If this is the first time you’re putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, in an effort to produce a poem, short story, novel, or even some other form of art, know that you’re going to doubt yourself. You’re going to struggle to “get it right”. You’re going to feel like a fish out of water. And you’re going to want to quit. Each of those things is a signpost on the road to success, because each is one of the four common attributes of successful writers.
The release of Necromancer Awakening: Book One of The Mukhtaar Chronicles is right around the corner. To celebrate, and to give you all a taste for what you’re in for, I’ve decided to release the first chapter right here on the blog. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And don’t forget, if you want to read the rest of the story, Necromancer Awakening will be released on Friday, April 11 on the Kindle store, followed shortly thereafter in other formats. Read on past the jump for Chapter 1. [UPDATE 5/10/2014] A month after release, Necromancer Awakening remains on 5 Amazon bestseller lists! Read on to see what all the fuss is about. …
I know what you’re doing. You’re sitting there staring at your laptop screen. Your’re probably making this face: And you’re getting nowhere. If this is you, keep reading. There are three things you can do right now to fix your manuscript problems.
Mel Massey, author of Earth’s Magick, (published by Solstice Publishing just this week!) had a difficult journey from idea to published manuscript, and she suffered from many of the same fears and failures we all do. Mel was kind enough to accept my invitation to write “Wicked Words”, a guest article for A Writer’s Journey, and what a wonderful story and lesson she’s shared with us. Enough of me…I’ll let Mel tell her story in her own words.
As a Fantasy author, the subject of World Building is near and dear to my heart. If you’re going to build a convincing fantasy world, you may be thinking about developing a magic system. In Necromancer Awakening (now available on Amazon), I went through a painstaking process to build a unique magic system involving “Life” and “Death”. While I was constructing a magic system based on necromancy, it occurred to me (in hindsight) that there are three things a writer should know before attempting this at home:
The journey from world building to prose is a long and twisted one. We know what a specific plaza in a specific city looks like. We have all of the elements: weather, sound, objects, people, etc. But unless we put them together in some kind of rational order and present them in a logical sequence, all we have are pieces of a jigsaw puzzle scattered on a table. We need to employ structured descriptions to allow the puzzle pieces to fall into place.
One of the best directors of the twentieth century, perhaps all time, had this to say: Alfred Hitchcock was accused of many things in his day, but being “dull” was never one of them. The little dull bits known as “stage directions” that are cluttering your work are driving readers away. Let’s see how to avoid them.
Small distractions that pull you away from writing for short periods of time may improve your productivity. I know. It’s counter intuitive. But it’s also true. Let’s see why.
Your word choice may be killing your story in ways you haven’t realized. We’re always told to provide specific, concrete descriptions to guide the reader along in the fictive dream. But sometimes we overdo it. Read on for some examples of what I’m talking about.
I answer many questions on Twitter and Facebook on all aspects of writing. The most common question lately is “Should I use profanity in my writing?” The answer is simple: It depends. The question itself, however, is telling.