thinkinglazy

Aspiring author and random thinker

Tag Archives: Online Writing

On Writing: Hypothoses About Good Writing

I have been reading a lot lately and realized that the ending can turn an average book into a masterpiece, or a masterpiece into [a] useless read. The books I tend to enjoy the most are the ones which conclude by leaving you thinking about one statement that summarizes the purpose of the main plot. While this is relatively easy to do in short stories, it becomes somewhat of a challenge for novels.

If not for reading , analyzing, and writing short stories, I would have never reached this conclusion and appreciation to these types of books. However, this does not mean that all other factors of writing are useless, for I still find a good writing style important, but not critical for all genres.

So far my writing journey taught me far more than I expected, in a far shorter time-span than I anticipated. Again, I would recommend others to pick it up as a hobby, or at least try it sometime.

On Writing: Submitting Shorties

I recently submitted one of my short stories to Guerrilla Graffiti Magazine, the first one I ever officially submitted. Although the story got rejected, because it was not something they specialized in, I am extremely satisfied by their elegant and polite manner by which they responded to my submission. The response e-mail even had a suggestion to another magazine which might specializes in the genre of my story.

That was the only purpose of this post.

I would suggest checking it out regardless if you are interested in submitting a piece or not. <http://ggmag.net/&gt;

On Writing: Sample Character Concept

While researching the writing process for fantasy books, I came across an uncountable number of opinions. As I have previously posted, the third story I am working on focuses on the characters rather than the world or events. To match my personal goals for the book, I prepared a detailed dramatis personae prior to the story. Here is one of the 10+ characters I developed before the writing started.

PS: the terminology might be confusing regarding certain concepts which I never explained before. If there is anything that sparks your interest leave a comment and I will reply once I see it.

Ninazu

Appearance

Having long black hair and a long black beard, Ninazu’s features were difficult to tell other than his tanned skin tone and his pitch black eyes. He was roughly fifty years when he commenced his journey to Utyirth along with his comrades.

Fighting Capabilities

Ninazu trained in the fighting arts of inflicting any wound in order to allow his poisons to enter the bloodstream of his enemies. He used a projectile weapon mounted on his right arm to shoot poisoned needles at his foes during combat. Daggers and a short sword were his preferred weapons of choice when fighting at a close range. Additionally to his eccentric weaponry, Ninazu often made explosives that dispersed his poisons in the air and used them during combat.

Individual fighting capability        3                                              Group fighting capability               8

Skills

The two skills where Ninazu shined at were healing and poisoning. He was capable of making strong healing salves as well as poisons and their antidotes. Ninazu always made sure to have the antidote to the poisons he made before using them to inflict their pain upon his enemy.

Being an expert at understanding how the human body functions, Ninazu managed to condition his own body to be immune to most poisons and highly resistant to disease.

Personality

He was a rather dark figure shrouded in negativity and pessimism, which made people fear and avoid him. If not for his unusual talents, Ninazu would have not been capable of joining Lyra’s Ona. Although he was a grim individual, he cared deeply for his comrades without openly admitting it.

Trait

Curious

Organized

Social

Friendly

Confident

Score

8

10

0

0

8

 

History

Arriving from the hostile continent of Tur, Ninazu and his tribe roamed the continent as nomads. Their travels allowed them to be exposed to numerous herbs and concoctions made by others they met in towns, cities or on the road. He took advantage of this opportunity to study the effect of herbs, plants and potions on people. Eventually, he became a well self-studied botanist which surpassed most others. Any chances to test his discoveries were welcomed by his people as well as him. Most of his test subjects were prisoners captured by his people.

After the arrival of the Council and the founding of the Peacekeeper Core, Ninazu and his tribe found it difficult to resume their life-style and attempted to hide in a safe and hidden location. During their search, they came across a Peacekeeper patrol and were attacked. Ninazu was knocked unconscious during the fight and woke up to find himself the sole survivor of his people.

Without anyone to search for him, he became an untargeted man and was free to do as he pleased yet again. Ninazu offered his services to various crime lords in Gallecia as a master poison-maker. His success and built name in the underground world made him a target to the local authorities. After nearly escaping from Gallecia, one of his associates informed the local authorities about his attempted escape.

Once captured, Ninazu was sentenced to exile in Partha where he met Thane the former Peacekeeper Commander. Thane took an interest in Ninazu’s skills and used him to tend to his wounded and ill followers. Once Servak’s Demigod declaration was made and the second civil war started, Thane recommended his services to Lyra and was admitted in her personal unit.

On Writing: Outline

I wrote my first story (75,000 words) without using an outline and completed it in just under a month. I enjoyed writing and often sought to make time during my day to write. There were the occasional days where I managed to write 10,000 words and others where I wrote none.

However, I thought that my story seemed a little foggy in terms of plot development, in spite of the reviewers telling me that it was fine. Due to the self-non-satisfying plot development, I decided to prepare an outline for my second story before writing it. It went smoothly as I started off and motivated me to keep on writing, but as I got deeper into the story its shining faded away. Finishing it started to feel like a chore.

Eventually I decided to merge the first and second volumes into one bigger book of 120,000 words. Nevertheless, the stop between both books as well as the improvement in my writing skills gave me the impressions that he style changes drastically by the end.

The third and current project was my final and most successful attempt at making the plot smooth (so far). Instead of preparing the outline in one sitting before I start to write, I decided to prepare each chapter’s outline just before writing it. This method cost me the flow of the story a little as my ideas and concepts about the story develops. However, it does help keeping me motivated to write and continue with the story. Each chapter is dedicated to part of the protagonist’s journey with a complete set of story elements. In other words, each chapter feels more like a short story which ties into the main plot.

So far the biggest challenges I met in writing long stories were (1) keeping my goals in perspective, (2) keeping motivated to write, (3) finding appropriate historical figures or myths to base the lore on, and (4) preparing a smooth outline that dictates the story flow.

Although my journey as an amateur writer had just begun, I already feel it improving me.

A little of my world

I just noticed that I have been writing on my writing process without writing on what I wrote about. In other words, I have not summarized the world which I am striving to create.

My attempt to start writing fantasy started about two years ago when I had just finished my military service, during the time when I was looking for a job. After getting employed, I suddenly stopped writing and started to invest my time in a business a friend and I had planned. Between my full-time job and my personal project, I had forgotten all about the two books that have been marinating on my hard drive.

About five months ago or so, I came across the files and started reading them. After sending them to a few friends to review, I got some comments and decided to work on it further (back then I had written about 5k words). My research and spare time from quitting my job drove me to go on with the writing, although I never thought that I would ever finish the story.

As you see, I get side-tracked easily when discussing a topic. Now the first volume is complete, with a word count of over 115,000, and awaiting an editor to review before being sent out to publishers.

I originally intended to blend different mythical stories, heroes and creature into one world. Having noticed the similarities in many myths across different cultures, the idea of unifying these similar myths into one coherent story appealed to my recently-awakened artistic side. Anyway, a world I called Altivia was born from these circumstances, but then changed to Nosgard.

The first story is set in a fantasy continent which had attracted different races throughout the ages. The story follows a boy which had been born with certain gifts that made him appear as a threat to the authority monopolists. As the young man’s destiny leads him to one disaster after another, he became stronger and more threatening to the rulers. Eventually he becomes a symbol of freedom to the oppressed, and they follow him in a quest to free themselves.

From mighty dragons to fallen elves, the land is filled with different creatures and heroes that fight along and against one another. Different kingdoms and factions who once fought against one another eventually band together to face an enemy which threatens to wipe all civilization on the continent.

The story was intended to be one of pure fantasy and completely unrelated to any real-life events. However, after completing the novel and reading it, I saw how much it was influenced by the recent events that I had just experienced. I read in this story what my eyes saw and my heart longed for. I really hope that this book would be adopted by a publisher so that I can learn about myself through the reaction of others.

I really wish that everyone out there gets a chance to see themselves through the thoughts of their subconscious as I did.