Friday, November 16, 2012

String Theory

At the end of this third book, I've come to a point where I'm trying to give every character their own time to shine.  There are two large focal points that are separated by hundreds of miles, and a whole hell of a lot of mountains.

In each of these locales, I have a handful of characters who have been favored greatly by the readership over the past couple of years.  New abilities have been discovered, and, of course, the characters themselves have grown.  Recently introduced characters have to have their place in the sun as well, however.  As The Bindings of Fate suggested, fate has woven a web between everyone, and without all of their stories, the saga cannot be properly told.

There is an extra dimension to the conflicts that we see in the story, and that dimension was largely hinted at in the second book.  External forces have been pushing Blacklehn and Tarson to converge on Raleigh, and despite all the trouble that Kaos Kreegan has found himself in, nothing will prepare him for his encounters in The Enemy Within.

Though Kaos has always seemed at the center of the universe in the Child of the Stars trilogy (and rightly so, given the name), there is indeed a greater scope.  Everything is connected - things don't just happen without a purpose.  Perhaps the gods have their hand involved in the events that have come to pass, and those that will.

To truly see where the story is going, you need to know where it has evolved from.  With that in mind, I'm happy to announce that the next full-length novel I will be working on for Tellest will focus on Kaos Kreegan's childhood and his first real quest.  It will be called "The Veil of Mists" and it will introduce you to characters that you may have only heard about in passing, and also show you glimpses of familiar faces that you might not have thought to see again.

Work has resumed on Devour, but I'm still very cautious about putting a firm schedule to it.  My programmer has always been awesome to collaborate with, but I know that he's incredibly busy.  He's been tutoring me to try and pick up some of the slack, but there is a lot of logic/math involved, and, admittedly, that's not my strength.

In any case, things are still plodding along in Tellest.  Hopefully, I'll have some more meaty news for you soon.  With the wrap of my book coming shortly, I intend to start the trickle of excerpts.  Maybe one per month until the release!

Until then, take care, and thank you for your continued support!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Culling

Oh yes, there will be blood.

I've talked about it before, but I'm nearing the point of no return for certain characters.  This will be their final bow, and that realization is both humbling and terrifying.

One of the things that I set out to do as a storyteller is tell the story of a character without a bias.  Even though my universe is a complete work of fiction, there is still a spark of truth that is set to the events.  I try, in no uncertain terms, to show when someone has something interest to say, rather than presenting it as fact.  The reader can determine whether or not it is important to the story, but the character, in revealing that portion of his or her nature, can clearly represent what is important to them.

Though this novel lies at the end of a trilogy, I've included new characters, several which show up as late as the final chapter.  Some of them have been referenced to, and some have had no precursory introduction.  Their lives are at stake as well during all the turmoil, and it would have been crude and disheartening if I didn't display just what odds they were up against.

Meanwhile, there are veterans of my saga who are forced to come to grips with their own mortality.  My readership may already know of the kind of damage that can be done within several hundred pages.  Some characters are not meant to make it through to the end.  This doesn't mean that they weren't important.  They had their role to play, as we all do.  The best that they can do is have an impact on someone's life.  In that way, they can leave some kind of lasting legacy.

There will be those who survive the horrors of battle.  These heroes (and villains - though who is to say which is which?) will bear the scars of lost loved ones, of broken dreams and unfounded wishes.  Of course, not all who survive war end up unscathed.  Some survivors leave only a broken, maimed husk behind, the memories of their hellish encounters enough to rend their very sanity.  Others walk away with only a fleeting semblance of hope, a rapidly diminishing black spot growing inside their hearts.  If all that is evil in the world is left to fester, what hope could good possibly venture?

Yet, among the shadows, a new light dawns.  There are those who fight, knowing that the odds are ever against them.  Some press on, despite all the pain and torment that plagues their lives.  Few laugh in the face of danger, tempting fate like some exotic lover.  As long as their is a world to protect, to help endure, they will remain.  The tales of those who fell too soon may be written in stone, or on tattered pages, but it is the blood they spill that leaves a permanent place in history.  Oh yes... there will be blood.

Monday, November 5, 2012


I probably shouldn't have played The Scorpions like it was a challenge to Sandy.  That was most likely my first mistake.

The hurricane hit my area last week, and it had a pretty severe impact on the community.  Trees had demolished houses, power lines were strewn about like shoelaces, and some of the people nearby are still without electricity.  This is definitely the worst storm I've seen in my area in my lifetime, and for a lot of other people I know, I'm sure they feel the same.

To all those who weathered the storm, my prayers go out to you.

It has been very strange trying to acclimate myself to the land of the powered again.  We were down for 72 hours, and were doing a variety of things to help get us through the dark hours.  We did crossword puzzles, we tortured the cat (lovingly - we rolled her up in a couple blankets and made her a Peanut burrito), and sometimes, we just talked for hours at a time.  I'm very lucky to have Rhianna in my life - no matter how long we've been together, there's still more I find out about her every day.

There were things that I missed in those three days, however.  My hobbies, for sure... it's crippling to go cold turkey on video games - I imagine people who quit smoking have an easier time of it.  No television except for whatever we had on DVD that we could pop in Rhianna's laptop.  No access to email or facebook... I often forget how much of a social creature I've become in the last several years.  I felt naked without the internet, and I'm very appreciative to have it back.

It was a struggle to write this past week as well.  I couldn't bring the book to work, because there was hardly any time to work on it, and the day is burning to fast during this time of year that by the time I get home, I can barely see what I'm working on.  Even with some of our fancy flashlights, it's a struggle to really find your focus on a page when you write this small.  And none of that even comes close to being out of that comfort zone that I've mentioned in previous posts.  Seriously, how am I supposed to write without a hair dryer providing magical white noise that whisks me away to another place?

After not writing for three days, I was forced to recalibrate myself.  I spent pretty much all of Friday night staring intently at what I'd already put to page, like Michaelangelo stared at the block of marble before it was David.  I had to set myself back in that world, and in the mindset to write.  The good news is that I'm back in top gear, writing like crazy. 

The bad news, if you can call it that, is that my story took on a new twist that's going to require a little more intensive care on my part.  I always neglect moving forward cautiously into the final chapter of my books, and they always end up becoming their own monsters.  The Bindings of Fate's last chapter nearly tripled the length of the chapter before it.  As Darkness Falls was doing it's own thing, but that's only because of the way I broke up the action.  It ended up being about 12 pages longer than the chapter before it.

Now that I'm closing up The Child of the Stars trilogy, I can tell that The Enemy Within is definitely going out with a bang.  I may even have another chapter to throw in after the one I'm working on to help me dole out all the secret reveals - and trust me, there are a lot of them.  I digress.  You want details, I'm sure.  All of the characters that you've grown to love in these books gets their own little piece of action in this last chapter.  It's an impressive overlay that will have a very cinematic feel.  I'm thinking it might push close to 40 pages when all is said and done.

With that in mind, I'm pushing back my previous deadline.  I know some people might find it a little annoying, but I'd also like to think that the delay will allow it to grow at a more natural pace.  A delayed art can eventually be good, but a rushed job will always be terrible.  The new deadline that I'm shooting for is May, 2013.  That would mean that The Enemy Within would release on the two year anniversary of The Bindings of Fate's release.

Furthermore, I had discussed previously that work on the game was going to be finished sooner than I had anticipated as well.  Sometimes the people you work with on a team start off with very good intentions, but other things can get in the way.  I'm of the mindset that when you're first interviewing people you're not meeting them, but rather, a representative of them on their best behavior.  With that in mind, development on the game is going to take a bit longer than I had previously expected as well.  It's my goal at this point to try and get Devour completed and ready for release alongside The Enemy Within.  I'll have more details to post over the next few weeks, surely.

Finally, just because one project has a few kinks, that doesn't mean they all must.  Kev and I have been working on a new game that we'd like to unveil soon, and of course, it is Tellest related.  Old-school gamers should like it as well, but that's as much as I'm able to reveal at this point in time.  Stay tuned!