Thursday, July 29, 2010

Exile Chapter 43 Rewrites

I've finished chapter 43 of the second draft of Exile and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

another long chapter, and like the one before it, it's split up into three different viewpoints in two different locations, to make it feel more like the story is moving faster. Though this chapter really doesn't need much of that, with the whole battle going on thing and all. I've always thought that I sucked at writing action. The chapters where there are fights and battles in my stories always take several more drafts to get right than the others. Maybe it's because there's just so much happening in them that they take a lot closer attention to detail than other chapters do. I think I did relatively well for a first draft on this battle sequence though.

Another thing you might have noticed is that this chapter and the last one both end on cliffhangers. That's another trick to make the story feel like it's moving faster and keep people wanting to read onward. I usually try not to use cliffhangers in my writing except in places where it helps the overall tempo of things, because it really, really pisses me off when you get to the end of an awesome story and BAM, one last thing happens where you scream "OMG!!! WHERE THE FRICK DID THAT COME FROM!!" And then have to wait for two whole years for the next book to come out. I can see the point of leaving the ending of a book a cliffhanger, it makes people want to go out and buy the next volume when it comes out, but it really annoys me that writers resort to it. A story should be good enough on it's own merits without resorting to gimicks to make you want to buy the next volume in my opinion, and if you have to resort to cliffhanger endings like that to keep people interested, maybe it's time to take a look back at your story and try to make it more interesting. Anyway, the use of cliffhanger chapters, in my opinion, is still ok, because you do get resolution to what's happening in this story. It helps to build the suspense, and tension, that drive the story forward.

The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 231,430 words.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Exile Chapter 42 Rewrites

I've finished the second draft of Exile Chapter 42 (finally) and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

There's a lot of stuff that happens in this chapter. If feels kind of rushed to me, and will probably be expanded in teh next draft, though it might just be because I haven't done much of building up Patrick's storyline in this darft that did it to me. I intend to expand the storyline of him and Weasel to be an ongoning sort of thing throughout the book in the next draft, and it kinda feels like I just sort of dumped it on you here. Also, remember, that though this is hte second draft of this book, this is really the first draft of this chapter, it still needs a lot of work before it's fully completed. There are still a lot of holes in it and not just those having to do with Patrick.

Anyway, we find that Fayt Nightfang is plotting revenge against both the Four Kingdoms and the Samirreh. We also find out what Silmera's lifetime of servitude has earned her with the Heretics. A lot of fighting gets started as time begins to run out.

As I've said before, in order to mix things up and make it feel like things are speeding up, I've started to switch rapidly between viewpoints and locations, and I've given you two characters' viewpoints that you've previously not had in this draft. This chapter takes place in 4 separate viewpoints in 3 separate locations.

The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 226,503 words.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Work sucks. Heat sucks. Working in heat DOUBLE sucks... especially when you're doing work enough for two people and expected to be done before 5PM.

So yeah, I've been working a lot because, it being july and freakin HOT on top of it, everyone at work with more seniority than me decided to take the week off and remain home in their air conditioning. I've been working myself to death and coming home so drained from the heat that all i want to do is lie down and die. Soooooo, not looking so good for finishing Exile by the end of july anymore. Curses!!! *shakes puny fist at the injustice of life*

I blame the communists. This is ALL Cuba's fault. And I'm sure BP had something to do with it too.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Welp, I got some bad news from my agent last night. After great deliberation on their part**, or so they say, Swanson Publishing has decided to pass on Beyond the Lost Horizon. The deciding factor for them was that I am a previously unpublished author and wouldn't have the drawing power of a more established writer. They encouraged me to come back with BTLH if ever I get a few other books out there and the sci-fi/fantasy community is at least partially familliar with my name.

So after a long string of expletives, the strangling of several puppies**, the punching of a basket full of kittens**, and the dismemberment of cute, cuddly bunnies** I decided to, as previously stated, post it for sale on Amazon through Kindle independantly until I can find a publisher willing to take a chance on a new writer. I had to make a really really ghetto cover for it, it's kinda laughable and very obviously photoshopped, but whatever.

I've posted it for the price of $3.00, so if you feel the great urge to buy it and support my rather pathetic, as of yet, writing career it would be much appreciated. Tell your friends, and family, and enemies, and strangers on the street, and coworkers, and other such peoples. Kindle e-books can be read on your computer, ipod, iphone, ipad, blackberry, droid, and of course, the Kindle tablet.

Beyond the Lost Horizon E-book

**May not have actually happened

Friday, July 16, 2010

Exile Chapter 41 Rewrites

I've finished chapter 41 of the second draft of Exile and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

This is another pretty long chapter. Silmera has a few adventures in captivity, and ends up tracing a giant spell in Avalon for Fayt Nightfang with her own blood. The name of this chapter, The Bloody Crest, is a nod at Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, strangely, this actually has a bit of similarity with the ending of FMA: B, but not too much (I only just saw the end a week or two ago, and had this ending plotted out a while before that). We learn why Fayt Nightfang wanted Silmera, or at least part of it, i haven't given you everything yet. Mostly this is just a chapter to tell you what's happening with Silmera while Mal is gathering his army. It's really my last chance to make you sympathize with her and I took whole advantage. She's never had a lot of things in her life, and I let her have a small bit of what she's missed, even if the company leaves a little to be desired. A few small mysteries are given answers here if you look for them, but will be explained in greater detail later if you miss them.

This is it for set up. Now starts the avalanche. The pace is going to start speeding up considerably from here. I purposely moved slowly and deliberately in the buildup here to the ending. TO make things feel like they're accelerating the style of writing is going to change a little, some of which I've already begun. Instead of sticking with one character in one location and one event for an entire chapter as i've done my best to stick to thus far, I'm now going to be having several different characters' points of view per chapter, and keep bouncing around from location to location, event to event, and the chapters will start to get shorter so you get a feeling of things speeding up and chaos, additionally, as I already stated, I'll be bringing in the point of view of several characters other than the two characters that the story is about to further mix things up.

The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 220,016 words.

Ok, I never actually thought that the second draft of this story would exceed 100,000 words added. That's pretty crazy when you think about it. That's a middling sized mainstrem novel right there. That really goes to show how craptastic that first draft really was. And on another note, I've written 30,000 words of new material this week alone. I'm trying very hard to make the end of july deadline I set for myself. Needless to say, I haven't had much of a social life this week. I work, I come home, I write, I sleep. Every so often I find time to eat and shower. To give you an idea of what all I've done this week, I wrote 5 chapters to replace 2. I read those two chapters, found any existing text that could still be used, then wrote my new text around it. I spellcheck every chapter after completing it, and read through to make sure that spellcheck got everything. I've spent about 8-10 hours per day this week working on it in addition to 5-8 hours of actual work at my day job. Each chapter takes anywhere from 5-10 hours to complete. I think I can actually feel myself getting fatter with all the sitting around I've been doing this week haha, next week I'm definitely going to make the time to exercise, because I can definitely feel the lack. It's amazing how different you feel when you're exercising regularly and then stop for a week. So yeah, I recently discovered like a few months ago that exercise+fruit=awesome who'da thunk?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Exile Chapter 40 Rewrites

I've finished chapter 40 of the second draft of Exile and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

There's one small part here that's slighty similar to the first draft, where Lilia gives Mal his reforged sword, though i've done some very big changes even to that. Rather than enchanting his sword, she's given him a magic knife, which is going to come into play later in the most awesome of ways... or at least I think so anyway.

This chapter has mostly to do with Mal and Lilia working out their unresolved issues, and with the last bit of set up for the final confrontation that Mal needs to do before heading off to war. I've done almost all of the setup needed for the ending. There's one more chapter to go before all of the action starts happening. Silmera still needs to find out why she's been captured, or at least part of it, and then everything can fall apart into bloody action that goes on and on until the very end. I didn't mean to make this chapter so long, but once I got into it I realized it kinda had to be, because Lilia is not the sort of person that's going to just give up. She'd goig to keep trying and trying and trying until she's run out of things to try, then go and try to think of more things to try. She's really getting desperate now, because she knows that she'll lose him if he goes to Silmera and she hasn't won him over yet. I think I did a pretty good job of illustrating how hopeless her cause is when she asks him to kiss her one last time and all he does through the whole kiss is think about Silmera. You can't choose who you love, and you can't force someone to love you. Two things I've had a little experience with in my time, unfortunately both with the same girl. I know a little bit about how Lilia is feeling, because I've had something similar happen to me.

All in all I think the changes to the ending are going pretty well. I'm pleased with them so far, and now, when things are really going to start to change, I think I'm going to be very happy with how things turn out. I was not at all pleased with how the ending turned out in the first draft, so I've put a whole lot into making a different, better ending. The ending was my biggest regret from the first draft, amongst a whole ocean of other regrets. I really think that this story has gotten 1000% better with this draft, and I hope that those that read it before and hated it (with good reason) will give it another chance, because it really is different and better than it was.

The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 215,507 words.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Exile Chapter 39 Rewrites

I've finished chapter 39 of the second draft of Exile, and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

This chapter and the one before it bear slight similarity to one chapter in the first draft, though they have been completely rewritten with more detail, different, and more characters, and new events to reflect other stroylines that have been added or removed. It's different enough that I can say that it's pretty much not the same at all, but the general idea between these two chapters is the same, a gathering of kings, lords and military commanders brought together by Aaron to fight the Samirreh in the final battle to decide the fate of the world. Mal arrives and forces his will on them as the rightful heir to all of Zion, and gets himself an army with a commander that he's idolized his entire life. These new chapters are far more detailed, and the characters are much more three dimensional rather than cardboard cutouts in the background whilst the main characters do all the talking. The story is still in the process of branching away from the original ending into the new ending so there will still be a ew slight similarities, but soon there will not even be that much.

Again, this chapter is told from the point of view of Lilia, just to mix things up. There will be at least one more chapter from her point of view, but not for a while yet. It'll be in the middle of the battle. And the chapter title is a bit of a nod toward Tolkein.

The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 211,941 words.

And still no word back from my agent other than that he's working on it. I'll post as soon as I hear whether we've got a deal or not. If not I was thinking of self publishing on amazon's kindle site until such time as my agent can get a sale, as writers retain all rights for their works through amazon for later publications.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Exile Chapter 38 Rewrites

I've finished chapter 38 of the second draft of Exile and it can be downloaded at the botton of this page.

This is the first of three chapters that will be from Lilia's point of view. Up until this point the vast majority of the story has been told from the point of view of two different characters, Silmera and Mal. There's a bit of structured chaos to bringing in a new point of view here and now.

The beginning of this story starts with the points of view of three minor characters, and there's a lot of action and confusion in this beginning. Once that finished up I settled down to tell the story from the view of the two main characters. Now that everything is starting to speed up and get chaotic with the ending action, I'm throwing in points of view from other minor characters to mix things up and make it feel more like things are spinning horribly out of control, while things are literally spinning out of control. When you stray from the way you've previously established that the story will be told, it adds an element of the unexpected to what is happening. Though most readers won't be consciously aware of exaclty what I'm doing, they'll be able to feel that something is different, and dischordant from the way the story has been told up to this point. I'll also be bringing in a chapter or two from Patrick Eamon, and Fayt Nightfang's points of view to further stir things up.

Anyway, the political situation of the Four Kingdoms is really laid out in this chapter under the guise of a wizarding lesson from Aaron to Lilia. We're introduced to the Four Kings of the Four Kingdoms, and Patrick Eamon, the legendary general. PLus you get a crash course in Lilia's personality and views of the world.

The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 209,376 words.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Exile Chapter 37 rewrites

I've finished chapter 37 of the second draft of Exile and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

This is a very long chapter, over 8000 words. It'll probably be cut into two chapters in future drafts. It's mostly introversive thoughts by Silmera about what will happen to Aaron's army if it attacks, and reflections on the worth of her own life. After a thousand years of trying to prove herself she's starting to wonder what she's really accomplished. She's done so many things for the betterment of mankind, and no one will even care if she dies, or so she thinks. She's also starting to realize that she has developed feelings for Mal, as unlikely as that seems to her.

One thing I'd like to point out in this chapter is what Fayt Shadowslicer is doing. I had an experience with a job a few years back that is very similar to his situation. He knows for a fact that his immediate superior is a traitor, but there isn't any proof to take to the higher ups about it.

Once upon a time I was the general manager of a crappy little second run theater. It was the absolute worst job that I have ever had. In fact, the stress from this job actually brought out an, until then, latent seizure disorder that I had. I actually had a stress related seizure and ended up in the hospital with a concussion from falling down the stairs when I passed out from the stress of that job. There was a sort of regional manager that oversaw the several theaters owned by the company in the area, but he spent most of his time at my theater because the owner was afraid of the neighborhood it was in and refused to set foot in it. I quicky discovered that he was robbing the theater blind, and had been for quite some time as he had gotten VERY good at it. He left absolutely no proof at all, and though I went to the owner with my concerns about it I wasn't believed that his trusted right hand man could possibly be stealing so much from him. I knew without a doubt that he was stealing, and the higher us would not believe me because of the trust they'd placed in this person, and I didn't have any actual proof except what I was seeing with my own eyes. It was an incredibly frustrating position to find myself in, and that is exactly the sort of frustration that Fayt Shadowslicer feels in dealing with someone who is very obviously a traitor. He's willing to deal with an enemy in order to get proof to smoke out a traitor. To him, the traitor is the more objectionable of the two.

Also a little note about a character named Patrick Eamon. As I started on this draft I reached a point where I needed to stop and work on my outlines for the second half where the majority of the changes would take place. I realized at that time that I needed to add this character into the story in order to make the ending work. I think he's actually mentioned before the time that I took a break to re-outline, but by a different name. Anyway, he is a very important character as he is the only military commander of the Four Kingdoms that has been victorious against the Samirreh, and he is the one that will be ultimately leading the final battle. He's become a legend amongst the people of the Four Kingdoms because of his deeds. I will be adding, in the next draft, much more about his character earlier in the story so that you get the full impact of Mal meeting someone that has been a hero to him for most of his life, and know who he is and what he's been doing, and how it will impact the tactics of the battle. There's a lot that needs to be added about him, so I decided not to go back in this draft and leave it for the next. So he'll kinda just come out of nowhere into the ending of the second draft, but in the final form he'll be a legendary figure that is well known about that you finally get to meet in the end.

The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 205,296 words.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Days are Here Again!!!

Sooooooooooooooo, there I was, halfway through writing the next chapter of Exile last night when I got a phone call from my agent. It appears as though he may have found a publishing company interested in buying Beyond the Lost Horizon. Swanson Publishing out of New York is a newer-ish publisher that has previously only put out paperbacks of various genres, looking for their niche before moving on to hardbacks. My Agent Put forward to Swanson that now is the time to start delving into the fantasy market because of all of the great things that have been happening there lately, and what better book to be their very first hardback than mine.

At the moment they're "on the fence" about it, but he exects he can cajole them into accepting and signing a contract within the the next week. He explained to me that "on the fence" is publisher talk for "Interested, but you're asking too much, lower the cost and we'll take it under consideration". If this deal goes through you can expect to see Beyond the Lost Horizon in stores late next spring (and removed from my website as I will be under contract not to hand it out for free to anyone that happens to surf into me on the net).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Exile Chapter 36 Rewrites

I've finished chapter 36 of teh second draft of Exile and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

This chapter is almost the exact length of the chapter that it's replacing, it's only about 9 words shorter. That's a little odd in my oinion, cosindering how completely different they are from each other. Mal is forced to trust the Dark God in order to rescue Silmera from the Samirreh and to get to Avalon before the barriers are broken and the Samirreh begin to swarm into the ruins.

The original draft of this chapter was awful. It was full of a lot of confusing, non-descriptive, and etremely unbelievable action. I don't care how awesome the Exile working with the power of the Dark God is, he's not going to be able to fight off an entire army of Samirreh that are waiting for him in broad daylight and have a hostage at knifepoint. True, his mother pulled off a similar feat at the beginning of the book, but she had the Exile's Moon enhancing her powers, the cover of darkness, and surprise on her side, not to mention years of experience that Mal does not have, and if you'll rememeber she didn't exactly survive the encounter either. If you'd like to read that sort of drivel go download the first draft on my website. If you'd rather have a more believeable fight of one on seven with a Fayt in charge that picked his seven least competant in order to have a go at bribing the Exile into his service, read the second draft, which is much better written and structured, and most of all, far more believable than the fight I had at this point in the first draft.

This chapter is really the beginning of where the first and second drafts are going to start diverging into different endings. There will be a few small similarities in the second draft to the first draft, but literally the entire ending is new to this draft. It's taken me almost a year to come up with everything that's going to happen here. I've put a lot of work into making something that is both exciting and fulfilling to read, two things that the first draft really lacked. I relied too much on an emotional gimick in the first draft to make the ending memorable, and forgot to put anything resembling excitement an substance into it, and I failed to fulfill some of the promises that I made at the beginning of the story, which is a big no no. Basically an ending should fulfill all promises made during the story, and tie everything up nice and neat with a big bow with as big a bang as you can possibly manage without straining credulity. I think I've got just the thing to do all three.

The first draft was really riding on the back story from a book I hand wrote in composition books way back in freakin' HIGH SCHOOL, (yes I still have these composition books and no you can't read them) and the idea that two characters that are barely in this book would go on into Spires of Infinity. I think I've really made it it's own story this time around, and given it the attention that it needs in order to be a good story that people actually want to sit down and read. I've had more than a few people tell me how crap the first draft was, myself being one of them, I hope that I can change a few minds with the second draft.

The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 200,407 words.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Exile Chapter 35 Rewrites

I've finished chapter 35 of the second draft of Exile and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

All right, now that I've got my computer troubles sorted out, and reinstalled everything, I'm back to working on Exile. I'm extremely annoyed at this setback, as it might cause me to miss my goal of finishing before the end of july.

This chapter, and the one before it, basically take the place of a ton of just spuerfluous, pointless junk that I had in this section of the first draft. A lot of things happened while Mal was visiting the Northern Sage that really didn't need to, and so I've cut them all out, and made this part of the story a little more compact (even though the word count has actually grown ha ha). The only things that really needed to happen here were Mal had to be told how to defeat the Samirreh, and really just make his choice of what he's going to do, and decide why he's going to do it. He hadn't really dealt with all of his issues, but he's finally got them somewhat under control to the point where they're not ruling his life anymore. Those were really the only things that needed to happen here, and I had just a ton of other crap that really didn't need to be there, and really had no point to the story at hand. Some of the original text from the first draft has survived in this chapter, but not very much.

Anyway, now is where the ending really starts to change, from here on out, I'll basically be rewriting the entire thing. Before this point you could set the first draft and the second draft side by side, and though there are great differences, they're still the same story. From here on out that will no longer be possible, this is a completely different ending to the story, and it will bear very little resemblance at all to the original ending that I wrote.

The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 200,416 words.

And there we have it, with an 83k word increase I've broken the 200k mark. I originally started writing this story because I was fed up with agents telling me that Beyond the Lost Horizon was too long and they weren't interested because of that. It was supposed to be a short, fun little adventure sort of thing, which has now grown to neary twice its original size. Now it has become longer than the final draft of Beyond the Lost Horizon. Of course I haven't even tried to cut anything out of it yet, and there will be cuts, oh yes, there will be cuts. Nothing will really be cut out of the story, except for maybe some things that really don't belong, what will change is the wording. I'll change the wording to say the same thing in fewer words. It'll read easier, look cleaner, and basically be the exact same story told in fewer words. Nothing will actually be cut, it'll just be more compact. I wanted to try and cut it down to 150k, but that might be too small. the final draft may end up somewhere around 175k.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Computer Fail

So I went to wikipedia on saturday to look something up, and my virus scanner went all apochalypse now on me, and whatever it was trying to keep out... yeah, it didn't quite keep out. So I got majorly infected with something, couldn't open anything at all, and had to format and reinstall everything. Luckily I make 3 copies of all my writing every time I finish so I didn't lose anything important, but it did pretty much keep me from writing all weekend.

The moral of this story: when you sleep with wikipedia, you're sleeping with everyone wikipedia has ever slept with, and that ho has every digital STD in the book.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Exile Chapter 34 rewrites

I've finished chapter 34 of the second drat of Exile and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

This chapter is about 70% carried over from the first draft and 30% new material. There was a lot of superfluous junk in this chapter that I cut away as well, a lot of it having to do with plotlines and such that are no longer relevant in this draft. As such the word count has actually gotten smaller with the addition of this chapter rather than larger. This is sort of a break in the story where Mal really sits down to figure things out once and for all, and though this is monumentally important for his character developement, it's also kinda of slow and boring and I didn't want to take too long with it to ruin the pacing of the story, which is starting to ramp up a bit now.

This chapter is also the biggest part of this story that ties it into the universe of Beyond the Lost Horizon, as characters from that story make appearances, and it also ties in to Spires of Infinity with this chapter as well. Jonathan, and Michael, two of the heroes of that story are mischievous children here, and their sister Kari is not far from being born. I've given a few small spoilers to the ending of the Beyond the Lost Horizon trilogy here, but nothing really major, or in much detail.

Raven, the Northern Sage, lays out the whole speach about destiny, and life being a trial, and free will, and all of that, which, if you're read Beyond the Lost Horizon is sort of a little joke I've put in here, because he absolutely HATED it when his predecessor Freyja would say those same things to him. Now Mal has to sit down and choose what path he wants to walk down. He needs to find within himself the reason to stand up and fight.

The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 199,511 words.