Status Update #2

Still hammering out Dragon Bond Book 3. It’s completely finished, I just have to write it.

In other news, I have a new baby! And not like where people trick you and tell you they have a new baby and then it turns out to be a cat or a car. I mean an actual, squishy, squawking, pooping baby. She came about three weeks early, so my plans to get Book 3 done and off to the editor before her birth were squashed like so many dreams. She’s really, really cute though, so I suppose I must forgive her.

Dragon Bond Book 3 is about two-thirds complete in the first draft, which is not bad actually, given the baby and everything that goes into that affair. My current plan is to have it to the editor by mid-August and then published in October. Which is a year since the last book. Not bad in the old world of publishing, but it’s downright pathetic in the new world of self publishing.

In my defense, I finished three short stories and a novella this year as well, I just haven’t had time to get covers done and get them out there. They’ve already gone through edits and are mostly ready to go, they just need to, you know, get published and all. I’m hoping to get some of those done while Book 3 is with the editor.

So that’s where I sit for now.

Forward ho!

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They Played for Real

This DM is pretty hardcore. I mean, mine put us through some crazy modules, but nothing like this.

Also, where the hell did he get that 1,000 page DMG? That thing is boss.

Yay, It’s 1985 Again!

 

I actually had to check the date on when this video was uploaded.

Wildlings

 

I love how many fun videos are showing up for Game of Thrones. Despite the orneriness old fantasy fans feel when new people jump on their bandwagon, it’s still nice to be into something popular once in a while. Plus you get to say how you read the books and/or knew about them years ago. Like that guy who still won’t shut up about seeing Nirvana play a backyard sweet-sixteen barbecue back ’90.

And yes, you do look douchey if you’re that guy.

The Book was Better

 

This (NSFW) video quite perfectly expresses the rage all us readers have felt from time to time. Sadly, you can’t actually use the phrase, “the book was better” without looking like a complete, pompous ass. And yet, sometimes, it still must be said.

Status Update

Hey, I never said I was going to post regularly. Just when I had something to say. Which is often if you know me in person and not so often here, I guess. Anyway, some folks have been asking for a status update on my writing, so I thought I’d post a quick one.

Plotting on Book 3 of Dragon Bond is really solid, and I plan to start work on it after the first of the year. In the meantime, I’ve written a couple short stories (in the Gondril universe, of course) that I hope to release soon.

Between now and the first of the year, I hope to get the first draft done of the first book in a new novella series I’m starting. The tentative series title is, “Pirates of the Buckle”. Not that it means anything to anyone at this point, but there you go.

To my new fans (both of you), thank you all. My first book was published in January of this year, which makes this my first year as an actual (sort of) writer. I’m really looking forward to next year.

This (hopefully) won’t be my last post for the year, but I felt it was at least time to let you all know what I’ve been doing. Just know that if I’m not writing here, it’s because I’m (hopefully) writing somewhere else.

The Infodump

You may not know the term, but you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes it’s in the very beginning of a book. Sometimes it’s in the first or second chapter as the author is detailing to you the breadth and depth of his or her amazing world. Sometimes it’s just a big turd right in the middle of the book because you need to know a few things before we continue.

But if you read fantasy, I promise you, it’s there. The infodump. Dump being the operative word. It’s paragraphs, sometimes pages, long and full of flowery, purple-y prose. The long, boring details of a war fought a thousand years ago. Pages and pages of the history of the big bad. Why do authors, especially fantasy authors, do this to us?

Well, it’s how the world works. Not our world, their world. See, when you spend days, months or years creating this totally unique and amazing world, you can’t wait to tell people about it. You just have to tell them about every tiny, little detail. Because, you know, it’s awesome!

Except that it’s jarring. It instantly pulls you out of the story you’re reading to tell you about another, semi-related story that’s not that important, but really cool. Then you spend pages reading about a history that may or may not even come up again later in the book.

Some readers really like long, flowery prose littering their stories. They want the details of every meal eaten, every blade of grass, every word of every song of every acid-dropping minstrel. They want a thousand pages filled with non-breaking paragraphs! That’s cool, it’s just not my cup of tea. Different stokes to move the world and all.

The problem is that this backstory is sometimes important. You need to know some of this stuff, but you have no way of knowing what, so you either diligently read every word, or you… skim. Did you hear that? It was as if a million voices cried out in terror and suddenly went to their keyboards to post a nasty comment.

Yes, dear reader, you skim. Oh, you don’t at first. When I read the Lord of the Rings at age 12, no one told me that I didn’t have to read every single word. So, I did. I read every damn word. Even the fifty or more pages of Sam and Frodo slogging it through Mordor with almost no dialog. No one tells you you can just skim over all that crap. Sure, you might miss an important detail, but the damn author shouldn’t have buried the lead in a big shit (shark?) sandwich!

In fact, Tolkien, the grandfather of modern Fantasy, is the KING of the infodump. Hell, he begins the whole damn trilogy with one giant dump! He calls it a prologue, which is sometimes a cheap Fantasy author’s trick for dumping on you before getting to the real story, but we all faithfully read it just in case there’s some salient point in there.

The Lord of the Rings begins with a prologue that is page after page of all things Hobbit. It reads like a manual. He gives you a free pass to skip it all, but you don’t. You don’t want to be rude. I mean, they took all this time to write it, right? It would be fine if this were the only infodump in the series, but believe me, you are in for a long, purple ride before this one gets going. The council of Elrond is one big dumpy chapter. Cool world-building stuff in there too. But dumpy.

I don’t mean to pick on Tolkien. Without him, I would have never discovered Fantasy. He was an amazing storyteller, and I was hooked the minute I read The Hobbit as a class reading assignment (thanks Ms. Dawson!). But it was definitely in spite of his writing that I started devouring any Fantasy I could find and not because of it. I’ll get an arrow in the back for that one, but some of you out there agree, and you know it.

But does Tolkien get a free pass because he basically restarted the genre? Fantasy was all but dead until he came along. You could argue that he had no blueprint on which to base his fantasy as we all do now. Most epic fantasy today is based in part or in whole on the works of Tolkien. Does he get a walk on the infodumps? Or is it because of him that we have them all?

Either way, you can almost guarantee that the next time you pick up a Fantasy book, you’re going to find it in there somewhere. After the map (there’s always a map). Maybe in the prologue. Maybe snuck into a character’s thoughts as he rides along down a long and winding road. Maybe in the monologue of a wizardly fellow giving a history lesson. But make no mistake, it’s in there.

The author’s going to take a big dump on you.