NaNoWriMo 2016 – And the Gates Open

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You guys, I’m doing it. This is the year I *officially* take the plunge. I made an account, I’ve started writing, and I’m gonna win this thing.

It’s National Novel Writing Month, and I’m taking a break from drafting On the Strings of Oblivion (the sequel to All Flames Cast) to write a new story.

And the Gates Open is the result of some brainstorming I’ve done over the past two months, and the natural extension of a novella idea I came up with. Featuring two main characters, And the Gates Open is about a city under siege by an overwhelming enemy, and the two leaders who consider it their duty to keep the people safe during this time—at odds with each other. Mezra is the high priestess, concerned with the despair that plagues the city-state of Vael and fighting to keep her faith alive in the face of a conquering foreign religion. Vatan is the naturalized former mercenary who finds himself in charge of the garrison at the most important point of Vael’s defenses. Neither likes the other; each has different goals.

And meanwhile, one hundred thousand enemies camp outside the walls, under gathering stormclouds…

Mini State of Writing: Bitten by the Bug

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I sat down and worked on On the Strings of Oblivion last night. I’m still trying to let that settle in. It’s been over a month since I last did anything at all with it. My writing muscles feel weak and out of place. Creative gears are rusty and don’t like turning. Being bitten by the writing bug tends to leave me sore.

And it feels great. Continue reading

Mini State of Writing: Of Genesis Edition

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Big things have been afoot in the Chronicle of the Sons plan, lately.

As I mentioned in various earlier State of Writing posts, the plan for CotS has been for four books, with Of Genesis coming second and going over the same timeline as All Flames Cast, but from the POVs of some of the antagonists. As I set out to outline this, things started pretty smoothly. I got through an almost complete checkpoint list, and wrote a couple of character sketch scenes to help get a feel for the new POVs.

And that’s where I hit a wall. With one notable exception (we’ll revisit this in a bit), none of the characters excited me. I didn’t want to write them. Their stories didn’t feel right. On top of that, I realized that doing this as a second book would completely derail the narrative momentum built up at the end of AFC. Continue reading

Cup of Dcaf: Music That’s Impacted My Writing

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I know for a fact that I’m far from unique among writers as a big music fan. Almost every writer I know has some sort of writing playlist; many have the same habit I do of making a new playlist to fit the tones of new books or stories.

But just because I’m not unique doesn’t mean that music isn’t worth talking about in the context of writing. It’s indispensable for me. I simply cannot sit down and be productive on a manuscript without music.

On top of that, I get a lot of inspiration just listening to music. Often, it will be the tone of a song that gets me; others, it’s a line that I particularly enjoy or a really cool song title. In this vein, I thought I’d talk about some of the songs and the stories (that you can read right here on Dcafwriting!) that they inspired.

Continue reading

Cup of Dcaf: Why I Write

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With November being National Novel Writing Month, I’ve seen a proliferation of posts about writing habits, motivations, help and tips, and, most of all, identity as a writer. NaNo is a big deal in the writing world, especially the amateur section of it (let’s be honest here: the pros were already writing during November). NaNo is the time for people who “always wanted to write a book” to find the motivation and acceptance in the community and sit down at a keyboard or put pen to paper. There’s a general air of beginnings with NaNoWriMo.

For me, though, NaNo is something I’ve struggled with. It feels very much like it’s targeting a different demographic of writer than I fall into. NaNo, for all of its freedoms and encouragement and message, feels very restricting to me. I plan things out way in advance, and even when I don’t or can’t stick to those ambitions, I still have an order of things. NaNo seems like a wrench in the gears when it comes to that.

Because of all this, I’ve been giving a fair amount of thought to my situation and identity as a writer. Continue reading

Drew’s State of Writing – October 2015

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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