believe I mentioned them in the summary. Well, their numbers have been cut. There used to be nine. Now, this may be a silly reason for cutting down the number but when I realized that was the exact number as the ring wraiths in The Lord of the Rings it just had to be cut down, not entirely because I was thinking of other people noticing but because once I had made the connection that was all I could see. Nine ring wraiths. Crap.

But having to cut the number down has actually worked in my favor! You see I cut it down once, being very disgruntled about having to do so in the first place and so, focused as my mind was on the number I had to cut it down to, a brilliant idea popped into my head. The number was a significant number, very significant. Apparently significant to a certain religion in my book, which I didn't know it was until that moment. But I would have to increase their numbers by one, thankfully it wasn't the number nine. And so, this had given a solid reason for there to be as many as them as there are other than mere coincidence!

And the third most prominent thing that is being changed is that the main character, Siron (name now subject to change), is getting a sibling. This is going to completely change his personality and psychological state from what is was previously, especially when it comes to fighting against the 'evil' people and what not. And no, it's probably not how you're thinking.

Remember that book The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss that I talked about awhile ago? Well I finally ordered it. I had to get it from the internet though because, well, I got the UK edition instead of the US edition. Why? Because I like the cover for the UK edition so much more! That may superficial, and yes, it probably is, but hey, it's really cool looking. And it took me forever to find it in hardcover, seems like they don't print the UK Hardcover edition anymore or something. Can't wait until it gets here, and more importantly to read it!

Hope everyone is doing well, and I'll try not to go so long without posting this time!