Creating an Effective Battle Scene


There I was, cruising through my manuscript. Words were flowing, the story was moving at a great pace. I had the map drawn which made every chapter richer with content. Then out of nowhere. . . bam! It was time for the first battle.

I realized I knew nothing about flanking or ranking. Military training hadn’t even entered my mind. Oh sure, I’ve watched the news, and seen the horrific things going on around the world when it comes to war and weaponry, but the world of Maycly had not been designed for such. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks—over half the characters had never seen or experienced battle.

Needless to say, I had my work cut out for me.

Did I enjoy the challenge? Absolutely!

I had lined up the story as such; the warrior characters needed to be trained in secret. Again, another sharp turn of events. I shouted, “Holy cow! Now the map isn’t right!” So, back to the drawing board I went to create a secret land. . .but wait, there’re other warriors. All the warriors will be informed about their allies, but won’t meet until on the battle field. Nuts! Now I’ve got to add in a second secret land. I found myself adding chapter after chapter to set the stage leading up to this epic battle. A “well worth it” task I might add.

There’re numerous things to consider for making a believable battle.

Sounds are good, but different in modern vs. archaic. For instance a beast-pulled-catapult’s operational sounds are far different from a tank. Flying creatures sound different than jets.

With no high-tech on Maycly, I had to create new creatures. This was challenging. I didn’t want the same old things to read about (or be seen on the big screen if the opportunity arises).
illustration of a beast from one of the battles on Maycly.

Yes, bows and arrows, and swords don’t change, and are necessary in an archaic battle, but as an author who must describe the epic event in captivating words, it was off to the thesaurus I went. I also created unique weaponry. (Not gonna tell ya ‘cause it’d be a spoiler alert.)
  
How long will the battle last? Minutes? Hours? Days? A week or longer? Is the battle between two main characters? Two posses of 10? Or are you going for the gusto—an epic battle involving thousands?

The battle scenes in Maycly are epic. It’s more than two main characters duking it out to the end. You’ll find several individual characters handling specific events in the midst of the battle, along with scores of squadrons. While writing, I envisioned the entire scene/chapter as a movie. There are “close-ups,” “mid-shots,” “wide-shots,” and “panoramic” descriptions of the action. The reader experiences the battle from the ground, the air, as a warrior, and as a spectator.

Will the warriors need food? Are medics and a treatment center needed? Can everyone die, or have you set properties into place making some of your troops immortal? If there’s magic you must maintain the continuity of your magic’s properties and consequences.

What are the elements? Rain? Snow? Heat? Sleet? Wind? Is it day or night? Will your warriors need torches? Will they need to be dressed in some type of camouflage so as not to be seen? 

What kinds of smells are present? Burning grass? Animal aromas? Fire from fire breathing dragons?

Who can see what? Is the battle field so big you can’t see from end to end? Are there spectators? If so, where are they located and can they see all of the action? Do they become part of the action?

Are there obstacles? What about quick sand? Is stirred dirt causing restricted vision? Are there places to hide? Caves? Trees? Water? Is the terrain flat, rocky, mountainous, or slippery? Is it on a flat field, a dessert with sand dunes, or in the woods?

What style of combat are you engaging in? What kind of clothing or armor is needed? Are there vulnerabilities on either side?

Hopefully these questions will bring to light the many things, or even more, to be considered, studied, and weighed before you pull your battles together in style.

To wrap it up, please understand this didn’t happen in a day. The battle chapter alone in Maycly took eight months to put together, and that’s before proofreading/editing.

The best part; I learned a lot through the process, and am looking forward to the next battles with a vengeance. There are five more novels that stem from Maycly. My goal is to be able to imagine, create, and bring to life some of the best battle scenes, from one on one to epic, this genre’s fans have ever had the privilege of reading. 




Guest post by Epic Fantasy Author Janet Beasley
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What are the mistakes you see in beginner writers?


I guess we should start with the ones I made: sending material out before it’s done, lack of proofreading, lack of patience. Patience is the big one, though. Writing takes time. You have to re-write and edit. You have to read things over and over. You have to be sure about what you’re trying to say.

I originally sold my book Saving Mary: The Possession (under a different title) to a large publishing house (back in 2002/03). Looking back, I see that I had originally sold a first draft; and as the publishing process chugged along, I became more and more uncomfortable about my book being released. It simply wasn’t finished, at least not in the way I meant for it to be done. My lack of focus (I personally think) transferred to the publishing house and I was soon faced with a problem: what I had meant to be a “personal memoir” had somehow turned into “Christian fiction.” Eventually I was allowed out of my contract so that I could rework the book as true memoir.

You see, I had changed my name (and the names of most people in the book) simply because I was uncomfortable with being in a book (I figured other people might be just as uncomfortable). I didn’t think this would be a problem since “A rose is a rose, by any other name.” But it was. First of all, you simply can’t be uncomfortable with being in a book if you want to write a memoir. You just have to get over yourself. This is your life: your experiences, your friends, your view. You have to own it.

The second problem was that the author of A Million Little Pieces had just been scolded by Oprah for not sticking to the rules of memoir. My publisher wanted to take no chances and so they switched my book to “fiction.” Without consulting me. So, with all this being said, make sure you finish your book, staying true to the vision you see and hear in your head.

The other big mistake I see writers making is showing their work to the wrong people. Not everyone should critique your work. Not everyone believes you can succeed as a writer. And too many opinions can confuse a new writer. Figure out what you want to say and then work at saying it as best you can.

Guest post by Deidre Havrelock

Connect with Deidre Havrelock on Facebook
Blog http://deidrehavrelock.wordpress.com/
Website http://www.deidrehavrelock.com/
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Interview with Joshua Graham


When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing and enjoying it since I was in elementary school, but I only realized that I wanted to do this as a career back around 2005, after a few online friends urged me to send my stories to a Simon & Schuster anthology contest and I got them published three years in a row.  It was then that the editor of that anthology invited me to his professional workshops and masterclass that I realized this was what I wanted to do as a career.

What genre do you write and why?
I write suspense/thrillers.  This is the genre I most enjoy reading.  However, I also write fantasy and paranormal books under my Ian Alexander pen name.

Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is DARKROOM, a political thriller with a supernatural twist.  Think of Vince Flynn, Stephen King, and Amy Tan teaming up to write a novel about a photojournalist who sees visions in her darkroom that uncover a 40 year old conspiracy for which some are still willing to kill.

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book? 
Word of mouth is the most powerful promotion I know, besides writing a book worthy of it.  Aside from that, I’m doing blog tours, guest blogging, twitter, facebook, and writing more books to satisfy the voracious appetites of my readers.

What formats is the book available in?
Paperback and ebook (all e-readers)

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Spending time with my family and my friends.  We love hanging out, barbequing, playing Texas Holdem, eating, watching movies, going to church, doing life together.

Who are your favourite authors?
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Grisham, Steve Berry, Preston & Child, Ken Follet, and many more that I could spend the rest of this interview listing.

Joshua Graham
What advice do you have for other writers?
Be persistent and keep learning.  But never let hesitation stop you from taking the first step in any endeavour.

What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
The only thing you can do to improve a blank page is to write something.

What's the best thing about being a writer?
Touching the hearts of my readers and hearing back from them about how they were moved, or how it changed their lives.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks for this interview.  I hope everyone will feel free to connect with me at the links above.  I love hearing from readers and writers, and to the best of my ability will try to answer any questions. 




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Hurling Words


I like to hammer out a first manuscript fairly fast, and then I edit it like mad.

There are magical times when words fly onto the page. You’re writing so much that you don’t change clothes for days and you forget your own name.

Awesome.

When the words don’t fly, however, try one of these tricks to throw yourself out of a scary non-writing spree.
  1.    Change mediums.  Change from laptop to paper, pen to pencil, lined paper to plain.  That might jog your mind into spewing those words out again.
  2.    Change locations.  Go from coffee shop to home, home to a friend’s house, a friend’s house to a rock by the water.  Keep it fresh.  You’re technically supposed to ignore the scenery and write, but your senses are still being stimulated by the world around them, so give them something fresh to mull on while the rest of your mind is engaging your story.
  3.    Stop whining. I mean, whine a bit.  It’s seriously healthy.  But give yourself a limit.  Writing is not for the strong of whine.
  4.     Skip a scene.  If a scene is really not cooperating, dump it.  Skip ahead.  Can’t figure out how to connect one piece of the action with the next?  Then skip that, too.  I usually leave stars (***) in my first drafts when I forgot a character name or can’t connect things right away.  When I edit, they’re easy to find.  Now’s not the time to worry about the finer details of your work.
  5.    Kill your protagonist.  It’s a weird trick, I know. But sometimes those protagonists are infuriating!  They just won’t cooperate.  Your head goes in little useless circles trying to figure it out.  I drop an elevator on my protagonists’ heads when they don’t cooperate. This is especially fun in fantasy where elevators don’t exist.  I drop that elevator and go for a walk. By the time I come back, snickering, my protagonist usually smartens up. We erase the elevator and we proceed with the story.
  6.    Go with your instincts. The best laid plans… You know about them. If your gut is telling you that what you thought would be the best twist ever isn’t, don’t write it.  You’ll stay stuck.  Your gut knows when something is leading you off track or to a dead end.  Your subconscious, cool beast that it is, is making connections your mind hasn’t even thought of.  Trust it and let your instincts take over where your mind might fail you.
  7.    The usual. Butt in chair. Give yourself word counts to follow.  I usually write down my word count on a sticky note every half hour and post them on my wall. I find it motivating. They’re coloured sticky notes, too, so it’s almost like decorating your room! (I may not be the best to provide advice on home décor.)
  8.    Isolate yourself. If you can, do this. Even a few days could save your entire manuscript, or complete it.  I go to a convent. Cheap, no TV or Internet, three meals provided, and peace and quiet.  Last time I did this, by keeping my butt in the chair and ignoring the beautiful sunny world beyond my closed curtains, I wrote 45,000 words in two days.  Those words needed lots of edits, but the draft was there.
  9.     Imagine you are… a warrior in battle, and getting those words down is imperative.  A soldier fighting a war.  A world-renown journalist with tight deadlines. Make your own story about you. Character play.  Do what you have to do to stay in that chair.
    I had a tenth idea, but I prefer sets of three in lists.  It’s clean and tidy.  BUT, if I were going to say a tenth one, it would be: Remember how cool you are.  How cool writing is.  Because it is.  Not everyone has your power with words and your ability to do this.


So go for it.  Do it. Keep doing it.  And, when you write ‘the end’ on your story, give yourself a hero’s welcome. You’ll have earned it.


 Guest post by Marie Bilodeau. Marie Bilodeau is an Ottawa-based science-fiction and fantasy author. Her space fantasy novel, Destiny’s Blood, was a finalist in the Aurora Awards and won the Bronze Medal for Science-Fiction in the Foreword Book Awards. She is also the author of the Heirs of a Broken Land, a fantasy trilogy described as “fresh and exciting” by Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo award-winning author of WAKE. Her short stories have appeared in several magazines and anthologies, including the recent When the Hero Comes Home, edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy.   


Marie is also a professional storyteller who’s told adaptations of fairy tales and myths, as well as original stories, in venues across Canada. More at www.mariebilodeau.com.


Marie will give away a signed eBook copy of Destiny's Blood (the first book in the series) to one randomly drawn commenter at every stop, and an autographed set of Destiny's Blood and Destiny's Fall in print (US and Canada only) or eBook (International) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. She'll also give an autographed set of books to the host with the most comments (excluding hers and the host's).

So I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/04/virtual-book-tour-destinys-fall-by.html

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Review: Bella's Birthday Surprise by Kate Mueller


Title: Bella's Birthday Surprise
Author: Kate Mueller
Publisher: Author House
ISBN: 978-1-4685-4407-7


Reviewed by Jo Linsdell

In Bella's Birthday Surprise, rhyming text is accompanied by delightful illustrations. The story tells of Bella's first birthday and her joy at all the surprises her special day holds. A ladybug cake, a party... and a very special present.

Bella's Birthday Surprise is ideal for young children as it's rhyming text makes it easy to read along to. A lovely gift for a child's first birthday but also a nice read that encourages family bonding.
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What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer?

Being a writer is not easy. We pour our hearts and souls out, spending hours upon hours writing, editing, rewriting... and in the end we're still never sure if people will actually buy a copy of our books. It's hard to know where we stand when it comes to our writing skills too as one person might love it and another hate it.


There's the isolation factor. As writers we tend to spend a lot of time on our own. Even when we try to involve others in what we're writing they are 'outsiders' and not completely involved in the same way we are.

Then there's rejection. Criticism is hard to take especially after you've put so much time and effort into creating something. Whilst negative comments aren't pleasant, total rejection can hurt. It goes deeper than a bruised ego. A book really is like a baby and getting a rejection letter is the equivalent of showing off your newborn and people saying, “Eww! Put that thing back inside!”

The time factor. Finding the time to write can be a big issue. Family commitments, a day job, and well basically life in general make it hard to find the time to get any writing done. Not to mention the need to market our products which also takes time and with the ever changing technology can become quite frustrating too. 

This leads us on to finding a balance. Between life and writing but also between marketing and writing.

Patience. Being a writer also involves a lot of waiting. Waiting for replies from queries, waiting for book reviews etc...

Obviously there is a positive side to being a writer too but it's not all glamorous and fun. That’s why you have to love it, or at the very least have a love/hate relationship with it.

Leave your answer in the comments so we can all commiserate together.
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Tips for Writers Who Struggle with Writing



I am a writer. I am a trained teacher. I have a master’s degree in education but I had a problem.  I hated writing. I am the last person in the world who would consider writing a book, but I did!  My experience as a hater of writing who overcame the fear and is now an author makes me an expert on this subject. Here are a few of my tips for people who hate to write but need to get the job done.


Attitude matters! When you start to write something and you don’t want to write, you can make the job easier by changing your attitude. Have you ever thought about what you think about writing? You have an attitude about writing? What is it? Do you dislike or even hate writing? You can change your attitude? If you change your attitude, you can change everything. Now think about how you can begin to change your attitude about writing. Lots of people think they hate writing but they don’t mind posting something on Facebook, sending a note to a friend or marking up the bathroom wall with their personal love life. When you begin to think about writing as a means of communicating your opinion to others, you may begin to change your attitude. When you change your attitude, you change your life! You can go from a writing hater to a writing lover in days. 


Start simple! When you start writing, do not complicate matters. Do not think about writing a novel or quoting Shakespeare.  Just think about getting your points across to people. What do you love to talk about or what do enjoy arguing in debate? You could even start writing by jotting down a few notes on what you hate about writing. Also, write how you talk. Don’t try to write things in old English style. Just write like you speak. Write down anything that comes to your mind and don’t worry about spelling or grammar.  You can always go back and tweak things later but for now, just pretend like you are talking to your best friend, a person on Facebook or someone you love to argue with in class.  Let the words flow down on paper. You can do this writing thing. You can accomplish the task. You can even write a book like I did.


Get an editor! Editors are everywhere. Editors are right in front of you and you may not even know it. It may be your mother, an old school teacher or your best friend. There are many people who like to edit and you may not be aware of them especially if you spend lots of time avoiding writing tasks.  When I started writing my book and people found out, they volunteered to edit it for free.  I welcomed the feedback because I wanted to know if my book was interesting, readable, and clear.  Then when I needed help publishing my book, I hired Editor Zari Banks. She got the job done and it was totally worth the money I spent.  If an editor gives you the feedback that your writing has too many mistakes, you may want to think about taking a simple writing 101 class. Also, you can continue to follow the Writers and Author’s blog spot for more tips, or watch You Tube videos online that show you how to write.  Whatever you do to advance your knowledge in the area of writing will only make it easier for you to write in the future.


Have fun writing!  Remember, change your attitude, make it simple and get an editor. Whatever you can do to make writing easier will help you in the end. So lighten up, relax and write!

   
Guest post by Patti Gibble. Patti Gibble has a Master of Education degree and Bachelor of Arts in Education. She is a trained ministry worker who has directed Children’s worship and Kids’ church programs at a mega church. Patti grew up in Orlando, Florida where she worked at Disney World. She now writes books and spends time with the Holy Spirit in Tucson, Arizona.

Connect with the author:                                      






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Writing the alternate history historical.


It’s not an overly saturated genre, but there are quite a number of books on the shelves that have used alternate history or have taken liberties with alternate history. After all, Harry Turtledove has made a living off it.

In my new release, Dark Inheritance: Fallen Empire I’ve created a world where plague has devastated Regency England. When writing or conceptualizing a new story with alternate history, a writer should take into account the creation of that world with as much detail as you would a new fantasy or science fiction world.

One change isn’t normally the only change in the timeline. It’s more a ripple effect that impacts the society of that day. Small details that are altered can be just as fun for the writer as they are for the reader.

For example, honey was often used to sweeten tea. But in your new world, the exotic agave nectar or berries could be used instead. A small detail that readers will pick up on—and enjoy.

Aside from small details, there are the larger strokes. You may be changing the President of the United States or you may make him King of the United States. That decision isn’t a standalone. If there’s a King of the US, there’d be a Royal Court and a Royal Council. All things that would affect daily lives.

Then there’s the question as to whether you proceed and leave off your story with what you’ve created or find a way to snap back to the reality people know.

The key is to already know your history. You can’t change something if you don’t know what the original was like. The best advice I can give for creating an alternate history world is to map it out with as much detail and color as you can manage. Make the reader feel as if they truly know the world you have created.

In Dark Inheritance, I’ve taken one event and morphed it into an entire world that’s been utterly changed by this event. Instead of balls and gowns, eligible young women are now concerned with survival.


Guest post by K. Reed


Romance author with an historical twist.

Too many post-apocalyptic stories, movies, and what-ifs crowded her head, and K Reed decided to do something about it. So she plotted one out, decided an historical post-apocalyptic romance was the way to go, and wrote that one instead.

A lover of all things historical, of strong heroes with equally strong heroines, and of sexy pirates, she’s going to explore the post-apocalyptic world of plague-ridden 1804 and the gritty criminal element of Victorian England.

Luckily she has an understanding family, supportive friends, and a day job that offers her the flexibility she needs to plot, plan, and write. Sure, one day she’d like to travel the country in search of fantastic storylines and great locale pictures, but for now she’ll stick to the east coast and the internet.

@kreedauthor



The author will award nine Post-apocalypse survival baskets (which include tea, a fan, a shawl, a bracelet and more -- Plus ONE Grand Prize basket will include an iPod Touch) to randomly drawn commenters during the tour and one to the host with the most comments (excluding hers and the host's) - US/Canada only. So I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/04/virtual-book-tour-dark-inheritance.html





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Interview with Debie Esmeraldo


When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I never really dream of being a writer. I wanted to be a singer or actor. I write lyrics that I had created out of nowhere every night before I hit the bed. But I was able to construct short stories from my mind, even I was young. Music also was part of my stories, every music I listen to I can make a story out of it. There came my novel. When I had started the main idea of my story out of song I had been listening one night I decided why not makes a novel out of it. This was my very first novel and I was happy that I had it published.

What genre do you write and why?
I write fictional fantasy romance, actually it’s a love story not romance because it has a milder storyline than romance novels out in the market. Why fictional fantasy romance? Fiction because my imagination was very wide and unpredictable, thoughts came popping out of my head. Fantasy, because I love characters out of fairytales and superstitious beliefs. I think their unique. Romance, I love a happy ending and I believe no one can live without love. Even it’s love for oneself, love for others or love for the common good. I also wanted to write adult fiction someday.


Tell us about your latest book.
The Angel Series: Fallen is about an angel who was punished for breaking the rules of the Heaven. She has to live with the humans but there she learns all the things humans do. She is known as Penelope Reef, an average girl with dreams of being on Broadway. Then she met the rich, wealthy Swaiz brothers, Drew and Xander. She falls for both but was really in love with Drew. But Xander made her situation confusing. Which makes it more complicated was the return of her ex-boyfriend, Jeremy. Aside from the love life she has. She’s also being haunted by dreams. This came to a decision that she better find the answers in her hometown. In the end she has to make a decision that will change one of her lives.
The inspiration I have for this book is a song of 98° entitled Heaven’s Missing Angel. My original inspiration for the Drew was Zac Efron because I had a crush on him during the HSM days. And Xander is after Damon Salvatore of the TV Series.

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book? 
This is my first virtual book tour, and I have made a press release on a website. I also had a fan page started for this book. I also started spreading the word with my relatives and friends.

What formats is the book available in?
It is only available in Paperback.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Reading novels. I am really fond of reading; actually I can finish a book more than a hundred pages in one day. I have read all the twilight books in two weeks. I also do my Hunger games trilogy reading for a week. It’s like my comfort zone. I never really feel happier than finishing a good book to read.

Who are your favorite authors?
I adore Nicholas Sparks, he is a great romance novelist. He makes tragedy and love story a better pair than anybody else. He makes Romeo and Juliet’s tragic love story relive over and over again. I also love L.J Smith, and his supernatural novels like The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle.

What advice do you have for other writers?
Each idea is unique after the others. So if you have a great story to tell why not share it to others? And never stop doing what you want, even if others said that you can’t. Write, write and write.

What's your favorite quote about writing/for writers?
The novel is an event in consciousness. Our aim isn't to copy actuality, but to modify and recreate our sense of it. The novelist is inviting the reader to watch a performance in his own brain.-George Buchanan

Writing is a cop-out. An excuse to live perpetually in fantasy land, where you can create, direct and watch the products of your own head. Very selfish.-Monica Dickens

What's the best thing about being a writer?
Making my own world revolve. I can make up characters after the personality and traits I want them to be. I can tell what will happen and whom they’ll be with. I can put up my own world out of imagination, which I enjoy most.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
My book has a fan page. The Angel Series: Fallen. I also have a twitter account where you can follow me. I’m also deciding about putting up a website or blog but I never even started one yet.



Anything else you'd like to add?
My novel is out in Amazon.com now, you can get your copies there and if you have one tell me, I'd love to hear it. And I want to say Thank you.

Amazon.com: 
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How to become a better author in five easy errors


It took me two and a half years to finish my first novel, 'The Caves of Etretat', Book One of the Sirenne Saga. Two years later, I wrote 'The Greyman', the fourth and final book of the series, in four months. What happened to speed up the process?

When I sat down to write 'The Caves of Etretat', I did so without preparation. I thought writing a book would be a simple process of latching sentences together until the thing was done. I'd written a fair bit before, all of it short material.

I had no idea what I was getting into.

Writing book one proved cathartic. The errors I committed forced me to examine all of my personal weaknesses in order to fix my book. Nothing escaped. My habits, my fears, my basic approach to life, my desires versus my needs, all had to be torn apart and rebuilt in order to become a better writer.  This was because I was writing reflexively. It was an unthinking process, creativity without structure, creativity from the subconscious.

Over the next three books of the Sirenne Saga, I faced my demons and learned my lessons, returning to book one and re-writing it more than ten times. The lessons I learned changed me into a competent writer, confident in my abilities and confident that the stories I wrote accomplish what I set out to do.

I'd like to list my five most important errors:

1) Writing without a story summary.

My first story was written on impulse. The end result was an original story but without much cohesion between the various story elements. My next books all had a story summary, increasingly refined as time went on. An interesting side effect was to eliminate writer's block. I couldn't write what I knew nothing about. The more complete my summary, the less trouble I had writing about it.

2) Writing without a schedule

Although 'The Caves of Etretat' was intended to be my first serious effort, I was still looking at writing as a part-time endeavour, not a career. The result was that I wrote when I felt like it, which was not all that often. Any life activity could interrupt writing. It was often at the bottom of the pile. Eventually, I developed a routine, based on my most creative time. For me, that was working between nine AM to twelve noon.  Breaks were necessary, to deal with life requirements, but the mornings increasingly became sacrosanct. Eventually, I felt guilty if I did not sit down to write. I also found creativity tended to come more easily when regularly called upon.

3) Writing without prepared characters.

When I wrote book one, I had no characters to draw upon. The result was that I drew on real life for examples, using myself as the source for the main character, Paul Sirenne. His soulmate, Raymonde Leblanc, was loosely based on my partner. There's a limit to that and originality paid the price. I often got lost in who said what. Characters all sounded the same. Over the next three books, the characters developed sufficiently enough to choose their own reactions. They became individuals. Character comments became slanted, some expressions favored over others. My next book has twenty characters. I have not written a single word of it but I know all their names and their personal quirks. Each scene can be reviewed before writing, looking at the summary and memorising the characters involved.

4) Writing without research.

To write a convincing story, you simply cannot talk through your hat. Your facts must be verifiable. When you make a small observation, it has to be accurate. Do not write about what you don't know. Research became an essential aspect of story development. I would often find story links during research. Eventually, some research was done on the fly, specifics obtained on the day of writing, to be discarded once finished. It became a fast process, broken into three sections. Research for summary writing, research while writing, and research during editing. The last phase would be used to fill in specific dates and locations.

5) Writing perfectly.

When I started writing, I was always looking for the perfect phrase, the right word, the best expression, the funniest comment. The problem was, I was wasting my creative time looking for all these things instead of writing. Creativity has a flow. It improves the more you do it. If you constantly interrupt the process, your creativity never blossoms. It is stilted by seeking perfection. The solution is to write almost-perfect words instead and let it go until editing time. Editing is a key component to writing, or if you prefer, first draft-second draft. Use the second draft process to gloss up the book. The first draft is to give you material to gloss up.

The result of my efforts was a four-book epic series unlike any you have ever read, with meat on its bones and multiple levels to challenge you. It is a rollercoaster epic adventure, where nothing is as it seems; fiction with a powerful message.

Matt Chatelain
Discover more about the Sirenne Saga at my website www.mattchatelain.com. You'll find audio excerpts, interviews and various articles as well as other goodies. 'The Caves of Etretat' is available at Kindle as Ebook for $3.95, and at Amazon.com in hardcopy for $14.95. Book two will be out by end of May 2012. All four books will be published by end of 2012. Sign up to win signed copies of the series on my website.  Don't forget to leave a comment.

Guest post By Matt Chatelain


Matt will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour as well as to the host whose post receives the most comments (excluding his or the host's) during the tour. So I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/03/virtual-book-tour-caves-of-etretat-by.html



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