Tag Archives: Geeks

The Sword of Dragons – Writing A Prologue

Hi everyone!

Image Source - http://geistig.deviantart.com/
Image Source – http://geistig.deviantart.com/

I have a lot of exciting news to start this post off with!!  :D  Firstly, part 1 of the series finale for The Orc War Campaigns has been posted, and as always, is completely free to read!  So click here to head on over to theswordofdragons.com and check it out!

Just as exciting, earlier this week, I began writing the manuscript for book 3 of the Sword of Dragons saga!  *bounces up and down in excitement*

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but my girlfriend and I always spend Wednesdays together working on our projects (usually she’s working on something cosplay-related while I work on book-related things.)  With the Orc War Campaigns all but finished, there was only one thing left to do :)

But…as is often the case, starting a manuscript is difficult at best.

Prologues – A Good Idea In Theory…

The difficulty I’m running into?  The prologue.

Somewhere back in time, over a decade ago, I thought, “I want to start my fantasy novel with a prologue!”  Fast forward several years to when I started writing book 2, and I thought, “I’ll write a prologue for all of the books!”

…and I decided that even though prologues are so difficult for me to write.  I rewrote book 1’s at least a dozen times, and about half that for Burning Skies.

So when I sat down to write book 3’s prologue…my mind drew a blank.  Maybe it’s my ADHD, which has been worse than usual lately, or maybe it’s just because prologues are difficult.  It took me over an hour to write one page (well, it ran a little bit more than one page), and in the end, I was completely dissatisfied with it.

The Purpose of a Prologue

Prologues tell a story that frame the novel.  What is this novel going to be about?  What might one or more of its themes be?  Or perhaps its primary purpose is to give the reader a little bit of history that isn’t covered in the novel itself, but is important to understand the story.

Image Source - www.ravensnpennies.com
Image Source – http://www.ravensnpennies.com

For The Sword of Dragons (book 1), the prologue told the story of the forging of the Sword and the end of the dragons’ civil war.  For Burning Skies, it framed the origin story of the Necromancers of Vestuul.

Book 3 of the Sword of Dragons will easily be one of the most complex stories I’ve ever told, with multiple threads converging in the final 1/3rd of the novel.  But the biggest event centers around the Order of the Ages, which is the central religion of Halarite, and the gods that the religion believes in.

That is the story the prologue will frame, the origin of the sixth and final god of the Order’s pantheon, named Zairel.  Why?  Well…that, my friends, is a story for another time ;)

In any case, this is the story I’m having trouble framing…not because I don’t know the story, but because a prologue should grab a reader’s attention and make them want to know “What’s going to happen in this novel?”  When Zairel’s story ends 10,000 before the novel starts, it seems (key word) like that’s all there is to tell about his story.

So the question is….how do I make the prologue seem like there’s more to his story, and that the next chapter in his story will be exciting and worth reading?

Moving On

In any case, the prologue is written…for now.  I have no doubt I’ll go back and reread it completely.  But I can’t let this difficulty hold up the rest of the novel.  So yesterday, I started writing chapter 1, and I intend to move forward with the rest of the manuscript.

So, intrepid readers, what do you think about prologues?  Do you like them?  Hate them?  If you’re a writer, do you like to write them?  Do you have any advice for all of the other writers out there about how to write them?

Please feel free to leave comments below, I love hearing from all of you!

Thanks for reading,
-Jon Wasik

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Coming To Life – When The Inanimate Have Personalities

Hi everyone!

It’s no secret: characters are one of the most crucial elements in a story.  But do you know what surprises me the most?  The characters who aren’t even truly alive…or are they?

It began when my girlfriend and I (she has moved her blog to WordPress, click here to see her first article there!  :D) saw Doctor Strange.  Our favorite character?

The Cloak of Levitation!!!
The Cloak of Levitation!!!

Yes, that’s right, the Cloak of Levitation.  “But…that’s not even a real character!” you might say.  Well…isn’t it?  And before you say no, there is precedence behind it…

The Inanimate Charm The Soul

Image Source - http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Carpet
Image Source – http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Carpet

Who here has seen the Disney movie Aladdin?  Who remembers the Magic Carpet?  When I was a kid, that was one of my favorite characters from the movie.  And as I grew older, I came to like Carpet even more.  His little quirks, how excited he was, how much he just really really wanted to help Aladdin, risking his life at every turn.  (Wait…how do we know what gender Carpet actually is??)

Shale - Dragon Age: Origins
Shale – Dragon Age: Origins

How about Dragon Age: Origins, has anyone here played that?  There was an expansion that allowed a new character to join your party called Shale.  He was a stone golem, brought to life long ago, but frozen in place for countless years in the square of a small village.

Shale was highly sarcastic, and I loved that aspect so much of him.  He was the character who saw the irony in everything, and wasn’t afraid to point it out.  He also was conscious during the entirety of his outdoor ‘imprisonment,’ which meant he really, really hated pigeons.  Because what do pigeons do on statues? …Yeah.  So any chance he had, he would chase after and try to ‘obliterate’ them!

Image Source - http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Flying_Scooter
Image Source – http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Flying_Scooter

These are only some of the ones out there that I like.  Other examples a friend gave me include all of the exhibits in A Night at the Museum, and the Howlers and the Car from Harry Potter.

These characters can be the kinds of characters no one else can be.  With personality traits that are completely different from everyone else’s, because they aren’t actually raised in the same environment, they aren’t treated like the living, and therefore have a unique perspective on the world.

And if you can make your readers fall in love with these characters…then you’ve won their hearts :)

Sword of Dragons – A New Character Is Born!

So a few days ago, I started thinking about it, and realized I wanted to do something like this in Sword of Dragons.  But…what?  What could I do?

I started bouncing ideas off of a friend at work, and started to come up with some thoughts.  Later that day, when my girlfriend and I were working on our projects together, I started telling her about it and asked her thoughts.  As she always is, she was very helpful and worked with me to develop a unique and interesting idea :)

And I have an idea of how I can introduce a similar character in the 3rd novel :D  In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to do so!

However, as Beck and I talked about it, the idea I eventually settled on was not quite the same as the others.

Spirit-based creatures?
Spirit-based creatures?

Book 3 deals a little bit more with spirituality, inner struggles, souls, and how the two types of magic in the Sword of Dragons universe works.  So I wanted to take advantage of that aspect…and take a very unique form of energy in book 3 and bring it to life.

It’ll be imprinted upon one character in particular, and as it never previously had consciousness, it’s personality will change drastically in the beginning, especially in book 4, as it tries to figure itself out.

I’m really excited about this, and I’m even more excited to start writing book 3 soon!!  :D


That’s all for today, folks!  Thanks for reading!  If you liked what you read, please click that “Follow” button!  And while you’re at it, head over to my girlfriend’s new WordPress blog and follow her, too!  :D

-Jon Wasik

PS: Baby Groot :D

Image Source - http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1586250/how-groot-will-be-different-in-guardians-of-the-galaxy-2-according-to-vin-diesel
Image Source – http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1586250/how-groot-will-be-different-in-guardians-of-the-galaxy-2-according-to-vin-diesel

Writing A Series – A Love Affair

Hi everyone!

Have you ever seen the movie “Cloud Atlas” or read the novel from which it is based?  There’s a quote in the movie that kind of inspired this blog article:

"A half-finished book is, after all, a half-finished love affair."
“A half-finished book is, after all, a half-finished love affair.”

Off and on, I’ve toyed with the idea of going ahead and publishing the first Chronicles of the Sentinels novel in the near future, rather than waiting until I finish the Sword of Dragons series.  So I started reading through old blog entries while I mulled it over, and came across a blog I wrote earlier this year.

In it, I had talked about deciding, after almost landing an agent for Chronicles, to self-publish.  But instead of self-publishing Chronicles, I decided to self-publish what I called “my first love,” The Sword of Dragons.

And that’s when the answer came to me.

Commitment To A Series

I can’t stop working on Sword of Dragons.  I want to see it through to the end.  And I know as a reader, I hate when a writer takes years to come out with the next book in a series.

Image Source - stylecaster.com
Image Source – stylecaster.com

Just like I’m a one-woman kind of guy, I’m a one-series kind of guy :)  I can only really and truly focus on one at a time, otherwise I get distracted, and the series suffers for it.

Even writing The Orc War Campaigns has put me behind on the main novel series, and I’m genuinely worried I won’t be able to get book 3 out on time.  I haven’t even started the first draft yet!

So I’m going to stick with my original plan.  Work on one series at a time.  And while that unfortunately means I’ll only be releasing one novel per year (excluding the Orc War Campaigns anthology,) it’ll be well worth it to focus on one series, one story, at a time.

The Long Term Plan

So, assuming I can get book 3 out on time, my plan is to release one Sword of Dragons novel per year, leading up to the epic conclusion in book 6 in 2020.

Images Source - http://bramleegwater.deviantart.com
Images Source – http://bramleegwater.deviantart.com

From there, I want to finish the Chronicles of the Sentinels trilogy.  Even though book 1, Legacy, is already done, it needs work and TLC, so I’ll likely hold off releasing that until 2021, making that series go out to 2023.

From there…well let’s just say that I have enough story ideas to continue publishing a new book every year until 2030.  But after Chronicles, I’m not sure what I want to do first.

Image Source - http://best-sci-fi-books.com
Image Source – http://best-sci-fi-books.com

There are a few one-off novels I want to write, including a sci-fi story idea I had recently, but there’s also a series of sci-fi novels I want to write that totally cross boundaries of genre, in ways that I think are really cool :D

Anywho, that’s all for today, everyone!  Sorry for no vlog today, but maybe I’ll work up the courage later this week :)

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik

The Longest Week – Depression and Hope

Hi everyone!

I want to apologize for being over a week late on a blog post!!!  I’m so very sorry for the delay :( A lot has happened over the past 10 days, much of it centered around Mile Hi Con and Halloween!

milehicon48So what about Mile Hi Con, you ask?  How was the con?  How many books did I sell?  Did I make a ton of important industry contacts?  Are my social media pages getting tons of new hits??

…I am really sad to say that, as far as the convention and book sales went, it was a total bust :( The entire weekend, I sold one book.  Just one copy of The Sword of Dragons.

One.

And at $15, that didn’t even come CLOSE to making me break even on expenses.  It summarily put me back in the red on my business.

But it wasn’t just me.  Mile Hi Con was a bust for a lot of people.  The con was relatively empty.  In fact, of all of the conventions I have attended, it had the smallest crowd of them all.  And when we spoke to many of the authors in Author’s “Row,” they all had similar experiences.

In fact two of the people I know came from out of town and only sold a few books.  If this weekend set me back as far as it did, I can only imagine how much it hurt them.

My amazing girlfriend, and her new hat!  Check out her facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/beckstewartauthor
My amazing girlfriend, and her new hat! Check out her facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/beckstewartauthor

Seriously, if my wonderful and amazing girlfriend hadn’t been there with me the whole weekend, I would have been so depressed about it.  Much more so than I am, any way.

Why was the weekend so bad?  I think a big part of it was timing.  This was the first time Mile Hi Con was on Halloween weekend, which was very unfortunate.  One of the guys who runs the con told my girlfriend and I that they usually have the con a couple weeks earlier, but this was the only weekend open this year for this venue.  He thinks that greatly contributed to it.

At least there were a few good cosplay costumes!
At least there were a few good cosplay costumes!

I also think it was a huge mistake that they split up Author’s Row on two sides of the…lobby?  Atrium?  Not quite sure what to call the area where the authors were setup.  But we noticed that a lot of people visited the authors on the other side of the wide-open space, but when they came to our side, they walked right by without stopping.

I even recall one patron asking “Oh, is this part of author’s row too?”  So I really hope the organizer of Author’s Row takes my suggestions to heart for next year…

It doesn’t help that my sales have been almost non-existent for the entire month of October.  This is easily the worst selling period I’ve had since I first published The Sword of Dragons.  :(

And Then There Was Hope – Why I Write

For all of the sadness and disappointment regarding my writing career (I’m very careful to specify that, because everything else in my life is going amazingly well, especially my relationship! :D ), there came a ray of hope this week.

Cover by Christian Michael
Cover by Christian Michael

All of a sudden, I received a message from an old friend from high school, “My daughter is loving Sword of Dragons!”  She further elaborated that she read the prologue and chapter 1 to her daughter, and that by the end of the prologue, her daughter proclaimed, “I wanna be the Keeper, I wanna be the Keeper!”

That, right there, made me smile so very much!!  It was a much-needed reprieve, and was a reminder of why I write.

To inspire.  To kindle the imagination of people, no matter their age.  To make them dream!

And my story did just that for this one little girl.

I needed that…badly.

So a big shout out to my friend and her daughter!  Thank you for reminding me why I keep doing this, even when it seems like no one wants to read my work.  Because, so it would seem, someone does read it :)

Thanks for reading, everyone!  You can fully expect a new blog on Saturday, returning us to our normal schedule :)  (Perhaps I’ll even get brave enough to do another vlog!!  :D )

-Jon Wasik

I’ll Be On The Show X Podcast This Weekend!

Hi everyone!

I have some exciting news: I’ll be interviewed on VtW Production’s Show X once again this coming weekend!  :D  Hosted by the ever-enthusiastic Wayne (and he has the hair to prove it ;) ) and his co-host Ken, Show X is a podcast dedicated to everything geek related.  While the website itself says it focuses on technology and games, pretty much anything geek goes (which is why a fantasy writer like me is welcomed in :D )

interview1So check us out this Sunday, 24 January at 2PM EST, 7PM GMT (for those who live in the mountain time zone with me, that’s Noon :) ).  We’ll of course talk a bit more about where I’m at with the Sword of Dragons series, but there will also be lots of fun geekery involved!

To make your lives easier, here are links to where you can listen or WATCH the show live!  Yes, you can watch it as it airs :D

To listen, go to http://www.vtwproductions.com/ and on the left side there will be an audio play button, just click that a couple minutes before the show starts, and you should be good.

To watch the show live on youtube, go to their youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/versustheworldvideo and you should see the ‘current show’ at the top.

See you all out there!
-Jon Wasik