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.

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Day 93 of 90: I swear this one is the last one #ASMSG #IARTG #IAN1 #SupportIndieAuthors #Inpspiration

Today is going to be the last day I do this for a bit, not because I’ve run out of things to say, but because I want to focus my efforts on other endeavors for awhile. And that’s not mentioning it was supposed to end three days ago. I do know I will be doing this again in the future, as I really feel it helped me to get my thoughts in order before writing my stories.

I realized I haven’t told you all exactly what all I wrote while doing this experiment. First up is a short story I’ve been working on with a friend, based off of an old campfire tale he used to tell. It’s proving quite the challenge, morphing a story he’s told ever since he was a child, into a full-fledged book with a plot and character development. A lot of fun, but a lot of work, and I’m not sure if the book is going to resemble the story as much as I would have liked.

Then there’s the descent into hell that I finished. I had already started on that book when I started this project but was able to finish it about halfway through the days. Still waiting to hear back from the Beta reader on this one. Once I hear back from them, I’ll go over it one more time to check for errors, and then I’ll send it to the publisher.

Of course, I wrote another Everyone Dies At The End, and edited it enough to send into the publisher. I think this one may be my best one yet, and it’s going on right now.

I started writing the latest Journey From Atremes, introducing a great evil for the first time in this series. It’s been going smoother than I expected, but the characters are starting to head in paths I would never have envisioned when I first started. Believe it or not, that’s making it more difficult to write, but no less fun.

Last, I started laying down the groundworks for Urban Punk part 2. Trying to decide a basic storyline I wish to stick with before I start writing it. I think I have it figured out, but this one is still in early planning stages.

That’s not including blogs, helping other authors, or any of the things I do to help my friends out. I started this project to jump start my writing again, after a break. I can say for sure that it worked and that I don’t think I would have written half as much as I did if it weren’t for this project.

Just 250 words a day helped me to start turning my life lemons into lemonade. Without even thinking about it, I wrote three novellas and planned out two more. And they were all written one day at a time, one word at a time.

Day 91 of 90: I guess I’m not finished yet #ASMSG #IARTG #IAN1 #SupportIndieAuthors #Inspiration

I told you this stuff is addictive. I know we finished yesterday, but I’m just going to continue doing this a couple more days. I haven’t finished saying all that I have to say.

You are courageous. I’m here to tell you that completing your story has made you one of the bravest people I know. I hear other people in my life constantly say, “I should write a book.” yet they never take the time to do so.

When I ask these people, “Why? Why haven’t you written that book yet?” the answer is never the same, yet carries the same point. They worry what people will think, and struggle to get past their own insecurities.

If you have ever even started a tome, pouring your heart and soul onto the page, you’re already ahead of 9 out of 10 people when it comes to finishing a book. There’s nothing to finish if you never start.

And those of you that have released your works to the public are part of an even smaller minority, people who have published their works. More and more authors join our ranks every day, and yet there are thousands upon thousands who will never pick up a pen in their lives outside of a school setting.

You are courageous, for putting yourself out into the world for others to critique or enjoy as they choose. You’ve put the words down, one at a time, and written a complete story, then put it out and hoped others would cherish it as much as you do. You are already ahead of the game.

Day 90 of 90: So we’ve reached the end! #ASMSG #IARTG #IAN1 #SupportIndieAuthors #Inspiration

So, this is my last day doing this experiment. I hope you’ve all had a good time with me, and I hope I inspired even one of you to write your story. Life is a short journey lived one day at a time, you should do everything you can to live it to its fullest.

I talked about reviews, and how to take them with a grain of salt. How to look at them, and glean whatever you can from them. That just because you have a three-star review, it doesn’t mean they didn’t like the book, and there are good lessons to be learned in a great review, no matter the star rating.

I talked about confidence, and letting your genuine self shine through. How this will make it easier for others to connect with you, since you aren’t putting a facade up before you speak to them.

I talked about exercise and meditation as ways to jumpstart the creative process, and how the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

And I talked about how helping others helps you in the end.

I’m glad to be a part of a vibrant and growing indie author community. One that I only see expanding as time goes on.

If there’s one thing I want everyone to take from this book, it’s that your story deserves to be told. Whether another person understands it, or if no one reads it at all, you still deserve to tell it. And the great thing about being a writer, there’s always someone listening. At the end of it all, what matters in life is our connections. The people we meet, and the company we keep. Be loving, be humble, and keep being awesome.

Now, to show you all what I mean when I say anyone can, and should, write their story. With just 250 words a day, spread out over the course of three months, I have managed to write a work that is novella length. That’s 40 pages, and over 25,500 words. One day at a time, one word at a time, this is how we write our stories. Eventually, they come to an end, but there’s always another one to be told. After all, the road goes ever on and on.

89 of 90: Teaching a message of love and acceptance over one of hate and intolerance. #ASMSG #IARTG #SupportIndieAuthors #IAN1 #Inspiration

I’m so close to finishing this, and I haven’t missed a day. That’s a miracle in my book, I would never have thought I’d do a project like this. Sometimes the ending is the hardest part to come up with, for whatever reason. A story that feels like it should wrap up nice and neat just doesn’t, and you find yourself having to rework an entire storyline just to accommodate it.

But that’s not possible in everyday life. We have to take life as it comes, and only time will show what we can take. None of us know the end of our own stories, all we can do is project ourselves in such a way that others take note and learn from our example. Such is the acclaim of our great leaders, such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and John F. Kennedy. These are names we all hold dear to our heart, because they were people whose end came unexpectedly.

In life, they lead a life they felt would lead them and their people to a great path. They didn’t worry about the end, knowing as all people should learn, that it comes when it will.

Though each of these men was assassinated, I don’t think any of them would have altered their paths even with the end in sight. They are the people I look up to, teaching a message of love and acceptance over one of hate and intolerance.

There’s a saying I used to hear a lot in the nursing field, though I don’t know if it’s an actual quote from someone. Nursing isn’t for the meek. It takes a special person. the kind who sees a problem and wants to solve it, while being willing to caress a stranger’s hair. Nursing is not a profession that’s for everyone, and it takes a special kind of person.

Anyone who writes their story is a special person like that, in my mind. We open ourselves up to critics and fans, readers and haters, anyone and everyone to comment on our books.

We had another saying when I was in nursing. Nurses eat their young. This is another trait I see in the independent author field and one I hope to someday crush out. How do we expect people to grow if all we do is stifle?

So, in this second to last writing of inspiration, I call on you to look around and see what you can do to help other authors around you. That person on the forums, whose book looked interesting, contact them and ask them for a copy. Read it and leave an honest review.

That person who is struggling with a cover, stop and offer them some constructive feedback.

Search out other authors and book blogs, and stretch your wings in the community.

Help others, and you’ll start to see how it helps you. After all, reading is a great help to writing.

Day 88 of 90: Hope I Help #ASMSG #IARTG #IAN1 #SupportIndieAuthors

I love feeding my soul. Anything I can do to enrich it, I do. It doesn’t take much. Just a bit of time is more than enough. Some people use religion, others hold their morals tight, but it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are attempting to continue your personal growth.

I know the power of a smile, and how one simple gesture can feed someone’s soul. Not to mention, they’re infectious, so one smile can quickly spread to the entire neighborhood.

Something about a smile helps us to connect with other people. It puts them at ease, making it easier to strike up conversations, and it is one of the simplest gestures we as people can do to help improve someone else’s life.

But there are always better, grander gestures you can make in your community. Helping an elderly neighbor with their groceries, running around with the neighborhood kids, taking the time to stop and absorb the beauty of the world around us. All of these enrich your soul.

Nothing ever made me feel as good as when I was helping others. Writing brings its own satisfaction, but I believe that helping people helps you to touch a piece of their soul.

When you help someone with no thought of personal gain, you are rewarded with personal growth. I want to keep growing.

I hope I never outgrow helping other people. Whether it be an author struggling to write a story, a friend in need of a helping hand, or someone homeless on the streets, I hope I always take the time to help.

Day 87 of 90: Lack of Response #ASMSG #IARTG #IAN1 #SupportIndieAuthors #Inspiration

I lied yesterday. We only have three more of these to go after today. Written so many of them I lost track!

I saw a post on the Goodreads board that talked about having problems getting their second book out. The lack of response from the first book, paired with a lack of drive, and other adversities in their life have conspired to keep them from completing their series.They just lack the drive, and have for a couple weeks now.

I really believe taking a break from writing really helped me with this exact same problem. After I finished Journey From Atremes, I found myself struggling with what to write on any story, let alone finishing the series plans I already had. And that’s when I started my break.

I got away from writing, only read on a very casual basis, and took the time to enjoy myself. Then, I started this project, and now I’m finishing three other works even as we speak.

My break made that possible. Without the time away from writing, I never would have been able to recharge my batteries. Without the recharge, I would have continued to struggle and stress as I stared at a blank screen.

The break afforded me the ability to get back in touch with myself. The way I think, the way I act, the way I want to live my life. I grew closer to friends, shared stories of our pasts, and our hopes for the future.

When I sat back down to write, I found it much easier to continue my projects. The words flowed, and new inspiration had hit. Now I find myself struggling to find enough time to fit writing, reading, and spending time with the people that fill my life into the same day.

Oh, The things we humans complain about.