Monthly Archives: December 2013

Coming Soon…the first in a new Fantasy series!

Coming Soon...the first in a new Fantasy series!

Rise of the Temple Gods: Heir to Kale

In the land of Kale there lies a delicate balance between the powerful Temples and the rulers of an ancient, royal bloodline.  The Temples are ruled through combat, determined by a series of tournaments.  Of these tournament champions, only a select few are chosen to become Defendants – an elite team charged with protecting the realm from all enemies.  Selection to this team is considered the highest of honours and leadership of the team is decided only once every thirteen years.

Princesses Mariana and Ameria, twin daughters of two such champions, are taken as children to separate, yet equally powerful Temples.  Through years of rigorous training both are educated in the arts of combat, swordplay, and the ancient traditions of the Temple Gods.  Both eventually attain the rank of Kalian Champions with the expectation of one day serving upon the coveted Defendant Team.  Then, at the age of seventeen, the King declares that one of the Princesses must succeed him as future Queen.  As the race for the throne begins, the sisters’ long standing rivalry intensifies, leading both upon a dangerous journey that threatens not only their lives, but the fate of the entire kingdom.

Unbeknownst to the twins, this treacherous path is the elaborate collaboration of an ancient prophecy and two creatures charged by the Gods themselves to ensure it comes to pass.   As primeval powers awaken, the two sisters must struggle to learn the truth behind the prophesy and search for a way to change their inevitable fate.

Update – Now available for download on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Heir-Kale-Rise-Temple-Gods-ebook/dp/B00HUGOHMY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389710518&sr=8-1&keywords=rise+of+the+temple+gods%2C+bone

 

Cover design by Skyla Dawn Cameron

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December 21, 2013 · 12:36 am

Developing the Story

I have written a lot over the past few months about the difficulties of writing, the research involved, and the endless dedication required in order to complete a long (and often complicated) piece of writing.  In light of this, I also find it equally important to talk about the more fun side of writing.  There are many enjoyable aspects of the writing process, however for me, I must say that one of my favourites, is discovering the plot of the story which often develops in unforeseen ways.

The first real attempt at writing creatively that I can recall was a short story written in the ninth grade.  Set in the same world which would later evolve to become the foundation for my first novel, The Indoctrination, the story was written for class and then placed in a state-wide writing competition.  Since that time, there has rarely been a point in my life where I have not had a pen in my pocket and a notebook nearby.  Writing for me is a mix of many elements.  It is a conductive way to channel my thoughts, emotions, and dreams onto the page.  My characters often take me on journeys that I never imagined, showing me worlds and places that I could never have explored on my own.

There are many different methods to writing.  Some authors, for example, George R.R. Martin, will plot their work from beginning to end long before actually writing a single paragraph.  They will often create character bios, draw maps and charts, or outline the course of the work before they begin.   Others take a more developmental route, beginning a tale with limited knowledge of its evolution or eventual end.

My personal style of writing favours the second method.  Stories often evolve organically, and sometimes even those who work so hard to pre-plan their stories find the plot going in a different direction than was originally planned.  Stories take twists and turns as characters reveal their thoughts a piece at a time.  They make unexpected choices, change their minds half-way through a tale, and on occasion, even come across new characters which I never intended to create.

The surprises that I find along the paths my characters walk are one of my favourite aspects of writing.  To write a scene with baited breath, unsure of how it will end, is, at least for me, one of the most magical and thrilling aspects of being a writer.

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To Harm or not to Harm the Protagonist – Part II

One of the questions I am frequently asked is how I can stand to harm the characters that I so lovingly created.  This answer is: not without difficulty.

Harming a character can, and often is, as emotionally draining upon the author as it is physically upon the character.  Harming characters forces me to take these creations which I have poured my time, work and soul into creating and consciously choose to put them through a form of hell.  These characters in question are my friends, my confidants – the ones who have shared with me their deepest secrets, as I have shared my own.

Now don’t misunderstand me.  I do harm my characters.  The dark nature of the worlds I create requires it.  From parasitic aliens slowly removing the very essence of humanity from those they conquer, to the ancient torture chambers of my upcoming fantasy novel, Black Rose, characters are pushed to their physical, emotional, and mental limits.  Yet within these aspects often lie the heart of the story.  The character’s struggle to overcome the obstacles which are laid before them and the suffering they endure throughout their journeys make them more real, human and relatable to the reader.  It also becomes a point of suspense, helping to place readers on the edge of their seats as they wonder which of their characters will survive – and which ones will not.

“Do not be afraid to harm your characters” was one of the first and most fundamental elements that I was ever taught by my long-time mentor.  It is also one of the elements of writing that I am still, almost a decade later, struggling to learn.  In order to write dark, tragic scenes well, it forces the author to tear apart the same characters which they have spent so much time bringing to life.  In my personal experience, these scenes have left me sad, upset, and angry.  They can also leave me exhausted and emotionally drained, as though I had been forced to physically accompany the characters on their journey.

Now, I am not stating that this experience is typical of every author.  In fact, there is a wide variance of methods, experiences, and tricks to writing such scenes. To help demonstrate just how varied these methods are, I will include a link to a list of ‘rules of writing’ recently published by The Guardian.  Some of which I agree with, some of which I do not.

The list can be found here:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one

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