Archive for the ‘fantasy’ Category

It has been a while since I have last updated what has been going on writing wise.  Probably about time I did.

I have today just finished off the rewrite of a brand new short story, in the Peregrine and Blade series.  It comes in at around 11,000 words and is titled The Oasis of Broken Bones.  The series has been the main focus of my writing as of late.  There are currently 16 stories completed in that series, ranging from 2000 to 25000 words in length. Between them they number some 166000 words, which is a fair amount.  Only seven of those have ever been seen so far.  In addition, 8 more are in various stages of planning.  All of them will be coming to light soon I hope.

In addition, there are some 24 other short stories and novellas in other collections gathering dust, with a number more planned.

More news on what is going to happen to them all should happen soon.  At least that is the plan.

 

As I may have mentioned before, one of my favourite books is JRR Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.  It is in fact a collection of stories, telling the history of Middle Earth, the first one being the Ainulindale – The Music of the Ainur  being an account of the creation of Arda.

An artist by the name of Evan Palmer has produced a 54 page watercolour comic of the Ainulindale, and it is rather stunning.  Well worth a look for those fans of The Silmarillion like me.

I was reading various news articles yesterday and I came upon one about a naturally occurring eternal flame burning behind a waterfall – and science has no idea how it is produced.  Which got me thinking about how a place like that would fit perfectly in a fantasy setting.  Fantasy worlds often have places of wonder in them, where strange phenomena produce all manner of natural marvels.

Now given that they are rare and unusual, even for fantasy worlds, they would attract attention, and any visit there is not likely to find the place abandoned, unless in a really dangerous and out-of-the-way place, and not always then.  Consider the climb up Mt Huashan in China, arguably the most dangerous tourist walk in the world.  People have been travelling along narrow plank walkways hammered into the side of cliffs for 700 years there.

So even the most remote places of wonder could have visitors.  You could have hermits and mystics and pilgrims there, merchants taking advantage of it to make a profit or even villages and towns built up around it.  Consider something like an eternal flame.  Maybe an enterprising dwarf tribe has set up there and have used it to power their metalworking business.  Free fire means lesser costs coupled with superior dwarven quality.  A win for all.  Well, the dwarves at least.

So when creating these places of wonder in your worlds, consider how the locals would react to it – and how they might try to make a profit from it.

The trailer for the second part of The Hobbit is now out – seems to take a bit of a detour from the books, but we’ll see more when it comes out.

This is  repost of article I wrote a couple of years back but I thought was worth brining back again due to the Olympics being on.

The grand final of Australian Rules Football (better known as aussie rules or footy down here in Australia) is on this weekend and it got me thinking about sport in fantasy worlds and stories. Man has played sports as long as they have been around – the Greeks and Romans had their Games and the origins of a number of modern sports such as soccer, rugby and cricket are centuries old. I was delighted to see in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World the sailors playing a version of cricket when they were on the Galapogas islands.

Many fantasy worlds and authors seem to glaze over sports – I guess that when you are busy saving the world there is little time to kick a ball around. Gladiator style games seem the most prominent, though other types of sports do crop up. Raymond E. Fiest has a soccer style game develop though a number of books, which is a nice touch, while other authors make up their own bizarre and often highly dangerous types of games.

In an effort to make a believable world I realised I had to include some form of sports to it. Of course, being Australian, this will be flavoured by what we play here, notably cricket and aussie rules (though most likely not exactly as they are currently played). Other sports will have to be played in different nations, so there is amble opportunity for other styles of sports and games to make appearances.

Speaking of aussie rules – I highly recommend people check it out of they can. It is a truly spectacular sport which is happily slowly gaining followings in other countries. Initially this was spread by the Aussie Diaspora but it is being taken up in numerous nations and now has proper amateur leagues in such places as New Zealand, USA, Canada, the UK, Denmark, South Africa, Samoa, PNG, Nauru, Ireland, Germany and others. It’d be great to see it become a major world sport – a dream I have if I ever became a successful author would be to actively support such moves.

Just a quick update on things.

I’ve finished the rewrite of The Rose of Nakunwe, the followup to Dawn of Wolves and next short story in the Frontier Wolves collection. I want to finish off the one after that, an as yet unnamed short story that has been plotted but not yet started, before releasing them both.

And then it is two more short stories, another novella, and the collection is done. Hopefully before the end of the year as well…

The first rough draft of the next story has now been completed. The Rose of Nakunwe is a planned novelette which is next in The Commonwealth Chronicles series, forming part of The Frontier Wolves sub-series.

The rewrite should be done by the end of the month.

However I’m still debating what exactly to do with it. It may be a little short to release as a stand alone story. I may end up waiting until the following novelette is done and releasing them together – or maybe wait until the entire Frontier Wolves story is told and releasing them all together as one volume.

That decision can wait for now, at least until the rewrite is done.

The Dawn of Wolves novella has finally been finished and uploaded via KDP to Amazon where it is currently being crunched and should make an appearance in a day or two.

 

 

Dawn of Wolves comes in at 49,000 words, a little longer than a normal novella, but one I am calling a novella anyway as it is only half a novel.  While previously I have been jumping around a bit with the stories, Dawn of Wolves starts a sub-series of stories within The Commonwealth Chronicles that will follow the Frontier War against the Nacatori – The Tomb of the Tagosa Kings takes place in the Frontier War and forms part of this series, which I am entitling Frontier Wolves.

The plans for the series are the opening novella, Dawn of Wolves, followed by five novelettes (the last of which is The Tomb of the Tagosa Kings) and then a final novella to round out the collection.  Once done I’ll be collecting it in an anthology, but that is some time off yet.

The next novelette, The Rose of Nakunwe, has already been plotted out in rough form in a notepad.  next step is to write up the first rough draft.

I have finished the rewrite of Dawn of Wolves, ending at around 49,000 words, which is slightly over what is normally classified as a novella, but close enough I’ll still call it one.

Now comes the next step – formatting, editing, proof reading and of course cover design.  Hopefully that will not take too long.

For the release I’m going to do something a little different this time around – I’m going to enrol it in the Amazon Kindle Select programme.

Kindle Select is a programme where by it is enrolled in a lending library and Amazon fork up a bunch of money (currently at 500,000 a month).  Those enrolled get a percentage of funds equal to the percentage of loans they make.  In addition you get 5 days per free months where you can offer your book for free.

There is a but through – there is always a but.  Firstly a lot of people are signing up – and it is the big names that will get the most lends.  Secondly, you can’t sell the book anywhere else.  Not even on your own website.  It is for that reason I’m leaving my old books out of it, as they are elsewhere.  This one is going to test it out, to see if it makes much of a difference.

The Hobbit Trailer

Posted: December 22, 2011 in fantasy, General, Movies
Tags: , ,

The Hobbit trailer is out!  Of course now we have a 51 week wait until we can watch it, so in the meantime keep hitting replay.  And then we have to wait another year for the second part.

One of the memorable things about the book is that it has a lot of songs and poetry, and by the prominent way one of them is part of the trailer, it would seem that they have included them in the movie.