Tag Archives: literature

Word Usage in Non Existent languages


In fantasy (and in many scifi novels) your protagonists probably are not speaking English.  They are likely not speaking and actual existing language, unless you want them to.  You could just decide by fiat that they are speaking English, but some people might have a problem suspending belief (especially if they know enough to know different Old English is from current English, and that language constantly evolves).  If you do decide that they speak their own language however other issues occur such as; can you use any puns then, what about rhymes, or wordplay like homonyms or clever phrasings, and what about modern idioms?  Below is some advice to help with these issues.

The most important advice is to stay consistent.   If you sprinkle your own (or another language’s) words for something, or an ancient word for something use it every time.  Do not use the phrase katana and broadsword as if interchangeable.  Don’t call an animal a k’ysen most of the book, and then suddenly call it a dinosaur later even if the description you gave made it obvious.  If you do pepper modern idioms into your world, decide which ones fit and why and stick with it.  Nothing is worse than having what parts of our languages are used in your world seem arbitrarily.  If the whole world seems like an allegory for the ancient Vikings, and then you use all modern English rhymes in their poetry it may pull a reader out of your world.

Modern phrasings in particular can be tricky, including what is “modern.”  Even phrases that often are in our language and seen as conventional are actually references to real life cultural events and would not probably exists in your fantasy world.   This means extra care must be taken of what types of phrases you use to keep your world feeling consistent.  Decide why those phrases are allowed. It might be because of cultural similarities, it might be events in that world, or you might let all modern idioms apply and assume that those modern idioms are translations of whatever they are really saying. If attempting to weed out modern phrasings then you will need to think hard about anything allowed.  Even my last phrases “weed out” assumes the speaker’s culture has familiarity with the process of keeping a garden.  If trying to be rigorous on phrasings, I recommend having multiple beta readers that keep an eye out just for that.

If you want your own jargon (this happens particularly with magic or technology in fantasy and sci fi) it helps to keep it to a level that does not overwhelm your reader with new words they must learn.  Also, if there is something analogous in our world you can use that as an alternate way to describe it as long as it is not too rooted in one particular cultural identity.  If a person has a specialized curved sword called a dyten, calling it a sword later is fine.  Referring to the dyten as a scimitar later is not advised however, as it weakens the idea that your world’s sword is this unique thing you called a dyten.  If you can keep all your phrasing to a small amount (maybe a dozen or two words) the reader won’t feel like they need to check a glossary each time a conversation occurs.

Puns, homonyms, rhymes and the like very much rely on deciding if: the language is for all intents and purposes modern English, the language is not at all like English and you do not want anything to break that illusion, it is not English but you assume that there is some sort of wordplay in that language that the people in that world are seeing that we are not and let our version of the wordplay stay as a way your reader can connect.

Most fantasy seems to go with the third one.  The language is not English but it is treated like that in the rhymes, songs, and puns its characters use.  This is the easiest way to write, but can sometimes pull your reader out of the book much like using modern idioms.  This seems to very by reader.  Some readers actually prefer this technique for familiar wordplay draws them in more.  If firmly rooting your novel in history, or emphasizing the “otherness” of your culture you might want to write it differently.  Instead use analogues, related concepts, and wise observations for poetry instead of rhymes.  Make humor contextual instead of pun related.  When writing think  “Will this joke be the same for my Spanish, Japanese, German and Italian readers?  That sort of mindset can give you good guidelines of who to keep language integrity throughout your work

Poll:

Do you prefer your languages in fantasy and sci fi to be:

A)Modern English.  Who cares if that’s not feasible, it gets rid of all other barriers.

B)Its own unique language, and nothing modern or reliant upon being English should show.  The translated version of this novel will easily be able to use actual translations with little to no localization needed.

C)Functionally similar to modern English, but only as a device to allow the reader to be more immersed in the world.  It will have differences, but rhymes and puns are allowed and it is just assumed the world has an equivalent for them.

World Info:

Mandatory Paradise will be the focus again, since it is the newer book and I have more questions about that from people who have wondered how one structure can cover the entire island.  The truth is the Palaces are essentially connected and wind their way around the island and jut into the center of it at parts.  There are, however,  places not actually part of the Palace as a whole.  These are not residential places, and do not have the running water the rest of the island does or entrances to the catacombs.  This is where the markets are, smiths craft their wares, and the vineyards for the grapes are located.

Also thePpalaces are broken down by areas and quarters have different feels to them.  I will describe the differences between the quarters in a later article.  In general they are broken down by class and occupation, but occasionally by philosophy.  It is still all one Palace, but the culture is not nearly as homogenous as the Senate would probably prefer it to be.

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Writing in Sprints


Most ebook authors are holding down a full time job, raising a family and might even have a hobby or two.  This means time is a premium, and unless they become a self-sufficient hermit (with wi fi) they will never have a schedule that allows them to write as much as they want.  This has some writers forcing strict schedules on themselves to make up for this, with either a specific time of day that they write (like maybe one or two specific hours each week day, all Saturday,  etc) or a specific goal every week (5000 words is a common one I hear).

My schedule, for whatever reasons I cannot pin down, ends up being too chaotic for specific guidelines.  I still have overall goals I would like to meet (I prefer a minimum of one chapter a week) but I do not always fulfill that.  I try to make up for this by most of the time that I write, I write in sprints, then edit at a slower pace.  Without some words or some guidelines, days can pass with nor progress on the book.  If you force artificial guidelines (I must have an hour to myself!) then it may never get done.  Instead when I sit at that keyboard and I have the spare fifteen minutes to write, I let those fingers fly away as quick as possible to put as much things down in electronic form as fast as I can!

After that, of course, you not only do the obvious spelling/grammar edits, but you can flesh out the scenes, or re word things.  You might even have to redo entire scenes this way, as the idea that sounded great in your head when pounding out a chapter quickly might not translate as well on paper.  That can happen even if you are leisurely typing out a chapter too, meticulously following out a point by point outline.  It’s much easier I have noticed filling out editing in spare minutes, as long as there is something on the page to change. 

Along those lines writing in sprints also means not always doing things in order or stopping at obvious places. Nothing defeats a novel’s formation as much as a blank page at the beginning of a new chapter or at a break in a chapter.  It’s for this reason that normally after I finish a chapter I start typing the next one, even if only a paragraph.  That way when I come back to it I have thoughts to build off of.  For me, once I have a character in a situation I can continue the plot by merely having them react to the situation.  It’s also easier to come up with said situations when finishing another chapter because my “writing brain” is fully engaged and therefore better at pulling plot out of the ether.

Sometimes when writing in sprints real life may keep you from writing for days, or at worst weeks.  When this happens I have noticed it’s very tough to start again.  Things that have helped me before with this is: trying to continue the scene in my head before writing, jumping ahead to another chapter, or erasing the last paragraph or two and re write them differently so that new ideas flourish.

Another thing that helps with writing in short amounts is mentioned above, but can be done even if it has not been a long time between chapters: continuing dialogue, scenes, or other aspects of the novel in your head in between writing.  Often at random times such as at lunch breaks, commuting to work, or even watching TV I am wondering how characters would react to the last thing I wrote for them, or even hypothetical situations that are likely to happen from where I left them last.  When I actually sit down to write it does not always come out the same way I originally imagined it, but doing this helps you work out possibilities without constantly erasing and re-writing.

The most important thing about sprint writing is not giving up, and allowing it to happen as frequently as possible in your schedule.  You won’t type out whole chapters in one sitting like marathon writing does, but you will see progress in a way that can fit even the busiest of schedules.

Well, you will as long as you don’t eat a whole bag of jelly babies beforehand and your mind descends into sugar induced insanity and/or lethargy.

In other news:

The second Allmother’s Fire book is officially over the halfway mark now.  I can’t tell if this novel will be shorter or longer than The Fall of House Nemeni was, but it seems to me to be packing more scenes in less words as a lot of “filler” words are being excised from it.  It’s moving slower due to real life (moving across country in two months) but still expanding at a steady pace.

Also the likely next series is starting to coalesce, and I might even write a short story in that world in between book 2 and 3 of the Allmother’s Fire.  It’s not a large epic like Allmother’s Fire is, but the canvas for it’s world is vast and is also clockpunk.  It’s not however a tale of floating islands and has more of a pulp influence to it.

Also got my first Amazon 5 star review (had some on goodreads before) for The Fall of House Nemeni, and my first Amazon review for Mandatory Paradise!  I can’t describe how much a writer loves reading these things, even when the point out the weak points too (it’s honestly how we grow).

My poll ties into my post, but you can apply to yourself even if you do not write, as I am curious about how different people tackle similar things:

Poll:

When tackling a big project do you prefer to do it:

1)In many short chunks fit in when you can

2)All at one period of time with nothing else in between

World Info:

I have done a lot recently on tidbits from the Allmother’s Fire world, time to diverge for a little bit to Mandatory Paradise, since I am finally getting some feedback from it by people I do not know.  Today’s will be general answers to questions I have gotten, but edited so as to not give spoilers:

1)The cover and occasional points in the book have Alnanla in dark robes, but the first description given of Priestess’ at the Bull Dances are that they and the Priests are pretty scantily clad.  Is this a plot hole?:

Answer:

No, at the dances they do not wear alto as part of the ceremony and because no one wants to be gored by a bull because you were attempting to run around in thick robes.  When not at Bull Dances both Priests and Priestesses are modest, hence the robes.

2)If thesis stones hold such information how come they are not used by the populace in general instead of formalized teaching, reading, memorizing etc.

Answer:

Thesis stones are limited, and the Senate and Judges have a reason to not hand them out like candy.  This will become more apparent why as the story progresses.

3)If most of the populace never gets attacked by the monsters behind the shields, why are they still afraid of them?  Even though they could see them wouldn’t their fear of them go away, and the “threat” the monsters present seem unreal, much like violence has become to some people because of TV?

Answer:

Without debating conclusions drawn in that question, keep in mind that enough Lykatic Vampire attacks happen that on an island as small as that enough people know of a friend, or friend of a friend who has had someone die even if they have not seen the monsters do it themselves.  At the same time many of the citizens often do not look up at night at the monsters, because shield or no shield it’s still frightening to see dragons and gryphons careening around madly only a few hundred feet over your head.


Series: Episodic or Epic?


Fantasy in particular lends itself to series.  A majority of those series have the same overarching characters and themes, and the books are connected.  Due to the strong influence of Lord of the Rings many are trilogies.  Often the series really is just one large story, broken down into smaller chunks which allows the story to be released earlier and in the case of print, because they might not be able to physically release the book elsewise.  When creating these separate books there are two ways they can do it – the book can still have the basics of a beginning, middle and end, but honestly identify more as another “chapter” of a larger chronicle then a true standalone work.  These types of books do have the downside that they cannot  be just picked up and read as its own story out of order and without knowledge of the rest of the series.  The other way is to have a completely self-contained story that continues themes amongst itself, but can be read in mostly any order and still enjoyed without knowing anything else in the series.   The downside to this type however is if the specific plot, theme, or character focus does not hook the reader, they do not feel bad skipping it.

Examples of the books focusing more on being pieces of a large series than stand-alone stories include Wheel of Time, Tears of Rage, Game of Thrones and most of the other epic fantasies that are the bread and butter of the genres.  This description is not meant to disparage those types of novels, and they can still contain the basics of a story (conflict, climax, resolution) but they are not normally intended to be read out of order, and even with recaps and Wikipedia catching reader up are really intended to be read as a series more than by themselves.  I still love The Shadow Rising by itself, and it does have it’s own plots that open and close in the same book.  I could not however hand  it to someone without them reading the rest of the Wheel of Time and expect them to love it nearly on the same scale as those who read the series in order.

The advantage of this style is it truly allows a giant Epic that the other form does not.  When read  in a row a well-built epic of this type has the potential to really enthrall a reader.  Since in essence one giant story is being composed, each individual book can allow an attention to detail, themes, characters, and events that standalones do not.  Although less accessible to people when not in order, it makes up for it in scope and depth.

Some of my favorite television is this way, including Battlestar Galactica, most of 5th Season of Buffy, of course Lost, and the “mythology” episodes of X-Files.  Most movie that are this way tend to be adaptations (other than the Matrix but whether or not that made sense even watching it in order is up to personal taste) as for economic sake when creating new movies it makes sense to allow them to stand alone without prior movies having to be seen to enjoy them.  Comic books on the other hand, for the past three decades are like this, rewarding large collections with knowledge that enhances each later story.

The other way, of self-contained stories that mainly share the same characters but do not build up to one large overarching plot is not currently the standard for many modern fantasy books.  During the Pulp era, however, this was much more common.  Sword and Sorcery books still tend to be in this format, self-contained, and so do more comedic books like Piers Anthony Xanth series, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.  Dresden Files (which feels more like a pulp novel then an epic fantasy) straddles the line, in the sense that reading them in order enhances the novels because you know the characters better, but it is not necessary normally required for most of the books in the series.

The fantastic thing about this is every book is truly a jumping on point for new readers.  If they love the characters they may want to go back and pick up earlier works to flesh out their enjoyment of the series, but they should never feel lost no matter where they first start reading.

I think of these things because my current trilogy is of course, the type that must be read in order to be fully understood.  The next series idea I have after this however, I am highly considering making it more episodic, and not concentrating on overarching plots so they can be read in any order.  Also, outside of fantasy my favorite genre is probably mystery/thrillers that contain the same characters, but can honestly be enjoyed in any order.

Poll Series Style Preference:

1)Episodic:  This is like Dresden, Conan, Discworld.  I like self-contained stories

2)Sprawling Epics: I like intricate tapestries of stories that wind between several books with a large overarching plot.

Results from Worldcon were good, Mandatory Paradise got up to 13 on the Epic fantasy List, and Fall of House Nemeni got up to 26th on the same list.  I have decided to finally have Fall of House Nemeni released to Nook after this cycle is over, and focus on Mandatory Paradise during promotions.

World Info:

The main adversaries to the Allmother in her religion are things called Firesouls.  They are said to possess people and come from the place of eternal torment, the Sun Below all the Islands.  It is said they are led by something called “Other” but no solid information is ever said about this entity.  The Songs of the Allmother do not focus on the Other often, and whether or not is is male or female, human or monstrous, and even how it acts are different in the various tales that have been passed down.

The Songs and stories focus more on Firesouls, and how they can control your life if you are too evil, or fall into the Sun Below.  Of course no one really knows how something could survive a fall into the Sun Below, or even more who one could come back.  Tales still persist of it happening, and if someone starts acting very strange or unpredicatable it is wondered if they have been “Firesouled” or “firetouched.”


Slicing the Pie (Chapters and Breaking Down your Book)


Although I am pretty sure someone might have tried it, reading an entire book without chapters (or at least something to break apart the text) after a story is at least thirty thousand words might  be maddening to read.  This is why we have chapters and other ways to break up the text for normal length or greater novels, but the methods people use to decide how long a chapter is varies not just amongst authors, but even different books from the same author.  Like every other conscious decision by an author, deciding how to break up your chapters is one more way to give distinction to your book, and highlight various aspects that constitute your novel.

Past blogs have discussed how to group your chapters, such as by characters, by location, or by event.  Except in the case of the event this still does not control when you close a chapter.  Authors typically choose different things to end chapters such as trying to tell a series of short stories (so the chapters need small beginnings, middle, and ends), building up to specific events or revelations, needing to always end on cliffhangers, wanting a resolution of some kind at the end of every chapter, or just a single scene imparting one specific piece of knowledge to the reader.   There are also more esoteric ways to do it such as each chapter being a length of time (like a day, or even a week or month, think like what 24 did for TV), a specific word count, or some other framing device (like a story that each chapter switches to another one when a new protagonist is met so that the narrative has a constantly changing narrator).

Just like slicing a pizza can affect the dining experience, which of the above (or combination of them) you choose sets a certain tone for the book.  Most authors use only a few of the above per novel, otherwise chapter endings can feel random and inconsistent.  They may vary it up for specific reasons occasionally (such as suddenly doing a series of page long chapters when trying to build tension by showing a series of short scenes) but they will generally have some sort of structure that the reader can expect.  The biggest combination writers often use is having chapters that are similar in length, and then use one of the other above ideas (scenes, small stories, cliffhangers, specific events, etc) as a framework besides just length.

When originally writing the next book in the Allmother’s Fire Trilogy, Rise From the Sun Below, I had “determined” that I was going to make most chapters roughly 5000 words.  Like the last book that would help me know roughly how big the book would be and keep me on course for getting it done in a timely manner if I could do at least one chapter a week.  In reality what it started doing was making me want to artificially pad the word count (a tendency that authors often have in the beginning of their careers anyway) and draw out scenes past their normal termination point.  Most of the time in my chapters for this book I am doing two to three scenes a chapter, and each one points to a bigger theme or revelation. I am combining several of the above techniques, and since many of the chapters fit within swashbuckling genre, they often end in a cliffhanger.  I finally decided sticking to those guidelines, as opposed to a specific word count were better for the health of the novel.

Reaching for a word count of any kind is dangerous for anything but a college paper.  It encourages people to use more words to explain simple concepts, and sets the bar higher for when people try more professional avenues of writing such as journalism or novels.  Both of those mediums prefer high word economy and are almost diametrically opposite to what school papers encourage.  Therefore although similar chapter size might help with familiarity, it is better to set a general range for you chapters then a true uniform size.  Even with that advice,  I recommend erring on the side of shorter chapters if you have already relayed all the information you need to do in a chapter.  Few people want a pie with eight inch crust because you ran out of the actual cheese and toppings.

In other news, the final day of the #RoadToWorldcon is today, and there are still the following novels you can get FREE today:

FIRST CHOSEN – (Fantasy) by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/First-Chosen-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B0055I14BG/

•                                       ONCE WE WERE LIKE WOLVES by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Wolves-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B006OSSF7C/

•                                       ARMS OF THE STORM by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/Arms-Storm-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B008P8DE0C

•                                       HALLOWEEN JACK AND THE DEVIL’S GATE by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Jack-Devils-Gate-ebook/dp/B005XJ0V7A/

•                                       ELEGY (Fantasy) by Christopher Kellen

http://www.amazon.com/Elegy-The-Arbiter-Codex-ebook/dp/B005ESFMMY/

•                                       THE HERO ALWAYS WINS – (Fantasy) by Robert Eaton

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hero-Always-Wins-ebook/dp/B005CMGZAU/

•                                       THE FALL OF HOUSE NEMENI by M.D. Kenning

http://www.amazon.com/Fall-House-Nemeni-Allmothers-ebook/dp/B00847364S

•                                       MANDATORY PARADISE by M.D. Kenning

http://www.amazon.com/Mandatory-Paradise-ebook/dp/B008XM6ST4/

•                                       KNIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD by Stephen E. Moore

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Living-Strange-Knights-ebook/dp/B004YR54LU/

•                                       KNIGHT TERRORS by Stephen E. Moore

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Terrors-Strange-Knights-ebook/dp/B0069SJIHI


Short Stories: Doing More with Less


Personally, giant Epics have often been my favorite novels to read.  The form allows a level of depth (into the characters and their histories) and breadth (amount of characters and span of events) that other forms do now allow.  Another favorite form of mine, however, is the short story.  I personally find them harder to write, as they do not allow as much time or character span as a giant epic.  What they do excel in is giving a fantastic window into a character and normally one event or a small series of events.  This smaller focus often can create more powerful scenes and dialogue than the larger form, for every word must be razor focused to do its job correctly.

My favorite form of reading short stories is anthologies.  Whether it is a linked literary theme, a shared world, or something even more random reading multiple short stories at the same time seems to enhance them. You can compare and contrast how different stories handle the same theme.  If all done by the same writer even if there are no obvious links you can see how the writer highlights different characters or concepts in a variety of ways. Anthologies allow context to be given to stories without forcing them to be part of some larger linked story.

The best part of the short story is the author is not tempted to put anything even slightly extraneous in there.  As a reader is perusing the story they know that everything noted upon has some reason to be there.  It is like viewing art made with small tight brush strokes that focus on a small area.   Word economy actually becomes an art form, and it’s also almost impossible for a reader to lose interest unless it’s very poorly written or does not connect with the reader at all.  Backstory must be kept to a sheer minimum and if it’s does not affect the immediate main plot or actions occurring, it is not there.  Much like what timing is to comedy pacing is to short stories.  It must be honed to perfection in order for it to operate as it should.

The tools authors use to create good short stories include keeping external descriptions to a minimum, using terse wording to paint an idea of the world the characters habit.  Exposition is also kept to a minimum, and only occurs in dialogue or very truncated monologues.  Every word spoken in a dialogue sheds light on either the characters or situation.  Repetition to reinforce them is obviously not suggested in short stories, but actions and ideas that reinforce a theme can occur instead.

I personally love the various George RR Martin edited short stories and have used those anthologies to widen my knowledge of authors.  On the smaller press and e publishing scale I am recommending Frances Pauli http://francespauli.com/ who if you go to her blog site http://francespauli.blogspot.com/ today and comment in her comments, she will give you a coupon for her anthology to be free (this is for smash words, so it is cross platform readable! ) I am not going to lie, free anthologies are some of my favorites, and a real fantastic way of knowing what an author can be like.

Today is the second day of the Genre Underground Road to WorldCon.  Stay tuned tomorrow for information on some free books associated with us!

Poll:

I prefer reading:

A)Giant Epics large enough to Kill Spiders

B) “Average” length books of 70-100 k words

C)Short Stories

World Info:

Today’s Info Tidbit is from Mandatory Paradise

Although scrolls and even a few books exist on Nimoa, in most cases the written word is not trusted.  People have been raised to believe the outside world before the Cataclysm lied, often.  They think the written word was a form of propaganda, and that people believe whatever they read was true, without thinking critically of it.  Citizens of Nimoa are taught they need to memorize information and think critically of anything they are told.  This is why their classes are primarily oral in nature, and most homework involves interacting with servants, parents, or other adults to help them memorize or learn information.

This distrust of the written word is so strong that even many teachers do not like it, with the exception of a few.  It is thought anything important enough to keep concrete in memory will be done by the Bureaucrats and the Library Mind.  Since the Senators have full access to the Library Mind they will keep all information “honest.”  At least, that is what is said.


Disregarding Advice


I have for the first time decided directly to go against advice solicited here by the poll results in one case.  I have never wanted them to be binding, just a good indication of what other people were thinking, taking the pulse of my readers.  The more I look at releasing the epic novel (which I have never given a definite name to here yet, which should be a hint of what an eventual poll question will be : ) ) the more it does not make sense to  break it into separate parts.

I was originally focusing on getting it out sooner, but right now the first pass of editing is going much faster than I originally thought it would.  Also, before I was focusing on seeing if I could have new material out every 90 days or so, mainly to get the most out of  how the exclusivity deals work for amazon. Whereas I still like that idea, and I have some long term ways to help with that after the Allmother’s Fire trilogy is done, I have decided for now not to make that my focus.  At a bare minimum I want to get the epic tome out and maybe at least one other thing while I work on the trilogy, to build up a body of work as soon as possible.  Post trilogy, I have some neat ideas to keep that up, but I will make that the topic of a different blog.

Also when I look at this novel which was meant to be one self-contained fiction, it appears to me it will be very artificial if I break it into two books. It won’t follow a normal confrontation -rising action-climax-falling action style if chopped into two books, and I think it’s important in normal series for each piece to feel like its own book.  Therefore due to information I was not thinking about in the original poll, I will probably release this as just one book.

For now with so much of my book time that is not spend on the trilogy looking at revisions that are going on, I am thinking of going against normal advice for a very short period of time.  I have been told with self-publishing about 75% of your time is spend marketing your books, and I have not done so as much recently, and this reflects in sales.  However, in a just a few short weeks I am planning on having a revision of my book out.  Too me, it seems silly to put effort into getting people to buy the book before the new revision comes out, which leads me to today’s poll.

Should I stop marketing my Fall of House Nemeni book until the revision comes out in about two weeks?

1)No, it can hurt general momentum if you stop marketing.

2)Yes, focus on getting the best product into people’s hands.

My next blog may be a little later than normal as I will be busy earlier in the next week. I might still be able to put something up on time depending upon circumstances.

As for specific Nemeni world information, here is a new tidbit:

All of the Houses have tried to do to their element what Lontor and the other Wood based families have done, ie try to make it so the substance they control can float through the air.  Only Cloudwood has ever been able to do that, but there are ancient tales that Artists used to be able to do so with marble and other stones.  These tales are what inspired the floating sky Citadels, even though in current reality there is a Cloudwood structure embedded under and in layers in the marble.  Artists to this day still experiment to see fi one day they can be the artist who finally learns to make stones float.  These artist point towards the islands themselves, and say there must be some way to do it.


“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.” ~ Oscar Wilde


The above is my favorite quote of all times.  I was thinking about Quotes, and the power they have in writing. There are people who will forgive a multitude of plot sins if they get enough quotes out of a piece.  They do not even have to be Oscar Wilde level clever, just memorable.  I have started the next book, and here are some quotes (one each) from the  first four chapters that I like, but they are not really in the vein of “clever” as much as “memorable” for me.

“When Daisy was annoyed, she hit things. When Daisy was mad, she tried to dismember people.  Daisy was furious, so it was no surprise the deck was clear of all crewmembers.”

“Long forgotten memories flooded back into her consciousness as the two women who were choking each other screamed in the exact same pitch as they fled together into oblivion.”

“It seemed strange to want to shiver when he was located in the middle of a giant ball of fire.”

“He ignored the pain in his chest as he commanded his blood to work overtime and expel the musket ball back out of his body, and at his fencing partner.”

It’s a smaller post today but I am curious how Quotes affect you with books?

How do you feel about Quotes with books:

1) That’s one of the things that make a book stand out for me, how quotable it is. Very Important.

2) I remember more cool things done more than clever phrasings. Not that Important.

3)I don’t care what is being said but more how it is said. Important only if clever

As for current books updates:

The old large novel being re-edited is about1/3 of the way through its first editing pass (but not it’s last).  I am seriously contemplating just releasing it as 1 big novel after all. This will be the first time I go against my polls, but really re looking at it, I am not sure there is a great stopping place as it really was intended to be one novel, and I don’t want any changes like that to feel really artificial and forced.

The sequel to Fall of House Nemeni is pretty much moving long at it’s projected pace, so not much to say on that front other than it is moving as it should.

As for trying to revise Nemeni in time for the July 1st promotions, I am nervous about it, but we will see.  It has been started, and minus the third chapter as per feedback.


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