I haven’t posted on here for almost a year, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy.
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I haven’t posted on here for almost a year, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy.
It’s been 18 days since my last post, so I best let everyone know what’s going on.
Why no comic reviews? Two weeks ago, the guy who sends me my comics went on vacation but I didn’t know that. I finally decided to call and ask the store what was going on, and that’s when I found out what was going on there. I was told a mass email was sent out, but I guess I didn’t get it or I deleted it without knowing (I doubt the latter, however.)
How about writing? It’s been over a week since I last wrote anything, and the last time I wrote, I only wrote 488 words, which includes “describe…”, “review…from previous book”, and so on. I’ve mainly done that to get the story going to get me excited, but I haven’t been getting any further. With work leaving me exhausted and unmotivated, and trying to get everything packed up and moved, I just haven’t even tried to write anything down. And on top of it all, one of my small notebooks of ideas went through the wash, so I’ve lost a few things there.
Once I get my comics tomorrow (I’m told I will but I have my doubts since I’ve still not heard from the guy who sends them out), and I’ve successfully moved into my new place, maybe I’ll get back to doing what I’d like to do than what I must do.
Well, as the end of book 2 shows, the adventure continues in book 3, which I have all outlined with the prologue written and most of chapter 1 done. I’m flushing out details for new characters and how readers will be reintroduced to the players, but my biggest obstacle right now is getting motivated to write.
I’ve started a new job which drains my excitement and energy, so it’s hard to come home and write or write before heading into work. I plan to work on that, and I hope it gets easier once I fall into my new routine. As for my days off, I should be able to get even more done, and I’m confident once I get the story going, I’ll have no trouble keeping it up. Only time will tell, and I’ll try to keep everyone posted.
If you haven’t read either of the Cloaks books, head over to the Stories page to find links and excerpts of the book. Feel free to also check out my past short stories (some as short as 300 words) and some fan fiction. Have a great week everybody
Now available on Amazon.com, Cloaks: Book 2: The Reds! I’m still waiting for it to finish processing on Barnes & Noble, and I’ll update this post when it is available. The ebook is available currently for $1.99, and can be read on an ebook reader like the Nook and Kindle, or read through Amazon’s app on a computer, which can be found on their website.
The story in The Reds follows Kylis Lawson as he travels to Tergoha to apologize for his king following the events of book one, The Royals. Our hero witnesses the destruction and torment war has brought to the kingdom, and with a renewed push from the invading Fuerzans from the south, will Kylis be able to deliver his messages and return safely to Rhinia or not?
Production has already begun on book 3, so be sure to visit back here and let me know what you think of this newest release.
Now available online for your enjoyment is an excerpt from Cloaks: Book 2: The Reds, which you can view here! I was going to post the first two chapters like I did with The Royals, but I decided instead to go with this little bit of action instead. I’m over halfway through my final read through with only a few changes here and there, so I’m still on track to have it available soon. Enjoy, everyone!
As I draw closer to releasing Cloaks: Book 2: The Reds, I’ve updated the blurb for not only that book, but also for my first one, Cloaks: Book 1: The Royals. You can check them out at the links above, but I’ve included The Reds’ blurb below. By the end of the week, I’ll also have excerpts from book 2 up to wet anyone’s appetite Have a good Tuesday everyone!
Cloaks, the masters of magic, distinguished by the colors of their cloaks. The Reds, who draw through emotions; the Illusionists, who draw through knowledge; the Directs, who draw straight from magic; the Thasos, who draw through plants and animals; the Healers, who draw through human beings; and the Royals, who rule the kingdoms of Mantau. All cloaks, divided by their philosophies, must work together as a new threat emerges.
Kylis Lawson aided his kingdom of Rhinia in repelling a small invasion force from Fuerza, much to the appreciation of his king, King James Rhine. Now, while King James prepares for an all-out war with Fuerza, he must make amends with his allies whom he alienated before the truth of an assassination attempt on the Fuerzan king could be discovered. As the hero of the Battle of Sherila, Kylis leads two cloaks and his best friend into the neighboring kingdom of Tergoha to make peace with the Red Cloaks Council, the leaders of all Reds in Mantau, and King Xaver, the monarch of the kingdom.
But the trip isn’t at all easy as Kylis prepares for his first true diplomatic mission. He must also avoid an invading Fuerzan army, which has been attacking all of the residents of Tergoha for about two years. Kylis soon discovers more about war than his history lessons could ever teach him, and he learns more about cloaks and their conflicts with each other.
And lurking, where Kylis and his new team least expect it, are hidden dangers, whose existence brings the likelihood of Kylis’s mission’s success in question.
Last week, I made some updates on the ol’ blog to include a countdown. For Cloaks Book 2, I plan to have the first draft done by the end of the month. As of right now, I’ve got just under 72,000 words written, with a few parts to go back to and finish, and four and a half chapters to write. Last week, I thought this was a realistic goal, and it’s still within reach, but I’ve hit some bumps in the road.
I didn’t write Wednesday or Thursday last week due to me not feeling well and just lacking any kind of motivation. But I’ve now made up for those lost words, and I’m back on track once again for writing 2,000 words at least a day. Nothing motivates me more than to read a poor story or see one of my favorite ones take a dark turn. I think to myself after reading these stories, “No, no, no. When I write something like this, I’ll do it right,” and one night, as I lay in bed restless after reading a comic, I got up and wrote 1,000 words in less than half an hour before I grew too tired. Who knew?
As for finishing the story, I’ve got lots still to write, and if I focus and let little distract me, I should make the end of the month deadline. I’m infinitely more excited for this sequel than the first one, but if you want an idea of what to expect this time around, just reread the last half of The Royals, and imagine it turned up to eleven.
Although I didn’t feel too well yesterday, I still managed to get my target number of words written, but unfortunately I didn’t get around to posting anything. However, today was my best day to date, and I hope this trend continues.
As I wrote today, I introduced a new character. I mentioned the characters’ existence in my first book, Cloaks: Book 1: The Royals, and was excited to finally explore his personality. The dialogue and character’s reactions just came to me this morning, and now I’m thinking of ways to work the character into later stories, although I never even considered this character’s existence when I created this universe.
And speaking of that, I’ve heard back from some people who’ve read The Royals, and I’ve learned that a character I included only briefly is fairly popular. I originally had plans to work this character into a later story, but I dismissed it for an important reason. However, I’ve returned to that original idea, and I’ve worked out a way to bring him or her back while still avoiding the reason why I wouldn’t include him/her later (character sex spoiler safe! ).
Just one more day before the weekend, and I’ve already got a great scene to write planned out. Of course, although I plan to not write on the weekends, that’s never stopped me.
No surprise here: outlining helps.
I mentioned yesterday how I outline a whole book before I start writing it. It helps give the entire story focus, and gives me a jumping on point to get started. When I paused to write yesterday’s blog post, I quickly jotted down in a big blob of text what I wanted to get done in the chapter so I would know exactly what I was thinking before taking that break. When I went back to it today, I took the first thought in the paragraph and was well on my way writing, leading me to write the most words in a day I’ve ever written (roughly 4000 for those wondering).
As I worked on the chapter yesterday, I was moving from scene to scene, and I made most of it up as I went since my outline had the equivalent of “they fight” written on it. I would pause to think “how” they did that, and this would slow me down a bit as I brainstormed. But once I know exactly how everything is going to unfold, I don’t lose time thinking of “how” and instead use that time writing. This helped me get through the rest of that chapter shortly after noon today!
Of course, I can see limits to this technique already. The general outline helps me know exactly what I’m working to until the end. But as I write, and this happened frequently when I worked on the first book of Cloaks, I have new ideas come to mind that get worked into the story and ultimately help add content to the book.
I’m not going to write a chapter’s detailed outline until I’m ready to work on that chapter, however. I write my chapters in sequence (with a few exceptions), so I can keep track of what’s going on in my head. If I had written the next chapter’s detailed outline yesterday (when I’d yet to finish the chapter) instead of today (when I had finished), I would have spent more time rewriting the detailed outline today, since a new idea came to me that I wanted to include in the next chapter. That wouldn’t have been very productive for me, and that’s what I’m trying to work on right now.
But I’m writing these detailed outlines so far for more action-driven sequences. This weekend or Monday, I’ll move onto “slower” parts, and I’ll see if these detailed outlines help drive the conversation of characters more naturally, so I can feel more productive when I come back and do my editing.
Even with one book done and online, I’ve still got lots to learn. I’ve become a test animal for myself by setting up these writing experiments and seeing how productive and focus they make me. But after today’s excitement, I’ll need to squeeze in a bit of a break and continue writing book 2 next week with renewed confidence.
Today is a very important day. After a month of writing and a few more editing, Cloaks: Book 1: The Royals is now avaliable as an ebook through Barnes & Noble’s website. You can find my book here for download at the price of $4.99. Feel free to check out the blurb and excerpts here. The book can be read on any Nook device or any device with a Nook app; a download to read it on your desktop or laptop can also be found here. Let me know what you think by leaving a review, but above all, enjoy the story!