Zombies, Ninjas, Monsters and More…

I love to write, but even more so I love to read. I can’t help myself, its like an addiction. It consumes me! I read mostly fiction, science fiction, young adult fiction, superhero fiction (don’t know if that’s really a defined genre) fantasy fiction, the list goes on, but then occasionally I’ll throw in some nonfiction, maybe a biography, or an autobiography of some interesting character from history, the occasionally philosophy or psychology text, and oh yeah I read a lot about writing too, though good writing books are often hard to come across, but I digress.
Since we are following my novel writing progress I felt it was imperative for me to also give the occasional update on what I’m reading as well.

During my last trip to the bookstore (I won’t say which because I actually hate their freaking guts!) I picked up three interesting looking novels that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into (te-he-he, you’ll see why that’s funny in a minute)

The first book I picked up was: My Life as A White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland. This book is about a young girl named Angel Crawford. She’s a high school dropout,with drug and alcohol problems and has a rather lengthy police record. But when she’s made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for one new one of course.

I’m a big zombie fan, they are problem my favorite type of fictional monster, over even vampires, werewolves, aliens and human hating robots, so that simple obsession mixed with the incredible artwork that graced the cover of this book, it was a bit of a no brainer (no pun intended, I’ve actually hit my corny pun limit for this post) *note: the cover art was done by Dan Dos Santos.

My second choice was Blood Ninja by Nick Lake its about a recently orphaned boy who is taken in by a clan of ninjas who all happen to be vampires, and when you think about the many similarities between ninjas and vampires it kinda makes perfect sense. (in a “I live in a fantasy world where both ninjas and vampires exist” kind of way)
There’s actually already a sequel to this book, Blood Ninja II: The Revenge of Lord Oda, but since I had being eyeing this for so long I decided to go ahead and get it, and why not? Ninjas and Vampires, I mean come on., what’s not to like.
My last selection was The Monstrumologist, by Rick Yancey. Its about a twelve year old boy who is the assistant to a scientist who studies, and sometimes hunts monsters in late-1800’s New England. #score

This is another book that I had being eyeing for some time and decided to just go ahead and go for it, and I’m glad I did, I’ve already started reading it, and its a hardcore page turner.

Anyway, that what I’m reading right now I’ll come back and tell you guys how they turn out, minus any spoilers of course.

Till next time.

Sincerely yours,

Lefty

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The Completion of Chapter 16

Its 11:23 pm and I have just completed Chapter 16.
I stated that one of my original reasons for creating this blog was to chronicle my progress as I wrote my first novel. Ever word written, every paragraph punctuated, every chapter completed brings me just a bit closer to that end goal. Now since it would be very unproductive of me to write a post for every word and paragraph I put on paper, I’ve decided to post updates at the completion of every chapter. And so… here we are.

I have been working on chapter 16 for what seems like forever, and to be honest with you, I am very glad to be done. About half way through the chapter, the darn thing begin giving me a lot of trouble, and at a particular point I began to even doubt if this particular chapter was even relevant to the story in any wholly relevant way. I mean, yeah it offered considerably more insight into some of the personal aspects to a number of the stories characters, but I wasn’t absolutely sure that the chapter itself served any proper function. Still I decided to keep at it, I figured I could at least finish the chapter see where it goes and if it wasn’t doing anything special, I’d drop it in the revisions.

Well to my surprise it did turn out something special. As I continued to write and simply allow the story and characters to lead me through this particular portion of their adventure, an amazing  development occurred. In the end, the chapter turned out longer than I originally planned, but I think the additions lend to a much stronger experience for the novel, not to mention some nice action that I didn’t even see coming, plus some amazing secondary characters that ‘stepped up’ to even earn themselves some additional screen time (or page time rather) later in the book, no matter how short lived or painful that may be (for the character I mean).

Anyway, it just goes to show, when you keep the pen on the paper the story will unravel itself.

Writer’s block, smiter’s block!

Till next time.

Sincerely yours,

Lefty

Name Collecting

What’s in a name?
In fiction writing, I believe a character’s name is the most important part of their being. A character’s name is its soul, it is the essence of who that character is, or who they are to become.
For my current project I basically took an old nickname and built a character around it, pretty soon the character had taken on a life of his own, becoming even larger and more complex than I could have originally imagined, and  it all started from his name.
There was a point in this character’s development where I considered changing his name. I had imagined it would seem self indulgent to name a character after myself, even if it was only a nickname and not truly my name in full, but by the time I had considered making this change it was too late. My character had already became who he was to be, and to attempt to change his name at that stage would have meant changing everything about him.I found this odd at first, I mean in reality people change their names all the time and it has no grand psychological effect on who they are. I mean if the guy sitting next to you at work, comes in one day and says “I needed a fresh start so I’ve legally changed my name from Steve to Donald.” that’s not really going to stimulate any great change in who he is as a person. To you, he’ll still be the guy in the next cube, albeit a bit more strange, but still, same guy, different name.
But see with literary character’s its different, The name is the culmination of everything that character will ever say, do and experience. Rather if it’s bestowed upon them before a single word is written, or if they don’t actually receive a name until you’ve thought out every detail of their personality, either way throughout their literary life span they will have not one single more important characteristic than their name.
So my question is: Where do you get your names?

As stated earlier the protagonist of my current project derived his name from a modified form of my own, but come on, a man can only have so many nicknames. Conveniently enough, I currently work in a Call Center, and though I hate it, it does supply me with a near endless amount of odd, new and exciting names to reference use and develop as my writing career continues to grow. That’s right, you read correctly, I collect names.

And honestly I rather enjoy it. I hear a name I like and I scribble it down on a sticky note or some random scrap of paper and store it away happily like a squirrel hoarding acorns for the winter. Its like a pastime of mine now, everywhere I go, my ears and eyes are open for the next great name that I can gobble up and add to my collection.
So I guess if I had to answer Juliet’s (great name don’t you think?) question of ‘What’s in a name?’ then truthfully I’d have to say, everything.

til next time,

Sincerely yours,

Lefty

A Humble Introduction

To be truthful, I’m actually not left-handed, and I guess ‘technically’ I’m not necessarily even an author, at least not yet. What I am, is an aspiring writer currently at work on my first novel, hopefully, my first of many. I’ve created this blog to chronicle my experience through the writing process as well as the attempted publication and marketing of my first book. I’m looking forward to the journey and I’m glad to have you come along for the ride. What’s a road trip without friends eh?

My intentions are to update with a new post at least once a week tackling all types of different writing related subjects such as character development, setting, pacing, writing techniques, the creative process, inspiration, some of my own practice writing and whatever else I think may be helpful. Writing a book ain’t easy and neither is managing a blog, but together I’m pretty sure we can get through this.
Welp, that’s all I got today.

Till next time.

Sincerely yours,

Lefty