Total Pageviews

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What makes a hero?

I have been poking and prodding through my first draft feeling a little despondent.  As the ideas of the early part of my story rushed into my mind they seemed so grandiose and yet, it seems, I will have to tear the prose limb from limb and grind it to a pulp before reshaping it to fulfill my current vision.

Before I devote myself completely to the task I have found it necessary to dwell in a zen-like state on the history of my created world.  What makes it tick?  How does the story of Erik Kranden stem from the world around him?  What forces have been at work in the many centuries of my world, shaping the people who live upon it?

Who are the heroes that the children of Angdu aspire to imitate?  Lirien, a great warrior from the mountains of Iberna, cries the name of Feldor when he wades into battle with his foes.  Who is Feldor?  Is he a real man or a character of myth?

 Why does Lirien honor the name of a man he has never personally known? 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Completion of First Draft

Last week I completed my first draft of Rise of a Thought Mage.  It is 400 pages or 94,000 words.  About the size of The Hobbit.  It is hard to anticipate the final length as many new thoughts have run through my mind about the story-line's continued development.  Reading the fist chapter was painful.  In the lucid and dreamy state of mind I was in during its creation it seemed so well written.  As I have progressed along this path and continued to resurrect my long nascent writing skills it has become more and more apparent that I still have far to go.

A little internet searching garnered me some quotes to keep me going.  These are from and seem to resonate with the sentiments of almost every writer's discussion board and website I have come across.  Apparently the first draft is not the apex of any novel's greatness.  I will press on with my two-volume bound 'tome' to try to make it what I have envisioned it should be.

"First drafts are for learning what your novel or story is about." - Bernard Malamud

"There is no great writing, only great rewriting." - Justice Brandeis

"Books aren't written - they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it." - Michael Crichton

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Writing a Novel... is exhausting

It is emotionally costly to write well. Dancers, for example, know that they're going to have bloody feet. Pianists know that they'll have to practice until the pain in their fingers makes them cry. Writing a novel is not like writing a letter. Writing a novel is mentally exhausting, far harder than a nine-to-five job. When you write a novel, you live the lives of your characters

This quote from 'Day 46' is so true!  As I pounded out a critical turning point scene this morning I could feel the emotions of my characters flow through me.  It is difficult to squeeze those emotions into prose and be satisfied with the result.  More difficult than I could have ever imagined before I began writing this story.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Progress continues...

It has been some time since I last posted.  The work continues on Rise of a Thought Mage and the groundwork is being laid for the sequel.  Thanks to my fans/readers for your patience!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You Volunteer Readers

Rise of a Thought Mage stands at 70,500 words as of this morning.  It has been a delight to hear the feedback of my volunteer readers. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Fall of Shael

Exerpt from the writings of Naothemas of Thesk,
Scribe of the Holy Order of Laraben,
Servant of The Lady.
KP 237

Hear now the account of Shael the Firstborn, most eminent of created beings of the Golden Lady, cast forever to desolation.  Know thee the historical account and reconcile thy heart with the Creator.  Make thee not the mistake of pride which fell the Usurper, once a mighty light in the heavens, to dwell forever in the place of eternal darkness.  Cast illumination upon thy path, live ye not in his shadows lest thy soul anguish forever apart from Her light.

Five mighty servants watched over all of creation, tending to their mysteries, keeping order over all things.  Five mighty servants kneeled at Her feet in worship, an example to all lesser beings.  These were the five celestial brothers created before the stars took their forms.  One grew proud; thinking himself better than the others, thinking the throne of creation should be his rightful destiny.  The stars fell from the heavens, thrown from their balance.  Shael gathered power from the secret knowledge of the spirit realm to wrest dominion from his brothers.  Zephai stood strong and brave, the mightiest of the faithful, to save the others.  Dark secrets dwelt within Shael the usurper, secrets to add his brother’s powers to his own.  The Lady cast her evil servant down forever to live in darkness.  Her tears of sadness flowed in remembrance of her lost servant, falling upon the world to create the two races.  Never again would She create an equal to Shael, so it is written in the Book of Illumination.

Shael stirs in his dark place, angry at his creator.  Always watching hungrily from the shadows he waits to regain his former glory and to blot out all light from creation.  The souls of men will feed his return.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Here are my first few paragraphs of 'Trouble in Taben' ...

The young man raised his arms toward the sky, fingers wiggling to shape and control the fabric of reality that only he could see.  The ringing sounds of steel against steel surrounded him as the dark god’s faithful soldiers stood their ground against the city guards and Ekkran soldiers besieging the building to stop the evil within from spreading across the island.  Strange shadowy spirit-creatures began to emerge through the tears in the air around them seeking to crush all who would defy their Lord.  When Erik sensed he had forced the objects far above them to obey his will he clenched his fists tightly together and pulled his hands hard toward the ground, smashing his fists into the cobblestones.  The asteroids were forcefully pulled out of their orbit and drawn to his chosen target with unspeakable speed.  The sky grew red, hot air rushed across the field of battle, across the entire city.  Fiery stones fell from the heavens to engulf the building, smaller stones spattering around the target.  The ensuing explosions knocked nearly everyone to the ground.  Bricks and wooden beams were thrown in all directions, slamming adjacent buildings and casting a cloud of billowing hot dust down every street for a mile in all directions.  The young man fell in and out of consciousness.

Rubble was strewn throughout the city.  Brave soldiers surrounded him, dead or dying.  Cries could be heard from every direction.  Erik was curled up on the ground.  The devastation was nearly complete.  What have I done?  He was unable to rise back to his feet due to the heavy tax the use of his talent had taken from his body.  Above him he could see dark tendrils of shadow clawing at the sky in defiance of the Sun.  The insidious machine was unharmed; the Shade Cleric would now usher in the end of everything he knew.  It was only a few hours after midday yet it felt more like dusk.  He heard some shuffling sounds coming toward him.  He strained to see what it was.

A bipedal shadowy creature, twice the size of a full grown man, lumbered toward him.  It began to make a hissing sound as it leveled its gaze upon him.  “Stasev Vespelee Canemas.”  It was speaking to him in the language of shadows.  He was uncertain of the words but it was clear it meant him harm as it unfurled its hideous wings and crouched down, preparing for whatever the strangely powerful young man would throw at it.

A single arrow sliced the air over Erik’s head and landed squarely into the left shoulder of the Nether spirit-monster.  The evil creature grabbed at the shaft as it hissed in anger.  Slivers of light began to take shape at the site of the wound.  The small hole in the creature’s body began to grow as its shadowy essence was burned away by the arrow, blessed by a Sister of the Lady.  Its arm fell away as it tried to rush Erik, determined not to die alone.  It was too slow.  Another arrow sliced the air, landing squarely into the creature’s face.  It fell backwards cursing the archer as its face and head disintegrated.  It would be forever destroyed.

“Erik?” the archer called out.  “Is that you?”  She could see he was covered in ash and mud, barely recognizable.

“Brinda?  You are alive…” Erik responded.

“We must go now Erik.  Our mission is failed, retreat our only option.”  Erik did not move.  “Take my hand,” she continued as she grasped his hand and pulled him to his feet and lifted his trembling body over her shoulder.  Brinda navigated slowly past the suffering guards and the flaming piles of debris.

Erik’s eyes were closing from exhaustion when he heard the prayers of the Sister.  He turned his head as far as he could and tried to speak.  Mariette was calling out to the Lady for a blessing of healing over a city guard.  Her flowing white robe was now a dirty gray with torn patches flapping in the cold breeze of winter.  “Dear Lady, please use me now in this hour of need,” the woman cried out.  The guard coughed and made some whimpering sounds as his torn flesh began to heal, stemming the flow of blood.  “I fear the Lady will not be able to hear us much longer,” Mariette told the man.  “Gather the wounded.”  The man rolled onto his hands and knees, slowly rose, and staggered into the dark fog to aid as many of his fallen comrades as he could.