Saturday, October 30, 2010

[Cue Fireworks, Dancing, Rejoicing, and a Hefty Dose of Free Pens]

Do you know what this means, readers?!  DO YOU?!!

This means that SADAAR IS FINISHED!  Hallelujah!  *throws out random candies*  It is finished, readers!  It is finished!  It is finished!  *chants over and over*  It is finished!  Praise Saar!

The final word count? FIFTY THREE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY FOUR!!!!!  (53,184!!!)

That's over three thousand words above my goal! :D  WOO!  And just in time for NaNoWriMo!

My pen is on fire!  No, really...

WHOOO!  YEAH!  *dances around flaming pen*  Wow... I am exhilirated.  Just a few moments ago I wrote 'the End' on my novel.  >_>  I am serious. 

Okay, time for me to go and take me flaming pens with me. ;)  Farewell!

Signed with a flaming pen,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Last Stand, the Final Spurt...

Hey, everyone!  Just a quick notice to let you all know that I will not be blogging for the next couple of days: not until November, actually.  I need to finish my novel. :)  NaNoWriMo is so close, and I am also very close to finishing my novel.

So that means...until November 1st or later, don't look for any new blog posts.  Unless, of course, I end up finishing my novel.  In which case I will make a blog post that will seem like I have permanent caps lock on--most likely it will be jubilantly epic and loud.  >_> 

Until then!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tip: Nearing the End

This post, of course, is based off of what is going on with my novel right now. :)

So I am nearing the end of my novel.  Ecstatic excitement is rushing through my veins: I can almost taste the fresh breeze of triumphant victory and accomplishment.  The characters are moving: the chess board is set.  Battles are about to be fought: blinding light versus pitch blackness.  Epic. >_>

But don't lose your head.  I am practically dizzy with excitement: but don't rush the ending.  Just because you are almost done with a novel doesn't give you leave to rush the plot.  Keep it smooth and consistent with the rest of your writing.

There is, of course, the dangers of procrastination.  It is less noticeable with all the hubbub sweeping your brain, but nonetheless, small parts of you want to say, "I'll do it tomorrow.  I can finish it later, right?  Never put off til tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow, as the saying goes."   Do you know what you do then?  You shut them up.  Gag them, bind them, and throw them in a familiar-looking pit (wait: didn't my MC spend some time there?).

Does that mean celebrating is bad?  Of course not.  In fact, celebration is another way to kick yourself in the pants (or dress) and remind yourself what you are celebrating.  "I am celebrating a high word count: why am I not writing a higher one?!"

The main point is: keep yourself under control and throw procrastination into a pit.  ;)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Breaks from Blogging are Good for Your Novel

Recently I have had a short absence from the Internet.  In it's absence, I decided to write in my novel.

Official word count?  45,000 words.  :)

Now, as for other news...

NaNoWriMo starts in nine days.  NINE DAYS.  Ack!  I am in trouble.  I must write, write, and write some more to finish Sadaar before NaNo begins.  I dislike working on two novels at once--it was the reason I never finished anything before I wrote my first novel.

Having little else to discuss, I am now going to leave, and, hopefully, to write.  :)  Keep me accountable, readers.  Feel free to yell at me if I don't get a higher word count by tomorrow.  I give you permission. ;)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tip: The Three POVs

First Person, Second Person, Third Person.  Pretty elementary, eh?

In this post, I'm going to explore each of these three POVs--and their advantage to the writer.

First Person

Is, WEs, OURs, etc.  It usually only has one Protagonist (one POV)--it doesn't switch from person to person.  However, there are some exceptions.  The Restorer series, by Sharon Hinck is one.  It has several main characters, switching back and forth, while still in first person.

If you want to take advantage of increasing suspense, this isn't the one for you.  Usually, one POV is the limit, making it so that you can't get inside the villain's head and reveal his plans and other things like that.

But if you struggle with randomly switching from POV to POV (like when you are inside character #1's head the first sentence, and character #2's head the second), first person helps prevent that.  It's a lot harder, you'll find, to make mistakes like that in first person.  And I tend to find that when I am writing in first person, the emotions of the character I am writing are easier to write.

Emotion is a lot closer when told from first person.  You, the writer, are the person relating all that is happening to you.  It makes the story seem more realistic at times to readers.

Now, which one of the following sentences creates more emotion?

"Johnny's father died when he was little."
"My father died when I was little."

The second sentence, by far.   By just changing two words--Johnny and he--you create a whole new emotion.

Second Person

Second person.  You, you, and... you.   :)

Second person is rarely used in fiction or fantasy: can you imagine?  Telling a fantasy story from the reader's eyes?  You can see why most writers do not do this.

Like in multiple POVs in first person, there are exceptions to this.  In my short story, The Cornerstone, I used second person for several short scenes to introduce a new section of the story.  Here is the first sentence from The Cornerstone to give you an idea of what I mean:

"Imagine you are an eagle, floating on the crisp spring breeze over the land of Tasdu."

I introduced the story without going straight to my character and simply telling what was happening: I used the reader to imagine the place before diving into the plot.

But again, writers of fiction usually do not use second person.

Third Person

Third person: he, she, they, etc.

This is the most popular point of view for fiction and fantasy.  Of all of you writers out there, how many of you are writing a novel in third person?  Most, probably.  I myself started my writing using third person.

If you are aiming for suspense, multiple POVs, and a longer word count for a shorter plot, this is the POV for you.  You can get into tons of characters' heads, jump all over and foreshadow events, and a lot of other things.

Many of the fantasy novels you've probably read have third person--which is another motivator for writers who want to be published. 

Now, it seems like you can just do more with third person, which makes it better than first person.  However, it has one setback: it's harder to create emotion.

Note that I said harder.  It is just as possible to create good emotion with third person as with first person--but it is a lot easier with first person and harder with third person.


So which Point of View is ideal for writers?  Well, second person can be crossed out pretty quickly, which leaves just first and third person.

Now, there is a problem when examining these two point of views: emotion.

The goal of a novel is not to make a lot of suspense.  It isn't to torture your characters.  It isn't even to achieve your main character's goal.

The goal of a novel (to quote Daniel Schwabauer on OYAN) is to create emotion.  That is your greatest goal.

So we run into this problem: it is significantly harder to create emotion using third person.  While it has many other advantages--making suspense, multiple POVs, etc.--it is harder to create emotion.

This is not to say that first person is better.  The advantages that third person has--suspense, multiple POVs--are disadvantages for first person.  You can't create quite as much suspense with first person--or at least you don't have as many options for creating it--and multiple POVs are a lot harder to pull off.

So which one is best?   What do you think?

Let's find out.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tip: Meaning

You can get on without meaning in your stories, right?  Secular books do it all the time, you might reason.

Well, yes an no.  Meaning is possible to leave out in stories.  But then again, without meaning, stories are nothing but that: just stories.  They won't become alive to your readers.  They won't be applicable.  They won't be an amazing epic: it'll just be another book.

Think of all of your favorite books--why do they matter so much?  Lord of the Rings?  Meaning is what made it matter.  The meaning--heroism, sacrifice, love--is part of what made LOTR what it is. 

Meaning can be left out, yes.  But if you want a compelling story, do NOT leave it out. 

I write meaning into my stories for that reason, and because my stories reflect who I am.  I am a Christian--and so my stories likewise reflect my beliefs about morality and meaning. 

Now, if you expect me to tell you how to write meaning into your stories, you're wrong.  I can't tell you how to write morality into your stories.  It wouldn't be meaningful if it came from someone else.  You, and you alone, can write meaning into your stories.  You and God.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Yes, you read right!  The above announcement is CORRECT!!  I have surpassed a word count of FORTY THOUSAND WORDS!!!

*throws confetti*  *sneezes*  Wonderful, rig--ACHOO!  


So dance your legs off!  Go listen to Press Play's "New York to LA"!   WOOT!

Now, for all of you who are writing a novel; congratulations.  Writing a novel is awesome.  Here's three things that I find keep me going when I want to quit:

1) I never, NEVER look back at what I wrote until I am finished with my novel.  Who cares about the quality of the words right now?  They don't call it a rough draft for nothing!  Just think--this is a new thing you are writing.  No one has EVER written it before.  EVER.  Just remember that.

2) Go tell some people you're going to write.  In an effort to keep yourself from being embarrassed, you will HAVE to write.  And when you do write, those people encourage.  Part of what kept me going in the last couple of days is the encouragement of the Elves at the Underground forum.  I posted my word count and told them I wouldn't be back until I had written 500 words.  And I did that over and over--and got an amazing and encouraging response.  Things like, "WOO!  Finish it!" [the novel], and "You can do it!" abounded.  

3) Just write.  That's all.

Many thanks to Millard for the encouraging post he made about this landmark of 40,000.  :)  

Okay, readers!  Go out there and write!  


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Who are the Winners of the FANTASTIC FLAMING GIVEAWAY?

Believe it or not; we have a winner!!  DING DONG!  *cue theme show music*

Actually, if you wish to be precise, we have TWO winners.  There were 20 entries altogether--and 12 entrants--and I have two winners.

Now...*drumroll*  I will tell you the winners...right after I tell you what's at stake.

I am giving away TWO copies of Wayne Thomas Batson's Isle of Fire.  Two BRAND new copies.  Two HARDCOVER copies.  With shiny dust covers...O.o

Isle of Fire is a great book--and hilarious as well.  Anyone remember that one scene where
Cat goes to ask Declan Ross a 'question'?  XD  LOL.

Now, there are two people who will win this amazing, swashbuckling adventure. This shiny, shiny book. This ISLE OF FIRE.

I'm going to tell you who... just a few moments...


...after this.


I forgot to say this in my blog post on my other blog, but I want to thank Beorn for putting up this thing on our forum, Alcryion; he put up a sign beneath the header that read (more or less): "Happy Birthday Jake!!!  Sorry, but this print won't go any larger!"  It made my day.  :)


Anyway, back to the giveaway.  :)

Now, the winners is..., are...



...these people.


Congratulations, Eldra and Millard!  You have WON the Fantastic Flaming Giveaway!!   Throw confetti!  Throw a party!  Throw a baseball!   CONGRATS!

In order for me to get these books to you, you need to email your full addresses to me at jtbdude[at]gmail[dot]com.  If you don't email your addresses to me within the week, I'll have to choose another winner.  :P

Again, congratulations!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Review; Kestrel's Midnight Song

(NOTE: My giveaway ends tomorrow!  If you haven't yet gotten in on it, be sure and join!  Click here.)

The land of Gable--renowned for its birds, revered for its legends and secrets--is home to the grandest castle in the known world. 

Inside this castle, in a narrow cell atop the dungeon tower, the legendary Marauder known as James Kestrel awaits his hanging. 

Amidst the anticipation and speculation surrounding his execution, rumors are spreading that the Marauders will come out of hiding for the first time in seven years to free Kestrel in order to find the Caelum Flute, an instrument with the power to control the birds, and therefore the world. But only a wandering giant and a slave girl masquerading as an innkeeper know the truth. And everything will fall to the shoulders of a traveling shepherd boy-charged with delivering wool to his king-with no knowledge that his treacherous journey will decide the pending fate of the world. (Description taken from

If I could sum this book up in a single sentence, I would say, "I can't sum this up in a single sentence."  

In matters of plot, this book is superb.  A Marauder jail-break?  A mad rush for one Caelum Flute?  One of the most unique plots I've read in a long time.  I really liked the plot--a lot. :)  Parker did a great job here.  It twists up and down.  And then it goes sideways.  There was one twist especially that I'll remember for a long time.

The description; as one endorsement said, "Parker is descriptive without being wordy."  I could literally picture the entire scene in my head.  You've got a thumbs up here.

And the Christian themes?  Unmistakable, of course--Parker makes no attempt to disguise the allegory.  The redemption theme with one of the characters was amazing and uplifting, and the themes I detected throughout the book were well done.  

One thing that led me to read this book was this; Parker is a teenaged Christian fantasy author.  Much like what I would like to be--if I could imitate an author within the next couple of years, it would be him.


First, there were several font and grammar related things that irritated me.  In my copy (I don't know if it was the same in all of the others) there were several lines near the end that suddenly shifted into a smaller, different font.  There was once place I noticed where 'sheer' was spelled 'shear'.

Second, the character development could've been a  little better.  The minor characters were done well (I especially liked Bart, lol), but I didn't exactly connect with the major characters.  

And last (though this is rather a personal quibble) I really wish it had been longer.  It was rather short--but Parker did this one thing right; he made me wish just for one more chapter.  Just one more paragraph, even.

All in all?  Kestrel's Midnight Song is a great Christian Fantasy book by a teenaged author, lanced with Marauders, mystery, and intrigue.  He's got me pining away for another book.  If he doesn't make one, well...things may take a turn for the worse.  ;)

Rated 9.0 out of 10.  It's well worth your money. :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

News, Reminders, and Resurrections

My giveaway ends the day after tomorrow!  If you haven't joined, go ahead and click here.

As for other news; Squeaks' Green Giveaway ends at 10:00 tomorrow: 10/10/10.  XD   There's several ties, so be sure to check out the entries--they are all awesome.

And the main point of this?  The illustrious blog, Worthy Fantasy, is BACK, and resurrected!  They posted just yesterday--it's a great blog with a lot of awesome articles about fantasy, so feel free to click on the link above.  Oh, and I forgot to mention--I am now among their number, along with a couple other awesome bloggers.

Besides all of this news, I posted a poem on my other blog that got an great response--because of its randomness.  Be prepared for rhyming randomness--I'm serious.  Here's the first couple of lines.

The Flow'st Upon a Midnight

I said to him, and he to me,
That I had gone and ate a tree,
The flow'st upon a midnight three,
And caused the cat to flee.

If you want to read some more of it, you can go here.  Tell me what you think! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The WINNER...of the Word

Building suspense...I know that you won't bother checking to see who wrote the most words in this past word war.  :)   So I get to torture you.

Who wrote a lot of words?  Who gets the Word War Winner logo? Who gets and EXTRA entry into my giveaway?  Are you ready for the shock?  The amazingness?!  The SUSPENSE!?!?

The winner is...




!Miss Pickwickian!

CONGRATULATIONS!  :)  You wrote over three thousand words!!  :D  Feel free to copy the WWII Winner logo and post it on your sidebar on your blog.  :)

(Please see that this award is NOT the same as the last one I gave away--see the 'Word War II'?)

Great job!  I'll see you guys next time.  :)  Don't worry--Word War III is going to come...sooner or later.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Updates? News? Giveaways? All of the Above

First things first: I have just passed 10 participants in my giveaway, which means I will be giving away TWO copies of Isle of Fire!  :)   Congrats.  Only five days left until the giveaway ends!  If you want to get in on the giveaway, you can go here and comment to tell me you want to join.

Now, I have several tidbits of news and some other stuff as well.

Right now, I'm reading J. R. Parker's Kestrel's Midnight Song.  You can expect a review coming up soon.

And then there's news of several giveaways.

Squeaks, at Hidden Doorways, is having the voting for the Green Giveaway.  It's a writing/giveaway (technically, it's a contest) thing where writers submit a descriptive piece of their work.  I submitted a piece, so be sure to check it out!  It needs votes, and lots of 'em.  The pieces submitted are spectacular.

Star-Dreamer (a.k.a. Nichole White) over at the Pen and the Parchment is having a giveaway...with THREE different books.  :)  It's a First Chapter contest, where writers get brave and submit their first chapter (and possibly the prologue as well).  It needs a lot of entries as well.  I'll be sending in my own first chapter soon.  Be brave!  Send in your chapter. :)

On other news, my novel, Sadaar, is moving again...slowly.  But I'm working on it. :)  I'm aiming for possibly 50,000 words on it, but I have no idea where it might end up.

And lastly...November is coming.  And with it, NaNoWriMo.  I'll be sharing an outline/idea that I have for it soon, probably after the giveaway has finished.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Load your pens!  Make sure you have a good supply of ink!  Prepare your paper!  The word war begins...NOW!  It's six o'clock P.M. here--whatever time it is there, the word war starts at six o'clock P.M.

Here's the rules in a nutshell; 

Write anytime from 6:00 P.M. your time to 10:00 your time--and only between then.  Use the post that I'm going to post tomorrow to keep us updated on your progress.

To win, you must write the MOST WORDS IN THE ALLOTED TIME than any other competent, not including me.  Once it is past 10:00, post your before-and-after word count--and the total words you wrote in the alotted time--in a comment.  I will wait one day for all of the competents to comment (your word count is void if you don't comment!), and then announce the winner.  

The winner of the word war wins two things; An extra entry in the giveaway--one for competing, and one for winning--and a banner that you can copy off of my blog and put on your sidebar.  


Word War II begins NOW!!!

~~If you have any questions, feel free to comment!~~

Monday, October 4, 2010

The End is Near...

One week.  That's all that's week.  This giveaway is going to one week.

Want to get in on it?  Click here.

As of right now, we have six entrants.  Remember, I am giving away TWO copies of Isle of Fire--providing I have at least ten participants.  Those of you who are in the giveaway, tell people about it!  If you can get a person to join--and the participant count passes 10--then your odds of winning will double.  Of course, then, you don't want people to know about this giveaway. XD

Oh, and the new banner is rather nifty, eh?  :)   Feel free to copy it and spread it around, as well as with the old one.


The Word War is TOMORROW!   Here's what's goin' on. 

The basic rules?  Write anytime from 6:00 your time to 10:00 your time--and only between then.  Use the post that I'm going to post tomorrow to keep us updated on your progress.

How do you win?  Easier said than done--you must write the MOST WORDS IN THE ALLOTED TIME than any other competent.  :)  (I'll be participating, but my own words won't count) Once it is past 10:00, post your before-and-after word count--and the total words you wrote in the alotted time--in a comment.  I will wait one day for all of the competents to comment (if you don't comment and tell your word count during that time, your word count is void!), and then announce the winner. 

The winner of the word war wins two things!  An extra entry in the giveaway--one for competing, and one for winning--and a coolio little banner that you can copy off of my blog and put on your sidebar.  :)

Get ready...for the end is near.  >_>