More will be coming…

It has been crazy.  I am working on a second edition of Goandria: Visions of War while editing two other books.  So stay tuned, there is more content coming.  

Important Note

Due to difficulties, Goandria: Visions of War is going to be temporarily unavailable. I hope to have this resolved and make this novel available for purchase again by September 1, 2016.

Discovering Characters

I am waiting for the day when someone asks me, “Why don’t you have a _____ character?” or maybe “Why aren’t you more inclusive with your characters?” Well, my first answer is it is fiction with fake characters and fake races and fake religions. The key word there is fake. My second response is that my characters are who they are because that is who they reveal themselves to be. Simply put, my characters are who they are and cannot be changed any more than I can because that is who they are. In our overly sensitive culture that looks for reasons to be offended, it is imperative that we think of a few things about fiction. 

I strongly disagree with the notion that every people group needs to be represented in every work of fiction. I know that many people passionately disagree with me on this, but hear me out. I can relate to a completely fake character of a fake species, let’s say a Wookie, just fine as long as the character is developed properly. Character development is the most important thing in fiction, not that they appear the same, believe the same, or live the exact same lifestyle as me. Let me be clear that I don’t have objections to people who are different from me in fiction. My objection lies in the complaint that we need to pander to all people groups just so they can “relate” to the characters. It’s fiction. It is fake anyway. What if the story is comprised entirely of anthropomorphic rats?

There is a simple truth that people tend to miss. A writer may play a role in creating the characters, but well-developed characters are more discovered than anything. If a writer is true to her work, she will write the characters exactly as they are, not make them something else just to appeal to cultural demands. The same holds true on the other side. A character shouldn’t be limited out of fear of cultural backlash. Ultimately, the writer should follow where the character leads him, not pander, not worry about offending because guess what? It’s fiction, and we shouldn’t expect fictional characters to be exactly like us in order for us to relate to them.

Madness to Writing or Just Madness?

The conventional wisdom in writing is that the author should just produce garbage at first and not worry about it. After the first round of writing is finished, writers should start to worry about quality. The first time around is all about quantity, but the second time (and everything after) through a manuscript focuses on taking out the garbage. The problem: that doesn’t work for me.

If all I write is horrible garbage, there is nothing left after all of the editing. This also makes the editing process literally become a headache. For me, writing is important, and I strive to produce it with as high quality as possible. This means that when I write my first draft, I write with the mindset and intention that it will be my last draft. Obviously the first draft is not perfect. Just ask my editor. She has found some pretty entertaining typos.

I am a firm believer in always writing with the intent to write well the first time. My editor and I both agree that this method improves the writing quality and decreases time spent editing over and over again. This means I do not necessarily produce twenty thousand words a day, but I feel what I do produce is better.

For me it is all about writing with the intent to publish, not writing for the sake of writing.

Six ways you know you belong in Goandria:

1. You like cloaks a little too much

Do you ever get bogged down by wearing “normal” clothing? Do you go to your local Renaissance Festival and think to yourself, “Why can’t I dress like this all the time without being looked at like a freak?” In Goandria, you can! It is a place where cloth tunics and leather armor are in style, but the best part is wearing a cloak. Need an impromptu blanket? Grab your cloak! Is it raining? Grab your cloak! Are you cold? Grab your cloak! Frankly, they are great for just about any occasion. 

2. You would rather have a sword than a cell phone

Technology is great, and those of us who are blessed to live in developed parts of the world get to use it for a plethora of things. Sometimes, though, it can be too much. If seeing people more interested in their phone than their spouse upsets you, then you would love Goandria. Telephones do not exist. Sure, Goandria has its own form of technology, but people are more social there because they know how to talk to each other … with mouths instead of fingers and thumbs …

3. You sometimes wish you can talk to something other than humans

People are great. Humans are responsible for so much beauty and wonder, but we all know that destruction and duplicity is in our nature as well. Have you ever wished there was another race you could talk to and learn about? Do you ever wonder what other advanced people would have to offer? In Goandria there are many intelligent races beyond human beings. There are englifs, ferrorians, and frushians to name just a few, and that isn’t counting the less-friendly ones like the katzians. In Goandria, you can have a chance to talk with all of them.

4. You wonder what it would be like to have a king while still maintaining the freedoms of a Republic

We have heard about the kings of old. Some were good and some were bad, well a lot were bad, but it was a far different era. There are places in the world where there are leaders still called “kings” or “queens,” but for the most part, the term doesn’t mean what it did in the Dark Ages. If you ever have been curious to see what it would look like to have a king who rules a Republic instead of a Monarchy, Goandria would be a wonderful place for you to visit, especially if you are wondering how that whole situation actually works.

5. You like sparkly trees

Forests are beautiful. They are home to hundreds of different animals and represent nature in its purest form. What if the trees were sparkly and dazzled like diamonds in starlight? Sound wonderful? It is because I have been to Goandria and have seen it for myself. It is a beautiful thing that all should see.

6. You like dragons

Of course you like dragons! Who doesn’t? Who even thought that question needed to be asked?
You can discover Goandria for yourself here.