Thursday, February 24, 2011


well, aparently when my agent took the time to check the word count on the fourth draft of Exile he about choked to death. So for now, he wants me to stop working on it while he goes through it and marks out parts he wants me to cut. Then we'll probably argue about which parts he's marked are important or not, and the story will get chopped. Instead of working on a fifth draft of Exile he's asked me to start on finishing up Spires of Infinity until he gets back to me, and "you'd sure as hell better not inflate it to three times the size this time!!!"

Unfortunately, the thing about Exile and the gigantic word count is that it NEEDED all of that. It's as long as it needs to be to tell the whole story. It was a much bigger and longer story than I gave it credit for in the beginning. I suggested splitting it into two volumes, and I know a perfect place to do it at. My agent said he'd get back to me on that idea after he goes through and sees what he thinks can be done to chop it down to size. In the end we might end up doing both, cutting it down a bit AND splitting it into two volumes. Another thing he suggested was maybe toning down some of the naughty parts and trying to sell it as a young adult book rather than epic fantasy. I'm ok with that, I guess.

And I'm totally ok with switching projects too, because Spires was the story I wanted to work on when my agent strongly suggested Exile. And where Exile was a 300k word story told in 100k words in the first draft, Spires was a 150k word story told in 150k words. It was far better planned out and needs very little actual work to complete it. In fact, I did so well in planning it out and writing the first draft that i may actually be able to finish this one completely in only three drafts. we'll see.

Anyway, I have a list of things that I made while reading through Spires whilst sick that need to be worked on. Mostly it's little things like descriptions of people/places/things, some bad grammar, adding a little more personality to the characters, a few small continuity issues, and putting the pop culture references down a notch or three.

What I was trying to do with this story was create a universe in which a story could be told in several different genres, while still tying them in to a character who is from present day earth, and I relied really heavily on the pop culture stuff so that you don't forget who he is and where he came from amidst all of the jumping around to sci-fi, fantasy, western, post-apocalyptic, and so on, but while doing my read through i realized that it didn't really need quite that much, and it started to get a little annoying and take away from the rest of the story. I'm still going to keep some of it, because there were a few really good jokes in it, but a lot of it is going to get toned down or removed completely.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I'm out of sick days *psycho shower scene music* I have to go back to work tomorrow ; ; Oh well, according to the doctor I shouldn't be contageous anymore, and if I am it's the people at work's fault for not giving me more sick days. As if I can afford to take time off of work if I'm not being paid for it, especially with how much my hospital bill was.

In other news, I recieved an e-mail from Square-Enix, the company that made Final Fantasy XI, the soul-sucking bane of my existence for a couple years. Several months ago they released their newest online game Final Fantasy XIV, which, before it came out I was considering buying. The graphics are amazing, and it looked like a nice improvement on XI. Fortunately, for the sake of my social life, I remembered what FFXI did to me, and decided against getting it. Aparently, though, Square-Enix has lost nearly 30 million dollars on the game so far because it's just AWFUL. Everyone hates it, and is quitting the game and tossing it before their monthly fees start getting charged. The game has like 0 content whatsoever, and has about a billion and 1 bugs. It's basically a glorified beta version right now, so you can imagine how much the people who bought it, expecting a game as great as FFXI must have felt when they finally got past how awesome the graphics look and realized there was nothing to do but look at the pretty graphics.

The game is so horrible, in fact, that Square-Enix issued a formal apology to their fans over it, fired all of the people in charge of the game's development, and put in new leadership. Unfortunately, doing so seems to have been too little too late, as subscriptions to the game are still dropping rapidly, and it seems like it is completely doomed to failure.

Anyway, since they're losing so much money on FFXIV, I guess Square-Enix is looking for ways to increase revenues in other areas, and that's where the e-mail I recieved comes in. I was offered two free months of Final Fantasy XI, as well as having my character undeleted free of charge if I would only come back and become their mindless, soullesss slave once more. Yeah, thanks for the offer there SE, but I'll have to pass. I've wasted enough of my life on that stupid game, and I think I'll just keep away from it at least until the day I die. I wouldn't have thought that addiction to a video game could destroy your life just as badly as addiction to drugs can, but it's possible.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Did you know...?

Fun fact: Overdosing on vitamin C causes rectal itching.

How do I know this? Because I was told by a male nurse at the hospital who said it with a mischivous half-grin and a wink, as though he'd just told a very clever joke, and I was the only one in the entire world he'd deemed worthy enough to let in on it.

"So, something you're gonna wanna do is," he said conspiratorially as he was yanking out my IV, "get one of those bigass bottles of Vitamin C pills, ya know, the chewable ones that taste like really nasty orange candy? And then just scarf those suckers like candy for the next week to help you immune system get back up to speed. But," *winkgrin* "if your bum starts itchin' you know you're taking too much, Overdosing on vitamin C cases rectal itching." *winkgrin*

Sadly, that was one of the higher points of my week. Not in a haha that was hilarious sort of way, but in a I have to laugh at a grown man acting like a child trying to act like a vulgar adult, but failing at it because his sheltered little child's mind doesn't really know anything that's vulgar enough sort of way.

So yeah, I've been doing a whole lot of absolutely nothing over the weekend. I slept, and I slept, and I slept some more. I've actually worn myself out by sleeping. Who'da thunk that just sleeping for a whole weekend could be so physically exhausting? You'd think i'd have run a marathon by how tired I feel today. And I can't sleep anymore, I've tried. I bet I could go a whole week without sleep and not even feel it now.

Friday, February 11, 2011

So apparently...

So, apparently, when you have pneumonia, and you don't go to a doctor because you don't have health insurance and you don't want to pay $300 for him to look at you for 2 mins and write you a prescription for what you think is just a really bad cold, you can almost die... Good thing I live next door to a hospital haha. There's nothing more awesome than waking up at 3 in the morning and thinking to yourself, "wait a minute... something's wrong here, now what is it...? 3 am and I'm awake, that's what's wrong. Wait, no, that's not it. Oh, I got it, I'm suffocating to death... oh crap, I'm suffocating to death!!!"

Ever had your lungs pumped out? Well, besides costing four thousand dollars and hurting like hell, it's probably the most disgusting thing you've ever seen. Black mucus, puss, blood, and other nasty, unidentifyable things you'd really rather not know about come splurting out of a tube into a jar, and you can't breathe at ALL while it's happening, which is only slightly worse than the mostly not being able to breathe at all before they do it to you. Several goes at that, with pauses to let me breathe in between, and nearly a gallon of nastiness later, i could finally breathe again, and now I'm completely and utterly broke. My entire savings account is wiped out. There go my plans for moving anytime soon *sigh*

The moral of this story: If you've got a really bad cold and don't have health insurance, $300 to a doctor for a prescription is preferably to $4000 to a hospital to keep you from drowing in your own bodily fluids.

And apparently almost dying has caused my agent's heart to grow 3 sizes... or maybe 1/3 of a size. He's given me an extra month to finish Exile since I obvioulsy won't be doing much work on it for a while, being all close to death and everything. When you say "Hey, dude, guess what, I almost died wednesday night" to someone, people with more compassion for others than I have tend to give you just about anything you want. I got an extra month out of my agent, free dinner from the relief society (still no idea how they found out), actual sympathy from a completely unsympathetic boss, a brother actually doing the dishes without being told 73 times, my parents even went grocery shopping for me BWAAHAAHAA. I'm starting to wonder what else I can get by playing the I almost died card.

Well, anyway, I'm pretty much forbidden from doing anything more strenuous than peeing for the next week, and I'm taking so many different pills I swear I can taste the future. Mmmmmmm future, tastes kinda like snozberry. And my brother has decided that he doesn't want to get pnumonia so he's started sleeping on the couch so I don't have to listen to his snoring at night. WIN! I just hope that my meager supply of sick days doesn't run out before I'm able to walk more than 3.2 steps without breaking into a coughing fit strong enough to offset the earth's gravitational field. That and I hope whoever is delivering my not-quite mail route doesn't screw things up royally while I'm gone. Nothing more annoying than coming back from time off to find everyone and anyone on your route pissed at you because someone can't read the plainly written tags I've put into mailboxes telling others whose mail gets forwarded and whose gets delivered. They ALWAYS blame me, even though they CLEARLY saw someone else delivering the mail. Seriously, I have every single name of every single person on that entire route memorized, and the names of everyone that no longer lives on that route. If someone were to give me any address from my route on the spot I could tell you off the top of my head who lives there and who has moved out of there since the place was built. I could recite the entire route to you if I wanted to. It's not ME screwing up. I know my route. oh well.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Exile Part 1 Draft 5

Ok, so I've started working on draft 5 of Exile, and I've finished the prologue and part 1, both of which can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

My main focus on this draft is cutting the word count down by as much as possible while removing as little actual content as possible. The prologue and part 1 consist of 5 chpaters, and from those five chapters I've managed to cut out 4293 words, which is about 27% of the word count, just by rewording things, and removing one small part that is retold later by one of the characters and didn't really need to be there now.

Anyway, rather than post this draft on my site chapter by chapter, i'm going to post it in parts. Part one is the shortest, and so it took the shortest amount of time to finish. Part two is the longest and will take considerably longer to finish up, so you may not hear from me on here for a while, unless someone does something incredibly stupid that I have to rant about.

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's finally done!!!

I've finally finished the fourth draft of Exile. I've added the last three chapters a well as a file download for the entire manuscript of the Fourth Draft at the bottom of this page

Basically these chapters are about tying up all of the loose ends. Everything that hadn't been taken care of before is addressed here. The Epilogue goes through the lives of the surviving characters so there's no question that this is, indeed, the end. Again, there are a lot of things in these chapters that are much more significant to the plot of the larger story that this is only a small piece of.

I usually get a little annoyed when I write a story and someone asks me "well . . . then what happened?" NOTHING!!! NOTHING HAPPENED!!! Didn't you see those words at the end that said "The End"? THat means there is no more. THe story is over!!! So, to prevent that, i launched a preemptive strike, saying exactly what happened to every one of hte characters that survived, and a few that didn't. Sure, some of them might make great stories in their own right, but I'm never going to write them out. Why? because there's no need to. This story is over. There is no more. These characters have been through everything that they're going to go through and I meant it when I said "the end".

Well, as the deadline that my agent gave me draws closer, I have just under two months left to complete a final draft and mail it off to him. It's been a really hard winter at work and that has been slowing my progress horribly, but things are looking up a bit and I'm pretty sure that I can finish up by the last day of March. I want to take a break from Exile for a while, to recuperate after that really, really, hard fourth draft, but unfortunately I don't have much time for that. So I'll just take the weekend and get started on draft five on monday.

And so you can see the progression of how much this story has changed from draft to draft:

The first draft of Exile was 117,352 words.
The second draft ended at 247,112 words.
That is a difference of 129,760 words, over double the length of the first draft.
The third draft ended at an even larger 285,951 words.
Which is an increase of 38,839 words
The fourth draft ended at a huge 335,286 words.
The fourth draft was 49,335 words longer than the third, and 217,934 words longer than the first draft.

This story has REALLY changed and evolved through these four drafts and I have to say that I am pretty proud of how it's ended up. It's probably one of the better stories that I've written. It'll get even better in the next 2 or so drafts as I cut out all of hte unnecesary text. For now, though, you can consider Draft Four as close to being the finished story as it's going to get until I take a chainsaw to it and cut it down to size. Nothing more is going to be added to it. The only edits to make now are taking things away.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Exile Chapter 53 draft 4

I've finished chapter 53 of the fourth draft of Exile and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

There is a lot of stuff that happens in this chapter that serves the plot of a larger story outside of this one. Revealing of the Dark God's motives for instance explains his reasons for doing what he's done in Genesis, Beyond the Lost Horizon, and Heretic Twilight. Silmera's death serves to force Mal to a decision that will affect the outcome of the Spires of Infinity storyline. Shayla, first daughter of Raven and Temari, whom you saw born at the end of Ark of Zarathustra if you've read it (and I don't really recomend it because it's horribly written in its current incarnation) is finally allowed to keep a promise she made to her father that she'd return to him one day.

A lot of storylines outside of the story of Exile are either beginning or coming to an end here in this chapter, and I'm the only one that knows the full impact of it all becuse I'm the only one that knows what any of the other stories are about because I haven't written most of them out yet. Still, it makes for a good and fulfilling end to Exile as well, you just wont get hte full impact of the importance of the events in this chapter until I get around to writing out the rest of it all. Most of the stories I write are connected in some way, if not directly. They all take place in different worlds and at diferent times, but they're all still parts of a much larger story that I've been putting together since I was about ten.

Anyway there are two final climactic battles fought in this chapter, the Dark God vs. Fayt Nightfang, and Mal vs the Dark God. Mal takes another leap of faith, trusting again in Queen Cora's words. The Dark God's explanation for why he hates humans is more to serve the larger story outside of this one, but in this story it serves to draw parrallels between him and Mal, which makes it more of an internal thing for Mal, fighting against what he used to believe, and realizing how stupid it was. They were both crazed for revenge, willing to do anything for vengeance, but Mal shows he's the better man by having overcome that desire, and forgives the Dark God for all he's done before banishing him to the dark oblivion that he so rightly deserves.

It was my intention to leave Markus dead at this point in the story, but I decided on a better fate for him, so he managed to survive and was healed by Mal. I also intended to leave Weasel as she was here, but I figured that she should be given her happiness back after all she's been through and had Mal heal not only the people that were hurt in this battle, but all afflictions of any kind in the entire Four Kingdoms, including Weasel's sterility. He had an excess of power that came from the life drained out of the Samirreh, and rather than return them to full health as well, he killed them all and used their lives to undo all of the horrible thigs that they've done to people.

anyway, almost done with the fourth draft FINALLY, it's up to 333k words, which is slightly less than the equivilant to the first five harry potter books combined, or one of the longer wheel of time books. It's only 18k words short of being 3 times the length of the first draft, which is pretty crazy, considering I first started on this story out of frustration with angents turning me down because Beyond the Lost Horizon was too long. I don't know how much I'm going to be able to cut out of this story, but we'll see what happens in draft 5.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Exile Chapter 52 Draft 4

I've finished Chapter 52 of the second draft of Exile, and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

This is the part of the story where the bad guy reveals all the heretofore unknown details of his nefarious plots. There's something one of my favorite writers, Brandon Sanderson, does rather often in his writing. He often gives a small detail, seemingly insignificant at the time, early on in the story that becomes a major influence in why the antagonist is doing the things he's doing. I tried to emulate that in this story with Fayt Nightfang's motivations by giving little snippits about Parth and Torren early on in the story, and about how Silmera had helped push the Samirreh out of the Four Kingdoms the first time. He's out for revenge because of that, and he's using the Samirreh to do what they did to his people and home to the people of the Four Kingdoms in retribution before he kills them all as a massive human sacrifice to bring his wife back from the dead.

one major change in this chapter from the previous draft is that I've put a lot more focus on mal's choice here. He's come face to face with the leap of faith that Cora has been warning him about in his dreams since the day the Curse passed to him. It's a huge, character defining moment in his life, and not to make a big deal out of it is kind of a missed opportunity. He's terrified of what might happen to him, and of becoming another Demon Queen Marael, but he decides to do what has to be done. Going back to the last chapter's notes, of course he's going to hesitate and run through his options when faced with his greatest fear. He's going to run through a whole slew of emotions and ways to justify not doing it, before he finally decides that he has to.

Exile Chapter 51 Draft 4

I've finished Chatper 51 of the fourth draft of Exile and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Ok, so far all of the main characters have had their own little epiphanies about why they're going on and doing the things that they're doing, except for Patrick. It's his turn to come to a realization and become something better than he was before. It was Weasel's words way back half the story ago about having a conscience that did it for him. I toldja that would come into play later =P. Anyway, he does something very uncharacteristic and charges down into teh battle to save a man that he hates after coming to his life changing realization.

Another thing that I do in this chapter is that both Patrick and Mal have things to do here that are very heroic and self-sacrificing. Usually in books and movies you see heroes doing heroic things and they never hesitate or stop to think about the consequences before they do them. I think that's complete and utter BS. There's no one in the world that's going to toss themselves into the middle of a battle they're almost certainly going to die in without considering that possibility first. So I had both of them hesitate before doing what they do to reaffirm their reasons for doing what they do. It's something that I would do if faced with either situation, and as these characters are really just extensions of myself, they've inherited that much from me.

Another thing to note is that this story has had three completely different endings. The first ending was the one in the first draft which was rather anti-climactic, unfulfilling, lazy and really kind of nonsensical. It basically tied up most of the loose ends in the easiest way possible and was really kind of dumb. It was a bad ending for a poorly written story.

While writing the second draft I had two different endings in mind, the one I went with, which is decidedly more exciting, and another which I decided was somewhat over the top and not quite as fulfilling. This is the point in the story where those two endings diverge. The unused ending would have had Fayt Nightfang using Silmera as the core of a new Gate that would serve only him, giving him power over time and space, and Mal would set the Dark God free to break her out of the crystal the was forming around her, becoing the core instead, and then they'd both fight the Dark God, and Mal would use the Dagger of Binding to trap him again. It left a few things unresolved, and wasn't really as fulfilling as the ending I chose. I really couldn't decide between the two until I actually got to this point in the second dreaft and started writing it, and I went with the one that felt right. Much of the work I did in draft three was going back through and changing a few small things here and there to point toward this ending, because I was really leaning toward the other until I got to this point.

And HOLY CRAP it's cold today!!! I should have waited for it to warm up a bit first before getting my hair cut haha.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Exile Chapter 50 Draft 4

I've finished chapter 50 of the fourth draft of Exile and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

There were a lot of really minor changes to this chapter in this draft, mostly small continuity errors and fixing of bad writing. It was pretty close to being good as it was.

This one is another really long chapter, and it doesn't have so many viewpoint and location changes as the chapters before and after it do, but it's got a couple in it. Mostly I figured that the battle for the fate of the Four Kingdoms was exciting enough on it's own and didn't need the jumping around to make it feel ore hectic than it already is.

Exile Chapter 49 Draft 4

I've finished chapter 49 of the fourth draft of Exile and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

This chapter is really really long and had some gigantic continuity errors in it as well as several large parts that had to be added to fill in some gaps. One of these parts was where Patrick puts his armor onto Mal. Patrick is basically Mal's childhood hero and he's completely tonguetied when he actually has the chance to meet and talk to him. This comes from my own childhood. When i was little I practically worshiped Luke Skywalker from star wars. I dresse up like him for Halloween like 7 years in a row. Whenever my parents rented videos I always wanted one of the star wars trilogy (we were poor back then and couldn't afford a VCR of our own so we rented one every now and then). And when I was seven my parents took me to a convention where Mark Hamil was speaking and signing autographs. I was sooooo excited to actually get to meet the man that brought my hero to life, but when I finally got up to him I was so shy I couldn't say a single word to him when he smiled at me and said "may the force be with you, young jedi." He seemed really nice and all, and he obviously wanted to keep my Star Wars illusions alive after meeting him, but I was just too awestruck by meeting him, and finding that he was just a normal person like anyone else that I couldn't say a word. That experience got me to thinking that maybe you're just never meant to come face to face with your own personal heroes. It was actually very awkward for me, and so I made it be that way for Mal.

I also added a lot more introversion with Mal. He's about to give up his humanity to save the world, and in the last draft he wasn't thinking about any of that as he went to Avalon. If I was in his place I'd be pissing and moaning and whining about how afraid I was. (I'm a complainer) So I added in some of that in. Other things that changed were obviously a lot of hte characer introductions for Patrick's people as those were taken care of in teh new parts added to drat three and not necessary here anymore. Silmera's reaction to Mal coming to save her is definitely a lot different now, and much more fitting. And I added in Markus marrying Patrick and Weasel before the battle for laughs, and because it's something that real people in the real world would do. They're about to go into battle where it's pretty much a certainty that they will both die. They'd want to be married before that.

This chapter is where I start jumping around from viewpoint to viewpoint, across several locations. It's pretty much the beginning of the climax of the story. In this chapter we get Points of view from Mal, Silmera, Patrick, and Fayt Nightfang, in five different locations.

This chapter needed a ton of work, and it took me forever to get through it. It still seems a little jumbled to me, and hopefully that'll be fixed when i start cutting ti down to size.