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Archive for January, 2014

Introducing Unfamiliar Races to Readers

I’ve been working hard on the new series (Sizael). I’m happy to say I’ve got a beginning I like and a direction that works. However, one thing I did find myself having difficulty with was introducing a race that is unique (at least in name and culture) to this series’ world. That of the Jateri. Essentially, they are horned humans, and are considered relatives to humans.  I’ve been writing for Sizael since 2008, so the Jateri and the other race I have created for them is nothing new to me, yet writing the first book of a series is proving to be interesting because I’m having to approach these races and other unique elements with the idea of introducing them to the audience for the first time.

 

In the end, the first Jateri was referred to as a, “horned Jateri” until two paragraphs later when my assassin character (the main protagonist) could take a moment to absorb what the Jateri looked like. It’s then that the race is explained in the narrative. It’s interesting returning to a world you started to create years before and writing books for it with the intention of sharing them with others, just due to the challenges that comes with introducing elements specific to your series’ world.

Have you ever had this experience before? How did you deal with it? Share in the comments and you’ll be put into a draw for a special blog interview!

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The Tips to Maximize Conflict in Your Novel

Interesting article by Kristen Lamb which highlights that though conflict is a key component in any story, that even the smallest of conflicts (like a clash of personality) should not be overlooked for the potential it has.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Kirk

Whenever I blog about craft, I’m coming from the perspective of a long-time editor. I do understand that the creation process is vastly different from the editing process. I know this because I’ve been on both sides. But, if you want to minimize revisions and rewrites, it helps to have some basic editorial skills in your toolbox.

Since many of you might want to pursue self-publishing, you’re wise to hire an outside editor. The cleaner the text, the lower the bill. Even if you want an agent or to traditionally publish, the tighter the writing, the better the odds your work will earn positive attention.

Line-edit is important and no longer my area of expertise. I put commas everywhere and pay other editors the move them where they need to be. Typos happen even to the best of us. Right now, I’m editing my almost 100,000 word mystery-thriller and *head…

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Definitely a New Series

Back in 2008 (technically 2007), I created a roleplay forum called Sizael. The world was of my design, the game mechanics also. Last December, I closed it down due to various difficulties I had been battling for 14 months or so in regards to running it. I never intended to write books for it. It was created solely to be used in a gaming format.

It wants to be used though. I started writing today at work (I have honestly nothing to do today) about a character I created near the end of Sizael’s life called Dimitri, a master assassin and a subtle member of the Resistance. It’s helping me to feel the way – will there be books or won’t there be? I think there most definitely will be! My old characters are resurfacing, areas and lore I created are quickly adding depth and a need for action into the piece I’m writing, and I’m having loads of fun!

Some might say, “that’s dangerous – what if old members complain you’re using an idea or place they created?” It’s simple really – I’m only going to use the bits I created. Like for example, Dimitri, the Imperial Palace of Justice, Fraelin and the Fraedab War, Boxien, the Sizael-styled druids, amigari, Caften City and so on. Players’ contributions were that of asking questions to me about something, and/or creating areas within areas I had already fleshed out myself a little. So in that respect, there is nothing for anybody to worry about – I’m only using what I created (in other words, the official lore and my own characters).

Sure, I was even thinking yesterday, “I’d love to bring it back properly, as it was intended,” but it is the end of that phase of Sizael’s life. There is not the desired memberbase within the R.P. community anymore as there once was. Many have become lazy or rulebreakers. Not like a few years before when Sizael had it’s “golden years”.

I just felt like sharing this with you all. It was an old and cherished project of mine, and just because it encountered difficulties in achieving a the sort of memberbase it needed to function at the end, that doesn’t mean my project, this whole world I created, should just crumble into dust. My characters, and even a few new ones are revelling in the chance to be written for again, and I love the world I created.

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