Have you ever tried to write fantasy? #ASMSG #IARTG #Bookboost #Ian1 #SupportIndieAuthors #FreeBook

(For those who don’t want to read my rambling outside of a book, you can just click here for your free book.)

Have you ever tried to write an epic fantasy? I have, and I loved every minute of it. There’s a lot of work and planning that go into building your world.

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Should I include a prophecy or shouldn’t I? Should I build an intricate magic school or shouldn’t I? How much of my plans do I reveal to my readers?

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I’m not your typical epic fantasy author. I don’t use overly colorful language, though there are some curse words in my books. I tell it as I see it, knowing the story will carry itself in the end.

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(Insert penis joke.)

There’s a hint of love that could blossom, but hasn’t. And there’s no sex, for those bothered by it.

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A group of friends and family that only want to help.

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There’s Nord, an elf who is too pretty for his own good.

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Sanche, a stern elven general looking to fade into obscurity.

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Missy and her fairy friends try to keep everyone on task.

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Tyrosh is a dragon unable to shift forms and held prisoner by the false Tutanbringer, Martell.

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Jaxon is the halfling friend of everyone, only along for the ride.

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Martell is the man who stole Tyrosh’s mantle.

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And Lovonian is the one out for revenge, while seeking to bring balance to the world.

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I wrote the books to learn to write, and I’m glad I chose the genre I did. Writing the story of Lovonian felt like telling people about a movie only I could see.

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I can still see the scenes clear as day if I close my eyes. It’s almost like magic. If only it was as simple translating the images to words.

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There’s a ton of planning that goes into writing an epic fantasy, but I really did none of that for Breath of the Titans. I only sought to write a story I would enjoy reading as time passed. So far, that holds true.

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Now I’ve written several different genres, from contemporary fiction filled with zombies and other monsters, to a science fiction adventure filled with a myriad of races. In both cases, it was much easier to start the world building process. It could be experience, but I think it’s genre.

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In my horror stories, it’s much easier to get started because they are set in a world like this one. I don’t have to plan a religion, politics, or anything that I know the reader already knows. Whereas in a fantasy book, all of those things need to be taken into account. I can’t assume you know the religions of the world, because I am building it from the ground up. I can’t assume you know how the king will react, as he rules a land only in my head.

But in a contemporary environment, I can mention the president, and you can imagine how they could react. Same with religion, if I say christianity you automatically know what I mean. That’s not to say that horror can’t have the same planning and storylines that go into an epic fantasy, just that if the author chooses they can be a bit lazier about the entire process.

Science Fiction is a bit closer to epic fantasy, as far as world building goes. I cannot rely on the reader’s knowledge to fill in the blanks on the same issues. But I can include modern gadgets and whizzbingers. I can say, “They carried a communicator in their hands.” and you can picture an image of what I’m talking about. You may even understand on a basic level how the contraption might work.

Harder to do that in a fantasy world. Harder to explain that the titans are robots  made by magic. Or how a magician uses his mind to shape the very fabric of the world. These are concepts that, while not difficult to understand, are much harder to put into words. It’s much harder to convey exactly what propels them, versus in science fiction where I can point to the gears, nuts, and bolts and say, “That’s what makes it tick.”

Having written several genres now, I can officially say that they’re all equally difficult. The thought and planning that goes into any book is monumental. It just seems to me, that epic fantasy takes that little bit more planning.

As it is, I’m amazed at how quickly my books came together. I learned a lot from the experience about pacing and telling the story you want to tell.

The great thing about an epic fantasy, or really any work, is you can put your ideals into it. Take Breath of the Titans, I wanted to write something that reflected all of the many religions I’ve tried to study in my life. I wrote the series with an approach to life that a new age spiritual person might use. I meditated and sat in the sun, thinking positive thoughts and listening to the world around me. Then I would go inside and sit in front of my computer, and the story would literally pour from my head onto the page. I didn’t have to think, I didn’t really plan all that far ahead. I had my characters and their limitations. With those in mind, the story seemed to build itself from the ground up. There’s a bit of foreshadowing in the book, though I freely admit most of it was accidental. It’s amazing what our minds can do when we sit and put them to work.

Everyone Dies At The End and Journey From Atremes have a little bit different process, but the premise is still the same. I go and I think. I work my brain muscle until it hurts, and then I work it some more.

Keeping the voices of the characters different was simple, though I admit the dialogue is probably a bit more contemporary than in most fantasy novels.

I know this is going to sound a bit like schizophrenia, but when a character speaks to me, I hear their voice. The inflection, the way they carry themselves. I see it all in a million little images, shapes, and feelings. The problem I have comes from translating the sights and sounds in my mind onto the page for someone else to understand.

I tend to write in Rilenese, which means I need a lot of translation from what I originally put down upon the page to the finished story. People, places, names, anything can and will change during the process.

Breath of the Titans never suffered from that problem. Once I started writing it, I had all my characters already pre-planned. Those characters are what compelled me to write the story. Having to choose between having them bug me, or putting their words upon the page.

Even though I went into everyday with no idea what I wanted to write, I never had a problem getting words onto the page. I didn’t struggle to find things and events to add to the book. If anything, I struggled with finding places to fit their adventures into the novel. There are a thousand things I never mention in the books, because if I did the trilogy would be 1,000 pages long, and I didn’t want to write that.

I wanted to write a fun little adventure, full of excitement and imagination at every turn. I think I did that. Feel free to let me know your opinion.

If you want, you can pick up a free copy of it by clicking here.

Going much better than I anticipated! #SupportIndieAuthors

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I’ve been going over Little Black Stormcloud week by week, and cleaning it up a bit more day by day. I’m happy I am, as I keep finding little mistakes. That is one of the joys of being an independent author, being able to go back and change something that’s wrong.

It’s interesting the little things I’m catching now that would have slipped by me before. I’ve always read books, but your own writing is different than someone else’s writing. Even before I was an author, I could pick up someone else’s writing, and tell you their grasp on grammar.

But now that I’ve started editing this work again, there’s some stuff that just stands out. Nothing glaring, just small stuff that could be reworded in a better way.

They say practice makes perfect, and I believe it. Now that I’ve got several works under my belt, I feel like I finally know. I don’t know how to put it to you all other than that, you just know. Treat it like Michelangelo treated marble, chip away the imperfections and expose the statue already contained in the stone.

#RileyAmosGetsReviewed got 2 new ones yesterday!

So I’ve been spending this past week writing to EVERY single frickin’ horror book blogger that I can find, since I’m trying to get 100 reviews of Everyone Dies At The End before the ebook releases next year, and everything else is slacking a bit. Including this place. I have to apologize for that, I’m not trying to ignore you guys.

But I’m back for today! Even if it is only for a little shameless self-promo.

I received two new reviews last night, both of them the kind that makes ya feel good inside.

The first is from Christina McMullen, a wonderful author in her own right. (Seriously, if you enjoy a sarcastic wit, read her works.)

A brief disclaimer: I am typically not a fan of fantasy that doesn’t involve the words ‘urban’ or ‘contemporary.’ That being said, I have been branching out into more sword and sorcery as of late and I find that the hardest part for me to reconcile is plain and even base English in a fantastical setting. Here, the language is very modern and at times, incredibly base. But somehow, where this has been jarring to me in other books, it works brilliantly here.

I imagine that this book reads much like the Lord of the Rings books would to someone who loves Tolkien. I am not a fan of Tolkien, but I rather enjoyed this tale. It is an epic adventure that follows Lov, a half dragon-half elf who is an adolescent when his home, land, and family is destroyed by the Titans, the very constructs that were meant to protect them. The characters are well written and there is an overall humor that carries the heavier parts of the story. I do admit some slight confusion in that I inferred that Lov’s mother, who is a dragon, was an orphan, but his dragon grandfather shows up to train him. It is possible I misinterpreted this or there is something that gets explained later on, so it is a minor nitpick at best.

I can’t wait to continue on with the rest of this series!

And the next one is from Charles, a reviewer at Blue Ink Review. (Don’t worry, I didn’t pay for it, and this isn’t going in their normal queue that I’m aware of.)

This is a vividly imagined tale of elves, orcs, halflings, dragons, fairies, Titans, and other amazing creatures. The hero, a sixteen year old half-dragon, Lovonian, goes out hunting with his uncle on his sixteenth birthday, only to empathically feel terrible things happening to his family and village. He sets out on a trail of revenge where he learns more about the elemental, magical side of his heritage while engaging in tests and mortal combat that takes him through imagination-stretching realms.

I want to thank both of them for leaving me reviews! Every one of them is appreciated, but it’s always nice to see when another enjoys the work you poured your heart into. Thank you both, and may the rest of you have a wonderful weekend!

I received another review today…..

From the wonderful Rosie Amber on Goodreads today. I’m glad that I asked her to read it, though she didn’t enjoy the story as much as I hoped. Still, a very in depth review, that while not full of spoilers, gives you a wonderful idea of the plot and where the book goes. So, I wish to take a moment to thank her for her wonderful review. (You can see the review by clicking on her name.)

I finally found someone to give me an edit of Breath of the Titans!

So, I wanted to share with you guys today someone who has been a major help. As she was just starting her services on her own, she offered on a site to do a free complete edit of a book in exchange for an honest review of her services. I was more than happy to jump at the chance, as I know I’m not the greatest of wordsmiths.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from the whole situation, since I had never worked with an editor before, but during this time I’ve had the chance to work with a couple who have been awesome. Emily was their equal. Once she started my work, she managed to get it back to me in two weeks time.

She found 4,911 mistakes. Most of the things were simple formatting errors, and things that a new author is just going to struggle with. And once she made it to my work, she had it back to me within a week (Not bad for a 170,000 word work.)

But out of those 4000+ errors, she caught at least ten little, and I mean little, holes that could have affected how someone might interperet the work, as well as catching some more startling ones (Like how I had a bald character lose a lock of hair x D Don’t know how that one made it through mine and the wife’s filters.)

I’m very happy with the work she did, and I’m looking forward to working with her in the future. You can check out her services and rates here, on her about page. Where as most people were wanting to charge me 1500-2000 dollars for just a proofread, if she had charged me, it still would have only come to just over $700 for a complete copy-edit.

So as you can see, her prices are more than fair. And I believe she did a masterful job of enhancing the writing flow of my work. Check her out the next time you need something looked at!

Now to reformat the whole thing to re-upload. Hope you all have a wonderful day!