Author Archives: pclar09

If It’s Not Broke…

There is truth in the old adage, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” I have a personal motto that is a spin on that saying: “If it isn’t broke, don’t break it.”

While I may not be 100% satisfied in the current structure of the story, I recognize the importance of progress. Concerning myself over how to piece together the final product at this stage is spinning my wheels at best.

Puzzles are pictures broken up into dozens, hundreds of pieces. I’m not arguining against knowing what the final product will look like. While there is a lot of value in knowing what picture the puzzle is making… it is pointless to start putting it together if you don’t even have all the pieces. To that end, progress is more important (at this stage) than structure.

Therefore, I will keep the structure as it currently stands: 3 books, each with 3 parts – where the first part is a slice of the prologue piece of the story.

Now that the structure has been decided, it is now time to prepare to progress. Issue with that is: I have not read the completed matetial in years. My current task is to re-read the first book, making notes and edits as I go. I will be focusing on the main scenario (which means I will not currently review the prologue chapters – that will come later).

Apologies

I know this post comes late, and is also short in content. This week was focused on making a purchase… it took a lot of time. I’d like to introduce you all to… the new Clarkmobile!

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My next post will come soon. I will be updating all of you on my impressions of the state of the book (how much edit work left, any extensive re-writes) and an estimate on when I will get back to drafting new content.

Goal #1 – Get the story written. All of it.

A Way Forward

Greetings! Things are progressing at a great pace, and I’m beginning to piece together a plan of evaluation. The first draft of book 1, Katsukami (working title), was completed nearly 10 years ago. It’s hard for me to believe how fast time has flown; however, watching the clock is a waste of time. Dwelling on lost time will not get pages reviewed, scenes organized or new content drafted.

Must press ever onward!

Series Structure

In an effort to begin looking for a place to dive in this very large universe again, I am faced with looking at the basics – the structure of the series’ narrative. Currently, the story is broken up into 9 main parts, where part 1 is the earliest events of the narrative and part 9 is the farthest on the right of the timeline. The first 3 parts make up a type of prologue. Parts 4 through 9 make up the main storyline (you may say, present day). Each book of the series contains 3 of the 9 parts – equalling out to a trilogy.

One may be thinking, “Sounds like there’s not much to consider as far as structure goes.” On the surface, this could be true. I could write the books in chronological succession, with the first book on the timeline released first. For many reasons, however, that would simply not work as the story stands now.

1. There are a number of plot devices that the first 3 parts reveal that would make events in the subsequent 6 parts predictable. What I mean here is, the main narrative is found in parts 4 – 9 for a reason – one I won’t get into here.

2. The main character serves little purpose in parts 1 – 3. Releasing a book as first of a series with the immediate sequel introducing a new main character would not be attractive to readers unless executed perfectly.

3. The points on the timeline are not equal distance-wise. What I mean by this is that part 1-3 are set a considerable amount of time before part 4-9. In addition, there are decent sized gaps between part 1, 2 and 3 as well. On the other hand, Parts 4 – 9 all happen in succession.

“So, what structure did you go with originally? You did write a big chunk of the story, right?”

The current structure of the series is to take a piece of the past events (parts 1, 2 or 3) to open each book followed by 2 parts from the main storyline (parts 4 – 9). Here, let me give you a visual. Below, I will list each book and follow with which parts are included, in the order as they appear in the book.

Book 1: Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Book 2: Part 2, Part 6, Part 7

Book 3: Part 1, Part 8, Part 9

The idea behind this is to show the “past” backwards – the further back, the more the reader can discover the origin story… which provides answers to numerous plot points. The “present” is revealed like a typical narrative… and proceeds forward chronologically. Each book is given a slice of the past as an opening which coincides with much of the story revealed in the “present.”

Now, I am faced with a number of options concerning structure.

1. Keep it the way it is

2. Cut the prologue pieces, expand the narrative of the “present,” and release the “past” (parts 1 – 3) as its own book (probably just before the final book).

3. Expand the story – including yet unwritten/unplanned content between parts 3 and 4. This possibility, while allowing the narrative to progress naturally (start to finish), is not preferable – at least with the story in its current state.

4. Release part 1 – 3 as their own books (each). Expanding these stories to short novel status would not require drastic story changes. Part 3 would be released first, followed by book 1 (part 4 and 5). Next, Part 2 short novel would be released, followed by book 2 (Part 6 and 7). Finally, Part 1 (short novel), and finishing off with book 3 (parts 8 and 9).

Blah Blah Blah.

I know this is not a very interesting bit of information. I also know that making a decision on structure of release maybe shouldn’t even be a primary concern. My issue is that, every time I sit down to edit, I’m annoyingly distracted by my brain trying to work out story structure issues. Until I make a decision on this, I can’t go back and work on editing the narrative already written and move on to drafting new content.

What Is Currently Drafted?

Parts 2, 3, 4, 5 and most of 6 are drafted. This means book 1’s draft is complete with book 2 being nearly 60% complete. Of course, this is under current structure rules.

I currently have part 7 outlined. Part 1, 8 and 9 are roughly outlined with the main points of the story already decided. In addition, a specific plot point in part 7 has gifted me with a slew of potential content from which I would love to create a stand alone series.

Decisions To Be Made

Choosing the structure to a point that will allow me to move forward is the next step. I know that, until I pick a direction (however temporary it is), I will not be able to put my entire effort into edits and new content.

My current deadline for choosing the Move-Forward Series Structure is:

Before 5 July 2017. My plan is to write an update post weekly. As of now, I will strive to have a new post with updates/decisions made by 5 July.

Thank you all for stopping by! For those of you who actually made it to the end… bravo! This blog is mostly for me… I find it cathartic. So, anyone who actually reads my ramblings through to completion… deserves some kind of prize.

Until next time!

Back Again…?

With the insanity that has been my work schedule over the past 5 or 6 years, my blogging time has clearly taken a hit.  In addition, finding any time to work on the book has been difficult. Turns out, being married, having a son (who is now 4 years old and HUGE), being in the Air Force (I’ve been promoted to Technical Sergeant and recently selected to commission) and finding a number of temporary hobbies has filled up my schedule.

I have attempted, on numerous occasions, to sit down and pour over the story.  After not writing religiously for a few years requires one to review contents of their work to remember what they wrote.  Yes.  It has been so long that I actually forgot much of the book’s finer details.  Every time I start rereading, I find a number of things I don’t like, many that I love and several surprises – I like when I read something I forgot, especially when I love it!

So, why am I back now?  My audience is all but gone, I’m not any less busy than I was before (probably, I’ve never been busier in my entire life) and I won’t be able to write new content from book 2 until I review book 1 in its entirety.  So what’s the point?

Answer:  I’m going to make the time.

In 2006, I began this journey… piecing together a story, a universe, based solely on a dream.  I spent a great deal of time that first year, writing like a fiend and drafting the entire first book. The amount of work I put into it was astounding – and I, in good conscience, cannot allow my hard work and dedication to go to waste.

So I have decided to make myself a schedule.  I will set targets for myself, deadlines to keep my progress on track.  What’s stopping me from quitting or taking another half-decade hiatus?  I will use this blog to keep me on target.  I will summarize my impressions of each chapter, document areas I want re-written (without too many spoilers, of course) and keep myself accountable.

The tale of Kyosora cannot… and will not… go unwritten.  As arrogant as this may sound, the world deserves to listen to my story.  I don’t want to be the reason they never get that chance.

A new post will be written here soon, in which I hope I will be able to articulate my short-term goals.  As I will not be rereading blog posts (doing that will just be taking time away from working on the actual book), there MAY be contradictions about what I say going forward and what I may have said in the past regarding the book.  They are not intentional.  Memory is a fickle thing, and mine is filled with a lot more things now than it was 5 or 6 years ago.

For more updates, please follow me:

on Twitter @Devavudoodoo

or my Facebook

Long Time… No Write

So, it has been sometime since I have had any time to write. The Air Force keeps me busy, and things have changed so drastically since my last update.

That said, I have been busy formulating outlines of numerous stories related to the universe of Kyosora! On top of that, I have nearly completed the general structure of the main storyline. At this time, it appears that the number of books required to cover the primary storyline is sitting at four.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that I will need to conduct a major re-write of the material previously marked “complete.”

There will be more updates to come. Stay tuned!

Character Profile 4: Thomaas Kondor

The Kondor family’s fame was far reaching indeed. Whether as a part of the UNR military or the Nicerian Elite Force (which was founded by General Markus Kondor), a member of this great and honorable family always found themselves a part of the defense of Niceria for more than seven generations. Thomaas Kondor was to be no exception.

Following in the path of Markus (his grandfather) and Aryn (his father), Thomaas was determined to become an officer in the prestigious Nicerian Elite Force. At the start of the events of this volume in the Nicerian Chronicles, Thomaas is quickly gearing up for his final examination in the NEF Academy.

An upbeat and optimistic individual, Thomaas consistantly finds himself being the source of encouragement to those surrounding him. His legacy has given him large shoes to fill, as most of his fellow students see him as a natural leader. Where some would be overwhelmed by having a famous military lineage, Thomaas takes everything one day at a time. Instead of seeing the greatness of his ancestors as an intimidation, Thomaas sees his family history as an example for him as he grows into his own man.

If there was one person Thomaas lives his life for, it is his mother. Although she passed away when he was still quite young, he continuously ponders what she would desire of him. Even more than 15 years after her tragic death, Thomaas still dreams of her and feels the pain of losing her like it had been mere days ago.

Living on Niceria, during the time of this story, had its pros and cons. Where the Nicerian people were mostly successful and advanced in their society, there was always a constant shadow and fear of war. This was the world Thomaas was born into, and living in a Cold War society takes a toll. Having been brought up in a military family on a world that suffers from the constant threat of war added an interesting personality aspect to Thomaas.

Where most young adults of his age desired to go to a civilian university and score a favorable occupation, Thomaas had always desired to sacrifice his own life and serve the people. To him, there was no question about whether there would be another war. On some levels, Thomaas hoped for another war. These desires were not because he yearned for conflict; rather, these thoughts spurned from a want to put an end to the threat altogether.

The militaristic, expansionist views of the Vorax were unrelenting. There was no diplomacy, there were no negotiations. Any ambassador the Nicerians sent was sent back in pieces. The Vorax lived in a closed society, never letting any civilian in or out of Vorxian Territorial space. Freedom was a concept they did not, nor desire to, grasp. “A free people are a weak people” was an excerpt from the Territorial’s “Rule by Strength” manifesto (the document that dictates all actions of the rulers, military personnel, and civilians who live under the banner of the Vorax).

From Thomaas’ point of view, there was only one way to ensure the safety, security, and acquirement of peace for the Nicerian people. The utter destruction of the Voraxian Territorial. This brings us to one of his flaws.

Being in a military lifestyle under threat of war from a people different from that of your own can breed a certain amount of hatred. This point of view can be focused on to an entire people and not just on the actual problem area. Even though the Vorax military and government was the root complication, Thomaas always had an issue making a distinction between the government of the Territorial and the civilians who had no choice in where they were born. To Thomaas, and many others in the NEF Academy, Vorax were Vorax. They were all trouble.

This drawback of Thomaas’ had the potential for becoming problematic when help from an unexpected place would become essential for the survival of the galaxy. Will Thomaas and the others find the strength and maturity to set aside their differences to face the greatest threat the galaxy has ever seen?

Well, that’s all I’m going to say about this! I hope you are finding the Character Profiles enjoyable and interesting! Hopefully, I will have some news soon on the status of the book as I continue to make it available to the world! Thank you so much for reading!

Until next time!

Time, How Fleeting Thou Art…

In recent days, I have been conducting a comprehensive review of how I spend my time. Purpose: To determine the important projects I am working on and organize them in an efficient fashion so that I may better progress on all of them.

Findings: I have a LOT of open projects! Here we go with the list and at what time (if applicable) I can see them accomplished and/or set aside for the time being.

1. The Nicerian Chronicles

My story. Probably my life’s grandest personal undertaking. This is number 1 on the list because it is currently the one single project I have been working on the longest (on and off since 2006). This project is split up into subcategories so, let’s take a look.

A.     Katsukami: Book number 1. All but ready to go – or so I thought. Recently, I have taken to reading through it one last time from cover to cover. My idea was to go through and make grammar corrections and fix any flow issues I find. I’m trying to get this ready for the next level. I know I could pay an editor, but I want to do lots of research and find out what makes an editor qualified to do said job. If I drop a ton of money down on an editor and we make corrections and then I try to publish, how am I supposed to know for sure that the edit was performed well? I am quickly treading into territory of which I know nothing. I want peace of mind that the edit work I have done will put my book in ready-to-go status. Until my research on this issue is complete, I will continue with my self read through and edit to get the book looking as shiny as it can until such time as I am ready to put it into the editor’s hands.

B.     Book 2. Yep, book number 2 has long been in the works. Adding together the amount of worked typed out and the amount written on paper by hand, I am looking at three-fifths (or more) of the second book roughly written. The remaining two-fifths is completely mapped out and ready to be penned. This part of the Nicerian Chronicles project has been stale for a while as I had placed book 1 in priority status. Recently, however, I have been contemplating picking up the pen again as soon as I finish my final self edit of book 1.

2. Korean study.

This one is broad but is primarily geared toward the Korean Language. Truth be told, however, I have been spending an exuberant amount of time reading up on Korean culture and language. FYI, if you didn’t know, I have another blog about my time in Korea and about Korean culture and language that I have learned in my time studying. www.pclar09.wordpress.com
This is not something that can really be put on the back burner, as I am not getting any younger. I have heard that foreign language study gets more difficult with age so, I would like to be fluent as soon as possible. My wife is Korean and her family does not speak English well, so I want to communicate with them as best as I can.

3. Military job specific study.

There are many things in this category that take up quite a bit of time. Luckily, some of these can be finished and then crossed from the list relatively quickly. Ever since I was selected for promotion to Staff Sergeant, I began studying for my upgrade in skill level for my job. I am currently a Journeyman in my career field; but, as a Staff Sergeant, I will be expected to quickly gain my 7 skill level (or Craftsman) in my job. Lucky for me, I have been spending lots of my time studying for this upcoming test and have the test scheduled for December 5. Wish me luck! Once this test is complete and passed, I can close the books for a while until my next promotion cycle comes around (early 2015). This should free up some time for other things.

4. My education.

This one is important as I do not want to be in the military for the rest of my life. In order to advance in the USAF, my CCAF degree (an associates) is pretty much required. Lucky for me, I only have two classes remaining to accomplish this (An English and a Math – probably Algebra). Once these two classes are finished, I will be able to begin working on my Bachelor Degree. I have not yet selected a major, but I would like to get started on this sometime in the next 6 months. CCAF degree first, then Bachelor’s.

5. Family.

Me and my wife~

Now, just because this is listed last, do not think this is least on my importance scale. It most certainly is not. I saved the best for last actually. If you think about it, most of the items listed above are FOR my family. Advancing my career, education, language skills, and writing is not meant for myself only. My goal in life is to give my wife and son (will be born on March 15!!!) the best possible life. I wanted to write for a living. However, until I can become a full time author, the military will have to do the trick for us. I DO look forward to the day when I can be a civilian again; however, I WILL NOT leave the military with nothing but dreams. IF I leave the military, I will have a job lined up and the ability, know how, and plan to provide for my family. My desires mean nothing if they do not allow for my family’s well-being. So I will keep doing what I do, praying for the day when a new path will open and I can do what I enjoy.

There are many other things that I am trying to accomplish on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly basis. The five listed above are, in my thought at the moment, the most important. For those of you who are fans of my book, I thank you so much. I will work tirelessly to bring you a good story that will bring you enjoyment, excitement, and (a temporary) escape from reality.

My point of this was kind of personal. As I examine the things I desire to accomplish, I realize that slowly but surely, time continues to press on. I have lots to do and I WILL NOT let them fall by the wayside. Thanks to everyone who sends encouragement to me. It keeps me going forward.

Thank you all so very much. I desire you feedback. If you have any ideas, or perhaps you would like to see more of my story, let me know! I’m here for you!

Until next time!

The “Back of the Book” Description of Katsukami!

Today, I would like to show the short description I have put together for my book! It is set up similarly to a description you would find on the back cover of the book. It is still a work in progress, but this is what I got so far. PLEASE~~~ tell me what you think! Give me feedback! I want this to be intriguing, yet not too revealing.

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A galaxy racked with the pains of constant civil war, Kyosora and the humans therein do not see the coming destruction. A hero from the past has returned to seek vengeance. A mercenary stumbles upon a mystery, leading him to the clutches of doom. A young man dreams of adventure, unaware of his importance in the events to come. Future heroes are unknowingly guided together for a purpose. The Vorax again threaten the safety and security of the galaxy, forcing these heroes to answer the call. No one notices the puppet master behind the scenes, with steady hands guiding the galaxy toward its conclusion.

Katsukami presents a story of humanity’s struggle against each other and the supernatural forces threatening to end everything. Only one man has the power to put an end to all the madness – a man with a shattered mind where only one thing matters: the destruction of the galaxy itself.

Can humanity find the strength to come together and stand against the coming darkness, or will their hatred of each other lead them to their untimely end?

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What do you think? Let me know! THANKS!

Until next time!