Tag Archives: fantasy

The Hidden Depths of Writers.

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The non-writers around you do not understand the process – to them a writer is someone who sits at a desk every day, producing reams of wonderful prose that turn into a book within weeks or months, to then be quickly embraced by a publisher.

What they don’t understand is the creative process, the time and effort and dedication needed to grow your skillsets – there’s more to being a writer than writing.

Not only do you have to know how to put words together, you have to know how to put ideas together, as well. You have to have solutions, connections, the Why, the How, the What. You have to get character development, plots and backdrops all worked out. You have to have done your research on a multitude of thing, events, professions, and gain some understanding of the psychology and drives of the individuals you are writing about.

So years go by. Your friends and family show support to varying degrees, but they’re not seeing what you are seeing, and they’re not seeing what’s going on beneath the surface. They understand that you have a passion to write, they even see you occasionally scribbling away, but they also see not much actually accumulating.

Instead, they see you staring the skyline, seemingly distracted or noncommittal, which doesn’t look much like dedication. Dedication, of course, is exactly what they are seeing, they just don’t recognize it.

So words sneak into the conversation about how perhaps you should turn your attention to a ‘proper’ career or maybe give up this foolishness. Most writers have jobs, they have ‘proper’ careers, it’s just not where their heart is – and foolishness? These people read books, right? They watch movies, yeah? Why is it ‘foolish’ to think you can produce in this line? It isn’t foolish, and while it might not sound like it, most of your friends and family actually would like you to succeed.

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Writing – A Method of Survival.

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Believe it or not, I was a shy kid, I found it easier to express my emotions through my writing and my fiction became my strongest venting place.

If I was angry, I’d write angry scenes. If I was upset, I’d weep through the eyes of my characters. I explored emotions and reactions, searched for solutions, and distracted myself from my life, all through the written word.

I pretty well moved into my early stories and stayed there as long and as often as I could. I fell asleep each night, there in my fictional worlds. I woke and slipped within my story again before even getting out of bed. Then I wondered why I missed so much in school, why I didn’t hear instruction and why my report card always said, “Must try harder.”

Over the years I found my own strengths, founded in solid experience (much of it taken aboard for the sake of my writing), but still the habit remains – I automatically step inside my current story as easily as breathing, frequently throughout the day. It’s such a part of me now, I’d be lost if it ever went away.

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A Killer in the Team and a Child of Mars.

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Aleisha was born on Mars. She was eleven when she moved to Earth and fell in love with the wondrous sights there – The cities were not domed, they were open and free – The sky was blue by day, not red, and the sunsets were opposite to what she was used to.

Best of all there was Earth’s natural wilderness. The sheer scope of it awed her, the diversity of flora and fauna excited her. It was all so alien to a child of Mars.

She knew from that moment on that she wanted to live and work in a wilderness setting. She wanted to become a pioneer. She wanted to explore new worlds. As soon as Aleisha was of age (16), she joined Space Exploration And Settlement (SEAS), then waited more than a year to be placed out along the distant edge of Terran space colonization.

Within days of her arrival, though, she realizes that her dream has turned into a nightmare, but there’s no going back now and no way out.

There’s a killer in the team, a murderer with no remorse, no care.

He’s Khekarian.

He wants to own her.

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Hidden Histories and Character Secrets.

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Characters have history, but I don’t always tell it – Some histories are hinted at, some are referred to, some never get a mention even though, when they develop in my mind, I intend there to be a place for them in the story.

Then the story expands and goes its own way and there just isn’t room anymore for that tale to be told. So, it’s discarded from the pages, but not from my mind. Was it wasted? No. That history still guides that character, it still makes that character who he or she is.

Some of those histories will find their way into these postings. I can show you then why some characters are as they are. You can see how I came to choose such a character and how each grew from their untold experiences.

While those histories might indeed be there in my books, although not plainly and not told in words but in deeds and feelings, outside my stories, I can give you a glimpse behind the scenes or, at least, into my mind. I can share some of these character secrets.

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Writer’s Block – Procrastination! An Easy Trick Out Of It!

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You’re a writer, you know what it’s like, you put so much time and effort into your manuscript that sometimes you just don’t want to go in there – You crave a break, you don’t want to find any more problems, any more issues, so you delay, you drag your feet, you throw just about every obstacle in your path to put off the inevitable moment that you have to go in. Soon you haven’t been in for days or even weeks and now it’s almost impossible.

Ever left looking at your work until the last moment of your free time, only to wish you had started earlier because you’re actually enjoying yourself once in there? Ever been frustrated by the time wasted not getting in there because in fact turned out to be fun?

Procrastination is bad at the best of times, but when things end up going beautifully and you might have missed out entirely, you feel like you’ve been cheated as well!

The trick is easy. Decide on some simple task within the manuscript. Even just checking what color eyes you gave a character. Yes, that simple. It’s got to be something really minor that won’t take too long because that’s the trick.

Then you know that it’s a two minute job, tops, and you’ll just go in there and do that. You’re not demanding anything of yourself, so those walls don’t go up. Better still, do it early to get it out of the way. You know also you’ll feel good for having just done this minor thing. What writer doesn’t want to end the day feeling as though they’d done something, especially when things are going slowly.

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Oops! Late and Not Here Anyway.

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I’m searching for exciting new pics to use – Yes, I know, I love what I had, too, but maybe it’s time to find something that tells more of a tale and connects more with characters and action and locations.

There’ll be scenery. And skies. And adventure, if I can find any. Gosh, that means people. I do intend to get something beautiful and keep to colorful, and I’ll try not to get lost in the crowd.

I will keep my planets and stars because I love them too much and they say “sci-fi”, but I’ll lose the abstracts (mostly).

You’ll have to let me know what you think about the new lot when I start using them. :D

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Eddies of Astral Light and Form – From The Khekarian Threat, out now on Amazon.

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Thain did not understand the melodious sing-song chirp of mammalian communication, but he watched the pretty patterns form around their heads as the old male and the young female spoke together. Some patterns lived but briefly, others lingered and grew, creating future paths for these strange and alien creatures.

The astral impinged upon both the dense physical plane and his own lighter etheric realm where life was as easily influenced by thought and emotion. In either world, the forms and shapes and pretty colors escaped direct observation. If he truly entered this densest sphere, the physical, the pastel thought designs would disappear and these creatures would become plain and mundane, mostly ugly and clumsy to his eye. If he transitioned to his own realm, he again lost the astral pictures and perception of this world, too.

It was the hues and structure of these astral prototypes that informed him most clearly what their communication was about, although some of the imagery was easier to read than others. The traveling group he had accompanied for half a year thought a lot about eating and a lot about mating. It was not offensive, the members being young people full of life and hunger. Some of them thought about mating nearly all the time.

All thoughts presented pictures. Some thoughts were light and brought laughter. Other thoughts were dark and brought menace.

With the endless patience of his kind, Thain observed the emotions in this room as they sparked and drifted in colorful array, pumping out great swathes of tints and form as the two talked, beautiful eddies breaking away into swirls and ribbons, active for a time in their own right before dissipating. The constants stayed. Renewed thought grew stronger, thicker, denser, building up the colors of the aura into often magnificent rainbows of intent and function.

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The Flow Begins.

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Sometimes, you just have to do it. Like it or not, you have to sit down, crawl into your notes and write – Anything – Everything – something bridging, something whole or something that’s an outline – you have to push on and get words on the page because from that action, the flow begins.

Sometimes, you really don’t want to, except that you do because if you’re a writer, you’re not complete unless you are writing.

Sometimes, you’ll dodge and weave and do everything you can to escape the call, but you can’t ever really escape because it’s already got you shackled. It’s in your blood. It’s in your every breath. It commands almost every thought.

Eventually you do push on, and always – ALWAYS – you feel better for it. It’s your fix, your release, your song.

More than that, it’s You. It’s your Expression. It’s Who You Are.

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Writing-writing.

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There’s writing and then there’s, you know, writing-writing, important writing, manuscript writing, the Real Stuff.

Apart from the occasional day when I deliberately step back from EVERYTHING to do with writing, I judge the success of my day by my page count. Writing-writing, that is.

It counts for nothing if I did the laundry, stacked the wood, washed the car or painted a room. It matters not one iota if I scrubbed out the bathroom or vacuumed the floors. I don’t care if I end the day muscle sore and tired from physical labor – Yes, it’s good to have those chores done, but “What have I done today?” still gets answered, “Nothing!” unless I can include a page count.

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Your Abandoned Desk – Writer’s Block (a Post from the Past)

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It’s been a long time since reams of the finished product has been seen spewing from your printer, that wondrous machine of sound and light once upon a time delivering the majesty of your work into physical form, now sitting there, dormant, silent, a black box with no mystery at all about it anymore – a layer of dust speaking of a lack of appreciation or, worse, contempt.

Your desk has been abandoned. Not tidy, mind, never that – just left, as though you got up one day meaning to return and just… didn’t. Your chair sits there waiting. A cat or two might take your place for awhile, but it’s not the same thing. The writer is gone.

Where are you now? For certain it’s not anywhere in this world. Your eyes are glazed, unfocused, your mind as far from the concerns of the flesh as your hands are from that keyboard at your desk.

Yet you breathe. Gently, to be sure, with no strain – but also with no hope, no heart. Why did you ever try so hard? It’s no easy path, being a writer.

A friend comes by and comments lightly, “Hey, you’re not at your desk, you’re not working.” And this is someone who knows you, who cares, one of the Good Guys, one of the few who understands.

Not working? Oh really?

You fade out again, staring at the sky or the wall. Maybe the TV grabs your attention for a time, but that’s just fake, you’re not really there at all, just going through the motions. You eat – do you remember what it was? You sleep, but not well. You wash, you dress, you go out when you need to. For what? Is it important? No. Nothing’s important. You do whatever you have to do and come home again. But not to your desk.

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