Monday, May 21, 2012

Another Boring Update

            So, this is yet another boring, snooze fest update.  This time I actually managed to get a little work done on both my anthology books and my novel.  I actually have two novels going, but one is a trilogy and I'm a long way from being done with that.  My  anthology book currently out, which is called boc: A collection of Short Stories, is about to get an undated version released.  Not only have some of the stories been revised, but the title will also be changed and maybe even the cover art, though only slightly.  I will release the updated title for my anthology series once I have the second volume done, which should not take long, I will start the final read on it tonight.

           The rough draft of novel is nearly finished, I have completed the outline for the next chapter and I don't expect for there to be any more than one or two chapters after this.   I actually intended to get it done this month, but that won't happen.  I only write on this thing when I'm at work on my lunch break, so you can imagine how long it would take to get it done.  I am currently handwriting it, then I will bring it home and start typing and revising it.   I'm looking forward to seeing this thing completed.  It's a little different what I usually write, but it still has a science fiction element to it, but it is more a backdrop, rather than the focus.

            I'm debating which project to start once my next anthology book is out.  I have two ideas for novels, one would be a four book fantasy series, the other a science fiction book, that I've, been already done some work on.  I'm going to talk to some people I know and see what I can get done on the artwork side for it.  If it works out in my favor, then I will begin on the SF book in earnest, once the revision process starts on my current novel.  If not, then I will probably start the four book series.
           I know I keep promising to launch a new addition to my blog, I have not forgotten, just as before, time is always against me.  I hope to have it ready in the next three weeks.  I have all I need ready to go, except for some of the content I need and some of the artwork for the site, but it's coming along. 

            When my anthology book is ready I promise everyone will know.  I will drive the web nuts plastering it all over the place! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Little Experiment

             Recently I have been thinking about how most stories are ended.  No matter what the format, be they video games, TV shows, movies, or books they all seem to ultimately end with a happy ending.  Even those stories, or individual books or shows, which are part of a series may end with neutral or unhappy endings, the overall story arc ends with a happy ending.  Even in my own work I am guilty of this.

            Now I'm not saying there is something wrong with good triumphing over evil, or for the lost loves to finally find true happiness(other than being boring and predictable).  I'm just wondering why more endings are, let's say not unhappy, but interesting?  Why is it that we feel the need to have a happy ending in all our stories?

            Having said that I am going to conduct an experiment.  I'm am currently working on an idea in which the ending could only be described as evil or at best disturbing.  No one will find their lost loves, good will not triumph and no one will ride off into the sunset(unless they have a bag  of severed heads slung over their shoulder).  The problem I am encountering is that no matter what I write I put some degree of a happy or neutral resolution in my story.  I am trying to get as far as I can from that.

            Now, I am not some miserable person, or someone who cheers for the criminals I see on TV, quite the opposite.  I am developing this idea simply because I want to see if I can.  I have several concepts in mind, one in particular, I really like.  When I get this story done I will post it for all to see.  I want to know If I succeeded in my quest, and I will need all of you to tell me if I did.

            Let me make one thing clear, I am not talking about a story in which the bad guys merely wins, or the protagonist does not achieve all his/her goals, or something like that, I am talking about an ending that will make the reader sit up and take notice.  I have read and seen many things where the ending could be termed unhappy, but there are still parts of the ending that are neutral or even happy.  I suppose as not to make it too depressing.  I have also read endings that made my toes curl.  Well, depressing, shocking and evil are exactly what I'm going for!

            To be honest it is very easy to come up with an unhappy ending, the trick will be to be to take that to the next level.  To take the conclusion to a place that freaks us out, both as readers, but also as writers.  I know there are writers out there that are good at such things, but I am not.  I am treating this not only like an experiment, but also a challenge to myself as a writer, to take my work to places I have taken it before(albeit dark places).

             I'll see you at the therapists office!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A New Addition

So I had been wanting to do several reviews on several different things for a while.  Movies, TV shows and of course books.  The problem, besides time, was I did not want to fill my author blog up with reviews.  After all, it was supposed to be primarily about my work, not everyone else's.  So, I decided to simply start a whole new feature separate from my author blog.  A Scribe's Reviews will contain all my reviews.  That is not to say they won't appear here also, but only book reviews will appear here.  All others, along with my book reviews, will appear on my new site.  Just click the tab above and you're in business. 

This is only the first feature I'm going to introduce.  I have more coming.  The site URL is easy to remember huh?  I hope you enjoy it!  I will have all sorts of new reviews going up soon, just remember only book reviews will appear on my author blog, the rest will appear on A Scribe's Reviews

A Scribe's Review: Dragonlance Chronicles

I'm going to review a set of three books that are responsible for setting me on the road to being a fantasy geek, The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.  I read these books as a teenager, and since then I have read them so often that I consider myself an expert on them.  These is my own personal thoughts on a trilogy that I still love and read today.
            The series centers around a group of adventurers called the Companions.  Tanis Half-Elven, a bastard half elf, the grumpy yet kind dwarf, Flint Fireforge, the fleet fingered and childlike kender, Tasslehoff Burrfoot, the Plainsmen Goldmoon and Riverwind.  A Knight of Solamnia named Sturm Brightblade and the twins Caramon and Raistlin Majere.  Later on they are joined by the elven princess Laurana and a fiery barmaid Tika Waylan.   The group forms an unlikely force for good, during a period of evil called the War of the Lance. 

            To tell the entire plot would take way longer than this post should be, but summarize Takhasis, a god and the Queen of Darkness returns to a land that had been ravaged by the Cataclysm hundreds of years before.  The people of the land are scattered and fractured.  Of course Takhisis wants to dominate the world and all the souls on it.  She is opposed by Paladine the god of light.  In essence it is a celestial battle that comes to the mortal world of Krynn.

            Along the way the Companions must battle all manner of evil things in their quest; they must also fight distrust and dissention among themselves, the power of evil magic and clerics, and of course dragons.  In the end two of the group will perish and another will betray them.  It all leads to an epic battle that of course leads to the defeat of the evil goddess.

            That description really does not do the book justice.  I'm leaving out huge parts, like the three kingdoms of elves the mountain fortress of the dwarves and the power of magic, and the magnificent return of the dragons of light.  It is simply too much to describe here.  I could really write an entire novel about these three books.  That's ok though, I just wanted to give you a glimpse into the trilogy and a look at my own feelings about the series.

            I do see a lot of similarities with the Lord of the Rings trilogy in these books, but that's all they are, is similarities.  These three book are completely different and are  a work of art all themselves, but if you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings then I suggest these books, they will blow your mind.

            Later on they released a fourth book to end the original trilogy.  While not technically a part of the first three books;  it is spectacular in own right.  I read the fourth book cover to cover in about three days, which at the time, was a record for me.
            These books eventually led to a second trilogy, Legends, which focused on the twins Caramon and Raistin.  Then more and more books followed from full novels to anthologies.  Many dealt with the original cast of characters, and many created their own new ones.  Some expanded on the world that Chronicles created, while others delved into the history of Krynn.  This series took on a life of its own.  I don't know how many books there are total, but I have personally read around forty or so and I have barely scratched the surface.  I only wish a feature length film would be made.  If the same care that was shown for The Lord of the Rings was given to this trilogy, it would be a treat to watch.

            There it is, my opinion.  This set remains one of my favorites of all time.  I recommend them to anyone who loves a good epic fantasy novel.

Friday, May 4, 2012

This made me laugh!

Just Thinking

I have been thinking about something for quite some time.  I realize that it's likely that I will never be a famous writer.  It's very likely that I will never get a Pulitzer, or a movie deal or anything close to what may resemble great success.  You know what?  That's OK.

I don't write for riches, fame or adulation; I write simply because I like to, nothing more.  I like to tell stories, I like to read back over my work and smile to myself when I know that I got it right.  To me that is reward enough.  If people like my work then that is simply icing on the cake.

I'd be lying if I said I don't want any kind of success, but I don't need a lot of success, I just need to know that I completed my work, did the best I could to get it out there and let the cards fall where they may.

To all my fellow indie authors out there who have projects going and wonder what's the point, I'll tell you the point.  The point is to do what you love and to hell with what anyone else has to say about it. 

Having said that I'd like to give you all a quick update.  So far things are proceeding well.  Soon I will begin the final read on my second anthology book then I will launch it.  The first draft of my novel is nearing completion.  I don't have much time these days to work on my projects, so it's taking a lot longer than I had wanted, but that's life and I accept it. 

Good luck to my fellow Indie authors.  We kick ass!