Progress on Bleeding Worlds Book 3

Bleeding Worlds Book 3 - TeaserHi everyone.

I’m lousy at maintaining this blog. I often say that, but I’ve yet to find a cure.

That said, I think it’s important to keep you all up to date with The Bleeding Worlds and progress on Book Three, Resonance.

So, the short answer is, things are going slowly.

The longer answer is to say the book has become a victim of my failings as an author.

Failing number one is my inability to outline. I start with an idea, get excited about it, follow it down the rabbit hole, and reach about 15,000 or so words. And then I hit a wall. Not just writer’s block, no I could probably handle that. Instead, it’s the inescapable sense that I’ve taken a wrong path and the book no longer meets my vision.

The solution usually takes the form of a mass purge.

I start over.

The few things that survive do so in thought only, they require total rewrites.

The happy news is starting over always makes me happier with the book and, certainly in the case of Suture, delivers a superior story than the one I started with.

The second failing I have as an author is not being able to work through my moods. Those authors who attain true success sit down everyday, crank out their desired word count, and move ahead in their work, regardless of their mood. I’ve yet to master that skill.

When I’m depressed, words don’t flow.

When I feel overwhelmed, or tired, ideas don’t take shape.

And the worst part is the longer inactivity continues, the more depressed I get because I’m not making the progress I want.

I hoped Resonance would be nearing completion by this point.

It’s not even close. In many ways, it’s just starting to live again.

But I will not fail you, or myself. The story will be told. I will write the best book I am capable of, and The Bleeding Worlds will come to a conclusion.

This happened with Suture last year, and I was able to release the book in the first week of August. I think I’ll be a little earlier than that with Resonance, but I don’t realistically see it being released before July.

Which is still faster than a lot of authors release their novels, but I had hoped to improve my release times by now.

So there’s the update. I’m still writing, the new direction is a huge improvement over the first words I wrote, and the book will be out this summer. I hope you’ll hang in there and join me when that time comes.

Thanks for all the support,

JR

Writing Descriptions

Writer's Digest Magazine Sometime ago, I swore off providing writing advice on my blog- my own learning as a writer feels too incomplete.

But that shouldn’t prevent me from sharing great writing advice when I hear (or in this case, read) it.

This little tidbit comes from the January 2014 edition of Writer’s Digest.

In an article entitled, Miscalculations & Missteps, Elizabeth Sims provides some of the best, and simplest, advice when it comes to writing descriptions in fiction.

Here’s the trick: Get going on a description with the attitude of discovering, not informing. In this zone, you’re not writing to tell the readers stuff you already know-rather, you are writing to discover and experience the scene right alongside them.

That paragraph opened a door for me. I hope it does the same for you.

 

Vision of Escaflowne

It’s an older anime from 1996. A great story, awesome Mecha designs and killer music from Yoko Kanno (who also did stellar music for Macros Plus). The first soundtrack disc that was released was titled “Over the Sky” It’s been a huge help for me in writing my Nano project.

If you’re an anime fan & haven’t seen this series, do yourself a favour & check it out!

Escaflowne Opening

Naming Characters

First off… Happy Halloween!

But that also means tomorrow is November 1st. Nanowrimo begins!

I’ve dubbed the month of October Nanoplamo – National Novel Planning Month. For the entire month I haven’t written any new words on a story, I have only laid out scenes and built character profiles. But I came across a large obstacle in my plans; Naming Characters.

This issue was odd to me. In the past, I’ve had a pretty easy time naming characters. Baby name sites are really handy in this regard. I typically search the site by name meaning and then choose the name that feels right.

I started my naming tasks the same way with this book. But no matter how many various sites I visited, I just couldn’t find anything that felt right. My story this time is a fantasy novel, and the names just felt too plain. Which, I suppose since they exist to name a kid in our modern world is kind of the point. But that left my usual source out, so I went searching for another way.

A Google search produced a list of random fantasy naming engines. Most are pretty simple, you just choose a sex for the character and let it rip. But I was never satisfied with the names. Most just felt like hollow names formed from a random arrangement of vowels andĀ consonants (which I think is exactly how they work).

Not good enough. I like my names to have meaning.

So I started looking at names of different angels and deities. Meh, been there, done that. Nothing jumped out at me.

Then I seized upon a new idea. I Googled Online Translator. Naturally, Google presented its own version atĀ http://translate.google.com/. But this worked surprisingly well.

I entered in English an attribute that I associated strongly with the character. Then I translated it into the 63 different languages available.

Here’s the cool thing. While the translator shows you the word written in that language’s native alphabet, you can click on a symbol at the bottom right that will show it spelled out phonetically in a Latin alphabet. A lot of the translations even offer a button that you can hear the word pronounced.

I’ve managed to name most of my characters this way. What I like is that it is still “fantasy” sounding, but it has meaning in our modern world. And that meaning is tied directly to the characters themselves.

If you’re stuck for a unique sounding name, I recommend giving it a try!