I’ve just posted the latest update to Alayne’s Story over on the WoW RP forum. This week’s update takes the characters through the Rhyolith and Alysrazor encounters in Firelands.
I’ve begun playing Star Wars: The Old Republic and, I have to say, it’s pretty damned good. I really like the way the cut-scenes are done and the way that the quests are done. You feel more as if you are doing things for a reason instead of just mindlessly griding as in early WoW.
I’m going to keep my WoW account going for a while but I do think I’ve found its replacement once the next expansion comes out because, frankly, there’d have to be something epically awesome to follow up to it before I’d force myself to play through Babes in Pandaland.
And now, back to work!
Today I hit the 50% mark on Midnight of Lanar’ya. I’ve just wrapped up several pivotal scenes for the first major climax and am working on the interlude sections between Peak One and the climb to Peak Two (other writers will know what I mean). So, to celebrate hitting that milestone, I thought I’d make a post about why I tend to avoid writing human characters in my fantasy fiction.
Several of my friends have wondered why I tend to have my main characters be elves instead of humans. It’s not just because I think Drizzt Do’urden is awesome or because I like pointy ears. I tend to write from an elven (or dwarven) perspective because my stories are from an outsider’s point of view. In Lanar’ya, the major race of the central civilization is human. Elves keep to themselves (as do dwarves) but relations between the races is peaceful and amicable. The main character in the books is an elven commander. The other commanders are all human. The elf, Jarl, will outlive them by a long margin. It gives him a different perspective on things. He has to deal, quite frequently, with the death of friends to old age while he is still in his prime. Not only that, but his point of view allows me to build a conspiracy and a mystery that spans decades instead of a few years. It makes the whole story more believable to have it told from an elven perspective.
Human characters in fantasy fiction rarely have the same outsider feel to them. As humans ourselves, we feel like we should innately understand another human character, even one who can cast spells. So, when we look through their eyes, we’ll see things in a closer light. We’ll tend to identify with them more and wonder why they aren’t more like we are. But elves (or dwarves or ogres or orcs or whatever) allow us to look through their eyes while accepting a good many more dissimilarities than a human character would.
That’s not to say I won’t write a story with human characters. One of the series I’m planning out for my next major project will have several trilogies written with a human-only cast. However, I do tend to find it easier to write about a human society from an outside perspective. Hence my choice of primarily elven (or other demi-human) characters.
Also: elves are cool.
I once heard that the average fiction writer does well to add two pages to their work per day. In the past week, I’ve averaged about six pages per day on Midnight of Lanar’ya. And, let me tell you, it’s exhausting. I’m charged by it but, at the same time, my brain is fried. Working over in my “Super Secret Secure Location” (aka “the barn”) helps a lot because there are no distractions (and also no toilets which forces me to walk back and forth between the House and the Barn several times, but it’s still pretty tiring.
I’ve noticed a distinct trend in my writing. I’ll generally average about two pages per day but then, I’ll hit a patch where I may crank out upwards of ten pages per day for a week or two. Then, I’ll crash back down to less than a page per day for a few days only to pull back up to about three or four pages per day for a few months.
One thing I’ve found that helps me deal with the exhaustion is to write more on a different project. At any given time, I might be working on three novels — only one “actively” and the other two piecemeal. Another thing I do to relax my mind a bit is to play World of Warcraft or Star Wars: The Old Republic. Playing another story — one I don’t have to write or think about much — is actually quite relaxing. I enjoy reading as well. It’s nice and quiet out here at the End of the World so, some days, when I’m especially worn out from writing, I’ll grab a book and sit on the porch reading for several hours.
The one thing I’ve found that is the worst for me to do when I’m tired is to try to “power through” and keep a per-day quota. When I first started the Fall of the Lanarian Empire series, I did set a per-day quota of at least two pages for myself. Now, I’m content to set a per-week quota of three pages. I easily pass it and that allows me to relax a bit and give myself a bit of a break now and again. I’ve found that I’m my own harshest task-master so being reasonable with myself allows me to meet my goals without feeling guilty on the days when I just need to chill a bit.
And now, since I’ve added seven pages today, I am going to relax and play some Star Wars: The Old Republic. I have a Jedi Knight that I’m leveling as a tank and the game is just amazing. In some ways, it’s better than World of Warcraft (though World of Warcraft will always be my first love since that’s where most of my friends are). Therefore, good night and may the Force be with you!
Every good story contains a bit of a mystery. Some revolve around the mystery — hence the Mystery genre. Others have a mystery that is a central part of the story but the story itself does not revolve around it. In the Mystery genre, clues are often given to figure out who was behind the event in question. In other genres, some clues may be given but sometimes, no clue is given. Sometimes there are red herrings and sometimes there are no herrings whatsoever.
In the Fall of the Lanarian Empire series, there are several mysteries for the reader to unravel. Some are obvious. But some are not. Some are intentionally let sans clue because the reader should be focused more on the moment before him than the past or the future.
I’ve never really liked the Mystery genre. Generally, it’s too…formulaic. That’s not to say that Mystery writers lack creativity. They are very creative! However, most Mystery-specific stuff involves a high element of danger as the main character tries to unravel the tangled threads. Someone dies/disappears/steals a bunch of money and the central character gets caught up in the events and is trying to keep himself and his comrades alive while he figures out the whodunit. Many mysteries, like many romance novels, are so similar that if you’ve read one, you’ve read them all.
So, why am I putting a mystery into the Fall of the Lanarian Empire series? Because every good story has a good mystery — a puzzle for the reader to try to figure out until the moment of the great unveiling. I’m currently building up to one of the major climactic points of the series and I’m just as excited as I hope my readers will be about what is about to happen. I’ve been planning this scene ever since I started writing Twilight of Lanar’ya and it’s really cool to finally be at the point of where it’s about to be written into the story. I’ve had several set-backs with Midnight of Lanar’ya, including one point where I had to scrap what I had and start over again from the beginning. And now, it’s all fallen into place. Once I’m over this hump, the first major climax is done and it’s just time to build up for the next.
Anyhow, I’m going to get back to writing now. Enough dithering. Let’s get that scene in the bag!
I’ve just posted the latest update to Alayne’s Story over on the WoW RP forum. This week’s update starts off the action in the Firelands.
I’m currently almost finished with the first part of the Hour of Twilight arc. I’m also still looking for a permanent job which cuts into a lot of my writing time. I’ve launched my professional site over at www.gkmasterson.com. I’ll still be posting here but I’d advise you to bookmark that site as well since I’ll be doing a good bit of my work over on it.
And now, back to work it is!
Whew! I just finished registering the copyright of Twilight of Lanar’ya with the US Copyright office. I did it online to save myself some money and hassle. However, I spent a good hour trying to figure out how to upload the manuscript before I found out that you deposit the copy after you’ve paid the fee. I sure wish that had been in the FAQ. I would have saved myself a near nervous breakdown and an hour of wasted time.
I also received the first mock-up of the cover for Twilight of Lanar’ya today. Keary Taylor is doing the cover art for me and, I must say, she is quite good. I’m very impressed by what she sent me today. Many thanks to my friend Daniel Kaine for recommending her.
Some may wonder why I bothered with registering the copyright for my book. After all, it’s not like anyone’s going to steal it, right? While it is true that the likelihood of my work being claimed by someone else is low, I registered the copyright for my own protection and I recommend that others do the same. The way I see it is like this: suppose that I release my novel sans copyright registration. A few months later, someone at a TV studio reads it and thinks “Hm, that’d made a good TV series.” They go and check to see if the copyright is registered and find that no, it’s not. They can then register the copyright themselves. I happen to be flipping through the channels a year later and there is my story being played out on the screen. I can try to fight them in court but without the registration myself, it’s going to be an uphill battle.
So, I save myself the hassle and register the copyright and deposit the manuscript before I publish. That way, if someone does decide they want to write a screen play or turn it into a TV series, they have to come to me to get the rights to it. I’m fairly liberal about fair use and will be fine with people quoting from the book. I’m not going to sue everyone who puts three words together the same way I did. However, if someone else wants to profit from my work, I want them to have to share with me. I spent six months writing the thing, after all. I spent three months before that outlining and refining it. I’ve spent another three months working on the sequel. So, if someone else wants a cut of my work, they need to pay the piper. If someone else just wants to quote a passage for a review, that’s fair use and I’m not going to start issuing take down notices. Non-profit use I’m fairly cool with. Commercial use, on the other hand…
Anyhow, I’m going to get back to work on Midnight of Lanar’ya now. I’d love to be able to have it finished within the next month or so and ready for release this summer.
Some of you already know me and some of you do not. My name is G. K. Masterson and I am a writer. I have been blogging for several years over at Magisters’ Terrace. I originally created that site to showcase my World of Warcraft-inspired work Alayne’s Story. However, in the years since I started working on Alayne’s Story, I have grown more confident in my writing skills and have decided to break away from the fanfic mold and establish myself in a more professional light. Hence this new site.
Here you will be able to find information on my original works, both those in progress and those still on the drawing board. For the next few days, I will be filling in the placeholder pages and getting things set up for the release of my debut novel: Twilight of Lanar’ya. So, stick around and be patient. It will be worth the wait.
I’ve just posted the latest update to Alayne’s Story over on the WoW RP forum. This week’s update starts off the Firelands arc.
I’ve completed work on the Uldum arc and have started working out the final arc: the Hour of Twilight. However, between my other novel, applying for law school, and looking for a job, my time has gotten pretty tight. Hence the lack of updates here.
And now, back to work!
I’ve just posted the latest update to Alayne’s Story over on the WoW RP forum. This week’s update begins the arc into Firelands.
In other news, I’ve completed the final interlude arc and am starting the Hour of Twilight arc. Part IV will be wrapped up shortly leaving me more time to focus on my own novels. I’m trying to contract with an illustrator to do the cover, spine, back, and a few internal maps for Twilight of Lanar’ya and I’m getting a more professional site set up. I should hopefully have some news on that front in a few weeks.
But for now, back to work!
I just got my results from the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) I took in December.
I got a 158.
That’s a good score.
A very good score.
The highest you can score on the LSAT is a 180 and that is really, REALLY difficult to pull off.
I got a 158.
I’m happy with that.
And now, back to work!