Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Hard Stuff

Right now, we are in a very slow moving part of being a writer.  The book is not finished yet, but we have noticed areas that need some attention.  To that end we have recently started our first rewrite, and it is a very slow process. 

In the creation of any new world, and magical system, there are struggles.  How much of the world is like Earth? What names do we use when referring to positions of authority, King, Monarch, Priest, or Shaman?  Do we create new names based on those positions?  Do we give a species of animal the same name they have on earth, or spend three paragraphs describing a worm with a different name?  Given the thousands of different styles of castles that have been built throughout the centuries (Shield shape, Square, Rectangle, Small building with a big wall, Big building with a small wall, Defensive or Palace), what do we use?  We are giving these things a great deal of thought right now

Why are we putting so much thought into the little details?  Well, we are trying to show respect to each and every reader who may come across our book.  There are those who can pick up a book and completely loose themselves in a world without questioning a thing they read.  There are also some who will pick up a book and hate the author because they use the wrong hinge on a door for the period the book is written in. We want both of these readers to enjoy our novel.

In that light, we have started our first rewrite. The story will remain the same, but we are paying close attention to the details. I have to tell you that this is the hardest part for me. I want to charge head strong into the next chapters. I want to finish and then look back and fix. One thing holds me back from doing this. Other than the fact that my wonderful co-writer will choke slam me into a wall.

“It always costs more to fix, then it does to build.”

That is a bit of advice my Uncle passed my way while working in construction.  That is so true.  If I dove in and completed this book, then went back to give everything its title or name, I would be at it a whole lot longer.  I would have to hunt down each and every scene, read it hundreds of times with a magnifying glass and hope.  Pray night and day as we watch reviews come in, that we caught every one.

So we are investing the time now. Investing, investing, and investing.  I have to keep telling myself that, or I will go mad.  The reason for it is good, but lord help me if I don’t have enough patience to make it through this time. :-)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Excerpt from Osric's Wand

On the Authors, from the Authors:

I didn't plan to write a book with Jack.  We didn't look up from our smoked gouda and portabella ravioli one day and say "hey, we should write a book..."  It wasn't an epiphany inspired by the antics of our daughters, his six months older and therefore clearly the leader and mine the follower.  It was more an evolution of design.  I received an urgent text message pleading with me to come read what he had written.  I assumed he wanted me to edit a paper for his psychology class, so I penciled him into my hectic schedule.  That's what friends do, right?  A few paragraphs in and I suspected his psychology professor may be in over his head, but I was hooked.  When I encouraged him to keep writing, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  Try as I may to convince him that I do not have time to collaborate on this book, he has far too much potential for me to sit back and watch him succeed without me.  Besides, who wouldn't want to write a book with a self-professed super hero? ~Ashley

Ashley has been an inspiration to work with.  She has a knack for detail and has held our novel to a high standard, in spite of my tendency to make giant leaps in the plot.  She has also given many of our characters a voice that surpassed my initial designs.  I have been motivated to expect more creativity and description from myself, as a result of her influence.  She has won over many of our beta readers with her character descriptions, and often forced those changes through well-timed headlocks.  I blame her for everything we get right, and with my neck brace firmly in place, I look forward to collaborating with her through the entirety of this project... regardless of the potential for broken bones. ~Jack


With the discovery of any new world, there are the select few who's names go down in history as the quintessential pioneer, first to tread on new ground, the first to see, to smell, to touch, to live and explore. One man was the first to enter into Tolkien's Middle Earth, to feel the fetid breath of an Orc breathing down his neck, and to crave the power of one ring. Only one was the first to pass through the enchanted wardrobe into Narnia, to battle the White Witch and to be crowned by a lion.  I bequeath upon you the right and responsibility to be among the first to embark upon a journey into Archana.  A world of magic and mystery; an uncharted land with new races, new rules, unique characters, intriguing plot twists, and the occasional arrow in the ass...

Osric's Wand
The Wand Maker's Debate

There is a time when history begins; a time when those who live feel the need to write their story, for those who come after them to read. When recollection of events of importance cannot be left to one’s offspring alone, but must be shared with all. Then there is a time where history transcends into legend, when strongly held beliefs are tried by fire, and traditions are questioned. There are beginnings that truly are beginnings and those that were only thought to be. This is that world, this is truly their beginning. What they thought was knowledge, was only a foundation. They will delve into a depth they have never known, discover things they never thought imaginable, and struggle to uphold the truth rather than be consumed by it. With magic in its infancy, and a world in turmoil, an endless chain of possibilities lies dormant. Rousing them has the potential for paragon or chaos, and only time will tell. There are no ancient secrets to unravel, no great times of the past. These are the days that will become the legend, the beginning of all record.
Just as Leonardo da Vinci has mapped out the human body, and the world has begun to discover the mysteries within, so it is on Archana. With the rudimentary structure in place, they now have what it takes to discover what magic can do, both the mundane and the divine. Lore begins in these days, and mythology will forever echo their names.

Chapter 1
At Rounds End

Projected Release: Fall 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Update on Beta Reader Program

We have recently started a Beta Reader program for our book.  I must say that it has been the best choice I have made since deciding to write my story.  I cannot begin to tell you how much fun it has been to work with people, who genuinely enjoy the book.  One reader was watching me write a portion of the book. That has to be the most memorable part of this whole experience for me.  She was commenting in the chat section while I was writing, and everything she asked for/about was exactly the effect that I was trying for.  That has to be the most amazing feeling ever!  We also have a couple of wonderful people a part of the Beta reading, who have helped tremendously with the grammar, content, and flow of wording.  They have almost edited the entire document as it is.  We have received nothing but good from the program, and a lot of positive feedback about the story as a whole.

The progress on the book has been slow recently because the co-author moved and has had a roommate move in.  There has been a ton of painting and lifting heavy objects in the last month. That is nearly finished, and soon we will be returning to write the last portion of the book.

We are working through rewrites at the same time we are writing the book.  We have identified several areas that need attention in the book, and we are working hard to get back to the book so that we can address those issues.  There is one area of the book that gets unanimous approval from both of us, and our Beta readers.  That area is the Preface.  Therefore, we plan to share that portion of the book with the world this Sunday.  We will be using twitter's #SampleSunday to promote this, and we hope that it generates good attention for the book.

We hope to see you again this Sunday (Easter) to read a small portion of our book.  We would love to see what you think about it, and we may bring more of the book into the public light if there is a good amount of response this Sunday.