Chapter 7 of Stormrider Completely Revised, Revisted and Renovated

Although chapter 7 of Stormrider already existed, it was a hold-over from an earlier form, when the book was called Eomund. After taking a new approch, part of which involved writing more chronologically (rather than the random disjointed scenes), I found myself and the story at an impasse with the previous occupant of chapter 7; “Goblins Enter the Land”.

I knew this was coming, and I dreaded it. Not so much for the fact that I would be completely removing the existing text. After all, that chapter wasn’t well received by readers and I didn’t really care for it myself. No, the problem was I had the new version in my head for some time and just didn’t know how to get it down on paper.

Even know, after forcing myself to type out the blasted thing, this draft feels clunky and disjointed. But I knew at some point it had to be written (there would be no story progress without it). There was no jumping past it. There was no ignoring it. So I wrote it.

I’m not terribly happy with it, but what I am happy with is the fact that it’s out there in the world. It had had more than enough time making its rounds in my brain. It was no longer doing either it or myself one bit of good up there.

Sometimes you just have to clear the clutter to make room for more (kind of like on Horders). So, write; clear the cobwebs, because something (hopefully more exciting) will take it’s place.

If you want to see what this looks like in action, have a look below.

Stormrider – Chapter 7: Fairhold

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Six Ways To Come Up With Good Chapter Titles

So, I’ve been getting a lot of writing done lately. Churned out two more Stormrider chapters in two weeks, and am nearly done with a third. Today, I was thinking of chapter titles. I’m generally lazy about making them, resembling brief description rather than witty title. I feel they should be given more than just a passing descriptor. PekoeBlaze has some really good suggestions for coming up with fun and relevant chapter titles. If you’re like me, you’ll find this post extremely helpful.

PekoeBlaze - the official blog

2013 Artwork Chapter Titles Sketch

Well, since I seem to be writing an episodic novel/novella at the moment (it’s called “Liminal Rites”and it can be found here – it’s also updated every night at 22:30 GMT) – I thought that I’d write an article about coming up with good chapter titles. The art of writing chapter titles seems to be going into decline slightly these days and many novels (or at least the ones I’ve read) just have chapter numbers and nothing else. Still, I feel that well-written chapter titles can really add a lot to a story for several reasons.

Firstly, it provides your readers an overview of the story as a whole. Secondly, there are a lot of fun things you can do with chapter titles (more on that later). Thirdly, it will help you – as a writer- to geek out about your story and, finally, it can make your readers more…

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Latest Chapter of Stormrider Now Up!

Like the title says, the latest chapter of Stormrider is up and ready for viewing (on Wattpad)!

Go on, have a look.

Stormrider – Westward Borne

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Island Girls: A Novel

Ashley’s first book review is up! Very exciting!

Wall to Wall Books

Rating:  2 out of 5 stars

You should read this book if:

  • You enjoy unrealistically happy endings;
  • You’re looking for a quick read while you’re lying on a beach that won’t require much thought (other than questioning why you didn’t think to bring a picnic of cheese and wine); and
  • You’re a middle-aged woman with a sister or two of your own.

Sadly, I like complex endings; I was not on a beach while reading this book; and I’m an only child in my twenties, so I didn’t enjoy this book very much.  The plot itself was quite forced (literally).  Due to a stipulation in their father’s will, formerly estranged sisters Meg, Arden and Jenny must live together for an entire summer in their father’s pricey Nantucket house if they wish to receive any portion of the proceeds from the sale of the house.  All three women are miraculously…

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I Want to Be Heard

Being a writer working on a fantasy novel, I often think how nice it would be to have a quality narrator read my story aloud.

Obviously, no one of a professional grade is going to sit down and record narration for chapters on my unfinished book. But I’m impatient, darn it!

So, in this age of technological wonders, I turned to text-to-speech software. When I initially tried text-to-speech software years ago, I was left somewhat unimpressed by the more accessible (i. e. cheaper) options. I did like a couple of the more expensive software suites, but after the trial period was over I was left out in the cold.

Fortunately, text-to-speech software has come a long way in the past ten years or so, and even the standard installations that come with most computers now are pretty descent.

One piece of software I’ve come across recently is actually an iPhone app. Called NaturalReader it’s a rather powerful little app with quite a selection of voices from which to choose.

While I do have a couple of issues with the app (namely that you have to be online to use it, and the fact that you cannot directly save the audio to a file) it’s still my go-to app for listening to my stories.

I find using the app is good for proofing as well as making revisions. Often times, a sentence might look fine on paper, but sound awkward aloud. This gives me the chance to further refine the text in a way I might not otherwise.

I’m now seriously considering posting new chapters in audio form to YouTube concurent with their release on Wattpad. I am going to go ahead and post a chapter or two and see how things go. Maybe this will be another way to garner more attention to my stories.

The first chapter of Stormrider can be heard HERE. I went with the first chapter instead of the Prologue because it’s generally more digestible for most people.

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Dusting Off the Cobwebs

Having resurrected this blog, I felt it was also incumbent upon me to do some revamping to the content of this space.  Originally, I think I was going to devote this space to my prop replica hobby.

But being short on funds and time, there was no way to do that consistently   So, I fell back to Plan A and my original passion of writing fiction–peppered with bits of everyday wit and whatnot.

In addition to this space being my blog, I’d like for it to be a hub for my web-presence.  Look at it as a landing page of sorts, or an airport terminal with connecting flights to Works of Fiction, Illustrations, Videos and more.

Thus, you might notice some new pages added as well as old ones gone.  So, have a look around, and pardon our dust.

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Wall to Wall Books

After discussing with my fiancee, Ashley, my recent post on building a web presence in the event of publication (provided I ever finish a whole book), she decided to finally take the plunge and start a blog of her own.

Now, you have to understand, Ashley’s not the Internet junkie that I am.  She’s more of the curl up with a good book type.  Fortunately, she plans to use this to her advantage.  You see, her blog will consist almost entirely of book reviews.

You should expect to see reviews quite regularly, because this girl can go through a book in no time flat.  She plans to read her first book, Island Girls: A Novel over the next week and then publish her review.

Expect to see that soon.  In the mean time, it wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and send a follow her way so you’ll know when the first review drops.

Wall to Wall Books

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The Ridderwold is Ablaze!

That statement probably doesn’t mean anything to you, unless you you’ve been keeping up with my book on Wattpad.

Even then, you probably don’t while away your day concern with the condition of a fictional land from an unfinished book (like I do).

Anyway, just wanted let everyone know that the latest chapter of Stormrider is up.  It involves a fire, in case you couldn’t tell.

Stormrider – A Fateful Wind

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I’d Like to Buy a Vowel, Please.

Constructing a secondary world and writing fantasy novels generally requiers one to construct a language in addition to the usual things of places, customs and the like.

I enjoy language in general.  I think being a writer, one should probably have at least a passing affinity for language.  Generally, I tend toward the languages of western Europe and Great Britain.

Having studied several real world languages, I feel fairly confident in constructing a language or two of my own.  That being said, language construction is time consuming to the point that the actual process of writing takes a back seat.

I’m not Tolkien. I have neither his aptitude for language, nor the desire to contruct my world around my languages.  For me, my conlangs (slang for constructed languages), are just one aspect of my world and a means to an end.

That being said, anything that will expedite the construction process is a welcome tool.  One of the most useful of tools I’ve found is the Language Construction Kit at zompist.com.

For a long time I’ve used the advice of the website to aid the construction of my languages, but recently I’ve begun to use a couple of actual tools via Java programs made by the site’s owner, Mark Rosenfelder.

The first tool I’ve found is the Language Generator.  For a long while I’ve had an idea for a language in my mind, but had been unable get it down on paper.  Thanks to the language generator I’ve gotten quite a bit closer.

After applying a few rules and playing around with the consonant and vowel structures, I finally came up with something resembling what I’ve had in mind this whole time.  Even if you do not plan, or need, to construct a language I recommend checking it out as it’s just fun to play around with the various possibilities.

Gol am annadh odhath dhel!

How exciting.

The second tool is basically an automation of something I’ve been doing manually.  The Sound Change Applier.  Basically, it takes a lexicon and applies rules provided by the user to construction a descendant language.

Basically, it’s a synthetic version of the Great Vowel Shift.  That’s how I’ve been going about constructing Menskr, a languages in my Stormrider novel.

It’s times like this that I’m glad to be living in the internet age.  It certainly gives me a deeper appreciation of what Tolkien did all by hand years ago.

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What Does Your Dishwasher Say About You?

No, your dishwasher hasn’t been talking about you behind your back; tattling about how many helpings of meatloaf you had last night. I promise.

Whispers to dishwasher, “It’ll be our little secret.”

But serious. No really.

This weekend I was fortunate enough to have some guests over. These well intentioned guests are the type who insist on helping by doing chores while visiting. Ultimately, I do not like that as, being a control freak, I have a certain way of doing things, which I do not like hindered. But, they are guests and I let them help because that’s what they wanted.

Now, I won’t name any names or throw anyone under the bus here in the event said guest winds up reading this blog. (If you do, I’m sorry Cindy.)

Anyway, said guest left me a dishwasher full of dishes, which I had until today neglected to wash (read: flip a switch). Naturally, I examined the contents of the washer before initiating any cycle. What I found was not some horribly encrusted food stuff. No, rather, the sight which met my eyes looked something more akin to a scene from the Iliad. I love the Iliad, but not when portrayed by my dishes.

Dishes strewn about in chaotic display.

Then it hit me. What does your dishwasher say about you? Specifically, the way you load it.

The slain upon the field of battle.

Then it hit me. I must be really disparate for blog material.

Having let that line of thought run through my mind, I proceeded to set things in order, to right wrongs long wrought (thumbs up for iambic pentameter).

Ah, order restored.

So, what does my dishwasher say about me? Probably, that I am indeed a control freak; that I’m super anal (retentive).

So, what’s my point? Hmm, not sure I have one. This blog post sounded a lot better in my head. I guess the point is I’m really picky about how my dishwasher is loaded. Don’t touch!

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