thinkinglazy

Aspiring author and random thinker

Tag Archives: Book Writing

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.

Why I haven’t been posting much

Dear followers and all those who read this post,

I have not had the opportunity to write much lately, thus there was nothing to post about, due to an interesting and unexpected development in my life, I have gotten into Yale to prepare for my second Master’s degree. It has been busy and extremely interesting. Next semester, however, I intend to take up a new sci-fi project that should put all the skills I learnt into good use. I will keep you posted about it when I start working on this piece.

Best.

Originum: The Seven Houses of Light

I was working on some lore for my fifth fantasy novel and decided to share it here. Let me know what you guys think.

The Seven Houses of Light were Salus’ main solution to battle the threat of corruption from external entities in Nosgard. After embarking on his quest, Deliverance, Salus, the Demigod Emperor Servak’s youngest son of two, realized that the agents of corruption are many and that they act as powerful forces to suppress the potential of Nosgard and its inhabitants.

Because the agents of corruption often worked in both hidden and revealed manners, Salus thought he should have plans to address both types of interference. The Seven Houses of Lights were established to, primarily, battle the type of corruption that requires no revealing, the ones who were acknowledged by the public to be a threat.

In order to strengthen the unity of Nosgard, a council of fourteen active members and one hidden member, initially Salus, was established. They would convene and decide on the path the Republic of Nosgard, formerly an empire, would take, peacefully and with mutual understanding.

Each house was formed by the official unity, usually marriage, of two opposite and distinguished Nosgardian individuals. These houses then would operate individually to generate money so they could finance whatever military, economic or developmental projects were required and decided upon to be in the benefit of Nosgard.

In return for their social status, the ruling families of the Seven Houses of Light were required to educate their children diligently and send them to roam the lands of Nosgard and beyond to learn as much as they can about it and its people. They were taught to become leaders with a strong sense of belonging, understanding and loyalty to the land.

Due to this condition, the Seven Houses of Light often lost many royal members during their dangerous education and endeavors, knows as The Pilgrimage; a risk dictated when they were first founded. The survivors of The Pilgrimage, however, became the pillars by which the Republic of Nosgard stood strong and the reason behind the continuous strengthening of the Seven Houses of Light.

In time, the Houses decided that the unity of Nosgard required a mutual goal, expansion, and began building armies to conquer the surrounding lands. The Eastern Charge was the first conquest sent to the Trakian Isles, and its soldiers were under the employ of the House of Egtahd.

Although the Seven Houses of Light were not affiliated to any city or ruler, only to the Republic of Nosgard, they were each located in a different city where they held their primary operations and responsibilities. Thus the Seven Houses of Light, in time, gained influence and loyalty from different cities, depending on their location. The House of Temperance, for example, was located in Gallecia and recruited most of its members from the city. There was, nevertheless, no rule or condition that they would adhere to recruiting and employing people from certain cities. Anyone was welcomed to join whatever House they wished, should the Houses be interested.

 

House Name City of Origin Insignia
First House of Temperance Gallecia The Eye
Second House of Egtahd Kol The Drop of Blood
Third House of Patienta Partha The Sand Dial
Fourth House of Tawda Alvissmal The Bowing Man
Fifth House of Naka Orkstad Isles The Veiled Maiden
Sixth House of Caritas Senna The Open Coin Purse
Seventh House of Godhet Estgard The Open Palm

 

On Writing: Perspective

I recently read a book called ‘Outlaw of Gor’ and it provided me with an outlook of something I have been thinking about for quite some time, writing fantasy from a first person perspective (I am not sure if this terminology applies in writing).

When I first started writing, I wanted to document a specific period in my life that few have been through, I shall keep it a mystery for now, and never got to do it because I thought that autobiographies suck unless they have a somewhat decent writing style. The words in biographies, as I discovered myself by reading them, bear much more weight than in other genres. It has to be art, not just a recollection of events.

So I started working on my fifth book, which would probably be titled Flamesoul or Grieving Flame, and writing it from a first person perspective. It is a fantasy book set in the world I have been working on for the past year or so, and will aim to address the topic of immortality while, if I manage to incorporate it, its relevance to the five stages of grief.

The first chapter, I decided, would be a simple recollection of the significant incidents which occurred in the past four books and their influence on the life of the protagonist. Thus there is no need for me to prepare an outline for this part, a relief that did give me a nice push to start the story.

I am, however, close to ending the first chapter, at a short 4k or so words, and will need to work on the outline with the new method I have mentioned in the last post, or maybe the one before that. I will keep recording any interesting findings on this blog for those who are interested. Please feel free to comment of anything and speak your mind.

Have a great day, evening or night!

On Writing: Book III Part I…Seiko

Today I ended the first part of my current work in progress – Preliminary name Deliverance – at a total of 27k words. This is the first draft so it would probably change once reviewed and changed even more once edited. There is one interesting phenomenon I would like to talk to however, regarding an interesting deviation from the outline.

As you know, I started writing in a modular outline method – a method by which I combine both outline and discovery writing techniques to some extent – and found that it resolves many issues I encountered. While writing this part, my method remained unchanged from the last part of the last book, ‘Book of Kayal: Hands of Fate‘. However, yesterday I took it upon myself to change the usual setting where I write. Instead of writing at home, I went to a coffee shop and sat for a decent amount of time, immersing myself in the book. My writing pace suffered recently and I found that this little change brought about a lot of creativity and motivation. Suddenly, my fingers started going berserk and the words flew onto my screen. By the end of two hours, I had 4k words smashed over there.

The chapter outline was followed for the first two sub-chapters as it flowed smoothly with the story, but the remaining five I had prepared were a little repetitive and boring. It took me two sips of green tea to get an innovative way of improving the plot. I replaced the third through the sixth with a different set of situations, which I like even after rereading them today, and tailored the same ending I had in mind to the replaced outline. The result was beautiful. Not only did I finish the part ahead of schedule, but I improved it as well.

Based on my experience, I would suggest you stay-at-home-writers to try changing the scene every once and a while.

On Writing: That Golden Idea

So I have been working on my third book, or fourth if the merging of the two volumes of my first book does not count, and am half way through the first part, consisting of five chapters. So far, I have a mild idea of the big idea – I call it the Golden Idea – I want to conclude my story with.

While writing my first book, it took me two months to come up with a Golden Idea. This time, however, I am trying to force it out and its clearly not working.

I noticed that the Golden Idea is not something that you can force out, but it is a concept that slowly materializes before your eyes as you write and experience life – by simply living and having new or old experiences. It is possible that the initial idea can be forced, but it won’t be refined this way. My current theory is that any concept can become a Golden Idea once it has been properly embedded within a story which is nearing its end.

There are many ideas being considered at the moment, all which need not be addressed at the moment because the book is still in its early stage, but I believe that at least one of them will develop into a Golden Idea as I reach the end of this book. I guess the only way of knowing it is by finishing my third book which I am considering calling ‘Deliverance’ or ‘Emperor’s Deliverance’.

On Writing: Progress and Notes

About a month ago I decided to start working on my second book and set a goal to write at least 1,000 words a day. Although it seemed an easy task to do, the process of daily writing is incredibly challenging.

Yesterday was one of my most ‘blanky’ days. I spent at least two hours staring at my computer in an attempt to squeeze out the outline of my first chapter (Since I have been preparing the outline for each chapter just before writing it as I mentioned before). Eventually I managed to complete a half descent one, but it did not please me, and I am contemplating re-writing it before I start working on the chapter itself. However, I do realize that at my low writing skill-level there is no way for me to complete a novel with no imperfect chapters.

The dilemma I am currently facing is to proceed or not to proceed (that is my question).

On Writing: Two Things

After going through the finished chapters of my second book, I noticed that I forgot most of what I wrote. Interesting enough, my work grants me insight about myself. It is like I am getting to know who I am.

Today has been a difficult writing day for me, not because I don’t know what to write, but because I don’t feel like writing. Trying to force myself through the 2k words I promised myself to write every day, hoping it won’t affect the quality of my work.