Drew’s State of Writing – October 2015


It’s once again time for my semi-annual State of Writing Update. This serves the dual purpose of letting all of you wonderful readers know what I’m getting up to when I’m, say, slacking on my WoT reread posts or forgetting to do Books of the Week, as well as providing myself with a touchstone to get my agenda in order.

If you’ve followed these in the past, you’ll notice a theme: I generally go way, way off my intended schedule. Sadly, that’s sort of the reality of being a writer who also works a full-time job. Sometimes life gets in the way, and sometimes new things pop up and demand me to write them.

This update, thankfully, doesn’t feature too much of that. Continue reading

Top 5 Siege Battles in Epic Fantasy


I found myself, the other day, mulling over some of my favorite battle scenes (and sequences) in fantasy, and realized something: a lot of them seem to be sieges. This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy a good battlefield chapter, or that fast-paced wars don’t excite me (they do; there’s one in All Flames Cast). There are some great ones out there, from Dumai’s Wells and the Seanchan campaigns in Altara in The Wheel of Time, to the Nírnaeth Arnoediad in The Silmarillion, to the Department of Mysteries in Order of the Phoenix, and on and on.

But today, I want to talk about my five favorite siege battles (and a couple of honorable mentions).

5) The Shattered Plains in Way of Kings and Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Am I cheating right off the bat? Maybe a little bit, but the warcamps and fighting over gemhearts and all that is definitely a type of siege. In fact, it’s precisely because this isn’t a conventional siege that it made this list. Continue reading

Cup of Dcaf: Writing a Second-World Fantasy Series


The fantasy genre is famous for long series, and many of the highest-profile authors have received their share of criticism for how long the series went. Whether it was Robert Jordan when The Wheel of Time bogged down in the late middle of the series, or George R. R. Martin for the Meereenese Knot, or whoever the author du jour happens to be, the fact is that lots of fantasy series slow down at points. Why this happens is a subject of debate, where many people accuse authors of moneygrubbing and others think the writers just wrote themselves into corners, there is a certain solidarity that I have discovered as I move into writing more seriously.

When you create a world, and put hours and hours and days and days into building it, fleshing it out, making it rich, you become proud of it. Continue reading

All Flames Cast – Eritan I


And here, for all to read, is chapter three.

The hallway stretching before Eritan of Near Jinda, Anointed Protector of the Flame, Emperor of Letaal, was a spray of color. Very few men knew that it existed, or rather, knew that it was anything like it truly was. The colors of nearly every flame known to Pirinism were present, in one way or another. The floor tiles twisted in a pattern of blue and white, befitting the hottest part of any flame; reds and yellows and oranges adorned every tapestry and every cornice. There was no black, which would have stunned any commoner.

Eritan smiled to himself, grim, and held that thought. No black. Not even those blasted black-robed priests were allowed in these hallowed halls. Only those he invited personally could tread upon these floors. And the Dragon Guard, of course, but he hardly noticed those stalwarts anymore. Two strode behind him, as usual, but he did not need to look at them to know how they would look. Stoic, to a man, the Dragon Guard held his life close and would die on a whim. They were the best in the Empire.

Continue reading