A fresh set of eyes

Sorry I haven’t blogged in 13 days my faithful followers. I needed time to get my new computer tweaked out nicely, and tested it thoroughly with a heavy dose of gaming. I played the Secret World pretty hard for a bit. That game has the best stories and voice acting of any mmo I’ve played.

It was a good thing I did too, as I decided to kick Windows 8 to the curb and only use Vista for my windows OS. (Yes, I hate 8 more than I do Vista.) Netrunner linux is still my primary OS though. I spent the last two days re-installing my OS’s and the accompanying software.

I have had to take time to look for immediately paying work as well: whoever has romanticized the idea of the “starving artist” clearly hasn’t starved before.

But now I’m going through my work and revising with a fresh set of eyes. It is absolutely essential to put a little distance between yourself and your work once in a while: it helps you keep perspective when you get back to it. I am seeing so many little things to fix. It’s going to be better for this. Be patient with me please: I promise I will finish before the end of the year!


Building a new writing machine today

Well today I am getting an AMD A4 6300 Richland APU and an ASRock FM2A78M-HD FM2+/FM2 AMD A78 (Bolton D3) Motherboard to go with it. This will be a significant upgrade to the computer I am currently working with.

I have built several custom computers for myself, for friends and customers. I used to do IT at the store I worked at before I started writing my book.

But today will be interesting, I will for the first time ever be setting up a computer to triple-boot. I have setup machines to dual-boot operating systems before. This will also be a new adventure because I will be trying to set up grub 2.2 as my primary boot-loader. Easy BCD works for setting that up, but I’d like to have my setup as seamless as possible.

I will start by installing Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit. You might wonder; “Why would you install that operating system at all?” The answer is this: Vista had the best movie maker out of all the windows, as well as the best DVD maker. I still have some visions for videos I want to make real on Youtube, and I’ll use this install for video editing only. I will put an 80 gb partition on my 750 gb WD HD.

The second install I will be making is Windows 8 64 bit on a 260 GB partition on the same drive. I will use this for playing the games that either I have had difficulty making them work correctly in Wine, or do not have native Linux support.

The remainder of the hard drive will be used to install Linux Netrunner 64 bit. That is What I am using right now. I have fallen in love with this distribution and have been using it exclusively since June. This will be my primary system for all of the daily work I do, web browsing, writing, playing native Linux games and using the other programs I have been able to make work flawlessly in wine.

I will be cleaning my case thoroughly after UPS brings me my parts today. I will be taking my old parts and making a backup Linux only machine to have on my shelf just in case I need it.

All data has been backed up, I am just waiting for UPS to get here now lol. GET HERE FASTER!!!!

The real work of writing

I started my work of writing the Spirit of Magik in October last year; its been 11 months now since I began. That’s a lot of time.

But where has the time really gone? As most writers realize, there is a lot more to it than actually typing out your scenes.

Today, I’m going to try and figure out how much of my time has gone to each different part of it. These are guesstimates only!

10% Marketing, blogging, and setting up the business end of my book being published.

30% Setting up the worlds actual setting. This has required a lot of research and thought.

20% Figuring out the history of the characters and the world that affects the story I am writing.

20% Writing new material.

20% Revising and editing.

As you see, the work of actually writing a story is a lot more than just putting hypothetical pen to paper. Making certain all of your facts are straight, and that there are no conflicts is very important.

Making history for everything is time consuming, but critical to your characters believability, even if you don’t share this history with anyone. (Most peoples histories aren’t all that interesting anyway.) It will ensure character consistency throughout your story: answering the questions of where did they grow up? What did their parents teach them? What kind of relationship did they have with their family? Did they have friends? What was important to them then, is it still important and why is so important to a writer just trying to understand their own characters, I can’t stress it enough.

Getting my world figured out is really where the lions share of my time has gone; it is time consuming but necessary. I’ll talk about my efforts to build this world in a future blog. I can’t wait to be able to share a sample of my work publicly!

My story is now at 340 pages, and 153739 words. O.o

Test readers books are in the mail!

I converted my story to Epub and Mobi today for my test audience and got them in the mail. I included my hand drawn version of the map as well! I hope you enjoy them, and find them well-formatted for your readers.

I believe I have solved the issue I was having with making the bookmarks work properly. I would appreciate it if all of you could let me know as soon as possible.

For all of the authors in the audience, I used Calibre on Linux in order to make the Epub and Mobi conversions. If anyone is interested in how this is done, or has a problem doing it, feel free to ask in a comment! It is fairly self explanatory for the most part, and the help section in Calibre is good.

Working through a hump

I’ve been working for the past five days or so trying to deal with the first big Magikal battle between two Wizards in my book. It’s been tough. I’ve been worried about making it cool, intense and gripping so it will be as awesome as I want it to be.

I’ve done quite a bit with Magik in the book so far, but this will be the first scene with two Wizards trying to pummel each other. It is imperative that it comes out right. The desire to get it right has almost paralyzed my creative juices.

But I just got an inspiration that will help me. I have decided to actually make a simple role-playing game style system to help me judge the results of each action. That combined with the few pages of notes about how and why the Magikal system works will make this awesome I think! I want the fight to feel both strategic and visceral at the same time, and the numbers I have down on notepad so far are looking really promising.

Back to work now, I just wanted to share this with everyone. Thanks for reading! ^_^

What is Spirit of Magik about?

I’m sure some people are curious. I’ve talked about my story a lot on FB, Twitter, and Deviantart. I wrote my book’s blurb a while back, and I decided to share it today.

Ari Dothranan seizes power from her parents by murder. She finds herself trapped by the laws of the realm though: she must marry in order to keep it.

She finds her ideal match in Thorel Tangarth: a bright naive young man who grew up in the country. He possesses the extraordinary gift to see and use the spirits of animals.

Old feuds of the Dothranan family interfere with Ari’s plans though: she and her Hold come under repeated attack. Thorel is caught in the middle of this due to Ari’s manipulations.

They must fight to stay alive against the forces that seek to destroy them. All the while finding out if they have a future together. Or will Thorel simply become another one of Ari’s discarded pawns?

So there it is, in a nutshell. I would describe the story as a fantasy and dark romance, with steampunk elements.