Tag Archives: books

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!

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!

Only 4 more days to go!

Hello, everyone! It’s almost Friday and we are getting closer to our goal of 25 likes on my Facebook page! I know I have more than 25 people reading my blog, but I wanted to build popularity and have a large enough audience when I release the chapter I have chosen to let all of you read!

I have spent the last several days trying to choose the best chapter to use as a sample for my book, and I have almost made my final decision!

Last Friday, I started pushing for likes to my Facebook page in order to raise awareness of my two blogs and also to get an idea of people who were interested to read my book. I know my audience is kinda low right now, but that’s ok! In just a few days, my page went from 15  to 21 likes so it is very possible to reach this easy goal!

I know there are many of you that read my blog that are not active on Facebook and I am keeping that in mind. However, if any of you can help me out, go ahead and click like on the widget on the right! Let’s reach this goal!

Thanks so much!