As you might have seen on Friday, I just posted the twelfth and final chapter of “The Grand Mythos of Úr’Dan, Volume One” on Wattpad, so I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the last year of publishing with Wattpad, as well as the writing of these stories. Continue reading “Reflections on Another Completed Story: "The Grand Mythos of Úr’Dan"”
If you’ve been paying attention to my Goodreads recently, you know I’ve polished off a couple of Audible’s Originals — short stories published exclusively on that platform.
I’m rather impressed with what Audible has put out on that front, including “The Sisters,” by Dervla McTiernan
Having read very little in the crime-detective genre, I was intrigued by “The Sisters,” mostly as a gateway story to the larger Cormac Reilly series by McTiernan. This story is somehow a prequel or a prelude to the larger series, so I was interested to dip my toe in. What I found was an interesting story with great characters, and I sort of just want to read more about them.
Airfric and Carrie are sisters, a barrister and a garda respectively, and both are eager to make names for themselves in their careers. Carrie becomes entangled in a suspicious murder case that Airfric is defending, and ends up helping to solve it against the wishes of the detectives in her squad.
Honestly, by the time the real detective aspect of this story got under way, it was halfway over. I really enjoyed both Carrie and Airfric as POV characters, but I wanted this story to have more meat to it.
A few weeks removed from listening to this, it feels like the first third of this two-hour listen was just Airfric going about one particularly bad day as a junior barrister, until she stumbles into this case.
Again, I loved Airfric as a POV character. McTiernan’s style is easy to grasp but not lacking in emotional depth. I think she excels in brevity that somehow carries added layers to it. I just wish I either had more time to spend in this story, or that the real story had begun sooner.
Just as you get used to Airfric’s voice and get into her part, the POV switches to her sister, Carrie. Carrie, the garda, was also a great character. Aside from their slightly different accents (both achieved by the narrator and noted in the story by other characters), it’s easy to glimpse of bit of Carrie and Airfric’s relationship, and hear the lifelong bond. Still, both have distinct narrative voices that play off each other well.
Once Carrie really digs into this case she’s not supposed to be involved with — because obviously — the story moves even more quickly and then ends, rather abruptly.
I think this could have been a novella, or even more, with the care that is given to these characters’ personalities and background. That’s really my only gripe with this story: it’s too damn short.
Aiofe McMahon was also a fantastic narrator. Who doesn’t love a melodious Irish accent? But for real, I’m finding that I will actively search out books narrated by specific people, simply because their voices are so pleasant to listen to, and they are talented vocal actors. I will definitely be listening to more of her McMahon’s work in audiobooks.
I’m not a huge gamer. The most recent systems in our house are a Gamecube, which I’ve had for over 15 years — maybe 20, which is scary — and a PS2, which we just took from my in-laws’ house because my brother-in-law didn’t want it anymore.
However, there are a few games that I will always love to play. The main one, if you hadn’t guessed, is World of Warcraft, an MMORPG that first came out in 2004. I started playing in 2005, and I played off and on until about 2014.
Once again, the drums of Warcraft are beating in my heart, and I’m probably about to start playing again. There are a thousand reasons why I love this game, but the primary one is my love of exploring this world.
I don’t talk a whole lot about genre in this space, mostly because I think it’s difficult — and not altogether necessary — to fit stories into neat little boxes.
Genres cross and overlap all over the place, and the water gets even murkier when you throw in the hundreds of hyper-specific sub-genres readers can find now.
So, as with any other theoretical discussion, if I’m going to talk about Genre, I’m going to start at the top. Continue reading “The One Question Required to Write Speculative Fiction”
With all of the narrative shifts, outlining, and pondering I’ve done about The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy and related stories recently, I wanted to revive my world-building series.
And boy was I shocked to find that I haven’t written an Exploring Úr’Dan post in over a year! Here’s a refresher for all of us (myself included) of the fantastical ground we’ve covered previously:
- Úr’Dan: Exploring the Alternate Universe (general intro)
- The Hundred Teeth
- The Arrowhead
- The Rainflow Valleys
- The Western Uplands
- Brief History of the Northern Migration
Stories to explain
the inexplicable world.
Do they tell true?
I’ve been talking more and more about the mythology series I have been writing for my fantasy universe. I’m pretty excited about these stories, so I think it’s time I shared why this kind of story is important to me.
I could make this a listicle, but I don’t want to. Follow me on this journey!
Writing introductory sections is hard. I struggle to write intros to my blog posts sometimes.
Okay, a lot of times.
But I’ve picked up on one key way to introduce characters to the reader in a new story: introduce your character in their element.
For those of you who are a) fans of good storytelling and b) fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones, season 7 was probably disappointing. Without ranting on about it (today), I’ll just say that it was poorly written.
Jason Concepcion of the “Binge Mode” podcast on TheRinger.com has perfectly summed up my feelings on the season, and the weight that fantasy stories carry as a whole. Continue reading “Jason Concepcion on Why We Love Fantasy Stories”
I’ve been a little too focused on just writing the last few weeks. I forgot for a moment that I was supposed to enjoy the process. The strict deadlines I had imposed on my word counts and finish dates were weighing down the writing itself.
It took an off-hand reminder from the lovely Jessie to remember: love what you write, and write what you love. Continue reading “Remember to Write What You Love and Love What You Write”