thinkinglazy

Aspiring author and random thinker

Tag Archives: story

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): http://soopllc.com/blog/book-ideas/book-kayal-strength-unity-stryker-nileson/?doing_wp_cron=1438909519.7536039352416992187500

Here is an amazon link of the available ebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DCJR284

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: Editing after two years

Its been a long time since I edited any of my books, at least 10 months. In that time I have been busy preparing my masters degree, a process that proved to be quite the writing workout.

A week ago I opened one of my older books, the one I have been posting some of its drafts on here (Book of Kayal: Hands of Fate) and started going through it once more. The improvements I have been doing are striking. Everywhere I look, there seems to be room for editing. A touch here…a touch there, until I ended up re-writing about half of the 40% I’ve gone through.

I have to say that the editing process has been this extensive for two main reasons: (1) I have wrote over 400,000 words in total since then; and (2) I have completed two more stories in the series since then and am working on a third one after HoF. Needless to say, the first has directly improved my writing skill while the second has resulted in me adjusting the world accordingly.

Unlike my former attempts at editing, this one has been entertaining. I can’t get enough of this first go, mostly because I have completely forgotten the story and the characters that have been included in the sequels have significantly developed since then.

So to all those who love to write but hate to edit, think about coming back to your books after finishing another story. It will help with the tediousness of the editing process.

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: Philosophical Message of Book V

If you ask yourself ‘what is the purpose in life’, then, by default, your purpose in life, currently, is to find one.

I often like to start my books/parts/chapters with mystical quotes of the mind that I come across while exploring life. I think this is among the best ones I have come up with so far.

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: Content Editing Trial

Today I decided to attempt the editing of the content and style of my current project currently entitled ‘Deliverance Edge’. I worked on the first 1,200 words and attempted to make it a little more fantasy like. For whoever is interested, this post included both versions.

NB: I am not a professional writer, in fact I just decided to write as a hobby about a year ago and still have light years of practicing to produce something publishing-worthy.

First draft:

Like everything else in the Imperial city, the throne room was built from black materials which had engulfed the city once the Emperor had been crowned. Nevertheless, it was brightly lit, in a manner fitting all purposes requiring careful details.

Wearing his usual red trimmed black royal gown, the Emperor addressed his wife and most trusted adviser. “It has been three years since the Sky Wing introduced itself to the Empire. They came bearing promises of peace and affection, an offering contradicting our expectations. Is it possible that all these prophecies about their ruthlessness were wrong?”

Cassandra, the seer and beloved wife of the Demigod Emperor Servak, stood beside her erratic husband. “Do you still mistrust their intentions?”

“I always have and always will. Warnings like these do not spur out of nothing, but are carefully studied and conveyed in a fitting way.”

“Perhaps.” Cassandra directed her eyes shamefully at the floor. “Perhaps it was a mistake for us to wed.”

Servak gently raised her chin and held both her hands firmly. “Do not say such things. Both of us knew back then that allowing our feelings to take over meant the loss of your gift, a loss that I do not regret.”

“But I could have seen the future for you and confirm or deny your suspicions.”

“Cassandra.” He moved away. “Ancient prophecies, history and information gathered by the Utyirth expedition are more than enough reasons for us to take action against them, but this is not the decision I have been reluctant about. What I seek is a way to avoid unnecessary death and shedding of blood. A way to ensure that the Empire, and the peace it brings, would continue after this threat has been eliminated. After all, it has been confirmed that dragons consider us nothing more than a stock of expensive cattle.”

“If you know what needs to be done, then just do it.”

“Matters of this nature require a little delicacy. A good plan must be made before taking action against the Sky Wing.” The Emperor slid his fingers across the base of his black shining throne. “Love, would you please tell me about the first people to spring into sentientism? The Golden Race known as the Elders?”

“Many believe that the story of the Elders is that of an endless cycle. It is said that the Elders were the first race to ever reach a level of maturity which we now refer to as sentientism, the phenomena of transcending instinct. Back then, there was no concept war or strife. They lived in a peaceful world, one even void of predators to their kind. The life they had been granted was ideal for physical and mental advancement. As a result, they developed to be very strong and intelligent, to the degree that they understood their world well enough to spring its elements from mere thoughts and sounds that would reshape the basic building blocks of surrounding minute particles– what we refer to as runes – and discover all of its secrets. But the Elders never satiated their curiosities, and they sailed across the sea to populate other continents, some say they even traveled to different worlds and planes. The Elders flourished and their civilization never ceased to grow in size and magnificence. When all lands were discovered and all of their secrets unlocked, the Elders sought to study creation itself. In their lengthy pursuit, they managed to created great beasts to aid them. Three kinds were born by their hands, the Leviathans of the sea, the Behemoths of the land and the Ziz of the sky. The Leviathans were benevolent creatures to match the element they were bound to, water. The Behemoths were malevolent in nature, but the Elders sought to create them regardless, to match the element of fire. Finally, the Ziz was but one lone creature to roam the skies and fill its blue in solitude. In their pride, the Elders sought to give their creation freedom to roam whatever parts of the worlds they were tailored to, but for the Behemoths it was not enough. Their cruel land children turned on them. Because of their civility and respect, the Elders never fought back. They allowed the Behemoths to kill them all in hopes that it would be punishment enough for their hubris. You see, beloved husband, the Golden Race was undone by their children, a situation we find strangely familiar.”

“The dragons shaped our races, but are far more prone to violence and trickery than the noble Elders.”

“It is a grim reality,” spoke Cassandra. She walked towards her husband and stroked his head to comfort him, a gesture much appreciated by the Emperor.

Servak looked up at his beautiful wife’s face and pondered. “The people have elected me to be their supreme ruler, their Emperor, and I will not betray their trust as the first of my title. They expect me to care for them in whatever way I can and make sure that a worthy heir will succeed me after my inevitable end.”

“Do not speak if such things,” interrupted Cassandra.

“All that lives dies. It is a reality which must be confronted by all, especially the ones in positions such as myself. If I fail to ensure a future to my people, then my soul would never find peace, even in death. I must make sure that one of our two children, the heirs to the throne and successors to my title, rises to the challenge of leading these people to a deserving fate.”

“You have taught them well in all matters familiar to you. What else is there for you to do so that such a destiny would be made a reality some day?”

“I must devise a clever plan to rid at least one of them from the clutches of those deceptive dragons of the Sky Wing. I truly hope that all our information is wrong. I truly hope that the Sky Wing is indeed benevolent in nature and truly seek to help us, but I cannot allow such naive thoughts to stop me from ensuring that my people, the people of Nosgard with all their races and background, would continue to have a future where they are free from any form of slavery, including that of the mind.”

“A future where the true essence of freedom prevails regardless of caste or race,” agreed Cassandra. Her eyes filled with a gleam of hope that perhaps, just maybe by some divine intervention, they would be saved from the enemy who so cleverly infiltrated the minds of many and convinced them that they were friends.

The Emperor had a brief idea of a plan, but he did not refine it just yet. Servak had to ensure that the citizens of the Empire would be left a worthy heir to lead them through the dark times yet to come. He had to ensure, regardless of cost, that at least one of his two sons would rise to the challenge and continue his legacy once he was gone – a fate he knew was very close. A plan was about to be made and set in motion, but he was not the only one plotting for the future of the Empire.

First Editing Attempt:

The Demigod Emperor Servak stood between the black, but properly lit, walls of his throne room, wearing his usual red trimmed black royal gown, and addressed his wife and most trusted adviser. “It has been three years since the Sky Wing descended to Nosgard with their unexpected promises of peace and affection. Is it possible that the prophets of old were mistaken?”

Cassandra, his seer and beloved wife, stood beside her erratic husband and said, “Do you still doubt their intentions?”

“I always have and always will, for warnings like those do not spur absent cause, but are often the result of cunning work.”

“Perhaps,” said Cassandra, directing her eyes shamefully at the floor, “perhaps it was a mistake for us to wed.”

Servak gently raised her chin and held both her hands firmly. “Do not say such things, dear wife. Both of us knew that allowing our feelings to take over meant the loss of your gift, a loss that I do not regret.”

“But I could have seen the future for you and -”

“Cassandra,” interrupted Servak. He moved away and added, “Ancient prophecies, history and knowledge gathered by the Utyirth expedition are more than enough reasons for us to take action against them, but this is not the decision I have been reluctant about. What I seek is a way to avoid unnecessary death and shedding of blood. A way to ensure that the Empire, and the peace it brings, would persist after this threat has been properly confronted. We know that dragons consider us nothing more than a stock of expensive cattle.”

“If you know what needs to be done, then why do you still harbor doubt?”

“Matters of this nature require delicacy. A good plan must be made before action is taken against the Sky Wing.” The Emperor slid his fingers across the base of his black shining throne, caressing it lustily like a mistress of ill repute. “Love, would you please tell me about the first people to spring into sentientism, the Golden Race known as the Elders?”

Cassandra mimicked her husband’s touch to the throne and started, with a fitting air of mysticism, “Many believe that the story of the Elders is that of an endless cycle. It is said that the Elders were the first race to ever reach a level of maturity which we now refer to as sentientism, the phenomena of transcending instinct. Back then, there was no concept war or strife. They lived in a peaceful world, one void of any danger to their kind. The life they had been granted was ideal for the strengthening of both body and mind. Thus they developed to be very strong and intelligent, to the extent that they understood their world well enough to spring its elements from mere thoughts and sounds that would reshape the air to whatever they wished to conjure– in our speech we call these spells runes – and discover all its secrets. But the Elders never satiated their curiosities, and they sailed across the sea to lands far and near. The Elders flourished and their civilization never ceased to grow in size and magnificence. When all lands were discovered and all of their secrets unlocked, the Elders sought to study creation itself. In their lengthy pursuit they managed to created great beasts to aid them. Three kinds were born by their hands, the Leviathans of the sea, the Behemoths of the land and the Ziz of the sky. The Leviathans were benevolent creatures to match the element they were bound to, water. The Behemoths were malevolent in nature, but the Elders sought to create them regardless, to match the element of fire. The last of their creations, the Ziz, was but one lone creature to roam the skies and fill its blue in solitude. In their pride, the Elders sought to give their creation freedom to roam whatever parts of the worlds they wished, but for the Behemoths it was not enough. Their cruel land children turned on the Elders. Because of their civility and respect, the Elders never fought back. They allowed the Behemoths to kill them all in hopes that it would be punishment enough for their hubris. You see, beloved husband, the Golden Race was undone by their children.”

“The dragons shaped our races, but are far more eager for violence and trickery than the noble Elders.”

“It is a grim reality,” said Cassandra. She walked towards her husband and stroked his head to comfort him, a gesture much appreciated by the Emperor.

Servak looked up at his beautiful wife’s face and pondered, “The people have elected me to be their supreme ruler, their Emperor, and I will not betray their trust as the first of my title. They expect me to care for them in whatever way I can and provide them with a worthy heir.”

“Do not speak of such things!” interrupted Cassandra – a lifetime of prophecy and mysticism made hear fearful of such thoughts.

“All that lives dies. It is a reality which must be confronted by all, especially the ones in positions such as myself. If I fail to ensure a future for my people, then my soul would never find peace, even in death. I must assure that one of our two children, the heirs to the throne and successors to my title, rises to the challenge of leading these people to a deserving fate.”

“You have taught them well in all matters familiar to you. What else is there for you to do so that such a destiny would be made a reality some day?”

“I must devise a clever plan to rid at least one of them from the clutches of those deceptive dragons of the Sky Wing. I truly hope that all our information is wrong. I truly hope that the Sky Wing is indeed benevolent in nature and truly seeks to help us, but I cannot allow such naive thoughts to stop me from ensuring that my people, the people of Nosgard with all their races and ways, would continue to have a future where they are free from any form of slavery, especially that of the mind.”

“A future where the true essence of freedom prevails regardless of caste or race,” agreed Cassandra. Her eyes filled with a gleam of hope that perhaps, just maybe by some divine intervention, they would be saved from the enemy who so cleverly infiltrated the minds of many and clouded their minds.

The Emperor had but a brief sprout of a plan which was yet to grow. Servak had to ensure that the citizens of the Empire would be left a worthy heir to lead them through the approaching dark times. He had to ensure, regardless of cost, that at least one of his two sons would rise to the challenge and continue his legacy – a fate he knew was very close. A plan was about to be made and set in motion, but he was not the only one plotting for the future of the Empire.

On Writing: New Appreciation

As I held a book in my hands today and read from it, I realized that writing did more to me than provide an outlet for self-expression; it allowed me to appreciate reading far more than I used to. It is a strange feeling when you start seeing the world from a writer’s perspective. Suddenly, Everything I experience become observed in a different manner. Everything I read is a valuable source of knowledge and self-improvement. After writing over 160,000 words in a span of six months, I am starting to see the world from a different perspective. A pleasant perspective filled with emotion and admiration. Writing really makes you think.

I had a cousin visiting the past week and she told me that she knew some published writers in the US. After having a brief conversation about the topic, she offered to help get me in contact with a few literally agents (a huge step forward). Perhaps I would finally get to know how far I have gone in this writing endeavor.

On Writing: Too Slow

Yesterday was a big dissapointment in terms of writing, however, I did get to work on my artwork for the first book.

I noticed two interesting things as I worked on my new hobby. The first is that I get affected by the most recent book I read, in terms of style of writing.

I also noticed that while writing I get way too many ideas. Currently, I am at a phase where I have the next two books planned in terms of concept, setting and idea – refraining from writing an outline so I can focus on my current project.

I need to read and write faster, way faster.