Aspiring author and random thinker

Tag Archives: amateur author

Vote for Book of Kayal!

Hey guys. I recently am trying this new publishing service called SOOP (Something or Other Publishing). They work with a voting system to let the readers decide what they want to get. I’ve put my fantasy book there ‘Book of Kayal: Strength of Unity’ and would appreciate the votes should you be interested.

The book is part of a series (all stand alone books taking place in the same world and in the general setting of one larger series of events) and the first to be published. It follows Ganis, an undead soldier who was sent to join a group sent by the Emperor to capture the figurehead of a rebellion.

Among the dilemmas Ganis faces are philosophical and moral ones, such as gender discrimination, and religious dilemmas. It is mostly inspired by contemporary events in the Middle East yet it’s set in a fantasy setting.

You can vote here if you’re interested (it requires email subscription):

Here is an amazon link of the available ebook:

If you’re interested send me a pm and I’ll send you a pdf or kindle-compatible version of the book. I’m also looking for reviewers and would not mind the input for the next edition or possibly even book idea.


On Writing: Writeon by Kindle

I recently discovered I wonder how useful it will be. I would appreciate any feedback on my current edit-in-progress book.

On Writing: Finding Time

It has been a while since I wrote on this blog and reported my progress. That was, unfortunately, because I have not had much time these past two years and I could not write to my hearts content. Two days ago, however, I finally managed to make some time and squeeze in some writing. I managed to write about 12,000 words in these two days in a binge-writing-type phenomena. I finally finished my fifth installment of the series I have been working on. It has been so long that I missed it so much.

The other day I was chatting with someone about writing and he told me that there was this study about writing which made people happier and more productive in their work. I found the article and read it and it made a compelling case. I really do feel that after I write things seem a little brighter, often blindingly.

When we think that we are most busy is when we need to write the most.

On Writing: The Choice Diagram

About a month ago I started working on my new book, a poor choice considering that I have not yet completed my fourth installment of Book of Kayal, because I found myself in a unique position to learn about writing from some incredibly talented writers and professors.

This one, however, is different from all my former stories, mainly because it is an exaggerated and science-fiction version of an interesting former experience of mine, which I chose not to disclose at the moment. Also I expect to improve my skills writing this book at an accelerated rate compared to the other books because of the vast wealth of resources available to me, including mentoring.

Yet I still continue to develop my own writing process and refrain from using that of someone else, unless for exercising purposes, and only pick up elements which I find potentially useful and testing them. One of the new additions I have come to explore is the ‘choice diagram’, essentially a diagram for all the main characters in the story which states the choices they have for all decisions contributing to plot development.

For example, the first chapter/part in my new story, which I decided to name ‘Palladium Falls’, is about a man trying to put together a case stating that robots – specifically a highly, self-evolving type of robots – should have their own freedom. The first set of choices he face is to go through the process through the courts or through the scientific community, he chooses the first. Then he faces a choice of bringing a robot to be questioned, bearing in mind that it would provide both him and his opponent the opportunity to take advantage of this situation, or bring one of the scientists working on the self-evolving program supplied to the robots.

The choices go on as such until the conclusion is reached. At the moment I am experimenting with simple ‘choice diagrams’ considering that I don’t really understand its potential impact yet, or whether it is better to have a complicated/detailed one or a simple one, yet I intend to develop a set of integrated diagrams by which all choices made by the main characters are influenced by one another. Essentially I plan to have this diagram visually depict the perspectives of the characters as they continue to interact and develop.

Maybe this is a completely useless idea, or maybe it is the best idea I have come up with since I decided to pick up writing.

On Writing: Refining The Formula

I finally got some time to go on a writing bonanza and started working on the third part of my current five-part-book. I noticed that as I proceeded,my interests shifted and I forgot what message I originally wanted to send, even though I prepared the semi-detailed outline I previously mentioned, and where I wanted the story to go.

I came across another problem, the chapters started slowly loosing flow – not in terms of the story, but in terms of writing style – and it occurred to me that another formula was needed inside the one I originally followed.

Just to keep things updated, I will say a little about the format I loosely follow:

  1. I start with a ‘golden idea’, a unique message I want to send
  2. Then I move to the outlining of my 5-chapter part system, where each book is composed of parts consisting of five chapters each
  3. After the outline I move to the detailed outline of each part as I work on it, so its simply a module-based way of expanding the first outline that clearly states the goal, characters and obstacles for achieving this goal
  4. Then I start writing the part
  5. When I am done with the part,I start repeating steps (3) and (4) until the book is finished
  6. Finally, I revise the content and update it, trying to add small details I feel are relevant or delete ones not related to the story or of little value

But then I noticed over the past few days that the stories, while focusing on the goal and the general progression of the idea, lacks enough descriptive feel. In short, the story and dialogue proceeds just fine, albeit in a liner fashion of which I do not entirely approve, but the setting is becoming ignored.

I ended up having the last chapter composed of great, meaningful conversations that take place nowhere.

This made me realize that I need to further add to the general formula I have been using on an even smaller, more detailed level, that of each conversation and situation. Perhaps this is simply not my style, and I personally know that many people do not really care about the setting and just want to get the message, but still it bothers me that it is not yet coming to me as second nature.

Good luck and happy living.

On Writing: Songs and Poems

Now I know nothing about writing songs and poems, and whatever I know about writing in general is fairly limited, save for one thing: they are amazingly effective and keeping a story in mind.

For the past nine months I have been struggling to get any writing done due to time constraint. The one thing I noticed, however, was that I often had free time in no longer than 15-30 minute chunks. While this was not enough for me to write anything, for it takes me some time to get in the mood of writing and get my thoughts straight, it enough for me to write a verse or short song/poem about one of my stories. This did a good job of keeping it in mind and getting new ideas.

My current work in progress is a continuation of my series “Book of Kayal’ and reached a total of just under 30k words at the moment, about a third of its expected completed length, and I tried applying a new outlining method which, unfortunately, is not working very well for me. I found myself deviating from it lately, even more so when I started writing these little songs, and will have to go through several revisions of the outline by the time I am completed with the story. I cannot say if this is a better thing for the story in general or not, but it is certainly distracting me from progressing with it.

I will continue to keep you updated as something new comes about. Perhaps I will share one of my amateurish attempts at making a relevant song for one of my stories.

On Writing: Published on Kindle

I have finally published the first edition of the third book I have written via Kindle. The book will be available for free on Friday 14/6/2013 and Saturday 15/6/2013.

On Writing: Finished Book II

I just finished the first draft of my second book today.

Unlike the first book which had been written as two separate stories and combined, the second one was planned in a more detailed manner. Before writing this one, I did an adequate amount of research to develop my characters properly and wrote a summarized biography on each one of them – this ended being around 5,500 words and took two days worth of work.

I then prepared a simple outline for the first chapter and started working. This book is three parts and, unfortunately, the process changed significantly during the writing. For the first two parts, I wrote the chapter outline for each chapter separately then finished off the chapter. Going with this method for 10 chapters, 5 for each part, I managed to keep myself interested in writing the story as well as have its events flow smoothly, relatively.

By the time I reached the 65,000 words, I began getting really bored by the story and found that I was pushing through the writing process as if it was a chore. As a result the quality of writing deteriorated in the middle of the story, and it took a rather depressing turn away from the light one I intended it to have, but the sequence of events seemed to be flowing as I intended.

For the first two parts, the outline reached 6,500 words (about 1:10 ratio to the content) and was explaining key events appropriately. As for the third and final part, I decided to tackle it with a different way, one inspired by what I learnt from writing short stories. I spent around a week preparing two outlines. The first was a general outline which included the following elements for the part: (1) Goal, (2) Requirements, (3) Methods, (4) Conditions, (5) Issues/Problems, and (6) Key Explanations. The outline had all the elements I wanted to cover summarized in 1,600 words. This general outline was then expanded to a detailed outline which included all of these elements for each chapter with an exception of (6) Key Explanations which was saved for the final wrap-up chapter. For every chapter a brief summary was written and then expanded into individual sub-chapters for it. I attempted to include a moral concept or an interesting idea in each chapter while linking it to the main plot. An attempt to make each chapter stand-alone was made, but with little success. The detailed outline ended up being 8,500 words.

Overall, I found that the best method for me two write is not to tackle the book as a free-writing discovery type of literature, but to slowly move in short outlined modules. This way enables me to plan a decent outline while keeping the creativity factor alive, hence preventing me from being bored with the project. For me, the trick is to outline a maximum of five chapters ahead and deviate from it with limitations. Most importantly, I found that the quality of writing and interest factor for the author and reader increases the more the content stimulates the thinking process – as long as it does not make either process exhausting.

Starting from tomorrow, I will be proofreading and editing the first draft of the first part to make sure the story remains consistent with the end. Unlike the first book, I will be starting on my second draft immediately and delay the one-month-break process to the third draft, if I decide to continue with it.

I read somewhere that writers start producing high-quality work after their millionth word, and that is the goal I intend to reach within the next two years. So far I have written slightly over 250,000 words of unedited story content.