Friday, September 11, 2015

Should You Change Your Decisions in Writing?

Sometimes, when you are so deeply rooted within a world of your own, you begin to wonder how was it that you got this far? I have always dealt with hard decisions when writing a story because, in a way, I do not control the story... The characters do. What I write is strictly character-driven plots for the sole purpose of realism in the piece of writing.

I learned that because I plot out how the story ends up before actually writing the details of what and how things end up happening. Did I ever wish that I could change a decision for the betterment of my own satisfaction? Yes, did I ever do it? No.

I think it is very disrespectful when an author changes what he originally planned simply because they lacked the will to carry on with whatever they planned. Sure, you might have come to a new and better idea and justify it all you want, but the truth is, if it is something hard for you to write, imagine how the readers feel. Exactly, you want that.

I remember when I saw an interview of George R.R Martins where he spoke about how he wrote the Red Wedding. When it came down to it, he couldn't actually write it, but instead went ahead and wrote the aftermath of what happened, and then came back to it finally.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dragon Tooth - Chapter 5 Updates + New Novel in The Making?

This is gonna be another update about Dragon Tooth, a short novel I am working on. As of right now, I've been finishing up chapter 5 which is one of the longest chapters in the entire novel... I've actually been really excited to get to this particular part because... Up until now, everything was a set up for these magical moments.

People weighing up how tough and how strong the story is built... It'll all come to play with the next chapter. I think it is something that the readers will enjoy the most.

New Project? New Novel? 

Okay, so if you noticed and checked the Upcoming Projects page, you'll see that I included a cover titled "New Worlds". This is not a new project but rather a conversion of a screenplay I wrote into a novel.  The screenplay was meant to trilogy that I think had too much potential not to make it into a story in itself.

I've enjoyed tremendously writing that particular screenplay and look forward to start writing it. However, it is very unlikely that I'll begin before I completely finish Dragon Tooth.

So stay tuned for more!
Until then.

Friday, September 4, 2015

How To Write A Compelling Story
Many writers struggle when writing a story and they just can't seem to get the plot, lessons and values carefully embedded in a story. Often, the stories are just predictable and throughout this blog, I'll hopefully go through how you can surprise the audience even when having a cliche.

This will focus on fiction, but it can easily be used and adjusted to suit any genre there is.

1- You should power and jump straight in! 

Most writers spend tremendous amount of time trying to explain the world they have created that they bore the reader with details they don't need the instant they pick the book. Jump right in! Explain the world through the progression of the story... the rules, the fights, the conflicts. Introduce the world through the actions and have them integrated IN the story. The best example I can think of is to have an outsider, and have your character take them through the basics.


Person A is from another continent and doesn't know anything about the customs and rules of <City>. He gets in trouble and does something that is socially unacceptable, and gets saved by Person B (a citizen) who then goes on to explain to him the rules.

It's still challenging however to embed this in the story without sounding boring. So, what you can do is make it more exciting to the reader and have Person A joke and ridicule their methods and how they live. Your readers will be able to relate better to the character this way.

2- Write complex imperfect characters!

Write imperfect characters! Because perfection = boredom in fiction. You want to have your character someone who the reader can relate to, just think about it, how many perfect people have you met so far? None!

Also, give your character a tone, motives, objectives and even hidden agendas so that the reader gets confused as to what they are hiding. Don't introduce lots of characters and then kill them (*cough*...) just use any character that you have already. It's much better to keep the story to as little characters as you can.

Often heroes are so overpowered that the bad guys don't have that much of a chance anyways, however do something different... make your protagonist the underdog for a change or have them go through hell. Have an opponent play at his weaknesses and just when their about to lose, their best friend ends up betraying them! Readers love these occurrences because they want to see how the character reacts. Have your readers care for your character... and you have succeeded at creating a complex character.

3- Always end with a bang!

Often called cliff-hangers. Always end a chapter while the reader wants to read more. Just when there is a huge reveal... just when someone powerful enough comes sending the bad guy flying... stuff that would make the reader thirst for more. For me personally, I always try to end each POV with a "bang" making the reader anticipate everything on every little end.

Don't be afraid to end the chapter in the heart of the action as well as ending it with an upset.  It's often a good idea to break the chapter into parts to control the pace, as sometimes when the pace is high enough the writer just powers through the story out of excitement but unfortunately it ends up being a disappointment, because the reader kept anticipating bigger and more exciting events to happen.

Build excitement, when the pace is getting too high.

4- Plot, plot, plot, and plot!

Before even writing, you must have a plot written down, even if its just one sentence... for example the plot for Mario is that "a princess gets kidnapped, and Mario sets out to save her". Try to establish the purpose of the story early one in order to get lots of room for twists. For example, you could build the story so that Mario is desperate to go save the princess at all costs. Going through all challenges and enemies on his way, but as soon as he finds the princess... she confesses that she does not want to go back. She wasn't kidnapped... she left.

See? That makes the writer able to write compelling and disturbing twists if he knows what the reader is anticipating and expecting, it makes it easier to break those thoughts surprising them with more and keeping them on their toes.

5- Don't be afraid to KILL your characters!

Yes, you heard me right. Don't be afraid to kill your characters. I know it's difficult and that I am a horrible person to even suggest it, but believe me the cliche of having a person always survive a situation no matter how bad it seems just takes the realism out of it. It makes the reader predict how the story will end just because you wouldn't let the person die!

Sometimes, no matter how bad the situation is, the hero is in the wrong place at the wrong time however, the audience doesn't even feel a thing because they know the "hero" will always survive. Take Game Of Thrones here for a second... can you predict who lives or dies? Exactly. It should be real, if the character does something, goes somewhere or does anything completely stupid... chances are they are gonna die. And it's that realism that I believe every fiction has to include.

Why? Because first of all, the idea of death is real enough for every reader, and once they see that your book is no different, they will start to care for the characters more because at any moment, they might just die!

I have to be honest here, I have killed more characters than I can remember, and every time I do it, I feel horrible... which reminds me that I am actually a good guy because I felt the death of the character I had just killed off in the most horrible way possible... Well, it's the thought that counts!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Book Update - Dragon Tooth

Welcome to the Dragon Tooth post!

Starting from 2013, I've been working on a short novel that revolves around the world of Dragon Tooth, one of the strongest guilds and how they deal with everyday politics until a threat arrives that challenges the world as they know it. It's a story of strength and weaknesses. Mages and Assassins, Darkness and Light.

I thought I'd share with you guys how its going and what interesting things are happening as well!

The novel is not yet done, I know it's been 2 years and its closing in at 3 years but it is a pretty damn exhausting procedure to write a novel. Not only have I learned and pushed my writing to new levels, but also it taught me lessons about consistency and determination.

As of now, chapter 4 is officially done and I began writing chapter 5. What's next? Well, they are a total of 6 chapters so its really nearly done. I've been sending it to people of interest as well to see what the feedback is, and it has been amazing!

A couple of publishing companies have actually approached me to publish the book as well, so I'm taking my time with it and don't want to rush things too, but lots of exciting things are happening.

I'll do another post actually about the publishing deals as I think it might be useful to someone who is new to this (me as well) so we can learn together as I go through this exciting experience.

Until then,

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Greatness Begins With A Step

I've been wanting to write about this since a very long time to be honest, but I never seemed to have the time to do it. The thing about greatness is, that it can be considered a skill that one can grow used to. Too many times do we sit alone doubting whether we can pull off another day or not.

"A good life is fine... "

Once, someone asked me about greatness to which I responded it is like the air we breathe. We are surrounded by it, yet just because we don't see it, it doesn't concern us. Greatness is something you can FEEL but not actually SEE. I remember watching a presentation where the presenter asked the audience "What is the greatest obstacle towards greatness?" to which many of the audience responded with good wrong answers.

He then proceeded to say that the greatest obstacle to a great life... is a good life. A good job, a good life, a good... settlement. Why do we settle for a boring life when we are just a breathe away from greatness? Often people wonder why I exhaust myself with work and other projects without getting paid a dime. They are amazed that I do this, and when I tell them "I'm looking at the bigger picture" they don't seem to understand.

I know how people and life in general can affect your mentality, your personality, your motives and even your objectives... but it shouldn't. You shouldn't accept the pressure that people put on you, wanting you to become just like everybody else, and see you will always have someone who wants you to become just like them, have a perfectly safe job and whatnot. However, remember that the worst thing you can do, is to be like everybody else.