Category World Building

Building a Fantasy Universe

Building a fantasy universe is one of my favorite aspects of writing a novel, and today I realized I need to go on a date with that love again. It’s hard work, time-consuming, but when the pieces start coming together you can almost feel like that universe might exist somewhere beyond our own. Let’s hope so, because the next few lives I might want to jump into my characters’ skin. I digress…

If you look at the rotating banners above, each of the three represents a different universe in my arsenal. Though, to be fair, Outsider has the potential to slip into the Timekeeper universe. For several years I’ve lived and breathed in both the Hàlön and Timekeeper worlds. I love them both and never want to leave, but do I stay there if the tales in each aren’t garnering any interest?

The answer is...

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A Writer’s Path

… is not an easy thing to define. Each time I believe I’m closer to an answer, my direction changes. Or maybe the rules change. And sometimes, I’m just not where I thought I was. Someone find me a map, please.

It seems odd to say, but I started my writing path fifteen years ago. Back then my life was falling apart at every turn. No matter which direction I took, disaster was soon to follow. To keep myself somewhat sane, I started learning Elvish. And yes… nerd alert... I’m talking Tolkien’s elvish languages. I even still have a subscription to Vinyar Tengwar. I was also *gasp* learning D’ni, the Myst language.

During this time I discovered that several of us had a particular love for the Wheel of Time series and we decided to start an RPG site. <sigh> Disaster… that is all...

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Final Preparation for #PitchWars

Are you in the home stretch preparing for #PitchWars? With the submission window less than a week away, hopefully you’re not still scrambling to get that last scene written, or restitching a plot hole together. By now I hope everyone can see the finish line and be ready to take a deep breath and relax while the mentors dive into their busy weeks.

If you’re on the home stretch, here’s a few tips to help get you organized. Please note: I am not a mentor. This is my own take on getting ready so, you know, grain of salt. 🙂

  1. Get your PitchWars folder setup. Wherever makes sense on your machine, you want to have a folder labeled for PitchWars. When you’re done, it will likely contain a spreadsheet and 4-5 word documents...
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Managing Time as a Writer

Managing time is not a rodeo I’m unfamiliar with, but this past week has definitely challenged my schedule.  Between family obligations, out of town visitors, writing, editing, and critiques, I’ve been sleeping less and wrapped around my kindle a lot more than normal. On top of it all, I still have a paid job I need to keep on top of. Over the course of nearly a decade of contract work, here’s what I’ve discovered:

  1. Make time for yourself. No matter how exhausted you are, or how many projects are brewing on your plate, downtime will help clear out the numbness and cobwebs. When working on several projects at once, an agile, refreshed mind is a must.
  2. Eat real food. I can not stress this enough...
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Gearing up for #PitchWars 2016

Getting ready for PitchWars can be a daunting task. Not just for mentors, but for mentee hopefuls as well. This is the first year I’ll be entering my MS, and all I can say is there’s an amazing amount of work that goes into getting ready, even when you’re already certain that manuscript is polished and ready. I thought mine was… nope. 🙂

Here’s what I’ve found:

  1. Have your manuscript ready: No matter how much you believe this baby is done, keep refining right up to the submission window. Why? Because things change. I decided to do a quick read-through on mine, did a few chapter swaps, and while I was able to clean up nuances and filler words here and there, I made a very large discovery along the way: my story started in the wrong place...
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