Fantasy Friday Write-a-thon

Join me tonight on Twitter where I’m going to add 3,000 words to the novel I’m writing, Dragons in the Dungeon. I’m online shortly after nine o’clock, after the goats are tucked in, with tea in hand, ready to write and share my thoughts.

Currently, I have 85,639 words written about the adventure taking place in Lachspeur of Yore. My goal is 88,639 by the end of the day. I first thought the novel would be only 100,000 words, but I think I’ll need 120,000 to tell the story.

Follow me on Twitter, where I share progress of my novel writing, images of castles, dragons and such, and all things fantasy. No politics. No current day events. Nothing but fantasy. It’s my fantasy realm to escape to. The modern day doesn’t exist there.

Fantasy Friday Night Write-a-thon

A lifetime ago, I gathered with friends on Friday nights at the Boys and Girls Club in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, and sat before an excellent Dungeon Master. He was a wiry fellow, tall and lanky. Throw a cloak on him and he’d have made the perfect wizard. From 1979 to about 1987, he took us on adventures with the roll-playing game Dungeons and Dragons.

We often went on certain adventures in real life inspired by the game, and we all returned safe and sound if not a little muddy and bruised. After all, I lived surrounded by forest and when we went to our camp, which we did often enough, I went deeper into the woods, where bats filled the night sky, fairies hid in bushes and the marshmallow man lurked.

In honour of those nights of D&D, each Friday I’m hold a write-a-thon and staying up until at least midnight, tea in hand, to write. Last Friday, I shut things down just before one o’clock because we had a wicked thunder and lightning storm.

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The title of my fantasy novel is…

Prefer to listen to this podcast?

No problem. I’m giving Anchor and Spotify a whirl.

To listen to this blog post recorded by Anchor, click here. If you want to hear it on Spotify, click here. Let me know what you think about it. No, this is not my voice, but he reads very well. I hope to be set up to record my own voice next week.

Prefer to read? Here it is…

Confession Time: I didn’t think hard about the title of my upcoming fantasy novel. One might say it landed in my brain and sat there while a story took shape. It started with a character whose name I had yet to hear. He was thrown into a dungeon rather roughly by the guards. Of course, he cursed at them. What else was a fellow to do?

A voice spoke behind him, and he turned to see a woman sitting on the stone floor wearing only a thin dress. Her matted hair hung in front of her face. I didn’t know who she was or why she was there. I knew only that he’d rescue her when he escaped.

For about three weeks, mumblings came and went in my head. Then one night, I saw the woman in my dreams. She was reaching for the steel handle of a door at a modern-day shop. The door wouldn’t open, and then I knew from where she came.

I feared the story would soon leave me and find someone else to write it, so I began. With the title. It was perfect. It spoke of the game I played in the 1980s, the game this story is based on: Dungeons and Dragons.

The title of the stand-alone fantasy novel I’m writing is…

Dragons in the Dungeon.

Currently, I have 37,559 words written.

LAUNCH DATE: Thursday March 23, 2023.

What inspired my latest story?

Prefer to listen to this post?

No problem. I’m giving Anchor and Spotify a whirl.

To listen to this blog post recorded by Anchor, click here. If you want to hear it on Spotify, click here. Let me know what you think about it. No, that is not my voice, but he does read very well.

Prefer to read? Here it is…

Inspiration for stories comes from every direction for me. The inspiration for the current fantasy novel I’m writing came from having discussions with others, who, like me, played the original Dungeons and Dragons roll-playing game in the early 1980s. Instead of roaming the streets of our community and possibly getting into trouble on a Friday night when I was a teenager, I gathered with friends at our Boys and Girls Club. There, the director Peter Mortimer played Dungeon Master and sent us on quests and adventures.

From the age of 13 until about 18 or 19, we played every Friday night. Friendships were formed, skills were mastered and we walked away better for the experience.

While my first fantasy novel Shadows in the Stone was inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, it’s firmly set in a fantasy world of its own. The story I’m currently writing straddles both: this world and the fantasy world. It’s something I’ve always thought about doing but never did.

I want to have a blast writing it, and I’m going to share this journey with you. If you’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons, I hope these posts and the eventual novel rekindles fond memories.

Currently, I have 33,079 words written for my current fantasy novel that will receive a title shortly.

Writing 750 Words a Day Inspires

There have been spans over the past 25 years when I’ve not written a thing. They usually don’t last long. A month or two. For some reason, I lack the inspiration to write. It has nothing to do with the story. It has more to do with the energy surrounding me.

One way I boot that negative energy out of my life is by forcing myself to write 750 words a day regardless of the story. That’s not words for a blog post or an email. That’s of a story. Period. I can’t sink into a blog post like I can a story. There’s always solid ground to find. With a story, however, once I wade far enough into the quicksand, I’m captured, and I can’t escape. That leaves me inspired to write, and I easily reach 750 words, often more.

That’s how I’m feeling right now. While I’ve written a lot of words between January 1st and May, most were not in story form. That changed May 7th when I wrote the first few words to a new novel.

What is this novel about? Adventure. Quests. Magic. Friends. Dragons.

I’ll leave it there. I’ll share more in my next post. Right now, I’ve got to get back to the story. There’s only 31,436 words written, and I’m aiming for 100,000.

To listen to this recorded by Anchor, click here. If you want to hear it on Spotify, click here. This is something new I’m trying. Let me know what you think about it. No, that is not my voice, but he does read very well.

Magic in 2021

Over the past week, I’ve been re-reading the first several chapters I’d written for Within the Myst, book 2 in the Mystical epic fantasy series. Since I have been writing non-fantasy for the past eight months, it took my brain a few days to switch into the fantasy mode.

To help make the transfer from contemporary stories to fantasy easier, I dove into subjects that align with fantasy. One of those topics was the energy around stones. If you’ve ready the books in the Castle Keepers series, you know I strongly suggest the stones gifted by Isla of Maura have magical qualities.

This journey led me to a few blogs I’d never visited and to topics I’d either not researched extensively or ones I hadn’t uncovered before. One of those blogs was The Magical World of G. Michael Vasey. Gary is the author of more than 40 books and writes about metaphysics, paranormal and magic, amongst other things.

Continue reading “Magic in 2021”

“Seeds of Life” Draft Complete

On December 21st, I put the final touches on the first draft for Seeds of Life. It contains 110,733 words, which breaks down to 25 chapters that contain three scenes each, except for the last one, which has one scene, the wrap-up scene. This translates to 73 scenes.

The story is told through three points of view: Eloise of Larkspur, Hadwin the Wander and King James Proctor of Ravencroft. The scenes are fairly equally distributed, though I believe Eloise has 2 more than Hadwin and James. The novel opens and closes with her.

There was no purpose for crude language or sex scenes, so there are no F-bombs or intimate scenes. I don’t even think a character called someone a jackass. In fact, there may be no cursing at all. While I had planned to avoid using the F-bomb, the rest I hadn’t planned for. That’s the way some stories roll.

Rating this novel, I’d put it for ages 14 and up because there is some non-graphic violence. There’s no petting only a little kissing. The only time butt is used is when someone lands on it.

The year is 2050, and the major part of the story spans from spring to fall.

The first chapter in its raw form is posted to the book’s page, here: Seeds of Life.

My goal is to release the novel on October 3, 2021.

COVER: I’m working on it. The one posted here is a mock-up. I still have loads of work to do to it. This is where I finished last night before turning out the lights.

“Seeds of Life” Nearing 90,000-word Mark

Seeds of Life

You’ve read that right. My first dystopian novel is nearing the 90,000-word mark. In fact, the word count as of 10:00 pm Monday December 14th is 87,821. If my prediction of 90,000 words had been correct, I’d be writing the final scenes right now.

However, the characters are just about to set out on the challenge this entire novel has been leading to. All those who play a major role in the outcome have arrived at Ravencroft, County Regal.

At this stage of the writing process, the minimum 1,000 words a day is unnecessary. I’m so eager to read the ending, I’m often writing more than 2,000 words per day. Now that I’m closer to the end than the beginning, I think the word count will hit 100,000.

Common Theme for My Novels

A common theme runs through almost all my stories. It’s not like I choose it; it choose me. The theme is the importance of home, family and freedom.

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“Seeds of Life”: Word Count Reaches 60,000

The draft for my first dystopian novel, Seeds of Life, has reached 60,000 words. 60,480 to be exact. Approximately two thirds of the story has been written.

All the characters who play a major role in the story have been introduced and have all met. At the moment, their personal conflicts attempt to tear the small group apart. They don’t realise they’ll have to band together to fight an even bigger threat to their well-being.

The year is 2050. After a major set-back, society is struggling to provide the basic things, such as food and shelter, and they’re working to recreate major technology that had provided basic conveniences, such as electricity.

Sounds strange, but it’s not really. Everyone can flick a switch to turn on a light, but many don’t know how to create electricity, built components needed, deliver the electricity or construct a lightbulb. It’s like a car: many people can drive one, but not everyone can tear apart the engine and rebuild it. These days, some don’t even know how to change the oil.

Finding a survivor who knows how to create electricity and then finding the components is a challenge when everything is lost and everyone is focussed on finding food for them and their family.

Civility has prevailed, and the barbaric actions of desperate people have faded into history.

The major parts of the story take place at Ravencroft, County Regal, where society exists under the monarch system of government. This felt like a natural progression, given the small population and small area governed by the individual. The whole of North America is governed this way, with hundreds of rulers spread across the continent – or at least this is what the residents of County Regal believe. At this point, only 28 years after the Devastation, there’s not much contact with far-off locations.

The Devastation was world-wide, so all societies are dealing with establishing a stable population with the basic needs of life. No one has any time for war… Or do they?

The first raw, unedited draft for Chapter 1, Scene 1 is found on the book’s page.

30,000-word Milestone Reached for “Seeds of Life”

For several years, the Seeds of Life story has rattled around in my brain. To silence the chatter, I started recording it on September 13th. I write approximately 500 words a day at this time of year because there’s so many other things going on.

On October 27th, I reached the 30,000-word milestone. When it comes to writing, my journey is like crawling up a large seesaw. At first, the going is slow; the climb is steep, and I need to build momentum. Then, around the mid-way range, the  seesaw levels out, and I pick up speed. The seesaw soon starts to tip in the other direction, and by the time I’ve crossed over to the last 1/3 of the story, I’m travelling quickly, non-stop to reach the end. It’s a rush, and I’m excited to learn what happens. I burn the midnight oil and I rise early to continue the adventure. I ignore everything and everyone until the final words are recorded.

At 30,000 words, I’m one-third the distance to the end. Within three weeks, the seesaw is going to be level, and then I’ll write a few thousand words a day. I expect to finish this story by the end of November. It will ripen for the next few seasons, then, if all goes well, it will be published December 2021.

Continue reading “30,000-word Milestone Reached for “Seeds of Life””