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

A Review of CreateSpace’s POD Services

As those of you who follow me on Twitter will know, I received a package in the mail on Thursday that contained 4 copies of my novel, Kingslayer. This post will basically be a review of the printing services offered by the company I used, which is CreateSpace. Before I get to that, however, it is important to view the video of me opening the package. Sorry in advance if I seem a little awkward. I’m not much for cameras.

Assuming you’ve gone an watched the video, let’s just cut to the chase. I’m very pleased with the experience. As I said in the video, I’d say it’s 4 1/2 stars out of 5. In other words, I’m 90% pleased, which is pretty good. At first I said that as a bit of a random number, because it’s not going to be perfect; then I realized there was a bit of glue on the backs of a couple of the books.

So in other words, I’m still 90% impressed, only for a different reason. The binding is good, the matte cover is professional looking. Even the Canva cover I made for the book looks flawless. The bottom line is that if they had managed to print the 4 books, I’d give them a full 100% on this. I’m sure they’ll get it right in the future.

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

–N.L., 2017

 

Dealing With Rejection

As some of you may know, I once had an earlier draft of Kingslayer published through a traditional press. But in order to get to that point, I had to submit the novel to countless other publishers, all of which rejected the book for one reason or another. Truth be told, I’ve lost count as to how many rejections I got from the book. So you may be wondering how I dealt with rejection.

The truth is, rejection isn’t easy for everyone. I got used to it pretty quickly, and I never lost any sleep over it. Some people do, however, which is why it’s important to talk about it. Every writer has been rejected at some point. Even Harry Potter was rejected by a handful of publishers, which is why it’s important to remember that a rejection doesn’t mean your story is crap; it just means that your story wasn’t right for that particular press. It happens.

The point is, don’t give up on being a writer just because you got a few rejections. Maybe the story you’re working on isn’t meant to be published, or maybe you’re just meant to self-publish. Just remember that a rejection isn’t an indictment on your skill as a writer. A publisher is a business, and therefore they are thinking about their bottom line. Anyone who says otherwise is a real bleeping idiot.

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

–N.L., 2017

Update On Kingslayer

As those of you who follow me on Twitter might know, the print edition of Kingslayer is now available on amazon. It can be purchased here. The eBook edition will be out as soon as possible, but I just wanted to let everyone who is interested know that it can now be purchased.

Anyway, that’s it for now. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Finding Your Range

As writers, we love to tell stories. Some are naturally going to be longer than others, but what should be a writer’s focus in their career? Short fiction? Novels? Novellas? All of the above? That’s the question I hope to answer with this blog.

The truth is, some writers write in a different range than others. For example, my book Kingslayer is only 35,000 words, while other writers have books that are over twice that much. The point remains the same: different writers write different stories that are different sizes. So what should you focus on?

Well, it depends. What kinds of stories come more naturally to you? If the answer is that you write longer stories, focus on those. If you write shorter stories instead, focus on those and publish them in anthologies. In the age of digital publishing, there’s no shortage of platforms for what you want to write and how you want to see them in print.

The bottom line is this: some writers work differently than others, so you need to focus on what works best for you.

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

–N.L., 2017

Quarterly Writing Update: Spring 2017

For this evening’s blog post, I’ve decided to give you an update on everything I’ve been working on lately. The majority of my work, of course, has been focused on my forthcoming debut Kingslayer. However, as many of you who are on Twitter know, I’ve also begun working on an epistolary novel (a book written in the form of letters).

The work on Kingslayer is coming, though very slowly. I’ve completed typesetting the print version, but there’s been an issue with the cover. While it looks pretty good, it doesn’t work with the spine and back cover. This means that I’ll have to create a new cover. In addition, the eBook is mostly done, but I’m still figuring out the complexities to making the footnotes that are in the novel accessible to readers. All in all, I’m nearly done. I just have to put in a solid day’s work to get everything just right.

The epistolary novel has been started. I have bits here and there completed, including two letters (or chapters). This novel will be a side novel to Kingslayer, though both books can stand entirely on their own. I have less than 1,000 written so far, but the work is coming together a lot better than Kingslayer did. I will reveal the title and plot at a different time.

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

–N.L., 2017