Well, Now I’m Playing Dungeons & Dragons

I’m just now realizing that I probably should have taken a picture of our little table on Saturday, strewn with papers, journals, pencils, various-sided dice, and a few beer cans.

After talking about it a few times over the course of the last year or so, I started playing Dungeons & Dragons with a group of friends, and we had a great first night! Continue reading “Well, Now I’m Playing Dungeons & Dragons”

Switching Characters to Spice Up the Storytelling

I’ve had an exceedingly tiresome week, capped off by an exceedingly long commute home today — like, an hour and a half or more. And because I’m writing this on Thursday evening, the week isn’t quite over yet. So let’s listen to some soothing Appalachian-inspired folk.

Writing has also been slow for me, which has been due in part to laziness, but also because I keep spending more time thinking about my short story idea than actually writing WoEL.

Continue reading “Switching Characters to Spice Up the Storytelling”

Exploring the Story – World of Warcraft

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.

Continue reading “Exploring the Story – World of Warcraft”

From Writer’s Block to Overflowing with Ideas

It would be nice if my brain would just balance out for a bit. Like… a week? No? We’re going to swing wildly across the creative spectrum in a matter of days?

Got it.

Through a (completely unintentional) process of reading a fairly wide range of short fantasy stories, reorganizing some of the sections in my draft, and outlining the next few chapters, I managed to collect enough creative juice to write a ton over the weekend for The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy.

And now I have too many ideas and I want to write ALL OF THEM! Continue reading “From Writer’s Block to Overflowing with Ideas”

Building a Plot through Dialogue

Plotting the first draft of a novel can be difficult. Oftentimes, you’re not sure exactly where the story is going until you get there. Weaving together multiple characters, their micro-conflicts, and the larger plot is impossible unless you already know how the tapestry should look.

I’ve been having trouble recently with writing my first draft for The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy. Some of that has been due to travel and other things going on in life, but a big part of it has been a bit of writer’s block. Luckily, I found a way around that, at least for now. Continue reading “Building a Plot through Dialogue”

The One Question Required to Write Speculative Fiction

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”

Sometimes It’s Okay to Consolidate Your Narrative

Apologies for the late post today. I was helping a friend move some very heavy, very unwieldy couches across town. Although, I’m sure it will be Saturday by the time anyone reads this anyway.

I had a bit of a revelation recently regarding my first draft of The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy, and it’s really helped me focus my writing and plotting efforts, hopefully for the foreseeable future. Continue reading “Sometimes It’s Okay to Consolidate Your Narrative”

With Tyranny on Hand: A Sound of Thunder’s Hope through Metal

While wandering around Baltimore Comic Con last fall, I happened upon a large vendor table playing metal music and loaded with vivid artwork.

There I met guitarist Josh Schwartz from A Sound of Thunder, a metal band based Northern Virginia who had just released an album and accompanying comic book.

Josh is a nice dude, they’re a local band, and they’re clearly into storytelling through their music. So of course I picked up the album. And it’s fantastic.

Continue reading “With Tyranny on Hand: A Sound of Thunder’s Hope through Metal”

Using Side Characters to Provide Perspective

Perspective can be one of the most important aspects of writing an in-depth, detailed narrative, especially when world building is a big part of your writing.

World building is the reason I started writing.

So, that means sometimes I want to write about the story underneath the plot–the cultural or historical context, even if it just pertains to one character’s arc. Continue reading “Using Side Characters to Provide Perspective”