Saturday, April 30, 2011

Through the Flames- Planning 100% Complete

The news for the day is that I have the planning for Through the Flames complete. Well, there are a few minor characters that are still being created, but that's a very minor thing all the same.

I have finished the hero, the heroine, the basic outline, the synopsis, the map, the world building, and created the website for the series. The website is a learning experience for me- I have little experience in website creation and management- and for you guys. The website contains a plethora of information regarding the series. I will be posting sample chapters on it when they are finished. And by finished, I include finished editing to that. What you find on there when they are posted will be the same version that is in the book.

I will start writing on May 2nd. My goal is to write chapter a day, which should be attainable.

I'll keep you guys updated.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Sword of Kirakath Website

Since I'll be busy with other plans tomorrow, I'm getting today's post out of the way. And yes, I do like to post daily at the very least.

Anyways, I have gone ahead and made the Sword of Kirakath website a full month before I had originally planned on doing so. I've done the website through google sites so that it doesn't cost me anything to do it.

The map, cover art, and other information for the world that the Sword of Kirakath is set in is located on that site.

I'm sure you guys don't just want to hear about it though. You probably want to see it. You can either click "The Sword of Kirakath Website" link in the external links list in the right column of this blog, or you can click the link at the bottom of this post.

Keeping with the theme of this blog, my website is a mixture of black, white, and gray.

Anyways, have a nice (insert time of day here), and I'll get back to you guys Saturday, which I have off of work.

This is the link.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Map Time

I just finished scanning the map of the kingdom of Arcadia from The Sword of Kirakath. Arcadia is one of the three kingdoms on the continent of Kyran in the world of Terra Fatum. The others are Calia and Tiberia.

Unlike my cover art, this is something I made myself. This is the extent to what I can draw.

The village of Kirakath, along with all of the smaller civilizations remain unmapped. I might add them later, but I doubt it.

Through the Flames- Final Cover Art

Well, I've received the final art work for Through the Flames. It didn't scan that well, to be honest. I think I've adjusted the tint of it so that it's a lot better though.
Regardless, here's the final art work with a minor change in tint to make up for my scanner's change in regards to its tint:

Here's the actual cover art:

And there it is. My cover art is done before I've even started the actual story, though I have finished all of the planning already.

Many thanks go to my good friend Amanda for her quick and amazing art work.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Through the Flames- An Quick Glance

I have some pretty good news for everyone, especially myself.

To put it simply, I've convinced a good friend of mine to do the cover art for the first book of the Sword of Kirakath, Through the Flames.

And she's already done.

I'll get the original copy of it tomorrow, and I'll scan it to my computer. It's done using charcoals only, and it looks very good. She blew me away with the low quality picture (via camera phone) she sent to me. I saved it to my computer, rotated it, cropped it, and added text to it, so I have a low quality story cover already.

Here it is:

I look forward to comparing it to the scan. I'll probably do it just like I did the one above this, though it's entirely possible that I'll move the title around a bit more. It really just depends on how it actually looks.

The truly funny thing about the picture is that it is very close to how I picture Caleb of Kirakath or his forefather.

On another note, I wanted to use the same font that I use on here for my blog title, but alas... it was for not. The font that I use for my blog title appears to exist nowhere else. It isn't in word, and it isn't on the website that I use to add text to pictures.

Anyways, I'll post again tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why Write Fanfiction?

I've written two novel length original stories, one of which was the original Sword of Kirakath[1], so why have I been writing fanfiction? I'm sure that question might come up, provided that anyone is actually reading this.

Well, the real reason was because I was trying to get back in the rhythm of writing, among other things.

Those other things were the fact that I wanted to develop a small fan base- believe it or not, I have managed to gather a large number of people that enjoy my writing and show interest in buying my original fiction- and I foresaw something that I knew would change me in ways that I could not understand.

I'd rather not talk about what happened or anything, but suffice to say, it's not important to you as readers.
But now... I'm ready to write. I'm ready to stop writing fanfiction and focus entirely on the Sword of Kirakath.

If I keep to my schedule- it's a conservative schedule at that- then I will finish writing my last fanfiction on the fifth of May.

Thanks for reading.

[1]- The original Sword of Kirakath was a novel. The name of the series was something I can't even remember. It was "the Chronicles of" something. I just don't remember what that something was anymore.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Thoughts on A Game of Thrones

Earlier, I left a post in regards to A Game of Thrones and my opinions regarding it.

I should be finished with it by now, but I keep looking for other things to do.

I am now 279 pages into the book, of 858, and I'm deleting the book from my device and my archives. That's quite unusual for me, seeing as how I keep all of my Kindle books on my Kindle.

I honestly do not know how George RR Martin is such a popular writer.

His writing itself is good. I'll be the first one to admit that. He delivers the story like an amateur though, and that's saying something coming from me.

If you want someone to read your books, you don't just need a good storyline, though that's a good thing to have. That's something that Martin has in A Game of Thrones, to be honest.

No... you need characters that people can connect with and actually give a damn about. There are only three characters in the book that I can tolerate. Only one of those is actually on my list of liked characters. What's the point in reading an eight hundred page book when you only like one character, especially when he's not really all that major of a character?

It would be like reading Lord of the Rings just because you like Bilbo Baggins. Sure, he's in the series, but he's a relatively minor character.

I'm not going to review this book because I don't waste time on trash. As far as I'm concerned, that's what A Game of Thrones is.

If you like characters that are so flawed that there is nothing decent about them, going into a tale that is sure to confuse, reading about incestous relations and relations between a fourteen year old girl and a man in his mid twenties at the very least, and a decent storyline, then you might like A Game of Thrones. I, on the other hand, would prefer Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Robert E. Howard, Trudi Canvan, John Flangan, Christopher Paolini, and any of the good indie authors that I've read thus far. I believe that anyone who thinks that Martin is one of the greats of fantasy has never read good fantasy.

Thanks for reading.

Current Plans

Recently, I came up with some new plans regarding the Sword of Kirakath and the fanfiction that I've mentioned a few times recently.

In essence, I will be going back in forth from focusing entirely on the fanfic to half focusing on it and half focusing on either a book or the planning of the Sword of Kirakath.

I'll probably start the actual writing of the Sword of Kirakath on May 15th as a result.

But I'm not going to talk about the Sword of Kirakath any further in this post. I want to talk about "A Game of Thrones."

I've started reading it again, and I have to say that I finally understand something a teacher once told me. He said that you learn more from writing that you dislike than writing that you like.

This applies to A Game of Thrones. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book, but the way that Martin delivers it leaves a great deal to be desired.

He starts you off in a world that you don't know much about with occasional hints. But those hints are hard to sort though when he switches characters to focus on every single chapter. It's absolutely maddening.

I thought Jordan and Sanderson (the Wheel of Time) were bad about switching the point-of-view characters. I'll never complain about them again though.

Well, I'm going to continue with this book and hope that it gets better or is easier to stand as it goes on. I do not have much faith that it will though.

Expect another post tonight. I should have a well formulated opinion on this book by then. At that time, I'll also write up a review. If what I've read is any indication- I'm only 60 pages in at the moment- then it will be no more than a three star review.

On one final note, I'd like to recommend The Prophecy, Book I of the Bakkian Chronicles by Jeffrey Poole. What's it about, you ask?

Well, here's the summary on the Amazon page. Jeffrey Poole explains it far better than I do, after all.

"After learning he had inherited an enormous mansion and a huge tract of land from a reclusive set of relatives, Steve Miller, along with his wife Sarah, decide to take a few days off to investigate their new-found fortune in the quiet resort town of northern Idaho, Coeur d’Alene.

While taking inventory of the vast manor, they discover a unique set of doors on the top floor. Mistaking them to be an ornate decoration, the doors are accidentally activated, presenting the two new homeowners with a tantalizing decision: step through or ignore? No harm could possibly befall them by simply walking through an open door, right? Curiosity getting the better of them, they step through, sending both husband and wife on a one-way journey to a land of unimagined wonder!

Realizing they were now stranded on a world populated with creatures that should exist only in one’s imagination, they enlist the aid of the local king and queen. Their troubles continue to escalate, however, as it is revealed their arrival had been long foretold by an ancient local prophecy, bestowing upon them the status of Royal Bodyguards to the young crown prince.

Stuck on a foreign world where mythical creatures abound, trying to avoid being attacked by griffins, and hoping to impress a living, breathing dragon, the newly appointed babysitters must find a way to return home soon before harm could befall the young prince.

Some days it didn't pay to get out of bed."
Here's the link.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What is the Sword of Kirakath?

What if the Sword of Kirakath? The question has occured to me recently, because I realized that most of you have no idea what it is yet. I list that I'm the author of it, though it's still in the planning stages.

The Sword of Kirakath is not a book, and it will never be a book. It will be a story, but it won't be a book. How is that possible, you ask? Isn't a book and a story basically the same thing?

The Sword of Kirakath is no more a book than The Sword of Truth, The Wheel of Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Ranger's Apprentice, or The Bakkian Chronicles. Simply put, The Sword of Kirakath is a series.

The question of "What is the Sword of Kirakath?" will not be answered until the first book is completed and published through Amazon.

As I said earlier, the story is still in the planning stages.

For those writers reading this, you likely know what that entails. For those who don't, let me explain.

The first step of planning- for me, at least- is something called world building. If you're going to write high fatnasy, epic fantasy, or sword & sorcery, you must delve into world building. You need to create your world from the ground up. Naturally, you need to choose what races and creatures will live in such a world. You also need to decide what the theology and geography of such a world is. Then there is a system of magic, the calendar, and various other things, including cussing.

I made sure to bring up cussing because there are certain words you can't use. Most cuss words have roots in religion, like "bloody" and "damn." Both of those come from Christianity. The latter is far simpler to understand the reason behind.

The next- and most frustrating- part of the planning has to be the map making. It's easy if you have a map program, but I hand-make my maps. I have a scanner so I can scan them to my computer.

The rest of the planning consists of designing the characters, cultures, and history along with coming out with an outline.

But anyways, I don't want to bore you guys any further, so I'm getting back to work on this fanfiction story. I'd love to abandon it now and work on what I want to, but I gave my word that I'd finish it. I don't go back on my work unless I have no choice in the matter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Door to Canellin (Gatehouse)

I was recently given a free e-book by the name of The Door to Canellin by the author, Eric H. Jones. He was the one who inspired this blog too, but that's not the point.

Since I am one of the five people to receive a free Kindle version of the book, I'd like to talk about it. Essentially, I'm going to review it. I'll post the review here and on Amazon. Keep in mind that it will have spoilers.

Here's my review:
As the story begins, you have a fifteen year old sophomore in high school by the name of Wes. He's shown to be largely unmotivated and rather small in stature. The only real talent that he has at the start is in music. He's a natural at it too.

It would be nothing without conflict though, so the first conflict is brought into play. This conflict is brought into play through an accumulation of people that seem to be against Wes. He loses his first chair position in band, he gets in trouble for sticking up for a classmate, and a bully torments him. Wes goes ballistic on him, breaking the bully's nose and getting suspended from school.

Showing his prowess as an author, Eric takes the result of this conflict and uses it to create a new conflict. That conflict is between Ryan, the father of Wes, and Wes. I say the conflict is between them because it feels wrong to say that the conflict was between Ryan and his boss. It was Wes' actions that brought about Ryan nearly losing his job, after all.

So after a misunderstanding, Ryan drops Wes off at his(Ryan's) parents' house and returns to work. This is what leads to the good part of the book. You see, Wes eventually goes exploring the woods behind his grandparents' house after he tells them what really happened. And there, he discovers the Gatehouse. What is the Gatehouse, you ask? Well, you'll have to read it yourself if you want to know that.

Soon, Wes and Ryan find themselves in another world, though they arrive at different times- a two month difference in times, actually.
As the story unfolds from there, things become amazing. Between the switching back and forth between Wes and Ryan, the introduction of fun and likable character, the excellent world building, and the smooth, amazing writing stile, you can't go wrong with this story.

I give this a five star review. It's better than many traditionally published fantasy novels.

Interested yet?

Check it out: The Door to Canellin

My Blog

Well, after seeing some other authors' blogs, I've decided to come up with one myself.

I have very little experience with blogs, but I'm going to give this a shot.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Ryne Billings. I'm 19 years old (I'll be 20 in June), and I'm a reader and writer.

I've written two novel length works, the second of which I am reworking at the moment, and have been involved in fanfiction. Once I'm done with my last work in fanfiction, I intend to really start the aforementioned rework of my second novel length story, The Sword of Kirakath.

Thanks for reading.