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Guest Post from author Michael A. Rothman
How about something about writing? Maybe borrowing from something I wrote a while ago on my first step in the story creation – outlining…
Let me state up front – this is MY approach. It works swimmingly well for me, but others might think I am bonkers.
Before I start writing the first paragraph of a novel, I have at least in rough form each chapter I expect to produce.
I know I am going to have some creative types throw fits and others saying things like, “How can you possibly know what you’ll say before you start? That handcuffs my creativity, no way I would do that! You aren’t a writer, you’re an alchemist!”. (I paraphrased that last one from someone who might have used different choice words about formulas)
To tell you the truth, I admit to understanding that others successfully approach writing novel length things differently — but I couldn’t conceive of how I would organize my thoughts and not go insane without outlining extensively.
First of all, why do I do it?
Saves me lots of time!
Most writers are familiar with the rewrite process. In fact I go through many rewrites during the creation of a novel. However the vast majority of my rewrites happen before I’ve written the first formal paragraph of the novel.
How you ask do you do that?
Well, I have an extensive outline I create that serves as the skeleton of the twists and turns of the novel and it’s main characters. What issues do they encounter, what problems must they solve, what elements are important, etc. I have found that in my writing, and before I feel the outline is complete, I will have changed or reordered vast elements of the outline.
This takes time and energy, and I’ve found is oftentimes inspired by a good night’s sleep or time away from the outline. However, the results are that when I declare my outline complete, I am pretty happy with where the story is going, and when I sit down to write, I have a lot more fun knowing that I am not that far away from seeing the concept go into a useful form.
The time it takes to readjust my outline is vastly less than if I’d had prose that needs vast repair or replacement.
Before you ask, I’ll say this. No, all the exact details and almost none of the dialog are done in the outline (I may be nuts but I am not crazy!) The outline has the storyline and other important bits in it that help me organize thoughts, threads of activity, and pacing.
Hope that gives you a bit of insight to MY process. I know lots of others do similar things, and others would consider the above heresy and utter drivel. To each his own.
The TOOLS OF PROPHECY is the second volume in an epic saga which describes a prophecy that has placed the Riverton brothers in the lead roles of a struggle to save their world from being overrun by unspeakable horrors. This destiny requires that they face off with the demons that nearly destroyed their world over five centuries ago.
In the first book, the population of wizards had been practically eradicated by the former tyrant. The Rivertons are now charged with creating an Academy of Magic, recruiting qualified students, and furthering their own training with secrets that have long been held by the reclusive elves.
Despite their youth, a mysterious spirit has engaged them in an epic struggle to gain mastery of their newfound skills, help raise and train two armies, and stay alive long enough for their final showdown with destiny.
The only things that stand in their way are the assassins hired to destroy them and the Demon Lord’s minion who holds a personal grudge and intends to witness the young boys’ deaths.
EXCERPT ONE: from the Prologue – we are introduced to a very temperamental Demon Lord
In this region of the Abyss, the temperatures always bordered on freezing. Even so, the air was thick with wet mist. Malphas stared up at his master, who sat high atop his throne of blackest stone. Singeing waves of heat seemed to emanate from the Demon Lord’s skin. The repentant demon would call out to him, but he did not wish to provoke more of his master’s ire. For the time, Lord Sammael simply stared into the distance, refusing to acknowledge his general’s presence.
Finally, after what seemed like a long wait, Sammael directed his attention to Malphas. “I have learned that a new wizard has entered Trimoria,” he said without speaking. His voice, inky and coarse, erupted as if from within Malphas’s head. “You will find out how such a thing was possible.”
Malphas strode to the throne and knelt at his lord’s feet. The black scales of his knees rasped against the stone floor. At twenty feet tall, the general usually towered over his minions, but kneeling before the immense black throne made him feel utterly insignificant. Where he would normally cause all who looked upon him to cower, General Malphas found himself cowering at the feet of his master.
“But, my lord,” Malphas said in his gravelly voice, “how can that be? I thought you arranged for the purging of those who followed Seder.”
The temperature in the cold, dank chamber climbed rapidly as the Demon Lord’s rage bubbled to the surface. Lesser demons in the vicinity burst into flame, disappearing into greasy puffs of acrid smoke.
“Don’t ever mention my brother’s name again,” Sammael commanded. “I will not hear it spoken by the likes of you.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I am an Army brat and the first person in my family to be born in the United States. This heavily influenced my youth by instilling a love of reading and a burning curiosity about the world and all of the things within it. As an adult, my love of travel allowed me to explore many unimaginable locations. I participated in many adventures and documented them in what will be a series of books, the first of which you have just read.
Some might put these books in the Fantasy genre, and I never had issues with this label. After all, the adventures were, without any doubt in my mind, fantastic. I simply quibble with the label of “Fiction” that some might put on these tales. These tales should be viewed as historical records, more along the lines of a documentary.
I’ve learned one thing over the years. Magic is real. Keep exploring, and you too will find your magic.
Michael’s Website: http://michaelarothman.com/
Michael on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5778499.Michael_A_Rothman
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