A Piece of the Process

Hello! I’m back in, and boy has it been quite a week. I have for you today another topic of interest to expound upon: the writing process.

To be blatant, there are as many processes for writing as there are people who write. Every individual is different (hence ‘individual’) and the method one goes about something is unique to them. It’s also a learning process, at least it was for me. When I began writing I had no real education on ‘how’ to write a story, I just began writing what I wanted to say, having gained some capacity for prose from reading. See, reading stokes the fires of imagination and creativity, and if you read a LOT, like I did (and so so many others) you pick up on things. Albeit, some people are born with the ‘writer affinity’, a talent for stories they were simply made to have, but you don’t become awesome at it without work. Taking something you enjoy doing and developing that to an even greater level of skill is a joy not only for you, but those around you. I began as a total and complete amateur. I loved stories and I loved the idea of sharing the stories I have, so I wrote without having any real plan or ‘process’ in mind. Only after I’d been doing it for a while, peeking into the world of other writers and the vast amount of information they shared about their own experiences and whatnot, did I begin to realize the truth: apparently writing wasn’t so simple as I thought it was. There’s actually a lot of forethought and planning that goes into a really good story, but then, if you think about it, every great piece of art has a bucketload of blood, sweat, and tears behind it.

My own writing process is, I think, still under development. I haven’t hashed out a system of operation down to the wee details yet. TJT has truly spurred my growth, though, from where I began so very long ago. Some people ask if you write more by logic or intuition/ purpose or instinct, or some combination of the two, and I’d have to say that, for me, it would have to be the lattermost. It’s the intuition that directs where and how I use my logic ─it’s the idea of “I want to do this” or “I want this to happen” and then figuring out how to make that a reality in a convincing way. I like planning things out, too, and with whatever project you’re working on, plotting is essential (otherwise you make stupid/silly mistakes that bite you in the butt later). I do like to develop a plotline, as it helps give me a direction for the story and keeps me on track, because digression is a disease. A malady. An icky germ. That’s one thing I appreciate about the editing part of the writing process, you can go back and see the yucky parts, the unnecessary parts ─ the dross ─ and expunge. Sometimes it’s painful, yes, but sometimes good things aren’t painless (think about getting a tooth pulled, or surgery, or budgeting ─ not really painless, but ultimately beneficial).

So, to summarize the above blather, my writing process is, so far, thus: I get an idea for a story, take that raw material, and heat it in the fires, plotting, developing (the analogies that can be used for this are numerous, quite, quite numerous). What helps me in the actual writing of the story is to picture it as a movie playing. That was a tip I came across ages ago, and it’s really helped me visualize what’s going on and to describe what I see. I’ve found myself narrating in my dreams, sometimes. I’ve found  myself watching movies and thinking about how I would put it into words (I’m bad at watching movies). I plot and I visualize and I write everything down, because if you don’t write it down you’ll forget and hate yourself. At the same time, writing the story and being immersed by it also helps me further develop my plot, so the two actually go hand-in-hand. My plots are very flexible and basically cover key points or events that I want to include, kind of like the dots on one of those connect-the-dots games. When all those smaller pieces are connected in the narrative, I love being able to stand back and see this bigger picture. It’s very rewarding.

Don’t forget! There’s a giveaway running for A Journey Begins, enter to win one of seven copies + a super awesome series bookmark.

Also, coming up next week, there’ll be running a promotion on Amazon for a Kindle version! Available copies are unlimited, but it’ll only last the week, so no procrastinating. If you’ve been waffling, take the opportunity to snag the first bite of this sweetness while you can! It begins on the 23rd, so mark thou calendars, fine folk, and await the day with the appropriate anticipation.

The Origin of TJT – A Briefish Tale

Hello, Readers! It’s a little hard to imagine that we’re already into the second week of the new year, isn’t it? ─ how time flies!

As promised, I’m setting forth with the intent to come around more often, sharing my two cents on various points of writing, book reviews,  TJT related projects (as they come), updates on current writing projects (most presently rereleases and vol.7! So excited . . . ), and who knows what other surprises this year has in store? In honor of that, I’m going to share with you today the inspiration for The Journey Taken saga. It’s a question I’ve been asked often enough, and truth be told, I’ve actually been a little embarrassed to confess the origin of this story! But, inspiration has come from stranger places, so here’s the not-so-closely-hoarded anecdote of how TJT began:

It happened over the summer of 2012, while I was watching a YouTube walkthrough of a videogame, a Final Fantasy videogame to be more precise. You see, I’ve never been very good at those kinds of games (I have a reputation for having reflexes akin to a dead cat’s) but I nevertheless wanted to follow the story . . . so I watched someone else play the game.

Anywho, as I followed the characters and story I (as I often do) found myself imagining things going differently, events playing out as I wanted them to and not the way the writers had them (selfish, no? Yeah, probably). By the end I had the concept, barer than a skeleton, if such a thing is possible, for a similar story. I confess I based many of the initial characters off those in the game. But that was only the beginning, the scraps of steel that would soon begin to soften in the forgefires of creativity, taking on a shape and life of their own and hauling me along for the ride. From the onset of this project, from the first notes I jotted down the end of that summer, I’ve felt carried away by this story, which developed and grew of its own volition every day from that moment. As the world and characters solidified themselves they ventured further from the amoebic concepts of their origins. My initial plan was to fit this story into a single volume (can you imagine it? How silly was I!) but the more I wrote the more I realized just how much that idea wasn’t going to pan out (plus, a little encouraging to publish something soon helped get A Journey Begins out about a year after I began).

It never ceases to boggle me just how much this story ─ this world ─ has grown from its humblish beginnings, really fleshing out more than I had ever anticipated, engraining itself deeply into my mind and heart and becoming more than ‘just another fantasy’. Who would have guessed that watching a videogame on YouTube would inspire a five year, seven volume, and beyond project? Who could have known? Inspiration is a funny thing, after all. The tiniest spark can set off a storm of fireworks, and you never know where or when that spark will strike.

Don’t forget! This January is the special re-release month of A Journey Begins! Enter the giveaway on Goodreads for a chance to win one of seven copies of this journey’s setoff. Each copy comes autographed and accompanied by a series bookmark!

Volume I Giveaway is Underway!

Good morning, my lovely readers! The day has finally come for the Goodreads giveaway to get started, and it’s running from this very moment until 23:59 (11:59 p.m.) on the 31st. Seven copies are available, and each comes autographed and with a bookmark:

How cool is that? So don’t hesitate! Join the party and enter the giveaway for an awesome opportunity to own some greatness (if I may say so, myself).

The Beginning of Something More

It has begun! Happy new year, my lovely readers, here’s to a year full of exciting new things. I’ve a feeling that 2017 is going to be a BIG year, and I am so very excited to share it with you all.

To kick things off, here’s the OFFICIAL edition of volume 1 I’ve been working on alongside the final installment of our saga. Other than a brand new coat, this edition features an updated interior with some sweet little details I may be a wee bit too thrilled about.

In addition, we’re going to celebrate further by running a Goodreads giveaway, which will initiate on the 7th, and I’ll make sure to pass around the link when the day comes, so be looking forward to that! Giveaways are great fun, they really are (both winning one and sending out the prizes) and if you don’t have an account . . . well I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Goodreads is a booklover’s haven outside of a library, chocked full of titles, and if you have an account you can add books to any number of lists, organizing them into to-read lists (my personal favorite), rate and review books, enter giveaways, and join any number of groups to discuss any number of topics, read books together, and generally get involved with other fellow readers. So give it a look-see!

Later on I’ll also be running a Kindle version promotion, as well, and I’ll update you on the details when the time comes. Good things are in the works this month!