Category Archives: Books

David Farland

I don’t normally do this but… In my recent posts I have reviewed one of David Farland’s books on writing as well copied from one of his newsletters. David is a great man, a wonderful writer, and a friend to new authors. David’s son was seriously injured this week in a long boarding accident. Things don’t look good for him. One his mother’s birthday they had to remove the 16 year old boy’s skull cap to relive pressure on the brain. Needless to say his medical bills are growing. I am asking all my friends to support the family by buying one of david farland’s books. Visit his Amazon Author page to find an interesting book. view his Runelords Page and Of Mice and Magic page.

If you believe in God please pray for David. his son. and family.

David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants—Taking Time for the Important Things

Taking Time for the Important Things

4/4/2013

David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants—Taking Time for the Important Things

Today is April 4th, my wife’s birthday.  We normally take time to go out for the evening on her birthday, but tonight we have a viewing at a funeral and planned to spend time with family.

However, my son Ben had a longboarding accident in Snow Canyon last night, and sustained massive brain damage.  He’s in a coma, and our kids have come together to try to support him.

The point of today’s kick?  Writing is important, but family is more important.  Take time to hug your loved ones today and every day.  The story can wait until you get back.

 

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Resonance in Writing

ResonanceThis week I picked up David Farland’s book “Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing”I remember talking about resonance in physics and how sounds resonate with other sounds creating a more enjoyable sound than those that doesn’t. I never thought about resonance from writers prospective.

Having read this book I find it intimidating so much I never thought about. It has got me rethinking about all the names in my fantasy series; I’ll likely have to re think them. There is much more to resonance than just the names. How does it relate to our lives, to other things we’ve read, our loves and fears, etc. he even pointed out the importance of making a cover resonance with other covers. He uses an artist that has created covers for some of the great fantasy writers this even his covers brings resonance to readers of these other books.

Throughout the book he points out how Tolkien use resonance with his words, the story itself and even in the imagery. Tolkien was a master of resonance there is much to learn from his work.

I must confess I never read “The Lord of the Rings”. I read “The Hobbit” which I enjoyed I just never got into “The Lord of the Rings” I did read several other fantasy books and played Dungeons and Dragons for years even became a Dungeon Master. Much of my fantasy world comes from ADND (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons) you could say I refined my world through my Role Playing. The story of Ferguson started out in a ADND game where I was a player. Ferguson a wizard Elf and his half elf Druid daughter became two of the main players in my Kavilion series.

I never went much with the ADND elves shorter than humans I always saw elves more like Tolkien tall splinter yet majestic. In many ways superior to humans. Aloft yet protectors of nature. My series also includes the Drow from R. A. Salvatore. Not that I have a Dirzzt. But I do have a Sylvan Elf that gets subdued by the dark elf in an effort to gain power and seek revenge. I guess I am already using some resonance and didn’t even know it.

There is much for a novice writer such as myself to learn from this work. I strongly recommend this to all inspiring writers. I wonder if this would have helped me with me reports in college.

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David Farland’s Kick in the Pants

Today I receiver the latest of David Farland’s writing tips where he talks about writing to the seven senses. He starts out by saying “I was judging a contest this morning and found a story that I really wanted to love. Unfortunately, the author didn’t transport me into the tale. He didn’t use smell, taste, sight, touch, or sound enough. That’s too bad, because the character and conflict were fascinating”.

In the next paragraph he adds this advice from a dear old friend “Dean Wesley Smith, teaches authors that they should reference each of the senses at least every 500 words—or every two pages. I think that’s wise counsel for beginning writers. Doing it might seem mechanical, but if you take it up as an exercise, it will quickly teach you to make sure to ground your story in imagery”.

When I was in school I only learned about the five sense sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. David goes on to add two more kinetic or motion and thought or emotion.

As I read through this email I couldn’t help but think of the writing I did yesterday in one of my books and what I could do to include the seven senses in my story. I need to do a complete write not that it was really bad but there was more tell and less show then there should have been. One of my Characters is a young Sylva Ranger. I talk about what they are; I need to rewrite this with his thoughts and feelings about having become part of this élite group. After all at the start of the story no one knows what Sylvan Rangers are some might realize that Sylvans are a type of elf often called wood elves and rangers are warriors that specialize in caring for nature. Therefore, they might assume that sylvan Rangers are wood elf warriors that care for the forests. Though many readers might remain clueless as to what they are and all will fall short of who they really are.

In my world elves are divided into six tribes High (Original), Gray, Sylvan (wood), Desert, Aquatic, and Arctic. One member from each tribe is called to represent “Lord” the tribe to the Elven Council. Each tribe has a small security force the best of the best that protects their interest and to a lesser extend provides security for their selected “Lord” Each is based in Mount Corellon where the Elven Council meets The Sylvan Rangers report to the Sylvan Lord and are warriors with some magical ability relating to nature and the forest. These abilities are different from Ranger to ranger but might include the ability to talk with animals or plants, the ability to control the weather, the ability to make a plant grow, to heal the sick, or purify food and water. There are many Sylvan elves that are rangers but only the best are selected to become Sylvan Rangers. They are selected in their youth based on the skill and potential they show. Few are selected and those who are must work hard to improve not only their fighting skills but also to discover and develop their special skills.

I need to change the start to include this young Ranger thinking about his selection to the Sylvan Rangers, what he went through and his thought of pride for being selected. Then add in the thoughts and other senses as they first see the smoke rising above the forest in the distance then as they arrive to find the burned out encampment and slaughter of a group of their fellow Sylvan Elves.

I’m not going to give away the story line but there is a lot of work to bring these few short pages up to where they need to be so the reader can see and feel through the eyes of this young elf what he feels and sees. Something new for me to learn and experiment with.

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Filed under Books, Editing, Elves, Ideas, Life, Thoughts

How do elves age?

My experience with elves is mixed between Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and reading fantasy.  In AD&D elves do not reach maturity until they are around 100.  If this is the case how does their body and mind age as compared to humans?

I’ve read in The Lord of the Rings elves mature mentally faster than humans but their bodies mature slower, with them reaching adulthood at somewhere between 50 and 100 years of age.  Again how would they age as compared to humans.

This becomes important to me because I have several eleven characters that grow up during the story.  In the case of Ferguson and his sister Moenna take part in several of the later books and their age will have an effect on how the story plays out.  Ferguson is a young elf, far from mature when his father dies.  At this point his sister Moenna is a new-born.  Even though still a child by elven standards Ferguson must take over his father’s responsibility and lead his people.

How would the elves respond to being lead by a child?  How would you respond to being lead by a child?  In ancient days when the king died if his child was not yet of age they court would often appoint a regent to run things until the child reached adulthood.  A vital part of the story calls for Ferguson to take charge and lead his people.

With the death of their parents Moenna is a new-born.  It isn’t long until she becomes a main character in the stories.  Do the story have to wait a hundred years for her to age to adulthood or is she able to become an active player earlier.  Keep in mind that a major element in the story is human, so a wait of even 50 years would be the passing of multiple generations.

I like the idea from middle earth that elves mentality mature faster than they do physically.  At a year an elf child is able to talk, sing, walk, and dance but their body is still that of an infant.  Their mind will continue to grow faster than a human so by their teens they are metals as mature as a human adult, but their body will still reflect that of a human child maybe a toddler.  By fifty even though they have been mentally mature for many years their body is still that of a young teen.

This type of aging would allow them to be accepted more by elven society even though human society would still see them as nothing more than a child.  A human would most likely have no respect for an elf of fifty because they would see the physical not the mental maturity of the elves.  This will work in my favor in the stories because Ferguson has assumed his role as a leader among his people, but he is forced to deal with humans many of which will see him as a child and act accordingly.

Thus an elf at fifty my assume some adult responsibility but still be physically limited in the tasks they perform due to their physical ability.  You would not expect a young teen ager to be as strong as an adult.

To sum everything up elves mentally age faster than humans but their body matures more slowly.  Thus their body won’t reach full maturity (mid to late teen) until around 100 years.

 

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Midnight Thoughts

Don’t you just hate it when you wake up in the middle of the night still wanting to sleep but your mind says no.  I’m having one of those nights so I find myself thinking about my books and making some updates to my websites.  The other night I had a detailed dream that got me thinking about another book this one is Zerham’s Star in my dream I saw the whole thing played out and awoke knowing I had to at least get some of it down before I lost it, and so another story begins.

My goal with this New Year is to set aside time every day to write. I want to get my first book out during the first quarter of the year and go from there.

One of the problems I’ve been having is that I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head that I keep jumping from idea to idea. So for the most part I’ve picked a couple of them to concentrate on, unless something else comes up I am making an effort to get them out of my head and into a book.

My first book is going to be one I’ve started on WordPress. I’ve worked in the computer industry most of my life so it just makes since to start there. I am also working on a Christian themed book then I want to dive into Kavilion. Kavilion is the series that started it all, I told my future wife about it when we were courting and she’s been after me to write it ever since, so Kavilion is truly for her.

 

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