Mar 25 2014

End of March Update …

Posted by Mathias

When last I posted, I mentioned the idea of writing a novel on this site, and publishing it, as I go.  I’ve actually been working on this, believe it or not.  I’ve been toying around with the opening chapters for Daughter of Fate, and things are going pretty well.

The rough part, so far, is knowing that as I publish chapters they will be set in stone – good, bad, or indifferent.  I’ve had to think long and hard, not just about the overall plot, but also all the little sub plots that will eventually make up the story.  If I were to decide, say, in Chapter 30 that a character named Jimbob was required and that he needed to be introduced earlier on in the story, but wasn’t, well … that just sucks! (more…)

Dec 09 2012

I Finally Did It, I Downloaded Martin’s Game Of Thrones (A Song Of Fire And Ice Book 1)

Posted by Mathias

A lot of people might find it odd, but I have never read George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 1).

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Nov 29 2012

“Never Give Up” And Other Stupid Advice

Posted by Mathias

“Never give up,” I hear that advice a lot.  It might sound good when you’re a child, or even a naive young adult.  But once you get older, you realize how stupid it sounds.

Think about it.  Really? “Never” give up?  Even when the path you are on is an obvious failure?  Seriously, would you tell the guy running towards the hundred foot cliff, jagged rocks below and all, to “never give up” his dream that he can really fly like a bird just by flapping his arms fast enough?  You really want to be the person standing there shouting, “you can do anything!”?
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Jul 02 2012

A Million Ways To Write A Single Thought – And How To Go CRAZY Over It!

Posted by Mathias

If you are a writer, you have no doubt stared down a sentence or two while trying to wrangle out the perfect way to say what you want to say.  And, no doubt, you have engaged in pitched battle with said sentence, at times feeling like you would loose to it.

Sadly, we authors are a fickle lot.  Most of us strive for what we perceive as perfection rather than just what works.  That’s not always a bad thing, except when good enough is already staring us straight in the face and we just won’t accept it.  Then we spend hours, perhaps even days trying to improve on what is already good.

I recently had this experience while editing my novel, Under the Darkened Moon.  In once scene, the main character, Kyel, is in pitched combat of his own and I just didn’t like this one sentence: (more…)

Jun 03 2012

Nearing The Halfway Point Of Latest Edit

Posted by Mathias

Well, I’m on page 208 of my latest edit for Under the Darkened Moon.  A lot of words got taken out in the first 100 pages, 3,508 in total.  But in the second 100 pages, 1,000 words have been added to help out the story.  I was trying to see if I could drop the word count from 150,000 down to around 140,000.  Doesn’t seem likely at this point, but who knows.  Maybe I can hit 145,000.  I’m not going to force it.  The story is as long as the story is.

After this edit I am planning on having live read sessions and edits.  My wife will read the story exactly as written and I will listen to see how it flows.  We’ll be doing one chapter a night to keep from getting burned out on the reading/editing process.  Once that edit is done, I am going to find six people to read and critique the latest draft before beginning the submission process.

This is now, officially, my 1oth edit of Under the Darkened Moon, my debut writing project which I started on July 18th, of last year.  The live read edit will be my 11th and, hopefully, completed by the end sometime around the 1 year anniversary of my attempt at writing a novel to be published.  Lots of hours put in so far and hopefully it will pay off.  I’ve been keeping track and so far the project has consumed right around 1,550 hours.

Well, back to editing.

May 25 2012

Stuck In A Rut

Posted by Mathias

I am compiling my final bits of feedback on my novel Under the Darkened Moon from my review group. Few negative comments. In fact, no real negative comments at all. Just lots of constructive ones. Of course, I’ve been working with some members of this group for several drafts now and we’ve pushed past the negative things long ago. The polishing draft is coming along and I am on page 211 of that and half way through. Lots of yellow markups which are mostly just me rewording sentences for my own preferences.

People are already asking me when the novel is going to be published so they can see the final product. But I haven’t even sent out the queries yet. And still half the group is asking me for the sequel, assuming that there is going to be one. Sequel? Hell, let me get the first one published!

I’ve been trying to work on a couple other projects, particularly Her Lovely Blood which i have really taken a like to but have not been able to concentrate on that with my polishing of UtDM proceeding. Started work on a fantasy/steam punk mix in The Arrow but after about 5,000 words I realized I need to do some more story plotting on that story before plowing ahead. Even Cry of the Golden Wyvern is not moving forward as I try to work out how to get the story to where it needs to go.

Basically I am in a rut I guess. I’m basically done with my first novel and in that place between polishing and submission. It’s been a year of my life dedicated to it and I know the process is really just getting started. It’s time to get a lot of rejections on the way to publication. It’s not the thought of rejection that is getting me down. Everyone who has read Under the Darkened Moon seems to really enjoy it and has high praise for it. So I am certain that someone, somewhere in the publishing world will like it too. And if not? Well screw them is what I say. I’ll put it on the shelf and write one of the other stories. I feel like a parent getting ready to send my child out into the world is what it is. You know what is going to happen, the struggles that will be forth coming for them and you just have to sit back and let it happen.

Apr 11 2012

Writers Say Change But Most Readers Say Stand Pat

Posted by Mathias

It is funny. Or maybe it is sad. Several people are reviewing my recent draft of Under the Darkened Moon and it is easy to tell who is a writer and who is a reader based on their comments.

Everyone who is a “writer” has a plethora of suggestions. Not all of them are bad suggestions. But a lot of them I consider petty and nothing more than being along the lines of “I wouldn’t do [insert item here] that way”. Is it wrong I ask? Of course they say it is not but stress how they would change said item if it were their story. Ok, so I am basically chalking such things up as style conflicts between myself and them.

Now flip to the group who are “readers” of fantasy novels. Being my target audience I care more about their opinions. Those petty discussion points of not doing something a “certain way” almost never come up. The reader group has actually caught a few minor contradictions in the plot that I had missed but that the authors group completely missed while they were busy trying to make my writing more like their own. And the reviews have been more positive from those that are readers compared to authors. The group of readers of fiction are more apt to suggest not changing anything except the obvious errors.

Moving forward the story’s edits are coming along well. I hate to cut out the “authors” from the editing process but I am seriously finding that their comments are far less helpful than those who consume such stories for pleasure.

Mar 19 2012

Conan – Proof Bad Writing Gets Rewarded

Posted by Mathias

This weekend I rented the remake of Conan to watch because I needed something to do. It was, to be nice, just simply further proof that bad storytelling gets rewarded a lot more than some authors like to think.

The story was, at it’s base, sound, but the way it was told and translated to the screen was horrible. The flow was horrible and haphazard. The characters were shallow. Nothing meshed. It felt as though the movie was just a bunch of random scenes thrown together with some gratuitous nudity tossed in to appeal to sexually deprived teenage boys.

Authors all the time worry about getting what they write picked up and viewed by the masses. They worry they their work is not good enough. And it might not be. But bad stories are put forth, published, turned into movies, etc. all the time. So take heart in knowing that even if your story absolutely blows there are people out there who are silly enough to promote it.

I can only wonder how many great scripts were tossed in the garbage so that the reboot of the Conan storyline could be made and then flop. Authors can take heart in knowing that bad stories get written all the time an promoted. But they also have to shake their heads and wonder if theirs will be scrapped in favor of such garbage as well.

Feb 08 2012

Adapting On The Fly … The Winds Of Change Blow

Posted by Mathias

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I was almost finished with my rough edit of the first draft for Under The Darkened Moon when I stopped. I mean I was literally on the last chapter when I stopped.

Why did I stop? Because I decided to go all the way back to the beginning … and then some. I was not happy with the way the story started in Chapter 1. So I made it Chapter 2 and added a new Chapter 1 taking place eighteen and also fifteen years previously to add some context to the main character. This context and new chapter I believe will enable me to delete some of the text in later chapters which flushes out the backstory of the main POV character and make things flow better from start to finish.

We will see. A lot of cleanup is going to be needed because of this change.

Oct 28 2011

Here’s A Tip: Don’t Throw Anything Away

Posted by Mathias

I have a habit of not wanting to throw things away. Usually every year I have to force myself to get rid of things that are laying around the house and collecting dust.

I have been jotting down a lot of ideas these past few months and doing a lot of free writing. Thankfully, unlike the things around the house that get collected, most of the writing related material is either in a binder or stored digitally. Though mostly digitally. Yes, my digital files are double backed up too so I don’t worry a computer crash and losing them. (more…)