Imagination of the Past

So, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? You hardly hear from me anymore. I thought it was about time you read something that wasn’t an update for my novel or a review, something fun, something witty.

I wish you could all help me because I’m clueless when it comes to that sort of thing.

How about… imagination?

When I was a child, my imagination was intense. Everyone I saw a plane in the sky, I would close my eyes, fly up there and have a look at every single passenger before coming back down. It was vivid enough for me to believe what I saw was actually real.

Remember those days where commercial television would show (I mean, they probably still do but I just don’t watch it anymore) marathons of old tv shows? Well, the Simpsons were on one weekend and I spent the whole day watching it (I was still a child) and by the end of it, I imagined everyone, including myself, to be yellow. I saw it that way for a few hours.

It was incredible, powerful, exciting. That kind of thing drove me to want to write in the first place. To take notes of my imagination, in a way. My imagination intoxicated my body and mind and I continuously thought up new things to try, new games to play, new things to imagine. I even wrote a story in primary school about two fictional greek warriors battling to the death in the middle of a war.

If you combine the love I have for my imagination with my love of history and war along with my love for magic and fiction, then you can understand why I write.

Well in the end the blog post wasn’t witty and it wasn’t fun. It was me though, it was something different and without that, it would be just another blog.

Imagination of the Past

Stealer of Flesh – Review

I rate this novel, Three of Five stars!

Stealer of flesh is another free ebook that I gained by being a part of Book Barbarian, a great newsletter for discounted fantasy and science fiction novels. It sends out a newsletter everyday with a new bunch of discounted books, some being free! But enough about that, here’s the review.

This is the story of Kormac, a slayer of evil, a man of strength and conviction. The story is something I enjoyed, but the way it is told didn’t particularly appeal to me. What did appeal to me was the darkness of the story, great dialogue between characters, interesting plots, fantastic creatures and enough suspense to keep me reading forward. Now, for the parts that didn’t particularly appeal to me. If you don’t want to read complaints and my little annoyances I had with the story, then don’t read on.

Almost right off the bat, I noticed punctuation errors, which would usually cause me to put the book down. But for some reason I continued on, part of me is thankful and the other part thinks it should have been put down.

Another thing I noticed was a large amount of info dumping the author slid into the book as soon as he could.There were times where characters sounded like history professors rather than who they were and descriptions that would lead to a paragraph or two of history.

There was often a lot of “telling, not showing” going on and it sometimes dragged it down. So many “there was’s” “he had seen’s” and “had been’s” spanning the pages and it became quite tedious to read at certain times.

Just a short break from all this to complain about a few pieces that got me wanting to stop reading:
At one point, early in the novel, Kormac says that the man he’s after has one day ahead of him. Afterward, he leaves and follows tracks through the snow. Tracks in the snow, after a full day there are still tracks… seems as though the writer got lazy there.
Too many times was something explained, ” His hand went to the hilt of his sword. If Razhak was present he would need to defend himself.” Of course, why else would someone go for their sword; to put out a fire? To chop some wood? I don’t think so.
Then, a little later, “…men stood stone faced as sentries, their faces like stone…” a little too redundant for my liking.

The main thing I want to say is that it could have been done better. Information could have been added more slowly so the plot advanced faster when it needed it, tense remaining consistent throughout the story (that one really got me a few times…), less vague descriptions, better/proper use of grammar and punctuation, randomly added words in dialogue and narrative (such as a, as, of, them, etc.) and words swapped out for others (there are quite a few of those. Like using ‘clearing’ instead of ‘clearly’ and other such things. Who would say that a werewolf has talons? Not me at least, claws are definitely what they have).

Often times while reading this book I wondered whether the book was professionally edited or not. If not, the author probably should have, If so, the author should hire a better editor.

I apologize for my condescending review, I quite liked the concept of the story told. I just think the delivery was poor. The saving grace was the concept of the story and the fluidity of the action scenes, if not for them I may not have been able to finish the book at all.

One last thing to add, when I finished the novel, I realized that the author’s first language is not English. Knowing that now, I think the story deserves more than what I put it out as in the previous paragraphs. A better editor of the translated work is definitely in order, but once that happens, for either this book or others in his future career, I think his books will become even better. I feel compelled to read the next books in the series one day in the future and will probably do so one day.

Stealer of Flesh – Review

Shadows of Imeria – March 2017 Update

I am close. So close to being able to edit the first draft.

I finished the editing document and have the most important character profiles finished. Now I have to flesh out more of the world’s history and I can finally get started on the second draft. Moving, lack of a comfortable workspace, appointments and many other things have thrown my schedule off track a little but soon I’ll work harder than ever to catch up.

I have cut a character out of the story completely, now he was never even born. I do feel guilt and sadness as I really liked the character, but when it comes to writing, a lot of sacrifices have to be made. In the scenes where that character once was, the best friend/sidekick will be there instead. It’ll allow further growth and development between the two, save me from having to kill the character I cut out and it will make the story flow better.

Shadows of Imeria – March 2017 Update

Shadows Of Imeria – Progress February 2017

I remember, last month I said I would not be able to get much done during the next month (this current month). But that wasn’t the case. I have edited, written and made progress with ten different character profiles. After which, each one has turned into their own person and slowly started to change and grow.

With that, I am almost half-way through finishing the character profiles for Shadows of Imeria. There are another 15 to go after that. Some of the things I learned about my characters even shocked me. For instance, a character I saw as a grumpy man turns out to actually be someone who is soft-hearted and adopted two children that he cherishes. But due to his past, he doesn’t let his emotions show.

I have also created and am still working on a document to help with the editing stage with my projects. It has currently reached 44 pages and is almost 30,000 words. It is quite an extensive document that touches on Setting, Hooks, Emotion, Senses, Character Development, Plot, Subtext, Tension, Scene Intentions, Scene Types, Points of View, and Secondary and Minor Characters. When I start editing, it will be an invaluable document.

Shadows Of Imeria – Progress February 2017

The Truth Behind Books

When someone holds a book in their hands, do they understand that it is someone’s heart and soul they are holding? That a writer bled their heart into the world within that book for a year, five years, ten years, or even their whole life?

As writers, we fill the books we write with our own emotions, memories, knowledge, friends, family and more. The worlds come from a mixture of imagination, knowledge and past experiences. When reading a book, you’re quite literally reading someone else’s imagination. That’s quite a personal thing to do when you think about it.

Sometimes, the editing process of the novel can take some of the soul of the writer out of the books but some will always remain. You can usually see the limits of their imagination, how knowledgeable they are, the pain or joy they have felt at some point in their life, and many other things. When I read a novel, I try to take in the world and the essence of the person or persons that wrote it.

As a reader, can you make better sense of the writer through his words? Or do you just see the world that you’re reading?

The Truth Behind Books

The Big Move

I finalized my move from my hometown in Tasmania, to a new city in Victoria. During which, I wasn’t able to get much writing done or make much progress. I wasn’t able to read any more books this week or do anything at all really.

Sometimes life knocks us over for a little while, but I’m back up and I’m working hard again now. I’ll see you all next week.

The Big Move

Writing Active Setting Books 1, 2, and 3 and Writing Active Hooks 1 and 2 – Review

I rate these novels, Three of Five stars!

Considering each book is fairly short and I rate each of them the same, I decided to add all five novels to one review. It was hard to really review these novels after going over Jordan Rosenfeld’s, Make a Scene. I thought, since that novel had pretty much everything, that nothing would compare and happily, I was only half right. Mary Buckham wrote three great books that gave me a lot to think about.

Active Setting Part

Books 1-3: Mary Buckham writes three lovely novels on Writing Active Setting.

The first book consists of Characterization and Sensory Detail by using Active Settings. The novel stretches across a few topics within its pages, it touches on anchoring the reader, using subtext in setting, pacing, revealing character through setting, POV, and Sensory details. I already knew most of what I needed to with these aspects of writing, but I did take a mental note of adding emotion to setting details.

The second book consists of Conflict, Emotion, and Backstory. With emotion, she shows how using concrete descriptions, foreshadowing and reinforcement can aid in showing emotion through setting. With conflict and backstory, she also shows you multiple ways of implementing it within the setting.

The third book follows the same structure as the two before it and consists of Anchoring, Action Sequences, Setting as a Character and other Setting Details. One thing I realized is that many times in my writing, I tend to forget about anchoring the reader in each scene. The third book allowed me to think over this and apply it to my editing process.

Each of these books throws “assignments” at you so you can practice the techniques shown and get used to the ways in which they can be used. So not only do these books tell you how to do things, it helps those learn by DOING rather than SEEING. Although each of these novels did not have much I could take from them, they still helped me rethink a couple of things about writing.

Active Hooks Part

Book 1-2: Mary Buckham works on helping us further understand writing with these next two books. This time, she works on helping us hook our readers with certain scenes and techniques.

The first book of the two discusses the kinds of hooks you can use in your writing and each type of hook shown comes with those gold old “assignments” from Mary again. The kinds of hooks she discusses are Action/Danger hooks, Empowering Emotion hooks, Surprising Situation hooks, Totally Unexpected hooks and Raising A Question hooks. In the end of the first book, you learn the “correct” way to creating and using multiple hooks.

The second book starts off the same as the last, giving you a couple more hooks to learn about and then close to half way, we get to the part you would be waiting for, how and where to place your hooks. Mary goes into a lot of detail with this and now, after learning everything from the other two books, you can finally make use of all the knowledge you’ve learned. She talks about placement in the opening paragraph, in prologues, opening a chapter with a hook, ending a chapter with a hook, opening and ending scenes with a hook and ending the book with a hook.

One thing I often forget to think about is, “Have I hooked my reader? Are they going to keep reading?”. The two books on writing hooks really helped me understand what could help hook a reader into your story.

All in all, Mary’s novels did help me and I am thankful to her for that. But they didn’t give me anywhere near as much help as I was seeking.

Writing Active Setting Books 1, 2, and 3 and Writing Active Hooks 1 and 2 – Review