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: 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

Cup of Dcaf: Getting Close to Your Characters

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“Write what you know”, right? It’s one of the most common writing tips, something that writers of all ages have no doubt heard many times. It’s pretty sound advice on the surface. After all, it’s tough to write about, say, a location in Italy if you’ve never been there or studied it. Trying to do something along those lines is begging for the writing to feel flat.

On the other hand, we need to write about things we don’t know—namely, characters. I’ve found that it’s very common for inexperienced (often young) writers to write characters who are very similar to them. It’s easy to do, because you know yourself better than you know anyone else. But that doesn’t make for very interesting stories. Things will get very stale, very quickly when all of your protagonists are the same person.

So the question remains: how do you write a variety of characters? Continue reading

Introducing the Book of the Week!

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Let’s be honest now. If you’re here, it’s probably because you read a lot. You enjoy getting to sit back and relax, turning pages as you immerse yourself in the world of literature (or swipe on an e-reader, if you’re a terrible person). You likely go out of your way to find time to get a chapter in here and there, even if you’re really too busy to set aside lots of reading time.

You are probably constantly on the lookout for new books to fall in love with. Continue reading

Cup of Dcaf: Writing a Second-World Fantasy Series

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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

Drew’s State of Writing – April 2015

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It’s that time again. Six months ago, I posted about Drew’s State of Writing, and talked a lot about the new things with Dcaf Copy, All Flames Cast, and updated writing schedules. Of course, for those who have been following along, you know that that schedule ended up being wildly optimistic.

As things stand right now, I’m closing in on the end of All Flames Cast. Harael’s chapters were finished in January; Eritan’s are nearly done right now, though I may need to add in another one, depending on how the timeline ends up working out with Tymun’s chapters. I’m still working on reconciling events across character arcs. Tymun has a start already, but will be getting the majority of work during the last half of April. It’s my goal to finish the first draft of this book by the end of April/early May, and get it through alpha reads by this summer so I can start revising. Continue reading