Saturday, December 31, 2016

What I accomplished in 2016 - Yearly




Happy New Year!


Okay, so let's start this with: happy new year everyone! I hope that the next year will bring you more joy than you could ever dream, and may you brim with not only confidence, creativity and focus, but also taste amazingly good food (food is life amirite?)!

So I thought a lot whether I should do a post about new year and at first, I didn't actually want to do it (being that I believe simply wishing new year resolutions is not only a waste of time but its like a comfort pill that we take at the start of every year for the sole purpose of feeling good about ourselves. So in the year 2016, I started around 14 different projects, and completely finished 9 of them, 6 of those are published currently.

Needless to say, I was already planning on making a list of everything I published during 2016, which is a good tracking measurement to be honest if not anything, and so I decided to share this with you! Call this the yearly review of what I have achieved (I'll also post the blurb or synopsis of every story along with the cover and link), but first let's begin with this:

Highlight of the Year:




Well, this kinda deserves its own post to be honest, and I was gonna plan on doing the moment this was done, but unfortunately, sometimes life sails in such a direction that you cannot possi... Okay fine, I'll do it pretty soon.

Anyways, this was seriously a great moment to me personally, I'll be sure to write about it next year (sorry, couldn't resist) but those aspiring authors was seriously the icing on the cake for me. To see such an enthusiasm for writing in such a small country is without a doubt something to be proud of, and I really hope I get to read their stories pretty soon!


Stories Published:


These are the titles that I completely managed to finish and are available for you to read right this moment! I tried to do this based on the order of when each got published, but oh well...


Minds: The Secret Society




In the fictional city of Ganea, a super detective by the name M exists. He is one of the most renowned detectives known for tackling cases that often others shy away from. But unfortunately, not even he, could escape the jaws of love.

Link:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0173UW9YO


Dragon Tooth




Set foot upon the magical lands where Magic Guilds battle to the top! Dragon Tooth is one of three of the strongest guilds in the known lands. Follow a story of fantasy, principles and mighty battles!

Link:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GP03GZY



Jack of Scurvy Bay





Jack of Scurvy Bay follows a young man's adventure and rise to power. His thirst for freedom and treasure drives him away from his home town, where they they often neglected any person who grew to have ambition. The authorities manage to catch and execute one of the most elusive pirates currently known in the world, and ironically, that thing is what sets Jack our hero to take on a life of piracy.

Link:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/665859



A Duck's Sacrifice




A Short Story intended for children, but then takes a very dark path. This is one of the first stories I ever wrote.

Link:
https://www.wattpad.com/216708795-a-duck%27s-sacrifice



Secret of the Moonlight




A number of unsolved cases demand the attention of a famous detective, known for tackling a lot of mysterious with success. His success rate has garnered him enough reputation that criminals fear. Isabelle is the girlfriend of Calvin Greyson, son of the well-known Jack Grayson, and after he receives a threatening letter, she runs off to the police to seek their help.

Link:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/683013


Kind of the Land



A just King has struggled to have an heir to his kingdom, he is persuaded to summon a witch and gaze into the future, and see what happens. But needless to say, he didn't quite like what he saw, but regardless... Sometimes not even a king may alter destiny.

Link:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/691532


Other works (along with status):

These are some of the titles/stories that I began writing but either didn't publish yet or decided to cancel them all together. Keep in mind, a lot of these titles have been dissected and pieced in other stories or books that have been published.


New World: Beginning of a New Dawn
Status: 
On hold.

Description:
This is one of my favorite works as well. Back when I was mainly a scriptwriter, I had this idea and wrote the script to an amazing story (I'm biased here a bit...). It revolved around Sophon, an apprentice of a great leader that was recently executed by the Supreme Council and leads an open rebellion against them.


A Guilty Confession

Status:
Discarded.

Description:
This was the initial skeleton of Secret of the Moonlight and Minds, so think of it like it sacrificed itself to bring you two of my favorite stories so far!


Deathworker

Status:
To be started soon.

Description:
More info will be released soon.


A Tale of Horror (Title to be determined later)
Status:
Canceled.

Description:
I always wanted to write a horror flick. I started working on this story back in May, but decided to cancel it for the time being. It was about a girl trying to summon a demon simply to understand their world. Needless to say, things get quite out of hand very quickly.


Luna's Dream
Status:
Completed, will be published in early 2017.

Description:
It is a tale of a child that learns about Lucid Dreaming, and aims to master it in order to meet her late father. Soon though, she learns that her dreams are more than just dreams...


Fortier: Blood & Moon


Status:
Completed, will be published in early 2017.

Description:
Fortier is the story of Alfred Zeidan, a vicious, deadly and renowned vampire that secluded himself away from everyone for hundreds of years, until a message reaches him from his father calling for his return.
Part of him knew that this was about the Bertrams, another family of vampires that are fierce rivals and sworn enemies of the Zeidans, in fact the sole reason why he shunned the world he grew up with was because of the fighting and long standing feud between the two families.

But alas, he returns... for better or worst.


Titans: War for the World



Status:
Main Project, will be published in early 2017.

Description:
A dark epic fantasy that takes place in a world where might is the separator of the brave and the cowardly. Ancient history texts speak of prominent Titans who long controlled the world. It was not until King Magmar the First that their rule came to be challenged.

Needless to say, the Magmar dynasty prides itself in being the sole reason why mankind has flourished for as long as it did, casting away the false rulers for eternity . . . or so they thought.

Achievements Unlocked:

  1. Published my first novel.
  2. Nominated for multiple awards on Wattpad.
  3. Featured on Wattpad.
  4. Participated in Writers of the Future
  5. Met Chaker Khazaal
  6. Try out different sort of writing platforms (Wattpad, Smashwords, Amazon, Channillo -soon I swear-)
Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Dear Amazon, I do not live in Narnia

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First of all, before I begin with this week's post, I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! I didn't get my gifts so I'm going to assume that Santa wrote me in his naughty list this year...

This is the story of when I tried to purchase a short story I found the other day while going through my Twitter feed and I just felt compelled to read the rest of it (the author had provided a free sample on his website) but unfortunately, the short was only available on Amazon at the time.

You know, Amazon? The website that houses the works of almost every writer on the planet? The one which I used to publish my debut novel and a bunch of short stories as well? Well, apparently I live in Narnia, as I couldn't for the life of me purchase a copy (it was only made available through Kindle).

I wasn't all too happy to be honest, and after doing a ton of research, I figured out the reason why Amazon doesn't allow me to purchase Kindle books on the same platform I use to publish my Kindle books, and no you are not imagining... I do have a little bit of attitude, but what would you do were you in my place? Give Amazon a call? Yep you got that right!

I kept my Snapchat(@infrangilis) updated as the story was happening, and living in a small country, getting a call from Amazon is as exciting to some as the um... just imagine something very interesting alright? Thanks.

I stayed on the phone with Amazon for about two to three hours that day, while they checked their records and tried to help me (I feel I must add that they were extremely professional and just awesome), but my beef isn't with the employees, my beef is with the service itself.

Yes, they did inform me that the sole reason why I feel like am living in Narnia right now is simply due to them not having digital distribution rights in my country, but they did assure me that they are constantly expanding their reach and the middle east is definitely an area that they will not miss, but the thing is... I informed them via email and through conversation that I could expedite things over here.

We have an awesome ministry that takes care of the youth and all initiatives and I am almost positive that if I approach them with this, they'll do everything in their power to help bring the magic of Kindle books to our lovely country. Their response? Not much.

You might be thinking that I'm being a bit tough on Amazon even though they provide authors a lot of assistance and services, but seriously... It's a matter of principle, a person can publish their work through Kindle, but his local audience is basically being cut off by default. That's not okay, and I'm not that crazy about that to be honest.

So what's the point of this blog? Nothing, this is simply me steaming off my frustrations while hoping that it makes for a good story. I do not expect this to change anytime in the near future, but I felt like I needed to share this story.

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Support for Indie Authors



So this was long overdue... Indie authors have a lot on their plate, they have to basically learn to do it all themselves whether it's marketing, designing, layout formatting on top of the actual writing itself. That is why you often hear that writing a book is the easiest part. Now, the question why I opted to write this now is very simple: it usually takes me days in order to find a good editor who understands that indie authors do not 'shit' gold. Not all of us are Tywin Lannisters eh?

Now, the thing is I understand how important it is to get your work edited, but do you really have to charge emerging authors ridiculous sums of money? Professional editing is ranged between 600$ and an go to a staggering 2000$+ to get a novel edited, something that realistically new writers cannot cough up as they do not have publishers behind them.

Is it worth it? Absolutely, never underestimate the work that these editors do, I mean seriously, all the power to them right? But since not everyone can afford the luxury of spending thousands of dollars on their manuscripts I thought I would share some of my favorite editors with you (keep in mind, I highly recommend these editors and they don't charge a fortune):

1- Beta Reading & Editing:

The people at 'SimplyBetaReading' offer great packages that you can rely on to improve your craft. They offer a range of services like Beta Reading, as well as some editing packages. Their prices vary depending on your style of writing but rest assured; it definitely won't break the bank!

Website:
http://simplybetareading.com/services.html

2- Manuscript Critique

Victoria Griffyn offers to critique your manuscript for a very low price compared to her expereince as an experienced editor and is in my opinion a bargain. She also has a YouTube channel and offers subscribers a 10% discount.

Website:
http://www.victoriagriffin.net/editing-services.html

YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/ladyace0007

3- Professional E-book Formatting

I was actually surprised to find this service as well, you get best selling authors and editors to edit your work of up to 100K words for a simple fee of 60$ only. If you do a little research only, you'll begin to appreciate just how much a bargain this really is.

Website:
http://www.fictionworks.com/ebook-formatting

That's it for now, let me know if there is something specific that you want me to cover as well and I'll do it. It was really important for me to write this in the hopes that someone will benefit from these great services.

Also, for my countrymen and any writer residing in Bahrain, get in touch with me if you need any of these services! We have a community to support each other locally, and I would love to have you be part of it (we do this thing where every weekend someone sends something they wrote and everyone provides feedback).

That's it for now,

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

To Anyone Who Could Be A Writer

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I've always wanted to write this post, and also forgive the lack of posts but I have a lot of good news coming your way! But for now, I felt that the time was right for me to write a message to anyone who could be a writer.

Writing is a form of art, and it has many categories you see, if you are already doing the work, that means you should definitely consider getting the most out of it. So to all of those who simply dream of becoming great poets or authors I say: wake up, it's time to get to work. The thing about writing is that it's a habit and not something you do every once in a while. In the words of Mr. Chaker Khazaal (the most influential Arab of the world) "writing is like praying, you shouldn't give an excuse as to why you're not doing it".

In my humble journey, I've been blessed to have met a lot of great individuals who have amazing talent, hopes and aspirations... But it's funny that these are the ones who are filled with doubt and consumed by the idea that for some reason they're not good enough. But what are they comparing themselves to? Traditionally published books go through at least a dozen rounds of editing, where every round consists of the following:

  1. Developmental Editing
  2. Copy Editing
  3. Proofreading 
If you believe that your work is sub-par to them, well of course it's going to be, since you are competing and comparing your own style of writing to others, it doesn't work that way. That's why we write the stories we want to read. WE the authors are the ones creating whatever world we want to create. We are the ones researching the materials we want to shed light on, so to compare yourself to another writer or more so your book to another is the worst crime you can commit to yourself. 

Some will love your work, others will not -that is a given, and that's the beauty of sharing your work with others, they're allowed to disagree with you, but you aren't allowed to quit because of it since the more you write the better you get. Think of it this way: every mistake you make, is one that you won't repeat in your future, so grind, write, make mistakes and learn from them!

That's all for now, 

Until next time,
Write on.

Monday, October 24, 2016

When I Met Chaker Khazaal The Most Influential Arab in the World

(Sorry for the low resolution picture, I seriously should've wiped the front camera)

On Wednesday 19th of October 2016, I met someone who I have wanted to meet for quite some time now. Not only an author, a journalist, speaker and champion for human rights and refugees, but also the most influential Arab in the world, Mr. Chaker Khazaal.

I went there, filled with questions, and I didn't hesitate to ask. Immediately, I said "do you feel a certain pressure about your title of being the most influential Arab in the world?" to which he answered "I don't think about it really, it's nice to be get these rewards of course, but that isn't why I do what I do. In the end, you just wake up and go to work."

He was extremely humble, down to earth and just simply amazing. Words cannot describe the feeling and sensation that you get by just being around him, you just feel incredible, invincible even. That maybe, all those voices in your head that fill you with doubt, get quashed by his aura. His story, is one worthy of remembrance.

So what happened then? I pounded him with one question after another, and I felt like he was my big brother, to whom I was just complaining about the hardships of publishing a book in the middle east, and what I got from him was to just keep on trying, and to never be ashamed of my work.

And then, I told him about the doubts that I had in my mind, and how it sometimes feels crazy and hectic. Sometimes, the inner doubts that one can have, are his only demons and obstacles to success... And then, he told to first, sign a copy of my book, and then READ him a part of it. It was an amazing exercise to be honest, and one that definitely helped. In his own words "I hope by doing this, you'll remember what you have done."

So in the end, I'd like to just say to every aspiring author out there, and to anyone who is having doubts about sharing their work... Just power through it! Remember who you are, be okay with making mistakes, learn from them and be the very best that you can be. Because in this day and age, we do not have the luxury of having an excuse why we didn't do something.

If you'd like to check out Chaker's book (which I totally recommend by the way, go over to www.chakerkhazaal.com

And to Chaker, I say: It was an honor meeting you, and I hope that we will meet again soon (and this time, have you sign my copy of 'Confessions of a War Child').

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: Bishop a Short Story by Ric Santos



A couple of weeks ago, something stumbled across my Twitter feed and compelled me to check it out. That thing was the beautiful cover that you see. Now, being able to actually purchase it though was a completely different story (one, where I had a 2 hour phone conversation with Amazon -story coming soon-).

Something about the cover just compelled me to check it out, and @RicSantos was kind enough to show a couple of pages as a (read before you buy) which I absolutely love when authors do that by the way, and I just read the story.

I felt extremely drawn to it, and long story short, I couldn't purchase it through Amazon because apparently I live in Narnia. So I contacted the author and he kindly provided me another way to purchase the story, and the rest was history.

In the sense that it breaks away from normally found short stories and I found that it executes its concept pretty well (which is a short story to be exact). The story begins after 'The Calling' and the world is pretty much in chaos, laws are abandoned and instead anarchy breeds and lurks in every corner.

The main character, Bishop whom I immediately felt drawn to, is the personification of the word 'total badass' and spends his days hunting for his revenge. After his wife and daughter are brutally killed by a group of criminals, he sets out in an already forsaken world bent on avenging them in the most action oriented way possible: butchering everyone left and right until he gets to the source of the problem.

While I won't spoil how the story shapes, it is definitely a great read, but one that I felt could've used a lot more depth and backstory. A short story, simply does not do the world that Ric created justice, and at the end, I found myself still wondering about what would happen next.

'Bishop', was an absolutely thrilling read, but it was one, where it would leave you wanting more and more. I would absolutely love for a sequel, or even a prequel... or you know, anything!

You can find Bishop on:
- Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/666848
- Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GXVK62W

That's all for now,

Until next time,
Write on!





Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Thoughts on NaNoWriMo

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I had a couple of interesting discussions to say the least with a couple of friends about NaNoWriMo and generally, they were quite pissed off at me at the end. Let me explain...

What is it?

First, if you don't know what it is, NaNoWriMo is basically this ritual during the month of November where writers take a pledge to write and finish an entire novel. Yeah, one month, one novel. It couldn't be better than as if you were ordering food from your favorite restaurant (what? I'm a bit hungry at the moment, don't mind the metaphor).

So, my friends asked me if I was going to "take the pledge" this time seeing as I'm already working on my second book and stuff, and they were next to shocked when I told them "I hate it."

Look, I get it, the whole idea and concept behind this is to motivate writers to simply write and get them practicing and whatever. But the fact of the matter is, a good novel cannot be written in one month! Holy shit, if you could do that why not write a book every single month as opposed to focusing on only one? And don't start with the "that's not the point" bull...

I write about 1.5K words a day (and on a good day I write about 3K), so in theory I should be able to do this quite easily. But my problem with this is, that writers who plan on participating often plan the book ahead. They plot it out extremely well and then it's simply a matter of finishing a draft. Good? Yeah I guess. So if you can plot a book so well as to finish it in one month, why are you not doing it as a standard practice?

Why I hate it?

I think it's really demeaning for other writers when they hear about NaNoWriMo. Shouldn't every month be considered a month of writing? It seriously belittles the amount of research, hard work, re-write and editing that authors do when it comes to writing. It is just not as simple as they make it sound to be. Finishing a novel in one month? Seriously? And the excuses that you get "I would write a book every month if I had the time" - Ah! They lose simply by pleading to that excuse.

In the end, I'm really not against NaNoWriMo or anyone who participates in it, in fact power to them for actually getting a draft completed in such a short time but I just don't see myself putting that much pressure on myself (books... you see are really evil). I just have a problem with the message that they portray to the rest of the world.

These are totally my own opinion, and if you disagree with me, then let me know. Leave a comment, or tweet me. Let's talk about it.

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Prologues - Are They Important?

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I've been receiving a lot of messages and questions from family and friends who gazed upon the book that is Dragon Tooth, and the first thing that comes to their mind is: why is there no prologue? Isn't that essential? 




Well, I thought I could discuss it in this week's post (I know I missed a post last week, I'll make it up to you I'm sorry) so here goes.

The short answer is: yes and no. Basically, prologues have developed this sort of reputation that they are used by authors simply to 'info dump' the reader and get them familiarized with the world they're creating, and this couldn't be further from the truth.

First, you have to consider if your story even needs a prologue (I hear you... 'but Mo, how on dear planet Earth am I going to explain my world then?' I'll get to that in a second). The thing is, most books can do without it, and a good question to ask yourself is "if I take the prologue away completely, does it change or alter anything important?" if the answer is no or even a maybe, then yours is not that important.

Second, don't get me wrong, it could be used to drop the reader in the world and have them hooked straight away from that, or completely turn them off by it. The prologue has to add something to the equation, whether it happens way in the past, or way in the future.

One of the techniques I've seen writers often pull, is that they'll have the prologue take the reader through a very important event lore-wise and that without reading it, the true ending would not be unlocked. How? Let me explain with an example:

Let's say, your story revolves around Simon, who is a good old fashioned hero who goes on an adventure to save the princess from the evil dinosaur Bibo (just go with me, right). And the ending would be Simon butchering Bibo and saving the princess, but at the end, the princess notices a scar shaped like an 'S' around his neck and asks him about it, to which he replies "It's an old wound that you don't need to worry about."

Perfect right? Yep, except for the part, that in the prologue, the princess's grandfather summons a witch to predict the future, and the witch says "Your granddaughter will perish at the hands of S".

Now, who was the bad guy? And just who exactly was this... Simon fellow? It offers a lot of perspective to the story, and trust me, while some may not make the connection, others will. Readers are exceptionally smart and will pick up on every little clue you leave them.

So, that's it for this week. If you enjoyed going through this, I'd appreciate it if you could share and spread the word, it really helps.

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dragon Tooth Available in Jashenmal - Bahrain!



I am more than happy and excited to announce that Dragon Tooth is available for purchase locally in Jashenmal (City Centre, Seef Mall, and Aali Mall). I couldn't be happier to be honest, and as soon as I got the email, I was on my way to take pictures!

But what good is publishing a book if you can't play around a bit? When I entered the bookstore, my eyes rolled towards the book copy that was on display at the store, and then it hit me. I want to do something crazy, and at the same time motivate myself and so I did this:



So, apart from going there and taking a couple of pictures (more like a dozen) I decided to take a copy and place it next to George R R Martin's brilliant books (A Song of Ice and Fire). This was literally the best I could do without looking like a lunatic (there were people watching going like 'what is wrong with this guy? And why is he placing a random book next to George's books?) but it definitely was worth it!

Then, I got out as quickly as I could, blushing and hoping no one noticed what I did (but come on, anyone would do that!). 

So anyways, you can still order the book through Amazon or CreateSpace directly if you are not in Bahrain (I'm still working on getting it more accessible as 

Finally, I would like to thank Jashenmal for their wonderful cooperation in making this possible.

Until next time, 
Write on.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tips on Character Development

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One of the questions that I get sometimes is how to create complex characters that don't all sound the same, and if you're wondering (but Mo, it's just text! What is this sound you speak of) I hope you had your fun... you freakin legend.

Anyways, in all seriousness, having a number of characters in a story is accompanied by a lot of different factors and risks. For example, think about your friends in real life, and how even when two people sometimes act the same, and even have the same voice tone but they have that one thing that separates them from the rest. 

No two persons can be alike in a story. This can be translated in the way they say their dialog or key personality traits. Let's take Vendel from Titans (You can check it on Wattpad by the way). Even when technically she is the main protagonist, most readers find her extremely annoying and childish. It's the way she approaches problems and the first impression that she gives.

The first scene that we are introduced to Vendel is when she's attending a class, daydreaming about joining the military. What happens next? She almost gets killed for simply not keeping her mouth shut. Now let's pause for a moment and wonder how many people you know, get in trouble for simply not keeping their mouth shut? A bunch, I'm sure.

That is different than say another character who is calculative and is not impulsive at all, and observes the situation and all options (you can even show the reader what he's thinking) while analyzing the best course of action to take from there. For example, lets say you have two characters: Adam, and Eve (I know... just bear with me) and Adam is impulsive and acts solely on instinct while Eve is the calculative one, and they both happen to see a thief.

Adam would stop him, and simply report him to the authority. He would say something along the lines "How dare you steal the work of others! How selfish can you truly be?".

While Eve, would interrupt him and say "Cut it out! Don't you care why he stole in the first place? What if he was stealing this for his family?"

Now, just like this, we are creating a moral dilemma as well as fleshing out the characters. Who is right and who is wrong? Adam technically wasn't wrong in that stealing is bad, but Eve is the sort of person who would notice the thief's stench and torn cloths and make the assumption that he was stealing because he had no other choice.

Consider this a lot, the base trait of every certain character is extremely important and cannot be altered. A weak person cannot be strong just like that. They must be hardened or the opposite. A cold hearted person might be softer if he (for example) sentences someone to death and later on learns that they were innocent (the opposite is true as well).

You can always use character sheets if you struggle with this, but if you keep each character true to their base trait, you should be more than fine.

Until next time,

Write on!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Emerging Authors and Bookstores - Don't fall for their tricks!

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Alright, I feel it's only fair to begin this post with a disclaimer: All the names, examples on this post are a work of fiction... I am a writer and have a very vivid imagination, that is why everything might seem real.

It's been about two months since I released my debut novel Dragon Tooth, and ever since then, I was working on getting it in local bookstores in my country. But before I talk about the progress and what recently happened, I feel like am obliged to give you a little background of where I worked before to establish some sort of credibility.

I have been working as a Business Development Manager at the company that I left back in February in order to focus full time on my writing, and before that I was a Sales Manager for around a year and a half so, I know -what we in the industry call- sales bullshit when I see it.

So! You've successfully published your book! What's next? Oh right, getting the damn thing in stores (sometimes, it might happen magically, but other than that you're going to have to contact them yourself), and this could actually prove a bit challenging.

First thing that you have to understand is that your local bookstore is a business, and sales is what drives businesses nowadays and not good intentions. Pause for a moment, right after you get the shiny email telling you "you need to confirm that you consent to our trading terms before we go ahead any further with this" and just analyze it correctly.

If you have a publisher, DO NOT supply them with copies directly no matter how profitable you think it is. You might think "but what could go wrong?" the answer: everything.

Just hold on, and let me explain. The first thing you have to pay attention to is the credit period and the selling term. If I'm not mistaken, you'll probably see a 90 day credit period (which is totally normal by the way, don't worry), but the most important thing is the selling term. Pay careful attention as emails are considered official and can be upheld in court so don't go around saying "yes" in any way or form.

You see, what most bookstores will often do is slap a contingent on the deal that they will only pay you for copies that were sold, and the ones that weren't will be returned to you. Now, stop and consider this for a second. First there is a 90 day credit period meaning you will only get paid after every 90 days, and then a selling term which dictates that they will only pay you for copies that were sold.

Get the picture yet? Seriously, I don't wanna risk getting sued, but if this helps someone along the way and stops them from getting scammed by these dirty sales tricks, then I'm all for it. As a final note: NEVER directly supply copies of your book. You have a publisher for a reason (even if you are self published using any platform out there, they will take good care of you and won't fall for tricks).

Please pass this along if it helped you or offered insight.

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Subplots in Stories

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This week's post, I thought I should talk about subplots and what their role is in books/stories and whatnot.

Now, some writers believe that subplots exist only to prolong the word count or basically act as filler content. Well, one thing is known throughout the entire globe: everyone hates fillers.

Sub-plots are stories within stories that can be used to explore and enriches the current world that your characters live in or add further depth into their development as a whole. For example, you could have your main character go back and interact with his old buddies back in his home village... or whatever.

Personally, I use subplots not only to develop characters or flesh out the world; but to also add a somewhat unique aspect to the main story as well. For example, you introduce the hero and the conflict as your main story right? The subplot could explore the antagonist perceptive and offer the "other side of the coin".

That way, and tied to last week's post you create inner conflict and force the reader to make a decision who to support or root for. I also have a rule where I add up all the events that happen in subplots to the main plot as well. Like essentially, there's always gonna be a point where the two collide.

I know this was a short post, but that's all for now, I'll probably do a top tips post on this for next week too.

Until next time,
Write on.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

5 Hidden Pokemon Go Tips

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Okay, so I know that my blog is mainly for writing usually (and the weekly Tuesdays will not change) but I decided to do a bonus post seeing as I'm really addicted to Pokemon Go. Now, I know there are a lot of people who talked about tips and hidden features, but I'm writing this out of my own personal experience.

1- There are two good ways to catch Pokemon very quickly. Once you click on it, starting throwing the ball at him repeatedly (before the screen is loaded). There is about 90% chance that the ball will hit with a 'Nice', 'Great' or even 'Excellent' sometimes. And well, the other is simply Curveballs (which give you an additional 10exp).

NOTE: I'll probably have a gif by tonight to show how to do the Curveball and well... I call it the "Fast Throw". So definitely check this post later on.

2- Taking over gyms, with friends. Grab a friend or two when you plan on going on a Gym rampage. If all of you fight at the same time, you can actually cooperate and fight the Gym Pokemon together (making the battle much MUCH easier).

3- Properly defending a Gym. When you plan to defend a Gym with your friends, make sure that everyone puts a certain type that is opposite to what comes next. For example (Fire - Water - Electric - Ground). If you stretch this long enough, it'll drag the fight endlessly, and your opponents will simply give up due to the strategy needed to take the Gym.

4- 10K Eggs. Do not start hatching these eggs at a low level, instead wait until you are above level 15 (basically that's when you can get 1K+ CP rare Pokemon). This will probably put you ahead of a lot of people as well, transforming you into a beast of a trainer.

5- Pokemon with Special Moves. You might think the only plus to catching duplicates of the same Pokemon that you have is to simply transfer them back and get that 1 candy that you so deserve, but actually some Pokemon are way more useful than the rest. Just pay attention to their special moves (which can be vital during a battle).

BONUS TIP 6- Team Mystic rocks.

That's all, if you would like me to continue and write another 5 tips, don't forget to share and comment!

[EDIT] One of the tips was debunked actually right after I posted this, it is about the special/rare Pokemon that have a blue aura behind them.



See the blue aura behind Squirtle? It turns out that it doesn't mean that it's a rare kind of Squirtle, but actually just a recently caught one (if you sort your Pokemon by most Recent, you'll be able to confirm this - courtesy of Bruce Kraemer).

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tips on Story Writing - Inner Conflict


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For this week's post, I thought I would... Oh right... I guess I have to explain why I missed a couple of blogs right? Okay... Here goes... Pokemon Go. Alright, now that we got that out of the way, let's get to this week's post!

Story writing can involve a lot of different factors, it's not simply just outlining correctly or writing interesting characters and develop them well, there are some things as well.

The world you create!

I know I've talked about this a couple of times before, but I really cannot stress this enough. Even the most basic things would give life to your story. Let's talk about zombies (because who doesn't like zombies right? I mean, thank god Twilight didn't have zombies in it).

Say for example you're writing a story about a zombie outbreak. Now consider the current world status about every issue out there. No matter how silly or idiotic a concept may seem to you, it may very well appeal to someone else (some will try to control it, in order to generate money from it, and others will follow because of their kind hearts which are easily misled).

What the hell am I talking about? Organizations. I am welling to bet that SHOULD a zombie outbreak occur nowadays in the 21st century and after a load of games that prepared us for that possibility... we would have people speak for zombie rights (not hinting at anything, just trying to make a point).

There would just have to be people speaking for how we should contain zombies and that we may not have the technology to save them now, but it might be possible to conjure a cure in the future, and so we should not remember zombies as the wild beasts that they are but the loving people who they once were.

Who knows, they may be right, and I may even side with them, but that's not the point here. It's about how to create an inner conflict in the reader. On one side, zombies are killing people, and trying to rescue them may actually cause a death or two (or you know... mass extinction of the human race) but the reader cannot help but feel like there has to be a cure!

By providing two sides into every situation, you are getting the reader to subconsciously make choices and form opinions. What decision are they supporting? Who are the characters who take this cause as their burden? These can prove to be a vital ingredient to a story.

I hope you find this useful.

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tips on World Building - The Skeleton

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I decided to do a segment on World Building, which is by far one of the most important aspects of any story, regardless what genre it is. I'll be sharing tips as well on how to make an imaginary world believable in a set of posts, so the first part is:

The skeleton.

Before you start any story, an important aspect to consider is how the world is shaped, what is it called, what is the dominant religion, how wealth is distributed and so on.

Knowing the cities and villages of a continent can give you clear directions on where the characters are going, and what they should do. That is why before I write a story, I draw a little map on my whiteboard and name the countries, cities, villages, forts whatever the landscape will have. Always keep in mind that, wealth is never shared equally. If there is a wealthy person, then that is because someone got poor because of him.

If you need any tips, pay attention to the current world state of our own little planet. That is:

1- People will always disagree.
2- There will always be an organization to protect something (environment, earth day and so on...).
3- For someone to be rich, another must be poor.
4- Power corrupts, so the ones in charge have a huge chance of being complete assholes.
5- There is no evil. A good person may do an evil deed, and vice versa (it just depends).
6- Humans fear the unknown. If your world has humans, then they ought to behave like them too.

These are only the first ingredients of the world you're building, other things to consider are basically how much control do the common people have, do they have an activist hero fighting for their rights or equality? How secure their everyday life is?

Stay tuned for more!

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The 3 Stages of Writing a Book



I decided to write this blog because a lot of aspiring authors assume that they're done with the book once they've finished writing it, and this couldn't be further from the truth.

First of all, writing is a process, and that includes a pre, during and post as any normal process has. A book, is no different in that regard. Now if you're going after a traditional publishing path then you'll be pardoned some of the work as the publisher will take care of editing and marketing for you (not all though, make sure you clear this with them) but if you're self-publishing, then you need to do it all.

1- Pre

Before you even begin writing the book, you have to take a number of things into consideration.

a. Do you have a readership base? If you don't, then you should definitely consider starting a blog, vlog, or sharing some of your stories on Wattpad in order to build an audience for yourself. Going into this blindly will affect your sales tremendously, as contrary to popular belief, books don't market themselves and they won't magically begin to sell when you hit 'publish'.

b. Outline the book, this could be as simple as a couple of sentences for each chapter. A general overview of the events that will take place in your book. For some, this is the most exciting phase of writing a book. Now, I understand that you'll probably hear a lot of advice telling you NOT to plot or outline, but keep in mind... those writers have written a lot that they do this step without them realizing it. (Stephen King being one of them).

2- During

This next step is what you'd expect: writing the damn thing. Have a daily quota and force yourself through it. Just write, chances are the first draft is not gonna be good but it doesn't have to be. You should NEVER share the first draft with anyone by the way (even your significant other). This is a very sacred stage during the writing process, and by the time you edit it about five times, you'll probably be more proud of it than ashamed. Remember, writer's block is bullshit and is a testimony of either lack of will, or lack of planning. Naturally, if you don't know where the story is going, you'll be stuck.

A good tip also, would be to share quotes or samples with your readers, just keep teasing them until the final release date.

3- Post

This is the step that has me consumed all day pretty much since the release of my debut novel. You gotta prepare lots of things. Get advanced reviews ready and send emails to your local bookstores. If you can't write an email to tell them about your book, you probably can't write it in the first place, and in my experience, local bookstores WANT to help writers. Just have a good cover, and edit, edit and edit.

I hope you find this useful, and if you have any questions or want to mention anything that I missed, be sure to leave it in the comments!

Until next time,
Write on.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

6 Things You Shouldn't Say To a Writer



I decided to do something fun today, since my book's release I've been getting a lot of these comments and I kinda don't blame them because not many know the amount of blood sweat and tears that writers put into their work. They tend to underestimate the level of dedication and commitment that is needed to fully finish something, and I get that they think that writing a book is fun but the truth is it's really not. Books are evil bastards that suck the writer's soul dry. So, here's 6 things you shouldn't say to a writer!

1- Can I get a copy for free? 

No. You cheap bastard. I get it, if your friends with a writer its so tempting to just get the damn thing for free, but you should always remember that sales improve a book's ranking, and a good book ranking means a good author ranking (on Amazon at least) so if you really want to support your writer friend, buy the damn thing (there's a hack to get it for free. Just promise to write a genuine review and they'll give it to you)!

2- It's like Twilight meets Harry Potter.

Stop this. 

3- How many copies did you sell?

Okay, so if there's anything called privacy and if your writer friend has any sense, he's not gonna answer this. He might be selling 10, 50, or even 100. This is just an embarrassing question to answer. Think of it this way, would you ask your friend who just got hired how much he's making? Didn't think so. 

4- It reminded me a lot of Twilight. Not in a bad way, but in a good way!

No really... Stop it. 

5- Oh so you're a writer, you know I've always wanted to write but couldn't find the time.

Okay, so this is kinda common and it really takes the cake. Writing is an excruciating process that takes years to accomplish. Why do you think that your writer friend just stared at an empty screen and the book magically manifested? The difference between a writer and someone who's not is that extra mile really. Anyone can start working on a book, but not everyone finishes one. So just avoid saying this. 

6- It was good, but you should add this part.

Now, if there is one thing all writers hate, is suggestions. Don't get me wrong, you definitely should tell them what you thought didn't work for you. For example you can say "I found that part a bit dragging and it just took the element of surprise out of everything. It was really predictable what would happen next" < THIS HELPS. "Oh, there's a problem but you should definitely like not reveal the tattoo that the character had in this scene. You could try to add a new scene where abhdbasd happens. < THIS DOES NOT.

I hope this fun to read! And if you enjoyed it, don't forget to share and comment below what you think!

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Dragon Tooth is Released!

Set foot upon the magical lands where Magic Guilds battle to the top! Dragon Tooth is one of three of the strongest guilds in the known lands. Follow a story of fantasy, principles and mighty battles!

Finally, I'm more than happy to announce that my debut novel is released! You can order it directly from CreateSpace and get it for your Kindle right away!

If you buy the paperback version from Amazon, you'll be able to download the Kindle edition for free!


Get Dragon Tooth on CreateSpace Directly
Get Dragon Tooth for your Kindle

Over the next few days, the paperback version will also be available to purchase on Amazon as well.

Until next time,
Right on!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

3 Tips on Self Publishing - How to Publish Your Book For Free!

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As the release date of Dragon Tooth is right around the corner, I thought I could share some tips that I picked up along the way with you guys.

First, self-publishing is done through CreateSpace which is an amazon company that basically lets you publish your book for free. What's the catch? There really isn't. Since it'll be POD (print on demand) meaning that once an order is made, a book is printed and shipped directly to the buyer. You get your cut, they get theirs, everyone's happy.

So here are my top 3 tips for self-publishing authors:

1- Keywords are important. These are the secret recipe that your future readers will use to find your book. It's always important to research this fully. Never underestimate those annoying boxes that you need to fill. I think that CreateSpace lets you add five tags, so make sure to use them wisely!

For example, you can use this link to identify the top results for Amazon's Science Fiction/Fantasy keywords, so definitely check this link:

Amazon KDP Top Keywords - Fiction

2- Make your title standout. Okay, I know that this is more easier said than done, but consider having a unique title for your book. Something that would instantly grab anyone's attention. Many authors opt to include keywords from popular TV shows and books and just play around with them, and while that might get you their attention, you would come off not only as uninspiring but rather desperate as well.

Integrate some top keywords that you can find into it, by all means. But no "Throne Games" or "Hairy Pot" please.

3- Edit, edit and edit. I really cannot stress this enough. Get a professional editor to go through your manuscript no matter what happens. There are always editors who charge way less than any company would and these guys would be the go to in my opinion. If you are going to compete with traditionally published authors, you cannot afford to leave silly mistakes in it.

And trust me, it happens. Most likely since you are so accustomed to what you are writing, your brain doesn't see what's on the paper (or document) but sees what you want to see. Either that's a premise of another short story that I'm gonna write, or it's some scientific thing.

Or I don't know, perhaps it's both.

Until next time,
Write on!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Thoughts on Writing - Update

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Today, I wanted to talk about some of my thoughts surrounding the publishing industry and I'll discuss the progress of Dragon Tooth as well (it's still scheduled for June I promise).

Lately, a lot of things have been on my mind and I thought I could share them with you guys and maybe it'll help anyone who is going through something similar.

The first thing is, I've started my last round of editing Dragon Tooth (in order to prepare for the release) and I didn't realize how much I actually improved throughout the process of writing it. Not only Dragon Tooth, but almost all of the stories that came after it improved my skills significantly.

I remember reading somewhere a quote by Stephen King "write your first book, finish it, leave it on the side. Write another book. Publish the second one." or something along those lines. The idea behind this quote is, writing is really a practice. The more you do it, the better you get.

I've been invited to some events lately, and there was one, from Global Vision, which is basically a company that works with colleges around the world to facilitate the application process for students who want to pursue their education further.

One of the requirements was to write a proposal of up to 2000 to 3000 words, and when the speaker said that, I could swear I sensed everyone going "Oh god . . ." and I wasn't amused. Not one bit. My daily quota has risen from 500 words per day to 1500, and it almost happens automatically nowadays and I don't even pay attention to it. I just find myself taking it scene by scene and it seems to work.

My point is, my writing has improved a lot since I decided to publish Dragon Tooth, but I do understand that I'm just at the beginning of this journey.

That's it for today, but next week, I'll be sharing some helpful tips to self-publishing.

Have a great day!

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Updates, News and Currently in Progress + Excerpt!

Hello!

I know that I missed last week's post, and I thought that I should explain why, I promise you though, I'm not slacking off. Well, sort of... Jack of Scurvy Bay has not been released yet, because at the last minute I decided to enter it in a competition.

And currently, I have a couple of submissions to some magazines in Canada and the USA, aside from that, I began the last editing round on Dragon Tooth finally in order to prepare it for the June release!

I'm doing a lot of exciting things as well. One of which, is I started working on a new project called "Titans: War For the World". I'm not sure to be honest at this current stage if it'll be a novella or a full novel so I decided to just relax and take my time with it. It'll be as long as it needs to be.

So, I will leave you with a little excerpt from chapter 1! I hope you enjoy this:


-----------------------------------------

....
       For hundreds of years, the reign of the Magmar dynasty knew only peace that was built on fear and respect. The current King Magmar the Third was known to spare the opposing faction only if their King and all of their commanders surrender and bow to him in their own home capital in front of the entire population.
With that tradition, nearly all of those who opposed the Crown disappeared as they were absorbed in the culture. This was but a beautiful day in the peaceful village of Palleria.
       “The ancient history books speak of seven entities, whether they be divine or not, has been a debate for hundreds of years. It is said that any man that can strike the fatal blow to one, gains their power,” said Mein, he was old and wore a dark gray robe that only showed his eyes and long gray beard.
       The class that he lectured grew silent with every bit of his word. Palleria has been known to keep a great deal of history of the ancient lore, and as such this was a tale that all children grew up with, cherished the thought that one day they too may possess the strength to change the world.
       “Master Mein . . . Are the titans real?” asked one of the children.
       “No one knows, the last recorded incident of their existence is before the time of the Magmars. The story says that King Magmar the First raised an army and challenged them for the right to the very earth. Some say that he slew two of the seven titans, and gained the Strength and the Voice.”
       “What do they do?”
       Mein took a deep sigh, he could not blame them for their excitement. “It is said that the Titan of Strength grants its slayer immense powers, he could lift a rock the size of a mountain. And the Voice is when you hear the souls of a hundred ancient lord counselling you on every matter.”
       “What happened then?” they asked.
       “Well . . . King Magmar soared through the armies of the remaining Titans and slew them all, liberating the world, and well, the books of history stop there. That would be enough for today. If any of you-“ Mein noticed a student that was looking across seeming lost in thought.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How To Name Your Character


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This is probably one of those things that you either can do very easily, or struggle severely with. This is mostly a problem that I do not face when I start a new story (sorry!) as I will always have specific names that I would love to use in any of them. They are my babies after all (even though some face extremely horrible situations...) but in the end, think of it in terms of what names best suit your character. If they are a warrior, then something like Vikus, Octus, or even Aelin would work (granted it is a fantasy setting). Now, there are still some rule of thumbs when it comes to characters:

1- Never use two names which start with the same alphabet in a story. It just confuses readers generally. This is to be honest, something I try to break as well, but I keep it under tight control (meaning that those characters will never be in the same chapter unless they are alone and having a dialog). If you are still confused, here's an example:  
Jack - Jordan
Mike - Micheal and so on. 

2- The names must fit the setting and culture. Let's take Game of Thrones for example. If George had named the Dothraki people "Jack Renulds" and "John Adam" it would just push the characters out of their primitive culture, so the named must fit the setting. It is known. Keep in mind that this is entirely dependent on the genre that you are writing as well, having a name such as "Ragnor" in a children story is kinda of an off for me. Just imagine these lines "there once was a man, in the peaceful loving kingdom of joy who used to chase butterflies! His name . . . was Ragnor the Mad. Okay I may be exaggerating here but you get the point. 

3- Translate words from different languages. Or better yet, come up with a completely new one! Tolkiens did it, George did it, so why not you as well? Something that I personally use, I try to translate specific latin words and use them as the base for the name. For example Rory is Latin for the Red King, while Mors is Death, so combining the two would give a character that wreaks havoc and breathes torture something like Morus, and attaching a nick name to that would give them that vibe! Think Morus the Black Knight, or the Red King, even the Bringer of Death!

That's all for now, I will probably make another post to explain in depth my own process for naming the characters pretty soon. 

Until next time,
Write on.

Monday, April 18, 2016

5 Tips On How To Build A Convincing World


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One of the main issues that writers face when writing fiction is world building. It may be a writer's ultimate demise to be honest, however there are a couple of tips and tricks that you can use in order to make the world your writing about sound convincing. 

1- Explain everything. Whether it involves magic, or a mysterious old knight who was banished from his village for bringing dishonor to it by commanding a band of warriors and challenging the throne. Give lots of back information but make sure that it is not an info dump. Explain the complexiity through simple means. Be it a foreigner who doesn't know the traditions of a country (to which is explained to) or through flashbacks. 

2- Either start with everyone knowing, or everyone is shocked to know. If your world contains magic, you might want to start in a way that it is something that has been absorbed by the community all along and everyone is aware of it. You can then explain the limitations (I'll to it in a minute) through either combat or carefuly crafted dialog. 

3- Limitations. Always have golden rules that cannot be broken, and put imitations to hinder the characters from being overpowered. For example, a wizard's strengh may be determined by his energy, willpower or some sort of mana mechanism. 

4- Craft good shocks, not unbelievable ones. Having your protagonist suddenly discover that they have that ONE legendary spell that can take every opponent down just when they are in a pinch is somewhat annoying and shocks the readers out of the world. "But couldn't he have used it before?" these sort of questions if they leak into your readers, you lose them.

5- Everyone loves exploring. I found that one of the bst ways to make the readers fall for your world, is to have your protagonist at one point explore the world! Discover different cultures and have complex societies with their own certain rules. You can be wild. Have a city where slaves are the masters even though they are slaves. Did I make sense? No. Does it matter? Nope. 

That's all for now,

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Minds the Secret Society - Available now on Kindle!



Great news! Minds the Secret Society is now available to purchase for 0.99$ only on your Kindle! I'm really more than excited to share this with you, being the first story I decided to publish, I think this is the perfect introduction to what you can expect from me in any stories. It is really an exciting moment and a huge boost in morale for me personally, and I would love to hear what you guys think about this as well, so don't forget to leave a review!

I'll be posting more information as well about the projects that I have coming in the next few days. But, for now, I want to apologize for missing a few posts because of the numerous projects I'm involved in. But don't worry, I have plenty to make it up to you! 

Until next time,
Write on!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Short Story: Secret of the Moonlight

Hey everyone! I'm really excited to let you know that you can read Secret of the Moonlight exclusively (and free) on Wattpad! This the third short story that I had previously planned to release but I figured, just to publish it so you guys can enjoy it and get a sense of what to expect in anything I write! I will leave you with the cover, and the link to read it on Wattpad!

(P.S I will probably add a new page where you can download posters of any stories you like, so if there is anything on your mind, now is the time).



Blurb: 

A number of unsolved cases demand the attention of a famous detective, known for tackling a lot of mysterious with success. His success rate has garnered him enough reputation that criminals fear. Isabelle is the girlfriend of Calvin Greyson, son of the well-known Jack Grayson, and after he receives a threatening letter, she runs off to the police to seek their help.

Until next time,
Write on!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Book Review: Manuel of the Warrior of Light by Paulo Colheo

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I've been a fan of this author for a very long time, since the Alchemist. His story alone is enough to inspire every author in the world to believe in himself and just go for his dreams. Anyways, I've read this a long time ago and thought I would share with you my opinion.

Manuel of the Warrior of Light is an incredible piece written by Paulo Colheo, and it follows the events surrounding a person who meets an angel like figure that he instantly connects with, and spends a long time trying to look for her again. Years and years pass and the guy had finally moved on, but eventually, he goes to the place where they would meet (having came to terms with the fact that he would never see her again) and behold. She is waiting for him.

Not a day older, she hadn't aged at all. When he asks about her, she responds by giving him a notebook that is empty, and she asks him to write about the Warrior of Light.

This book not only is helpful, but the intro alone is enough to send shivers down your spine. It's not a 'book' per say, but a book of quotes and their explanation as to how an ideal individual would behave, think and feel in a world like ours.

If I had to make a bold statement, I would say that this book is his personal views and hard learned lessons that he wanted to pass on to every person who was dear to him.

All and all, the Manuel of the Warrior of Light is sure to give you a pleasant read throughout, and you are bound to see yourself in some of the quotes as clear as the sun (during daytime... I know... just in case).

4.5/5

Until next time,
Write on

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Answering Your Writing Questions - Part 1

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For this week, I decided to take to Twitter, and answer five questions from the popular hashtag #AskAuthor. Keep in mind these will be my opinion only. I'll try to answer to the best of my abilities, but it will be just that. My opinion. Which you might agree with, and you might not. It's fine.

Q.1 What are you reading right now, and how is it impacting your writing?
I've actually just finished reading "Paladin" by Sally Slater, which has been a phenomenal read to be honest. I've finished that book in 2 days and it left me wanting more. To be honest, had I not finished writing Dragon Tooth, I would not have read it (whenever I'm writing a specific genre, I don't like to read anything related as to not have my mind be affected by the tiniest bits). While it was just an incredible read in something that I found very interesting (the politics, the choices... the characters seemed all too real) and I had a little taste how it feels to kill a character from the other side (my oh my, how pissed I was!).
Q.2 How do you come up with a title for your book?
Well, some writers really struggle when it comes to coming up with a title for their book, but I don't, honestly. You just gotta relax and let it flow, write, write and write. The title will come to you eventually. It might be just as you finished writing it, or sometimes even before you started it. When it came to Secret of the Moonlight(which you can read for FREE on Wattpad!) for example, the title was ready way before I wrote even a sentence. While Dragon Tooth, came to me when I finished the first chapter. Remember, your title has to be unique and catchy. Something that grabs attention. Try to also avoid silly names or parodying another popular book... for example (Throne of Games). Always remember to Google your title, before settling on it.
Q.3 When writing a novel, do you first make an outline? If so, do you stick to it? 
 I find that an outline definitely helps me power through anything I write because ultimately I know where I'm going. But even when that sometimes can be too restrictive, I don't feel burdened by it so occasionally, I might change a few details here and there as I'm writing (if it makes total sense, and not just because I want to change something) but I would say I stick to the outline about 85% of the time. I've had a lot of instances where I wanted to reverse something, but I just fought the urge because I knew that everything that happened was playing to a bigger end. It's much more easier to create a well founded story, rich with twists from the planning board.
Q.4 Is Blogging Still Relevant for Writers and Authors?
 Absolutely, blogging I think is a very important aspect and step in building a readership and have somewhere that anyone can go back to the writer and read more from him. It means a lot to readers actually, and almost every famous and established writer does this (George R R Martins as well!).
Q.5 A few beta-readers keep suggesting to change particular scenes in my novel and I'm not sure what to do...
It's very important to listen to your beta readers, but also to know who to approach. Someone who reads non-fiction would give you horrible advice when it comes to fiction for example. You gotta ensure that the beta reader is actually a fanatic of the genre you are going into. But still, it generally means something no matter what. The best advice I can give regarding this will be in the form of a quote by Neil Gaiman "When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong."

That's it for this post, if you'd like to see more questions, feel free to throw them at me at m@infrangilis.com or simply leave a comment. I plan on doing this a bit more frequently.

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

3 Things You Need To Know Before Writing Anything


There are a lot of challenges that can halt your progress when starting a new project, whether it is a short story, a novel or even a blog that you want to start. So I decided to talk about some of the common issues and how to best deal with them and get something achieved.

1. Plan your project!
This is literally the most important aspect of every project you want to start, even if it doesn't involve writing even. Stories are the same, there is not a single writer who doesn't do this before starting a project. For some, an outline works while for others they feel its too restrictive and doesn't give the writer the freedom to do what they want (assuming they want to change things when writing). But the fact of the matter is, even those who don't outline usually have a seperate document that helps them remember all the important details that need to be stated. It can be a list of every character in the story (which is updated as the writing is going) or even just a rough draft. Always remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

2. Have content at the ready!
If you're planning a blog, launch it when you have enough content to cover at least three months ahead. This will give you the option to edit whatever you want (if there is an important event that you need to blog, you can simply push the schedule ahead a bit). This will do wonders, seriously. It'll give you a breathing point for those times when you are most likely too busy to write. You don't have to freak out, you're covered. But have a goal of writing one post a week at the very least.

In terms of stories or novels, write down any idea that you have on paper. I always have at my disposal these half finished stories which are based on a single idea. Just note it down, it'll make sense later on for when you feel something is terribly missing somewhere but you can't identify it. I did this with Minds: the Secret Society, and quite recently Secret of the Moonlight where I used a part I had already written and merged the stories together (and they make perfect sense as well).

3. Know where you are going!
Whether it is noting down goals, or plot lines, if you don't know to which port you are sailing, you will never arrive. Have a destination, or a meaning behind whatever project you want to start. Ask yourself what do you want the readers to get out of after finishing the story/blog? This will do wonders to improve your writing.

I plan to do more of these posts as well. Also, for next week, I'll be taking some questions from Twitter and answer them. These will be completely random, and I'll prepare a hashtag as well in case you want to ask me something (I'll probably check the questions sent to my email first). This can be anything from self-publishing tips, or hacks to questions regarding book covers and blurbs!

Until next time,
Write on.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dragon Tooth Completed + Release Date!



I am so glad to say that Dragon Tooth has finally been completed and headed straight into editing! The actual reason why I was late to post is that I was busy with London Media House, a printing company that decided to print a sample or a proof of concept of the book! To be completely honest (and for those who follow me on Snapchat, they've seen the sample) I consider myself very lucky to have had that opportunity.

Not only is Dragon Tooth my first official book, but add to that that I was THERE when the FIRST sample was being created. It was like I was witnessing its birth! Here's a sneak peak:


Here's the blurb:
Set foot upon the magical lands where Magic Guilds battle to the top! Dragon Tooth is one of three of the strongest guilds in the known lands. Follow a story of fantasy, principles and mighty battles!

A Magic Guild is a group of Mages that have formed an organization accepting job offers from the cititzens of the world. 

The Council of Magic supervises the use of Magic in the world. They are the sole entity that all guilds must listen to and heed their commands.

Mage Saints are Mages who are hand picked by the Council. They stand above all mages in abilities and their unrivalled power. 

So when is the official release?
The official release is set on the 7th of June 2016. This is also because it just happens that it is my birthday. So I thought I'd make it double special!

So what's next for you?
Nothing. Really, people assume writing and publishing a book concerns of only WRITING the damn thing (excuse my language) while it involves so much more. To be exact, the easiest part, is writing it. Next you have edit it, get beta readers, and then edit again and again, all until it is presentable. Even then, you have market it before you publish it, and then market it after you publish it. It basically never ends.

I would like to beta read this!
Then get in touch with me! I'm looking for beta readers currently and booking them. The book is still being edited but I think it won't be too long before it is completely read for beta reading. I'm looking for around 10, so just shoot me an email with the subject "Dragon Tooth Beta Reader" on m@infrangilis.com