Monday, May 30, 2011

Possible Delay

It seems that my block has finally gone away.

For the past four days, I have not written anything, unfortunately. I managed to get struck by inspiration four days ago, and that inspiration has screwed me over.

That doesn't make sense, does it?

Well let me explain. I only need inspiration when I'm coming up with ideas and plans. When I'm writing, I don't really need inspiration. In fact, naturally occuring inspiration does not help me when I'm writing. If I need inspiration, I can listen to music and forcibly alter my mood.

Naturally occuring inspiration often leaves me with new plans.

In short, I was feeling incredibly inspired to write an urban fantasy story during these past four days, but I knew better than to actually do it. The interest would have faded with the inspiration. I know that from experience.

Unfortunately, I could not write anything while I was dealing with that. Thus, I'm behind schedule.

I will still finish the actual writing on June 9th, provided that I don't suffer any further delays. Whether I release it on the planned date is another matter, though. It all depends on how fast I can get it accurately edited. Hopefully, I'll only need to do three of my thorough edits to get the book in shape. If it takes 7, like I had planned for initially, then I'll be forced to put Through the Flames out on June 20th, instead of June 15th.

If I've learned anything from this, it is this: never plan on writing a book that exceeds 100,000 words in a period of a month and a half, especially if you know that you're not going to be able to write every single day.

If I had written one chapter per day, as I originally planned, I'd finish the book on June 6th, which would leave me with seven days to edit and one day to format. It would have been a simple schedule that did not require that much work.

Naturally, the best laid plans of mice and men run astray. I went a few days without writing chapters- some out of choice and some out of a lack of electricity. In order to fix that, I have to speed up the production of chapters, which simply means that I have to go from writing two hours a day to four hours a day.

Anyways, thanks for reading.

I'll post again on June 1st.

I don't expect that I'll be posting again between June 1st and June 15th though. I'll be staying busy, and spending time writing blog posts will cut into my time for writing.

I suppose the only good news is that my inspiration returned to The Sword of Kirakath today, and I was able to plan out the eight plotlines that tie the nine plots of my series together.

Wow, that sounded a bit confusing.

Oh well, it didn't confuse me at least.

Once again, thanks for reading. Have a nice day/night.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Little of This, a Little of That

Okay, so this is going to be another fairly short blog post.

To start off with, I've fought with myself over whether I should go straight to The Shadows of Kirakath after Through the Flames is done or if I should start an urban fantasy series as well.

Just to give you an idea of how many ideas I have right now, let me say this:

Including The Sword of Kirakath, I have plans for 18 series of books. Two are duologies, two are trilogies, and all of the others are at least five books long.

So, I've decided to finish The Sword of Kirakath first. Once all nine books are out, I'll either start with one of the duologies, start with one of the trilogies, or do one of the urban fantasy ideas.

Hopefully, I'm not putting all of my eggs in a basked that's doomed to fail.

On other news, I'm not going to get much writing done today. We're going to the drive-in to see Thor and another movie. Thor is the one I really want to see, which is easy to see since I don't remember the name of the other movie.

On one final note, I'd like to say that I read Switched, Book 1 of Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy, last night. If you haven't read it, I'd recommend it. While it wasn't formatted in a way that says 'Professional' (it lacks page breaks between chapters), it was an excellent read.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sword of Kirakath Update

This is going to be a short update.

Many of you might remember that I said that The Sword of Kirakath would be a 12 book long series.

That's no longer the case. I've cut down the overall length to make it more manageable. I realized that with the number of books that would have been put out, not every volume would have been critical to the storyline.

That's literally all that I'm here to report.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"I want to write."

"I want to write."

There is not sentence that authors here more than that one, though it's followed closely by a a large number of other sentences.

Though I'm only nineteen years old, I've heard people say that to me over the years. I was the only person in my class that had actually finished a novel length work, thought I was probably one of five that actually wrote.

Just about every time someone learned that I wrote, they said, "I'd love to write, but I just couldn't do it."

I always heard someone that ranged from "I just don't have the patience." to "I just don't have the time."

Now, I shake my head when I hear someone say that. If someone really wanted to write, then they would.

It takes about 15 minutes for the average person to type 250 words. If you write for 15 minutes per day, you can write over 90,000 words in a year. Perhaps you can see why I shake me head now.

Regarding patience: well, I just don't understand that part. I'm incredibly impatience, but I love writing.

Perhaps some people just need to learn a little patience.

Now, I'll bring this to a conclusion.

If you want to write, then write. Don't let any excuses get in the way.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Slow Progress

I really wish that I had kept with my plan about writing a chapter every day, or writing 5k words per day. As it is, I'm only done with Chapter 18, and I'm going to have to go back in and add some more content (details mainly) to my chapters that came up short of the minimum length.

If I had kept to my plan, I'd be finished with Chapter 25 today, which would leave 12 chapters to be completed. Instead, I still have to do 19 chapters. To catch up, I have to write more than I'd like to on a few days, which really just means that I can't visit Kindle Boards as much as I'd like to.

Anyways, everything still looks good for a June 15th release.

I've done a bit of work on my blurb too. It'll be listed as a product description, which is my preferred way of referring to it.

Here it is:

Caleb was just a simple hunter's apprentice. He wanted nothing more than a simple life and was content to live out the days of his life beneath the green bowers of the sun-dappled forest. But when he returns home to find his village massacred and his family dead, the whispered words of his dying father hurl him onto a path of blood and vengeance.

In his epic quest for revenge, Caleb will discover that the mightiest of heroes, like the strongest of metals, can only be forged within the hottest fires and under the greatest pressures. His is a destiny which will forever change the face of Arcadia. It is a destiny which can only be reached in one way:


Through the Flames.

The kind folks over at Kindle Boards helped me with it a great deal.

Now, I want to go into one more thing before I wrap this up.

Tomorrow, I am removing the samples from this blog and my website. I will be readding them on June 14th. This means that you won't have another chance to read the sample chapters before I upload it to KDP if you don't read it today.

Thanks for reading.

I'll do another blog post Friday. The next blog topic will be entitled "I want to write, but...."

And yes, it will have quotation marks in the title.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Why I'm Going Indie

As I type this, I have never submitted any of my work to a publishing company. I've never received a rejection letter, and I've never even looking into agents, which are generally required to get in with the Big Six.

So why do I want to go indie?

My dream has always been to become a full-time author. Most authors don't make enough to do that, but more indie authors manage it for various reasons. That's only one reason behind my decision though, and it's not even my main one.

I answered this very question on Kindle Boards recently. Here's the answer I gave there:
"To put it simply, I don't want to go through long stretches of time where publishers are considering my work, along with the stretches of time that the books would no doubt have to wait on to be published.

I'm not in this for the money. I'm not in this for the fame, or the ability to say, "I was published by one of the Big Six."

I'm in this because I have stories that need to be told.  Being able to tell them how I want to without someone telling me to change anything is something that I just can't deny myself. Being able to choose my own cover art, put out books almost as quickly as I can write them, and being able to make it affordable just makes the deal sweeter."

And that's my answer. Take it or leave it.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Katie-Centric Sample

It's Sunday, so I've decided to do a "Sample Sunday" like many other authors do. This is an excerpt from Chapter 10 that focuses on Katie. It's the first time that I've ever posted anything that she was in, so here it goes....

 
With a deep breath, Katie stilled herself.
Nearly an hour had passed since she left Caleb near the front gates of Caldreth, and she was standing in front of the door of an unmarked tavern.
While the fact that the tavern did not have a sign or a name would have made some people suspicious, that was not the case with the tavern before her. It was only accessible through a back alley that was just about as far from Castle Caldreth as one could get while still being inside the city.
Placing her hand on the door handle, she slowly turned it and pushed the door open.
As the door opened, she suddenly became aware that every table inside the tavern was occupied, along with all of the seats at the bar. The fact that twenty sets of eyes were upon her was more worrying than anything, but she pushed her anxiety to the side and walked through the door.
She quickly walked along a straight path that would have taken her between the bar and the collections of tables, but she only managed to get halfway past the bar when a man turned on his stool and placed a burly hand on her shoulder.
“Where’re you going so fast, sweetie?” the man asked, his words slurring together enough that she had to focus to understand them.
Katie’s eyes suddenly turned to him, their edge far greater than what could normally be seen. With a sweeping wave of her arm, she knocked his hand from her shoulder and proceeded to spin on her heel. Before he could react, her hand was on the back of his head, gripping his hair forcefully.
The sound of wood cracking resounded as she slammed the man’s face into the far with every ounce of her strength.
The intoxicated man slipped from his stool as he fell into a state of unconsciousness with a bloody face.
Other than the sudden sound of the man hitting the ground, the tavern grew quiet with Katie’s actions. The tension in the room was great, despite the fact that no one appeared to have any intention of rising from their seats.
The silence was only broken as the sound of clapping rang through the tavern.
Katie’s eyes darted towards the direction that she had been walking towards originally. A man in his mid-thirties, dressed in fine clothes of a dark shade was making his way towards her. His hands came together three times, clapping with a look of amusement upon his face.
“I wondered if you had actually returned after all this time. It appears that you have indeed,” the man said as he stopped a dozen feet away. “I suppose you’ve been gone away for too long if someone’s actually willing to try to lay a hand on you. I seem to recall that the last person who did it lost his hand.”
“Nicolas can be overprotective,” she said stiffly. “It has been a while, Alexander. You’re just the man I came to see.”
His interest was piqued at those words. “Oh?”
“I’d rather discuss it in private,” she said as she glanced at the attentive patrons of the tavern.
“Of course,” Alexander said with a smile that reminded her of a snake. “Follow me.”

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Time Jitters

Though I'm still writing Through the Flames, I'm already dealing with first time jitters.

The first time that I am referring to is the time that you get a book out in the open.

As I write my book, I can't help but wonder how the response will be.

What if no one likes it? What if it turns out that I'm a horrible writer? What if my entire plan for the series, and the fantasy world itself, fails because of a terrible opening volume?

It's incredibly nerve-wracking, and it can be hard to try to hold confidence in myself and my abilities as a result.

That is part of why I blog about my book so much... well, that and the fact that this blog is dedicated to The Sword of Kirakath, along with the other books that will be published in the fantasy world of Terra Fatum.

As the saying goes, "Fake confidence, and real confidence will follow."

It's not working all that well, but I can be pretty pessimistic at times. I guess I won't truly know how it is taken until Through the Flames is up on Amazon and possibly Smashwords.

Well, that's it for the day. I might not post as often from now on. Apparently posting daily is only good in theory. It's easy to run out of things to say, especially if you don't want to ruin any surprises.

That's it for me. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chapter 14 Complete and Some Thoughts

Well, I am finally done with Chapter 14. I've been having some uphill struggles, but I think I'm making good progress thus far.

I don't really want to talk about my progress on the book right now though.

I am still going to talk about my writing, but it isn't about the progress.

So the topic of the day is the point-of-views of my characters.

Despite what I originally thought back when I first started, even third-person point of view books have a point of view character. The few books that completely lack a point of view character are called often "head-hopping" point of views. That's where the author reveals the thoughts of every character.

I used to do that, and it's a great way too expand a 400 page book into a 500 or 600 page book. It is not recommended by anyone though, not even by me.

That said, Through the Flames has five or six point of view characters. In the prologue, it is the central antagonist. At times, it is Caleb. At other times, it is Katie. And at the epilogue, it is a spectral knight. I'll likely have one or two more.

I don't always keep to the same character during a chapter. If I do a scene break, I may focus on the pov of another character. It happened in Chapter 10, as a matter of fact. There are also times when Caleb is knocked out and the person who did it is shown for a little while longer.

The rules behind third point of view writing can be a bit tricky at times. The bright side is that I'm not going to be told by someone that I have to follow them completely for my book to be published.

That said, I do not advocate breaking rules willynilly. Bending them, on the other hand, is fine.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cover and Time-frame

This will be a short blog post. I actually set this up last night and set it to post on it's own so that I could write throughout the day without being tempted to blog.

The first thing I'd like to discuss is the cover of Through the Flames.

I put the cover on Kindleboards, asking for opinions. I was met with good responses for the most part, though two people nearly convinced me to use something else.

But you know what? I like the current cover art. I chose to use it, and I don't think it looks home-made. Maybe I am too close to the matter at hand, but I didn't decide to self-pub just to let someone tell me that I shouldn't use the art that I want.

So, I'm still using the same artwork, but I've made the decision to change the font and the font color.

I'll let you know about it when I make a firm decision.

That said, I have every intention of changing the coverart completely when the paperback books come out.

After reviewing everything, I decided to release the paperbacks no less than six months after the e-books. This is mainly so that I can build up enough revenue to hire someone to redo the cover art of my first three or four books. I'd really like to have cover art similar to what was used on the latest reprints of RA Salvatore's Drizzt books.

Getting away from that subject, I'm going to address a time frame.

The time frame that I'm going to discuss isn't my schedule. It is the time frame that Through the Flames takes place in.

To put it simply, the Prologue takes place 2 days before Chapter 1. The Epilogue takes place 50 days after the Prologue and 2 days after Chapter 35. So despite what you may think at first, Through the Flames takes place over a period of less than two months.

Well, that'll do it for today. Have a nice day.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Introducing: Caleb of Kirakath

Today, I'm going to talk a little about Caleb of Kirakath, the protagonist of The Sword of Kirakath series of books.

At the start of the series, Caleb is sixteen years, three months old.

He is apprenticed under one of the greatest archers and hunters on the entire continent of Kyran, and he is the son of a former soldier that was fairly well-known at one time. His best friend is a prodigy in the art of swordsmanship as well.

Despite his connections to such skilled people, his only notable skill was archery, but not even that truly stood out as extraordinary. So what makes Caleb the greatest hero in the history of the Three Kingdoms of Kyran?

If you've followed along with my website, you may have seen what I posted about prophecy being a lost magic. Well, it's true. In fact, no prophecy exists that tells of events that occur in Caleb's era. So if your guess was that he was prophecized to be great, then you can guess again.

Caleb is an incredible person that even I find myself surprised by at times. Sometimes, he appears to be an incredibly trained warrior, but he always finds himself wondering, "How in the abyss did I do that?"

And before anyone guesses wrong, Caleb's sudden bursts of skill are related to a plotline in the series. They aren't plot holes.

As I was saying, Caleb surprises even me at times. Early on in Through the Flames, tragedy strikes, making him jaded in many aspects. It creates a dark side to him that makes even me cringe at times. For example, in Book 2, he draws his sword and decapitates a man after promising to free him. You'll notice that I was so vague that you can't count that as a spoiler.

If you don't want to read a series of books where people die, then The Sword of Kirakath might not be for you. Close to fifty people die in Through the Flames, and that's a conservative estimate.

It is because of Caleb's darkness that he becomes the hero that he is cherished as, though. Sure, his body count is higher than any other man since the Arcadian Rebellion, but it's funny how a man comes to be revered as a hero.

Before I go on, I'd like to address Caleb's age in relation to his status as a hero.

Simply put, Caleb might be sixteen during Through the Flames, but he's eighteen years old when he comes to be seen as a hero, though it'll be many years after that before he becomes viewed as a hero by everyone.

So how would I describe Caleb of Kirakath?

I'd say that at three different stages in his life, he was the least important person in Terra Fatum, the single most infamous person in Arcadia, and the greatest hero of the Three Kingdoms of Kyran.

On that note, I'm done. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some Thoughts

Well, I didn't finish another chapter today. I instead added on to some previous chapters.

This would put me behind the schedule that I set up the other day, but I don't believe it will.

Why is that?

Well, the simple fact of the matter is that I have a tendency to get more done on days where I have nothing to do but write. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, I don't have to work. College is over for the semester too. That means that I should be able to write with only a few interruptions during those days.

By the end of the month, I expect to be ahead of schedule, which would be very good.

Once I finish the actual writing, I have to edit it and file for a copyright. Once those two steps are finished, I'll be read to publish it.

I'm not all that interested in talking further about Through the Flames though. Instead I'll talk about something that has me happy.

First off, I joined Kindle Boards yesterday. During my first day there, I finally met one of my favorite authors, David Dalglish. he was the one who introduced me to indies, and for that I am thankful.

If you haven't read his "Half-Orcs" series, I'd definitely recommend it. I have the first three books of it, but I need to re-read them and leave some reviews. After all, I made the decision to always review any indie books that I read.

Well, that's all I want to talk about. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chapter 10 Complete and Other Thoughts

Well, I just finished Chapter 10. It came in at just over 3k words as expected. I like how Through the Flames is coming along, though I'm eager to get on to some of the more fun chapters. Caleb and Katie are fun to right though, so it's still nice in the meantime.

I have to say that inspiration is a funny thing.

I had intended for there to be three major fights in Through the Flames. The first one brought Caleb and Katie together as companions. The second one truly introduces the Sword of Kirakath into the story. And the third one was the conclusive battle that brings Caleb to the revenge that he seeks through the book.

That last fight has ended up being moved to the fourth major fight of the book though. In order to prevent a certain plot hole from coming about, I had to change some things up a bit. Inspiration struck the moment that I started to change the plan for a certain part of the book.

In short, I've added a fight between Caleb, Katie, and a golem. That's all I want to say on the matter, though I suppose I'll go ahead and add that the golem will be similar to the golems of Dragon Age.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Little of This, Little of That

It looks like I skipped my first day in regards to blog posts. Unfortunately, Blogger decided to go offline for half a day, so I couldn't blog last night.
Oh well.

The good news is that I finished Chapter 8 and Chapter 9 yesterday. Chapter 8 came in at 3.6k words, whereas Chapter 9 came in at just over 2k words.

Now, I'm going to go on to talk about one of the most important things about The Sword of Kirakath which has not yet come up.

To put it simply, I'm going to address the biggest aspect that generally comes to mind when I say that the hero and the heroine are sixteen years old at the start of the series.

You may ask, "Is The Sword of Kirakath a young adult (YA) series?"

To that, I say, "No, it is not."

This is the part that some people won't readily understand. Generally, a series that focuses on young characters is considered to be YA, but the ages of the characters has nothing to with the rating of the book.

I have nothing against YA books. I love the Ranger's Apprentice books, and my favorite indie book, The Door to Canellin, is YA. But, I want you think about something. Can I rightfully classify a book as YA when the character's home village is massacred, where the protagonist gleefully kills dozens of people
towards the end of the book, and where several characters cuss in varying amounts? I believe that ranks it as a bit higher than YA. As it is, the characters in the story won't stay that young throughout the rest of the story, anyways.

With that in mind, I'd like to say that the target audience for the books that make up The Sword of Kirakath is epic/high fantasy fans between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five. If you are familar with target audiences, you'll know that it's incredibly common for only half of the readers (at most) to fit in with the ages that I mentioned. I fully expect people younger and older to read it. After all, Twilight is considered to be YA, and it is read by mothers in their thirties and up.
Anyways, that's all I'm going to blog about this time around.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hurdles

Sometimes, we must face hurdles in all aspects of life. The same is true for everyone, even writers.

Chapter 8 of Through the Flames is a hurdle. I realize that now. So before I tackle it and finally complete that huge annoyance, I'm going to blog about this for a bit.

How is a chapter a hurdle, you ask?

Well, occasionally you come to a chapter that you know exactly what's going to happen in it, but you keep having trouble obtaining what you seek. Some people make uphill progress on such a hurdle, while some people write and rewrite a chapter numerous times. I'm one of the former.

I seem to have exhausted all but one of my planned lazy days, so I'm going to have to get on the ball. If I want to have a lazy day, I'm going to have to write two chapters on at least one day. Such a goal should help set me straight.

To be honest, it's not just me being a bit lazy and disliking the way the chapter is turning out that has stalled the chapter's completion. I lost power twice tonight, and I write best at night. With a crappy battery in my laptop, I have 45 minutes of writing before my battery dies. Thus, I had to wait to write until after the power came back on. I don't like it when my battery dies, after all.

Anyways, thanks for reading. Have a good one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I hate losing a day

I hate losing a day.

What I mean is that I hate when a day comes and goes without any progress.

At the present, I'm working at Arby's part-time. That essentially means I get to work 11-2 five days a week and occasionally come in for a split shift. I don't mind no working that many hours. After all, it gives me more time to write.

I hate split shifts though.

Working a split shift means that I get six hours total for the day, but it also means that I have to go to work before I'm awake enough to get any writing done, I have to go back to work before I've relaxed enough to write after the first shift, and I'm getting tired right as I've relaxed enough to write after the second shift. That's what happened yesterday. Thus, Chapter 8 is still being worked on. It's a good thing I planned for having a few days of nothing nothing during my writing schedule.

Well, I'm not going to talk about much other than that.

I will say that earlier today, my total page views for this blog stayed at 666 for about an hour. I thought it was kind of funny, but it changed before I could tell anyone.

Oh well.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Idle Thoughts

Before I get to work on Chapter 8 of Through the Flames, I'm going to talk about some idle thoughts that I've been having lately.

So start with, I've been thinking a little about the price point of Through the Flames. Though I'm still thinking about going with the $2.99 starting price point, I've also been considering going with $0.99 right off the bat. Or, I might just wait until The Shadows of Caldreth is out to drop the price, whereas my original plan was to wait until The Witch of Akabar was out to do it. That's not too important of an idea to talk about right now though.

Now, the topic goes on to the sample chapters. To put it simply, the sample chapters may change a bit before the release date. After all, I may decide to rewrite them a bit more after I listen to the entire story using text to speech. Wouldn't want a weak beginning to ruin the story, after all.

Speaking of the story... I have considered writing a prologue after I finish the last chapter of Through the Flames. After all, a good portion of the story has the antagonist being completely unknown. It isn't until Chapter 22 or 23 that Caleb learns his name, which is 12-13 chapters before the end of the book.

Before I truly seem to have devoured a large amount of sugar, I'd like to discuss Through the Flames and its place in The Sword of Kirakath.

The Sword of Kirakath, The Shadows of Caldreth, and The Witch of Akabar will basically be a trilogy within the series, though that's not actually completely correct. They will be different than the later books because of the antagonists within them, along with the adventures of the main characters.

My mention of the three books basically being a trilogy ties in with the fact that they will be grouped in an omnibus towards the end of the year. At the latest, I should have it up by New Year's Day.

Since I like names like "Through the Flames (The Sword of Kirakath, Book 1)", it is highly likely that I'll use "Genesis of the Sword (The Sword of Kirakath, Volume 1", though I might just go with "The Sword of Kirakath Omnibus, Volume 1."

Sometimes less is more, I suppose.

Anyways, those are just some idle thoughts.

Thanks for reading and following my blog.

Note: That last part is directed to the six people that are following it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

About My Writing

I said that I'd have a surprise topic today, though I had no idea what that topic would be at the time.

So what's this surprise topic, you may ask?

Well, I thought I'd talk about my writing. That's quite vague, so let me explain. I'll talk about my early works, my inspirations behind Through the Flames, etc.

To start off with, I began writing urban fantasy back when I was about thirteen.

After a conversation with my dad, he suggested that I write a vampire book with a basic plot. I won't go into the plot he suggested, but I immediately attempted to write it. It made sense to me. I was a big vampire fan, which he knew before he gave that advice. Anyways, it took my something like 6-8 weeks to complete it. At the time, I thought it was great.

The last time I saw it, I deleted it from my computer, knowing full well that I'd lose the only copy of it. It was that bad.

Anyways, I started on traditional fantasy when I was a sophomore, though I did a bit of traditional fantasy roleplaying the year before... and the year before that.

I worked on a number of traditional fantasy stories and urban fantasy stories throughout high school. Most of the former were heavily inspired by a friend's work. Those stories were too heavily rooted in my friend's to be decent, to be honest. Sure, I highly doubt his work will ever be finished, let alone published- he's spent well over four years working on it and still isn't even halfway done with the first story- but I could never have been proud of it. I wouldn't go so far as to say that they were plagiarism, but they were very derivative, all the same.

My writing seemed to truly pick up during my senior year. I took the two freshman-level English classes at the local college. It was here that I actually became aware of the most important rule of dialogue. I am, of course, referring to the fact that you must change lines every time the speaker changes.

I felt ashamed that I had never noticed this in the many books I read, but I wasn't all that observant.

I graduated from high school in May of 2009, and I spent the time between then and now writing original fiction and fanfiction, along with reading a great deal. It was during this time that I truly learned about writing.

As I've stated, I've written a great deal over the years. I believe that I've gone a little over the 10,000 hours it takes to become good at something.

That 10,000 hour thing I mentioned is related to the Rule of 10,000. It states that you must do something for 10,000 hours to become good at something. That's what I've heard, anyways.

Getting back to the topic at hand... I began writing "The Sword of Kirakath" in November of 2010.

The concept behind The Sword of Kirakath originated from one of the stories that I worked on back in 2009.

I was going through the files on my computer, checking them out and deleting them. One of them was about Caleb of Kirakath. In that story, it took place a few years after the Massacre of Kirakath, in which a large number of bandits massacred his village while he was hunting.

Caleb of Kirakath, along with his backstory, was the only thing that I took from that old story before I deleted it.

Making a reappearance in my "The Sword of Kirakath" story that I worked on in November 2010, Caleb of Kirakath quickly became my favorite character. Among the ones that I created, at least.

At the end of December, I decided that The Sword of Kirakath needed to be rewritten. The female lead in it became incredibly overpowered, just like every other mage. I had constructed a bad system of magic, apparently.

I was also being too strongly influenced by the trailers and speculations of Dragon Age 2.

So I took a break from original fiction, not returning to it until May 1st of this year. You should be able to tell what my first original fiction since that break is.

And thus, the rewrite of The Sword of Kirakath immediately turned into Through the Flames. I can already tell that it will be my best work to date.

To finish this off, I'd like to say that none of my world building was done this year. All of it comes from my actions in December 2010 when I was preparing to do a rewrite. I completed that world building before the first of the year, and the only thing I've done with it since then is a bit of revision.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Minor Updates

I'm going to talk about Through the Flames, once again.

First off, I've modified the description of the book. The original description hinted at things yet to come in future installations, which I was not too fond of. Thus, I've modified one specific part of the description.

Here it is:
Caleb knew that his life would change with his best friend's departure, but he never could have imagined how greatly it would change.
 
With everyone that he has ever cared about destroyed, he finds himself on an adventure that will completely redefine his life and set him upon a path to become the greatest hero in the history of Arcadia.
 
Through the flames, Caleb will go, for the strongest metals can only be forged with the hottest flames and the greatest pressures.
 
Moving on, I've changed the heroine's name. She was originally going to be named Amy, but the name wasn't connecting with the character that I was imagining. She seemed to insist that she was a "Katie", so that's her new name. Fortunately, I made this decision before I wrote her debut into the story. Changing names is a long a grueling process when you're halfway through a book.
 
The next little update in the story is that I've done some further editing to the first three chapters. In short, they aren't exactly the same as the ones I originally posted. I've fixed some typos, added some missing words, and edited out some of the emphasis on the colors on the characters hair in the dialogue.
 
That's about it on that front.
 
I'll end this on an interesting note. When I wrote Caleb's encounter with the black bear in Chapter 3, I had to research black bears. It was from this that I discovered that black bears are said to be one of the better tasting types of bears out there and that they supposedly taste similar to pork. Before I learned that, I had not intended for Caleb to use it as a source of food.
 
Anyways, I'll be posting a bit tomorrow about a surprise topic.
 
Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Text to Speech

Today, I'd like to talk a bit about text to speech.

Text to speech is an audio streaming feature that is common on e-readers.

I always thought it was a fairly pointless feature, to be honest. I have a K3- Latest Generation Kindle with 3G and Wi-Fi- and had never saw a reason to use it.

For those who have never used it, let me simply say that text to speech (on the Kindle) streams the words from the e-books using pre-recorded sounds. This means that it produces a monotone audio version of the e-book.

It's great for those who can tolerate it while driving. It makes them able to continue with a book, even when they are supposed to be driving to work.

However, it's terrible for any other use, really. That was my opinion before today, however.

Using Mobipocket Creator, I made an e-book out of the first 4 chapters of Through the Flames. I went through all the motions, adding the cover art, the mock copyright page, adding the dedications page, adding the table of contents, adding the map, and adding the bookmarks that tell the Kindle where the toc (Table of Contents) and the start are.

I checked the e-book out with Kindle Previewer to make sure that it looked right. Kindle Previewer is a free program from Amazon's website that simulates a Kindle for people who want to make sure their book will look good when it is published. With it and Mobipocket Creator, you can't go wrong.

I had to revise a paragraph when I saw that it wasn't playing nice with the previewer and was making it look as though I had used tabs instead of spaces between words. Thus, I had to redo the whole process.

The second time I did it all, it came out just as I wanted it to. I can only hope it comes out as well when the book is complete, but that's another subject altogether.

With the four chapter e-book complete, I saw that I could open it with Kindle for PC, so I got curious.

Needless to say, I connected my Kindle to my PC via usb cord and transferred the e-book to it. It showed up as a regular e-book with "Ryne" as the author. I'm still wondering how my name showed up since I did not add it, however.

Anyways, my first four chapters showed up on my Kindle as an e-book, and all the features were enabled, including text to speech.

See, I wasn't going off subject after all.

I came up with a bright idea at that moment. What if I used text to speech? What if I listened to it carefully. Paying someone to edit my book would be expensive, and it's not something I can even consider before I even have a single book out there to bring in some revenue.

Text to speech is great, as I soon learned. There is nothing like a monotone voice reading your work aloud. It makes your mistakes glaring, and it also provides you with a good laugh. Nothing like hearing "Keera-cath" instead of "Keera-cauth", among other things.

As it turns out, the Kindle is not just great for readers. It's also great for writers.

Anyways, that's all from me today. I'm not going to post when Chapter 5 is finished since I've already said the important stuff for the day.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Through the Flames- Chapter 4 and Other News

As you should remember, all three sample chapters have been posted. I won't be posting any more sample chapters, despite the fact that Chapter 4 will almost certainly be included in a Kindle sample when the book is published.

With that in mind, I'd like to say that I just finished Chapter 4 of Through the Flames.It's longer than any of the first three chapters, thankfully, but it's still not as long as I would have liked. Oh well, I still think it's a good chapter.

Now, I'm going to move on to the "Other News" that is indicated in this post title.

The first bit of news is that the release date has been change. Keep in mind that the release date is not exact, but I've changed it from July 1st, which was my original plan. Instead, I suspect that it will be for sale on June 15th. If I keep up how I've been writings, I'll complete it sooner than I have planned.

To make things clear, the actual writing should be finished no later than June 10th. I plan to edit as I go for the most part. By that, I mean that I have the book divided into three parts, in my head at least. I'll edit one part once I finish writing all the chapters in it. The same goes for the second and third parts. Thus, the third part is the only one that I should need to edit after the actual writing is done.

Next, I have to say that the world of Terra Fatum- the world that The Sword of Kirakath is set in- is amazing, even to me. It feels as though I'm still discovering it. That's possibly why I expect that The Sword of Kirakath will only be one series set in the world. I'm quite interested in telling the tales of Kyran and Sir Edmond, along with writing a prequel- maybe a prequel trilogy- that centers on the amazing Michael Sullivan.

I feel that so many books set in this world would be a good idea, and I could easily keep using the same website for all of them, though I'd need to change some pages around a bit since the current homepage of the website is all about The Sword of Kirakath series.

Finally, I'll move on to the final bit of news, which isn't even really news at all if you've paid attention to me closely.

Through the Flames will be released with a $2.99 price tag. At least, the Kindle version will. The price will be dropped to $0.99 when the third book is released, which I expect to happen in December of this year. At that time, I intend to release an omnibus containing the first three books, though the omnibus will be an e-book exclusive thing.

So in short, Through the Flames will be $2.99 until December, though I plan to do occasional (temporary) price drops for certain holidays. That price will permanently drop to $0.99 when I have three books out, but it will be the only e-book in the series (that is planned) to drop below $2.99 permanently.

When the omnibus is released, which will be the same day as the third book, the price will be...

Well, maybe I should say what the individual books would be together first. That'll give a bit of perspective. With Through the Flames at $0.99, The Shadows of Caldreth at $2.99, and The Witch of Akabar at $2.99, the three e-books would cost $6.97.

I plan on putting the omnibus up for $5.49. Newcomers to the series could easily save a bit of money and buy the entire omnibus.

These are just some loose plans for the rest of the year. Keep that in mind.

When the series is complete, I might do a complete omnibus, but I don't know about that. With a 9-12 book series, an omnibus would be a difficult thing to do. There's also no way I'd sell it for less than $14.99, which would get the book tagged by the $9.99 boycotters. That would definitely annoy me.

Those are more idle thoughts than anything though. I don't imagine the series being complete until at least 2013, which means that it's way too early to talk about what I'll do at that point. We all know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men, after all.

Anyways, that's it for now. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Through the Flames- Third Sample Chapter

I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

The third and final sample chapter of Through the Flames has been finished and posted on my website here: https://sites.google.com/site/theswordofkirakath/home/through_the_flames/chapter_3

I did a read through and did not find any errors, which makes me a bit nervous. If anyone finds any, feel free to point them out. I highly doubt that I managed to write a chapter without a single typo in it. It would be a rarity if I did manage it.

Anyways, like the first two chapters, it's a bit on the short side. What's the odds that the only three chapters that are really planned to be short are the ones that I post up here?

Oh well. I guess you gotta take what you can get.

Anyways, I won't be letting anyone see the rest of the chapters that I write until it's published. Thanks for reading the sample chapters.

Have a nice night.

Through the Flames- Second Sample Chapter

I just finished editing Chapter 2, so here's the sample chapter.

For those of you who haven't realized it, I like to make links blend in.

"here's the sample chapter." is a link.

You only notice links on this blog if you move your mouse over them. I like how that works.

Anyways, Chapter 2 is probably going to be the shortest chapter of the entire book, with maybe the Epilogue as the only exception. The first two chapters are what I call "the dull chapters." They are important because they set up the story, but they aren't as fun as the rest of the story.

Provided I keep to plan, Through the Flames will be thirty-five chapters long, excluding the epilogue.

Anyways, that's it from me for the moment. Thanks for reading. Hopefully the last sample chapter will be posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

That Didn't Last Long

Well, my plan to write a chapter a day has already fallen through- sort of.

I didn't write a chapter day like I had planned. Between editing the first chapter to make sure it was fit to be posted on my website and formulating an actual chapter by chapter outline, along with the normal things I do every day, I ended up only writing a thousand words yesterday.

Oh well. I just realized that if I did write a chapter a day, the actual writing would be done on June 5th anyways. With a week or so of editing and a few days of formating for the e-book, it would be out even sooner than planned.

I'll take another stab at this plan of mine. If I can finish Chapter 2 and write Chapter 3 today, then I'll be back on schedule. It would certainly be nice to have this first book out when I turn twenty.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Through the Flames- First Sample Chapter

I just wanted to give you guys a quick update.

The first sample chapter, which is Chapter 1, of Through the Flames has been posted on my website.

Here's the link.

That will be one of three sample chapters posted.

Now, I've gone through and proofed that chapter, so there shouldn't been any grammar or spelling errors with it. Hopefully I didn't miss any.

Oh, and when you go to it, you'll notice two things at the bottom of the chapter. It says "Back" and "Next Chapter."

Back is a link.

Next Chapter is not a link.

Don't try to click on Next Chapter in the hopes that the second chapter, which I'm writing at the moment, will show up. I put it like that so that I could turn it into a link after I'm done writing and editing Chapter 2.

Thanks for reading.

Small Achievements

Well, I've just finished writing Chapter 1 of Through the Flames, which was a rather annoying process. Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 are the most frustrating chapters of the story from what I can tell. They set the story up, and managing to make them interesting and of decent length is a challenge.

Chapter length is a rather difficult thing to decide on. I've concluded that it's best not to establish a minimum or maximum chapter length. A chapter should be as short or as long as necessary.

Chapter 1 was completed at 2.5k words, which is about five and a half pages typed. On printer paper, at least. There's no telling how long it would be on novel size paper with novel size print. I do have a formula for it, but I prefer not to use it anymore.

On another note, I recently checked out a blog that gives you technical information on how to format a novel for Kindle with the assistance of Mobipocket Creator and Mobipocket Reader. From what I gather, I should be able to use the information to turn my story into a proper e-book when it's done with a linked table of contents, a map of the kingdom that the series is set in, and the whole system of being able to press right on the directional pad of the Kindle to skip to the next chapter.

Here's the website:
http://www.cjs-easy-as-pie.com/
It's done through Blogger in a round-about way, which I think's pretty cool.

Anyways, I have decided that I'm going to write the first part of Through the Flames and do my editing on it before I move on to the second part. The first part will only be four chapters, whereas the second and third part will be quite a bit longer. The first part sets up the story though, so that's to be expected.

Thanks for reading, and have a nice day.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Education and Writing

I should be working on Through the Flames, but I had something that I wanted to talk about for a little while.

This blog entry is in response to a very brief argument I had recently with someone on the Amazon Kindle forums.

They basically said that they believed that only college graduates should be published and that anyone without the dedication to graduate from college can't have the dedication to finish a decent book.

I hope no one's surprised that I disagree with that completely.

I was amazed that anyone could believe something like that, to be completely honest.

Don't get me wrong, I am aware that someone with a Masters in English is going to be talented with the English language, but writing isn't a science. You can know the English language better than anyone alive and still be a horrible writer. Writing is an art. Novelists are artists.

Keep in mind that the other person specifically said that there was no way anyone that lacked the dedication to graduate from college could have the dedication to finish a decent book.

That makes it clear that it has nothing to do with what the person actually knows. According to that belief, someone with an associates degree in Math would be more likely to write a decent book than someone who never went to college but has been writing stories their entire lives.

As I said, I was amazed that anyone could believe something like that.

To be completely honest, I don't believe there is a correlation between College Education and Writing. I don't even believe that there is a correlation between High School Education and Writing.

As long as you know how to write a story and have a good grasp of the English language, you have the technical requirements to write. You can obtain both of those from reading. Paying attention to how professional authors do dialogue, description, and other things can teach you quite a bit.

The most important thing you need to have to be a writer, however, is creativity. You can't be an artist unless you are a little creative, after all.

With all that said, I want to make it clear that there are exceptions to what I said. The major exception is non-fiction. If you're going to write non-fiction, it would be a very good idea to study whatever it is you're writing about at a professional level.

Once again, thanks for reading.

Finally....

Well, I have finally started the writing process of Through the Flames, seeing as how I finally finished up that fanfiction I had been working on.

Now, I'm not insulting fanfiction or anything- it's great for some people- but I hope to never do anything of the story ever again. Working within the constraints of another person's world isn't that fun in my opinion. It's far more fun to sit down and do the world building process. After all, once you finish creating a fantasy world, it's so easy to get lost in that world.

But anyways, I've discovered that writing a description/summary for a book is incredibly frustrating. Well, it is when it's the first book in a series, at least.

You're stuck knowing that you need to explain what it is without making it sound too simplistic, but being too detailed gives away certain elements of the story as well. I can now see why many authors try to keep the summaries for their books brief and vague.

Well anyways, I guess I get to see how long my plan of writing a chapter a day lasts.

Thanks for reading.