Changes to Kingslayer, a novel by Napoleon Lovecraft

This is a brief update for my novel Kingslayer. As discussed in past blogs and tweets, I have created bonus content for the readers (a flash fiction narrative and one appendix), to expand more on things that are going on in the text that you don’t see due to the first person narrative.

I have also created a new cover that I think looks more professional. I’ll be republishing the book with new content and a new cover within the week.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Update: Summer 2017

I know I haven’t been making my regular posts, but I assure you I’m not chillin’ with Tolkien, Poe, Twain, and other dead writers. I have, on the other hand, been very busy. I’ve been taking a senior-level playwriting class, after all. And before that, I was visiting my brother and his girlfriend out in the boonies of Angleton, Texas.

Several projects in a row have fallen apart–including the epistolary novel I spoke about on Twitter–but I did manage to get something else done. I managed to fully draft a piece of flash fiction, which will be published as bonus content in the back of Kingslayer with a simple update to my files (perks of self-publishing). This story actually stems from the failed prequel for my novel that never got finished, but I digress. I’m also going to be publishing an appendix in the back of the book to further explain some of the magical items in my created universe.

Something else I’ve been working on is a new cover for Kingslayer. The current one just isn’t working or getting the book noticed, so I figured a change is in order. It’ll be up soon.

Right now, novels just aren’t working for me. I’m starting to think that short fiction and flash fiction are where I need to focus my attention, until I can readjust my attention to novels again. That’s why I’m considering doing a collection of fantasy flash fiction (some of which will be from the world of Kingslayer, while others will be from entirely new worlds).

All in all, I wanted to update everyone on what I am doing so they can get a bigger picture for why I’ve been absent from the blog scene.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Food in Fantasy

There are several novels out there that are in the fantasy genre and have some kind of unique food or beverage that exists within the author of that novel’s made-up fantasy world. One famous example is butterbeer from Harry Potter, which has been created in real life, but at one point was a complete fabrication. Another example is from my own novel Kingslayer, where the characters can be seen eating a dish called “dragonloaf,” which is basically a meatloaf made of dragon meat.

If you want to truly make your fantasy world come to life, it is important to give the characters interesting food choices. For example, Japan has far different food choices than Italy. Part of this is due to geographic differences, but part of it is also because their culture is different. Both those things are unique in a secondary world fantasy, and you can have even more possibilities when you consider that magical creatures exist in your fantasy world.

What kinds of animals do the people of your world eat, and how are they prepared? Both these questions will depend on the culture of your fantasy world. Let’s say that grapes are outlawed by your world’s government, so what other fruits would be used to make wine? These are very important kinds of things to think about if fantasy is the kind of book writing that you want to do.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Dialogue

Everyone has a unique voice, whether you be from Boston in the U.S. or Ireland in the U.K., but how can a writer use this fact to make dialogue that is unique from character to character? Well, there are lots of components to this, which will inevitably have to be covered in future posts,  but at its most basic level, dialogue stems from how people talk.

If you want to write realistic dialogue, it is important to note that there are three major components to speech: phenology, morphology, and syntax. Phenology is basically how people pronounce certain words, morphology is the choice of one word over another that basically means the same thing, and syntax is all about overall word choice.

For example, if someone says “worsher” as opposed to “washer,” you’ll know this is an example of phenology where they’re talking about a washing machine. Different people pronounce these words differently depending on their geography. Morphology works similarly in that you’ll say something different depending on where you live, except you’ll use a different word as opposed to the same word that’s pronounced differently. Fireflies are a good example of this. Where I live in the south, firefly is the accepted word, but in other places firebugs or lightning bugs are just as acceptable. Syntax is a little more complex, but it’s self-explanatory, so I won’t go any further on that.

The point is, we’re all going to talk differently, and it’s your job as a writer to convey that in how your characters talk. Geography is very important in the real world, because different kinds of people settle in different places, and therefore different accents and even dialects develop. If you want to create realistic dialogue, even in fantasy, these are all things to keep in mind.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

How to Not Get Burnt Out on Writing

Sometimes, I have a hard time getting words on the page. This isn’t because of a lack of planning, or writer’s block, or something else entirely. The truth is, writing a lot on the same story is something that can cause you to get burnt out. It’s happened to me. For Kingslayer, I worked on that story for 10, so by the time I was done nitpicking and changing words around, I was sick of writing everything and anything. This is part of the reason my blogs will sometimes not get posted, but I digress.

The real question is, how do we avoid getting burnt out? Well, that’s a great question. I feel like most writers should be able to slow things down and live a little. Experience the world, hang out with friends, yada, yada, yada. Now, that’s not to say don’t write during your scheduled writing periods; however, you have to be willing to take a break and explore the world. For instance, I’m going on a trip to Houston in a couple of weeks, and I will likely not do any fiction writing during large portions of that trip.

Now, writing is important if you want to see your work in print, but for goodness sake, don’t burn yourself out in the process. If need be, take Saturdays off (or some other day of the week). Just give yourself some time to do other things, because too much of a good thing can be bad for your mental health.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Dealing with Nay-Sayers

Negativity is a crushing thing for a writer, and unfortunately, most of us will have to deal with it in one form or another at one point in our writing life. Personally, I can’t count the number of times I’ve had someone act all negative or critical when they discovered I wanted to be a writer.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a published author or someone who aspires to be one. At some point, you’re going to have to deal with negativity. Negativity is going to show up in several ways. The most common, in my experience, is going to be that person that keeps telling you that you’re just not going to be successful and make any money off your writing.

But you know, even if you get published, you’re still going to have to deal with jerks saying crap about your books. In other words, you’ll have to deal with reviews. That doesn’t mean you have to listen. Opinions are like buttholes: everyone has one. What you got to do is learn to filter it out and only listen to encouraging comments. Those other guys don’t give a crap, and they’re usually not the kinds of people you want to go to for writing advice anyway.

The bottom line is that people are going to criticize you for wanting to be a writer. Even J.K. Rowling gets criticized for her work, so don’t let it bother you. Being a writer means that dealing with stuff like this is a fact of life. If you can’t take it, you really can’t be a writer.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Taking Care of Yourself As a Writer

If you’re a writer (like me), then you probably spend a fair deal of time writing stories. But where does all that time to write come from? If I was being entirely honest, I’d have to say most writers make sacrifices in order to get their writing done. And in my case at least, making certain sacrifices can result in not taking care of myself very well. So, I figured I’d discuss the importance of taking care of yourself as a writer.

There are a lot of ways writers are terrible at taking care of themselves. Personally, I get into a panic if I’m not working on a story. This means I often forget to eat, and my hygiene actually sucks at times. I also am not your typical guru for fitness and wellness. Bodily exercise is a friend I need to see more, but because I’m a writer I usually spend more time writing. And don’t get me started on my social life. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate people, but sometimes I focus more on getting a story written.

The truth is, all of the above are some of the most common problems writers have when it comes to taking care of themselves, and additionally, every single example is something I struggle with personally.

If you’re a writer, it’s okay to write every day. But for goodness sake, eat a well balanced diet every day, and keep up with your hygiene. Also exercise, and don’t forget to have friends you spend time with (even if it’s only on the weekends). All of the above are important things in every person’s life (writer or otherwise), and if you forget that then there’s a real problem.

Obviously this shouldn’t be stated, but if you’re a writer, you’re more prone to these problems than the general population. And if you struggle with these problems like I do, just know you’re not alone.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017