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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Endurance and Victory! - Part Two


I have been so busy as of late that it seems I've begun neglecting my blog. As most of you can probably understand I've had Christmas family stuff to deal with, a short family crisis, as well as simple time to write and be with the family. Here is the promised Endurance and Victory Post (though not the one I expected) and coming soon might be a third part as well as the series on types of characters.

I talk to many aspiring writers, quite a few of which are my friends in real life. They stick with writing for months, sometimes even a full year, and then just quit. They grow tired, or loose interest. This is my greatest fear--that I may by some means loose interest in my current project or in writing in general.

I've gone through many obsessions in life. Being a kid, I often have "phases" of one thing or another. While I was REALLY small I was in love with Batman. All I ever wanted to do and to be was Batman. I never took off the costume, refused to answer to "Nathan" (only to "Batman"), and I even recall praying that I would miraculously be transformed into Batman. But what came with this obsession was the nagging fear that I would someday lose this feeling and become interested in something else.

More recently (as in a few years ago) my obsession was Star Wars. This went on from the time I was seven years old until two years ago. I really liked it. I bought all the toys, had all the video games, and had mastered the ways of the light-saber. I practiced dueling all day everyday until I could out fight kids nearly ten years my elder. I named myself Nathan Light-walker and, once again, refused to answer to anything save "Master Light-walker". I wrote a 100 page novel, at the age of 10, about Light-walker and how he and his jedi buddies saved Yoda from the clutches of the Dark Side. I fell in love with the Lego version of my favorite characters, and then the Lego Star Wars Video Game. And I remember clear as day thinking "I hope this love never dies out."

And then came my obsession with writing.

In all of my obsessions I've feared losing the obsession. These times came when I found a lack of productivity in them, or a lack of their use.

As of late, I've found myself very busy and very unable to write. This inactive state is adding to my fear that I may loose interest in writing. The funny thing is, I am writing WAYYY more than I used to and yet I still feel like I'm not doing enough. Why?

Because I'm only writing in short spurts.

Every other day or so I sit down with the plan to write for one, maybe two, hour(s). And recently I've only been able to keep at it for one hour and then knocking out half as many words as usual. On a normal day I can write 1,500-2,000 words an hour, but the trend for the past couple months has been only about 300-400 words. And its bothering me like crazy.

Have you ever felt like this? Gotten discouraged because you are not doing as well as you previously have done? It's not fun.

So I try to re-encourage myself (yes I made up that word) in any number of ways: I'll chat with other writers, take a break and read for a while, do push-ups, shut off the computer, or anything else that might help infuse me with energetic creativity.

Some would call this Writer's Block. I don't. To me, it's just that I can't seem to find the story-world. I don't write in a way that Writer's Block implies to me. It seems that the term "Writer's Block" would mean that a writer is trying to create such and such and simply can't. I don't feel like that. I know, very well, what happened to my characters. But in this time right now, I can't find my characters in order to represent the events accurately.

When I call a day of writing good, the words and actions of my characters flow easily. I don't even have to think. What the characters say, they say, and what they do, they do. It's easy when things come like that. But what I consider my own version of "writer's block", and what I'm at now, I find myself forcing the characters to my will. And when I do that, well, I don't produce as much or as good of a story as I do when it comes naturally.

So as writing buddy Christian Miles said on my previous "Endurance" post, I often tuck my head and run through a scene. I just don't like to do this though, and I am not a fan of skipping ahead in my stories. I either skip backwards or not at all. I just don't like skipping ::laughs::

What I'd like readers of this post to do, is to comment with some ideas on how to get out of a rut. When you are having a bad day of writing, what do you do? Because lately, I've just been quitting and waiting for better days. As you can imagine, this isn't a good idea.

I know this idea of being "stuck in a rut" has become rather repetitive on this blog for the past couple posts, but I'd like to think its something every writer struggles with. If not, I guess that just makes me even more special :)

Stuff for you guys to look forward to;
  • "Characters' Character" Series
  • "Party Till Midnight!"
  • "New New Year's Resolutions!"
  • "Endurance and Victory! - Part Three"
  • A link to the working prelude of The Sword of Fire
I hope you all had wonderful Christmases, I know I did. I am so upset that I didn't get to blog on Christmas Day. I had an awesome idea that I wanted to run with, if enough of you want me to blog it I will. The title would have been Silent Night *Cue Thunder, Lightning, and Battle*

And since that is over: Have a happy new year!

To the end,
Nathan

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Part Two is Completed!

The dwarf king walked next to Tarth and smiled up at him. He leaned forward and whispered. “Thank you.”

The Prince’s lips turned up at the corners and he nodded. “It is the King that redeems, not I.”

“But through the willingness of His servants the Most High does mighty things.” The Jreen of the dwarves let a smile fill his face, swelling with a joyous pride. He turned back to his people. “And by their hands the nations will praise Him.”


The above is a quote from the second of three parts in my novel. And it is found in the final chapter. I think it sums up the theme of the section nicely--that God uses His servants in mighty ways.

I am so excited! As many of you know I've been writing the novel for nearly five years. And in all this time I've only passed the middle section of the novel once, and that was the first draft. Part Two is a newer addition to the story and consists mainly of an epic battle and preparation for said battle. It was awesome to write and I trust will be awesome to read once edits have been done.

Part three begins the climax of the story, as well as the slowing down. The whole story leading up to this point has been the main characters trying to rescue the main main character's sister. Thus, Part Three is entitled "The Lost is Found" and I have not had a chance to visit this section in many the year. And I am SOOOO excited.

Part three means a lot to me. It's the end of the story, the completion of the quest (completion of this tale, maybe not contentment for the characters however. "Lost" doesn't have to mean the guy's sister ;) ). It's my favorite part of the novel. And it signifies one thing;

The end.

The day I will be able to type those words for the last time will be a grand day indeed.

I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have a completed manuscript and be satisfied with it. To be ready to send it out to publishers, agents, and editors. Man, that's gotta be an awesome feeling.

How many of you have finished a manuscript? How many look forward to it? I know I do.

The other thing that comes to mind with this is how to end the novel. I have a pretty sweet ending if I say so myself but I'm curious--what makes a good ending? There are two kinds of novels--series novels and standalones. So for series, how should they end? Standalones? I'm curious. I have my own ideas, of course, but as always I'd love to hear from you :)

The end. (or is it? o.O )

Saturday, December 19, 2009

'Tis the Season to be Random! Falala-etc.

Christmas time is here! Woohoo! Friday was my last day at school, for which I am more than grateful, and I'm finally on Christmas Break. Over the next few weeks I plan to write and finish my novel (we'll see how that comes out lol) as well as work on some things for Wayne Batson's Tribe Building Game. In the meantime however, there's some serious business to be taken care of.


Christmas lights.

Probably the most important part of the year--the lighting contest between my siblings. The idea is that each of my siblings (there's four of us) get the same amount and types of lights (except for my one brother Stephen...he gets the "special" lights) and we decorate our rooms. I personally prefer the technique of locking the door, setting the alarm, setting extra precautions (as in placing a close hanger on the lock and then setting it to my light switch, effectively keeping the door from unlocking), and then finally pushing the chair up to the door, and begin my work.

This year I crushed the competition, and I'll show you why. Or rather, you can look back up at the picture and SEE why.

I wrapped my lights in and out of my Tae-kwon-do trophies and then circled my headrest. The remaining lights from the trophies I strung across the room and to the furthest window. As you can probably see.

It's awesome.

So, here's the list of randomness for the week--it's been far too long since my last random post.

1. I hung the lights
2. I finished reading Christopher Hopper's AWESOME book The Lion Vrie. [See my review on Stories for the King shortly]
3. I completed Part Two of my novel!
4. I made plans for the ACFW Conference!

The Brave is Found, being the second part of The Sword of Fire, was completed just the other day. And it is one awesome section. The entire 30,000 words is mainly battle, which to me is pretty sweet. And I hope a lot of you get the chance to read it someday.

Also, in reference to writing the ACFW Writer's Conference will be held in Indianapolis this year. I read this and literally shouted for joy, "YESSSSSSS!" I've been dying to go to a conference for a ridiculously long time. And finally I will be able to attend one. But this isn't just ANY conference....the ACFW ones are the BEST conferences for my genre. And so I am so excited :)

That's all for now. Just a big batch of randomness.

I'm looking forward to my Christmas post :) As well as some updates on my magazine story.

Enjoy;

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Author Scott Appleton Visits!


Hey guys! So I had a unique opportunity today, a chance not many get very often. My school was visited by an author in my field of writing. Mr. Scott Appleton author of the novel Swords of the Six spoke today in first my creative writing class and then during my last two periods. And let me tell you, I had an awesome time.

Mr. Appleton is a well known author and owner of the publishing company Flaming Pen Press. He came to our school to promote Swords of the Six and also to talk to us about his writing life and what he's learned along his own writing journey.

I for one learned a lot from him, and was very impressed. Mr. Appleton knows his craft. I wish I had been able to tape his whole presentation but here is a brief statement he made in my Creative Writing Class. Yes I know the camera isn't steady, and it makes a loud noise when it zooms in and out, and I know that the clip I caught makes no sense, and yadayadayada. I'm a failure :P Enjoy the clip.






So yes, an awful clip. But there was a lot of cool things discussed in that class.

One of my friends asked this question, "If you are trying to publish something, at what point do you give up? And how do you know when you've reached that point?"

To which Scott replied, "You don't give up."

You see, there are a lot of writers out there that simply "like" writing. They don't love it, they don't have to write. To them writing is just something they think is fun. But they don't need to do it. To many writers, often the ones who get published, writing is like breathing. The writers that will continue writing even if they don't ever get published are the writers that will find what they seek. These are the authors that make the bestseller lists.

Because if you love something, you are going to want to learn everything about it. If you love God, you will learn about Him. If you love sports, you will practice. And if you love writing, you will study the craft and practice what needs be done to succeed. Writing is like music, it's like sports, and it's like everything else. Writing is a craft, an art. And so practice does in fact make perfect. The more you read, the more you write, the better you will get. Eventually, you will have created a piece worthy of publication.

That theme seemed to carry that class a bit. I was only present for one of the two classes Scott talked to, but I imagine something similar went on.

Other things discussed included writer's block (how to avoid it), what writing style seems best (third person limited, third person omniscient, first person, etc), paths to take toward publication, and simply that theme of endurance. Run the race. If you love it, the race will be of no difficulty.

So then I had to go back to class. Thankfully, Scott's visit was not yet over. Dixie had planned for him to speak to the whole school. And while this did not exactly happen, Scott did end up speaking to around 100 kids. It was a fair enough turn out, and I imagine sales of SOTS weren't all that bad.

At this larger presentation Scott dwelt more on his own book rather than writing at first. He explained how he ended up writing Swords of the Six and not its squeal Offspring first. And then he proceeded to explain how he first began his novel, which was later changed for a more action-y prelude. Either way, this is where the idea for Sword of the Dragon came from.

Once again, excuse the poor quality of the video and my own stupidity in cutting it short. But you get the gist of it I hope;



He goes on to explain how a sword was stuck up in a tree upside down, as if it had been thrust up out of the ground. The boy looks down and sees a gaping hole in the earth, and clouds inside. And so the story began.

Reading summaries and reviews it really does sound like an awesome epic of a book. Once I finish reading it, sometime during Christmas break, I'll post my own review but in the meantime check out Jacob Parker's review and the Amazon purchasing page. Because I know how much you all want to buy it :)

Anyhow, from there he opened up the floor for people to purchase his book. And it seemed that most everyone went down. How many of them actually bought the book, I am not sure yet. But I certainly hope a good many did.

Scott also was giving away free posters and the like, which I will be hanging in my room shortly. The cover artwork for this book is amazing, and ever since the first time I saw it--maybe a year or so ago--I've wanted to read this book. Now I finally have the chance :)

After everyone had bought, or had the chance to buy, a book Scott opened up the floor for a question and answer session. The group was quiet at first, but slowly hands shot up and a good amount of questions were asked and answered.

The Q and A's were the best part for me, simply because Scott knows so much about the market of writing, how to market, and how to write. It was a very enjoyable session. We had to cut short because the next class was about to begin, or it likely would have gone on for a long time.

When I was on my way out Scott asked me to stick around for a few minutes. And by that I do believe he meant a few hours for I spent the rest of the school day, 2 hours at least, talking with he and his wife Kelley. I have to say, however, that I didn't even notice the passing of time. I was so excited, as I often am around writers lol, and interested that I simply didn't notice. It was very enjoyable. It's always nice to sit down with another writer like yourself, which are few and far between around me, and just talk. Not on a topic, but just talk. And so I thoroughly enjoyed Scott and Kelley's company.

Tomorrow the two of them will be returning to my school to set up a book stand. This is because the student body was not informed quite enough about his coming and so many were not able to buy a book. And SO many wanted to. So I'll have another chance to hang with them tomorrow.

So, is there anything you'd like me to elaborate on? How do you feel around writers who have done what you aspire to do? What kinds of questions would you ask a writer if given the chance? Anything random I haven't stated? lol

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Characteristics of Characters, and their Character


Hey'a readers/writers/random people! There was an overwhelming response to my last post, for which I am very thankful, and one of the topics that started being discussed was characters. What makes a good hero, villains, and where characters come from. Seeing as how this is a very good topic I thought I'd blog on it.

All stories, fiction or nonfiction, fantasy or otherwise, are about characters. Stories are about who characters are, what they want, and how they get or do not get what they want. Every story. And as characters are the most central part of any story, they are likewise the most important part of writing a story.

So what makes a good hero? There have been all types that have had success--underdogs, super-humans, average people, and probably more. What kind of traits make characters believable, and lovable?

My favorite characters and stories involve things that should never happen. Like Frodo Baggins, he's just a hobbit...there's no way he should have been able to waltz into Mount Doom and destroy the Ring. But he did.

I guess my favorite characters are the underdogs faced with impossible tasks.

And why does this resonate with us? Because we feel like them. We all feel like underdogs faced with impossible tasks at some point in our lives. And through faith in something stronger we overcome these impossibilities. These are the stories that stick with us, and the characters as well.

Here's my list of most common traits for a hero;
  • Loyal
  • Trusting
  • Naive
  • Underestimated
  • Innocent
It seems to me that those things make up all good heroes.

But what if you can't write like this? What if you aren't that creative (like most writers)?

Basically what I'm asking is where do you get your characters from?

Mine, in TSOF, typically come from combining characteristics of real life friends. My current project, as with most first projects, has a main character much like myself and supporting characters much like my friends. But the thing is, no one wants to read an allegory of your life--unless its really interesting. Your characters need to be new, and yet real.

This is a difficult thing to balance. Creating entirely new people. People with histories, goals, dreams, hopes, pains, weaknesses, etc.

I find it easiest to steal from real life. Write a character with a history similar to your own, or someone you know. Snag personalities from multiple persons and make this person its own. And after the personality and story is set, the goals and dreams easily fall in line.

You following me? Steal from real life. Throw people together and make a new person. Or perhaps make characters symbolic of a trait--love (make a person who's life is centered around love), loyalty (make a Sam Gamgee character), and more.

So once you have your hero, you need to pit him/her against someone. A villain.

So what makes a good villain? Villains, honestly, are many people's favorite characters. They can define a story. You can have a perfect main character, and write such a bad villain that your story will be awful.

This is a skill hard for many people. Your villains need to be just as real as your hero, perhaps even more so. They need believable motives, readers in fact do need to identify with the bad guys. Because it adds so much more depth to the story. Some of the best stories are the ones where the reader is caught between the two sides--good and evil. Loving the villain but knowing he is evil. That's the goal. Make the reader feel for the villain, or at least understand him. You don't need to write a lovable villain. But write one that makes sense.

For example, a bad story would have a villain that wants to kill the main character...simply to kill the main character. There is no purpose in killing him. He just wants to kill him.

That's a bad character. The villain needs motives, just as much as a hero.

Now, it is commonly misunderstood that villains need to be wholly evil, detestable, ugly, dressed in black, etc etc. You know the picture. Think up the most cliche villain. That's what I'm talking about.

Instead of following this trend, write a seemingly good villain, enchantingly evil, handsome, donning shinning robes. Give your reader the same feeling as the hero. Fearful, but enchanted.

Naturally this varies between stories. But there really aren't rules in writing characters--they just need to be real. Sometimes cliche's work, but not often.

Make a villain that's wretchedly evil. But make your readers like him.
Make a hero with motives your readers understand, and terrorize his life.

So, here's what I'd like to talk about. Do you agree, disagree with what I said? Do you want to hear more on any of this? How do you make up characters? What are the most important traits of a hero/villain?

If this goes well I'll do a series of posts on types of characters. Even if it doesn't I just might. I like studying that :)

So, what do you think?

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Novel Idea - Pun Intended


So I was sitting in church on Sunday and was struck with a novel idea. Or rather, a series of novels. All of the novel-ly sort. The story would be somewhat of an allegory of the following books of the Bible--Ezra, Nehemiah, and a few parts of others.

Do you know the story? Maybe, maybe not...it is much lesser known. The books chronicle the events of Nehemiah, Ezra, and Zerubable (I likely spelled that wrong) as they strive to rebuild the wall, temple, and homes of Jerusalem after the Persians burned it. Anyhow, I had a neat idea for a series of books following this story line.

A few weeks before I had one of my best ideas come out of a lesson my youth pastor gave.

And Redemption's Journey came from an educational reading game in combination with my dad's explanation of LOTR.

On top of all this, in the same week, I heard about a neat idea my buddy Jacob Parker came up with from a dream.

And so I got to thinking, where do my ideas mostly come from? Where do most writers' ideas come from?

It seems to me that most of my ideas are coming out of sermons--or any other place I hear someone say something cool. Songs, teachers, anything. People spend forever coming up with just the right analogy for a presentation they are going to give and I like to steal them for story ideas. And as I look over my past as a writer, that seems to be where most of mine are coming from.

So let's get some discussion going. Where do your ideas come from? Do you have any ideas at all? If not, do you want some? Maybe you can try something somebody suggests for your next story.

Let's get chatting.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Victor Giveaway Winner!

So I just finished up the drawing for The Victor and after jotting down forty eight numbers the winner is................................

Wait for it....

Kat Heckenbach!!!

Congratulations! I'll be emailing your for your snail mail address shortly. Then you can give me personalization details for Mrs. Giron.

Let me know what you think of the book when you're finished. I think you'll really like it.

Thanks everybody who entered! And an extra thanks to those that are now following Whispered Roars. I really appreciate it. And I hope you stick around ;)

Remember guys, you can always get your hands on your own copy from Amazon.

Check out the trailer while you're at it ;)






Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Royal Remnant


Happy Thanksgiving Day to all of you American-type-people! I have to tell ya, I was feeling the patriotism today what with apple pie, turkey, and lots and lots of food, football, and family. I swear I could hear the National Anthem in the background. Is it just me?

Anyhow, I got to thinking (which is scary you know?) about the origins of this fattening holiday of ours. Most of you know it, and have likely heard the story time and time again. The story of the pilgrims and how they came to this new land with hopes of freedom and bla bla bla bla bla. But the writer in me took charge and started making connections.

What was this nation founded on? The United States of America. What sets it apart from any other nation? What makes the soaring eagle more special than the roaring lion? What is it that gives Americans such a pride?

Many answers, of course, come to mind. America was founded on freedom, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is true that this is what the Pilgrims and all Americans wanted...but what is it they really wanted? What drove them here? We're taught to ask this with characters in all writing classes, so why not with life?

And then the truth hit me--America was founded on the Hope and Power of My Lord Jesus Christ.

But people don't remember this! And those who do shrug it off with comments like, "Well we can't offend people." And, "Not everyone thinks that way anymore."

It's kind of like the quote from National Treasure where Ben Gates is reading the Declaration of Independence and sighs saying, "People don't talk that way anymore..." Later on he makes the point that people think that way.

Well it seems to me that there are many who remember and "give thanks" for the holy foundations of our country. But there are very few who remember and act on it. Those who do are a select, peculiar, and royal remnant.

Once again the writer in me took over. A royal remnant....doesn't that sound like the back of fantasy novel? A royal remnant, set in place by a righteous King. The world has forgotten them, but they cling to truth nonetheless. The darkness is consuming the light, but through the faith of the few the many will be rescued from the fire.

And then I get all excited. Simply because that does sound like the back of a novel. And what's so cool about it, is that I am part of that remnant, and if not...I strive to be.

This world is so full of darkness. So much so that even pinpoints of truth and light, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, are smothered and turned to dirt. What is the meaning of Thanksgiving? Greed. Christmas? Greed. And there are very few that remember the light.

But is this a cause for grief? Perhaps. But we of the Remnant are not called to dwell on our numbers. We are called to shine our lights into darkness, and lessen the numbers of the enemy and undecided. And the Christmas/Thanksgiving Season is the time for battle.

We should be thankful for those who have joined the cause. And remember those who have died for it. Thanksgiving is a time for remembering our beginnings and worshiping the One Who gave us new life. Specifically in our country. Our nation is special.

Today especially I got to thinking about this warfare. And how this Remnant should battle. Thanksgiving is the time to win back our people. To guide them to the One Who can redeem them of their sins and inspire that hope and joy.

Thanksgiving is the time to give thanks. And it is the time to battle.

This was my Facebook status this morning, "May we all remember the foundations of this nation of ours, and give thanks for the remnant that still thrives. May our fires burn bright for the darkness to see and fear. May the undecided be filled with a desire for truth and may the Maker and Sustainer of heaven and earth be revealed as the Mighty One He is."

May this be our battle cry.

Endurance and Victory. Never alone.

I Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Book Giveaway! - The Victor


Hey guys! Well as you know I've had a lot of reading to catch up on and after my school books came Marlayne Giron's debut The Victor. Mrs. Giron has so graciously offered to allow me to give away one copy to a lucky commenter on this post! So buckle your seat belts and brace for a review by me.

Check it out;

“What care I for thy judgment, O King? I swear to thee this oath: Thou shalt rue this day in great bitterness and mourn that Thou didst not destroy me when it lay within Thy power!” Eloth regarded his former steward and once most trusted servant with an impassive face, but in his gray eyes was an unfathomable pain that only two in the entire court filled with people could behold: Lucius and Eloth’s son, Joshua. “I know,” was Eloth’s silent reply. (Page 36)

And so begins Marlayne Giron’s beautiful novel, The Victor.

I had the honor of receiving this book as a gift, but it is more than worth its retail price. The story is wonderful!

Ellioth is a perfect kingdom. Ruled by a perfect King in perfect love. All is how it should be, with loving stewards, knights, squires, and honest merchants. Things could never be better.

It is at this moment that the Baron Lucius of Northumberland, favorite of King Eloth, lashes out in arrogance, gathering an army to challenge the King’s seraphim. The rebels of the Baron do not stand a chance against the expertly trained elite of Eloth and so Lucius is driven back. But not before the largest amount of innocent blood in all of history is spilled.

Eloth is furious but, in following of His character, shows the Baron mercy in hopes that he may yet be redeemed. Lucius wants none of this mercy and finds such grace more painful than death. And it is then that he fires the words listed above.

“Thou shalt rue this day…”

And in sorrow Eloth whispers two prophetic words, “I know.”

The Victor is the story of how this came to be. It is the riveting and romantic tale of Eloth’s one and only son, Joshua, as he is trained as an ordinary knight and prepared to take the throne of Shiloh—an honor that is rightfully his.

The Victor is the story of the hate-filled Lucius and how he acts on his blood-lust and obsessive desire for vengeance.

The Victor is a tale of the love of Llyonesse for Joshua, and his great love for her and how that love was demonstrated and how Llyonesse was set free.

The Victor is the story of our world. It is the history of mankind penned in a poetic and fantastical way.

Giron writes with eloquence an allegorical tale from the betrayal of Satan to the end of time. With tension that is sure to keep you glued to your seat, characters that make you want to laugh and weep aloud, and powerful inspiration that made me wish to draw sword and charge the strongholds of Hell this is a book you do not want to skip.

Mrs. Giron had me hooked from the first page to the last, leaving me wishing there was more left to read. It truly is a work of art, funny, suspenseful, romantic, and action packed.

I recommend this book for teens thirteen years and older, and I do believe that all fantasy loving readers will thoroughly enjoy this. I certainly did. The book is set in medieval times and Marlayne Giron stays true to the times in the language of the people. The excerpt quoted above is a good example. The book uses “thee” and “thou” and “thy” a good bit, but it never caused a distraction to me. To be quite honest the wordage added to the story.

All of that to say that The Victor is a must-read for all. I loved it, and I believe that you will too.
That's my "formal" review. And not too elaborate too much, but I really really liked it.

There are lots of cool connections in there to the Bible and the Gospel message, which are always fun to read, though it could very very easily be read as a straight fantasy.

To me, the best thing about it was the characters. The Victor is most definitely a character driven story and Mrs. Giron did an excellent job in drawing these characters for me. I saw them, laughed with them, cried with them, it was very well written. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

(As you can tell I'm new to book giveaways so this post will end rather abruptly)

How to Enter the Drawing;

Comment on this post with a valid email (I'll contact you if you win for snail mail addresses, only "inner" USA please)

To get more entries you can;
Sign up as a follower of this blog
And/or
Post about this giveaway on your blog (give me the link too ;) )

And well, that's it.

Whoever wins this is seriously in for a treat. The book very much exceeded my expectations. You'll love it; I promise.

Check out Marlayne Giron's website here!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Night Writing Frenzy


Welcome all to the second WR writing challenge! The challenge begins at 8:30 EST but I thought I'd post now just to explain what you need to do. If you are just stumbling upon this blog it will help to explain these as well.

Writing challenges have a purpose--to suck words and story out of any writer. Basically, the point of this is not to produce a perfect story, it's to start one. If you're in writer's block or something, or just can't seem to write--this challenge is for you. Perhaps the competition and such will spur you on. It certainly does so for me.

The way these work is that everyone signs on and posts what they are working on and the starting word count. Reading about people's projects is always fun :D

Post your goal. You can set your own personal goal or simply say "Better than anyone else", which will never happen by the way. ::laughs::

At then end of the challenge, that will start promptly at 8:30 and end at 9:30, all will post their final word count and any challenges they faced throughout the challenge.

I am pumped. Are you with me?

EDIT: Please post a good bit before the challenge (AKA now)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Writing Challenge Announcement


We will be having another writing challenge on Whispered Roars tomorrow night at 8:30 EST. I hope you all can make it! Remember, all you have to do is sit down and write for an hour. And then tell us what you were writing about and how much you got done. Believe it or not, it's quite the box of encouragement...and it's just awesomely fun as well!

Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Endurance and Victory! - Part One


Endurance, apparently I've failed at enduring in keeping this blog up ;) Once more I cry that "school work and such" has busied me. And it is true, but no excuse.

Aside from school I've been hurriedly reading away at The Victor, a book that I will very shortly be giving away on my blog. Next comes Curse of the Spider King and then a boatload of others. So as if school was not enough I have plenty to read.

BUT, have no fear, I am starting a series of blog posts about endurance and um...victory.

Many of you who have read or are familiar with COTSK will know that a common saying of its characters is "Endurance and Victory!" And as lately I have had to endure in school, reading, writing, and life I thought I'd blog on it.

The first in the series will be about writing, as this is a writing blog.

I'm well connected in the writing world, or at least I'd like to believe that I am, and specifically I chat with a lot of young aspiring authors (like myself). Many of these writers have amazing ideas, tales that I'd pay arm and leg to read. Many even know how to write them. But often a thing they lack is endurance. And that, in my mind, is one of the most important characteristics of any writer.

Not only does writing novels take a long time. But it requires patience to wait on characters, plot development, and ones own self--willing to let a project sit so that it can be done correctly. And once the story is done it requires enduring numerous amounts of critiquing and shaping on the part of others.

I know writers who don't get writer's block, Bryan Davis as an example, but most all do. It's a fact of life. And often I find myself just waiting on my characters asking them what they want to do next, and what is happening to them at the moment. Naturally, this requires a good deal of endurance. The strength to wait, which I don't have ;) I choke answers out of my characters.

This next part is where I've recently been having the most trouble, enduring through the times when I'm too tired, or my brain is too fried, or I can't get into the story, and then forcing myself to not writing. It's a sacrifice I've had to make. I've been in this spot for a while now, where I'm just too dead to write. I have to endure through this because I know that if I do try and write, the story will be unbelievable and, to be honest, garbage. As you can assume, I don't want my story to be garbage and this spurs my endurance.

Next comes the point that ends the journey of most writers--publication.

It seems to me that the path to publication is too strenuous or difficult for most to endure. From the stories I've heard, it's pretty hard. Even if you're not a writer, imagine this scenario. You pour your heart, mind, and life into something--a child perhaps--and then when your child is old enough, you are told that he is a worthless piece of garbage. How would that make you feel?

You see, many writers get this. They're told by publishers that their works are awful or are simply not told anything--only given cold rejection notices that leave open imagination. Questions arise, "What'd I do wrong?" "Was it that bad?" And many others. To many writers, this is a sting too sharp.

And so the process of publishing something is a task that requires endurance, and I've seen many give up and seen many achieve victory, and know many enduring that race now.

Though I've had one work published, my collection of short stories, I never truly tried to get published and so as of yet I cannot identify with this. I take writing criticism well and so I assume that rejections won't hurt quite as bad as others. On the other hand, it could kill me.

Here's how I look at such criticism or even blank rejections; if the story was written publisher worthy it'd likely have been accepted. Simple.

Now this rule does have many drawbacks, one could have sent the work into the wrong company or maybe the editor just didn't like it and others might. But generally I believe this is true. I try not to get my feelings hurt because I don't want the book to be printed until it is print worthy. If it's not a good story, I don't want people reading it.

I'd rather wait till I'm 99 years old to have TSOF published and it be perfect, than have it printed tomorrow and it be a piece of junk. Do you follow?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Writing Challenge #1

Welcome to the world of writing-awesomeness. Since you have read this you must now participate. ;)

Tonight I will be hosting my first writing challenge on this blog. Inspired by author Wayne Thomas Batson the challenge will go like this;

Post your current word count on any project you happen to be working on before or during the hour and a goal of words you'd like to meet.

Then, when the bell rings at 8:30 EST write nonstop, full steam ahead, for one hour or whenever you decide to quit.

At the end post your final word count and if you made your goal or not.

That's the gist of it, so who's in?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Writing, Challenges, and Writing Challenges

Well, it seems that it's been quite a while since I posted last and I thought I'd at least explain why I've not posted and my hopes to post more soon.

I've had more school than I thought I'd have.

Tis the pains of being a teenager. I'm quite busy.

On top of all of this I've been praying and writing quite a bit about my youth group and people involved in it. Seems that unity and love is becoming harder traits for the church to maintain. I'll likely post a um...post about this once I get my act together but it's been bothering me, and so I cannot seem to write. Write on here, or in my novel.

So my writing has been challenged as my heart's been tested in life. Perseverance and confidence in my story and faith in the power I believe it will have has been tested, and thus the writing part has slowed.

But have no fear, I've got a couple of writing challenges to host coming up.

How's this sound, meet on this blog tomorrow at 8:30 EST and write like crazy until 9:30 EST? The point of these challenges is to sit down and force oneself to write on a project, not censoring one's work and not allowing any distractions. Through this method I've penned tens of thousands of words. All thanks to author Wayne Thomas Batson. He started these challenges and is hosting one now. (Please join if you're online and have a Facebook. His is located here). The challenge goes until like 10:15ish but you can join in and hop out at your own convenience. If you do not have a FB please feel free to post your starting word count and results here.

So, tomorrow at 8:30. Will I see you there?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Smoky Mountains Vacation

Well...as some of you may have noticed I have been out of town, and will be until next Monday. I do not have internet in our cabin, deep in the heart of the Smokies, and since I have internet now at the lodge I thought I'd let you all know where I'm at.

Being the creative guy that I am I decided to make a series of videos, one for each day, with my new iPod for the trip. Currently I've only completely finished editing the first day, including the drive down to North Carolina. Soooooooooooooooo I thought I'd post it here for you all. Expect MANY more to come.

After this vacation I'm headed to my Youth Group's fall retreat...and there may or may not be a video for that as well ::wink wink::

And then back to writing. I do believe it is NaNoWriMo in the civilized world. You know....where there's internet and phone service. I won't be able to do a writing challenge this Friday so maybe if someone could host it for me (The Underground or FB Word Wars group perhaps) that'd be awesome.

Happy writing! Enjoy the video!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Describing Description Descriptively

Once more it has been quite a while since my last post, due again to my growing business (I've had LOTS of school work lately). But due to the amount of people bugging me about a new post, I've kicked homeowork out of site and am typing this out for all of you.


Hope it's worth it to you.


I've been told by some of the few who've read my real writing, as in stuff I took my time on and actually EDITED, that I'm pretty good with descriptions. Complimants are always nice to get but ones referring to detail are especially appreciated, mainly because I've worked so hard at honing descriptions.


I'm sure all of you know what a description is, but I think I'll define it for the sake of this post.


Descriptions in writing are the words, sentences, and paragraphs that let the reader feel and imagine the world in which the story being read takes place. Whether this world be real or fantastical writers must prove to their readers its reality by way of description.


Clever definition eh?


But it is so true!


Without descriptions a story is rendered powerless and pointless. Because if it is true that descriptive writing is a necessary tool in making the reader believe the story and if it is also true that without the suspense of disbelief (the term referring to when a reader/movie-watcher loses sense of reality and falls into a story) a story is no good, then it must be absolutely needed to have good description in writing.


A lot of words to say something so simple, I know. But I think it's best that way.


Descriptions are a must in writing, and once more it can be difficult to find the right amount of it needed and the right way to portray it.


Well, I've picked up a few tricks and advice from others in my short time in the writing world. Seems I now have a way to pass them on to others.


First off is the question of what to describe.


Some writers describe everything, often even unneeded information. Some people like having an over detailed description, more power to them....but I don't.


And I honestly don't know anyone personally that does.


The answer to this question is simple, describe only that which is direly important to a story. If your character is swimming from an enemy there's no need to say that a sparkling blue fish, with glowing round eyes, swam by. It's distracting--detailed yes, but unimportant and distracting from the scene.

You can still describe this in detail, but describe things based on their worth not in the whim of the moment (don't anaylise that statement :P ).

Next begs the problem of how much to describe

Detail, as noted, is important. But how much is too much? In my opinion, hopefully I don't get shot here, some older works including the Lord of the Rings go a little overboard in descriptions. It is my belief, and others it seems, that detail should be based on two things.

Number one, the pace of the scene.

If the scene you are writing is a fast paced action-packed scene don't bother with description at all! I say this to make the point. If a guy is sword fighting the enemy don't be like "The swords clashed above their heads. The tree to his right was a sparkling green on the left though the leaves on the opposing side had all died."

No one cares!

Once more this is distracting.

Now, that's not where I meant to go with that <_<

Oh yes, fast paced scenes require faced paced description. Simply said, don't use big, long, words and sentences to describe a racing cheetah. It will make the animal seem slower. Descriptions take the place of time. The longer the description the longer the time. Think of a movie.

The same goes for slow scenes. A snail crawling up a tree should not be penned simply as "The snail went up the tree."

NO! This is the scene where you get to use some vocabulary. Break out that thesaurus and look up words for slowly and describe the residue on the branches leaving a trail behind the creature. Get down into the grit of things and write.

I hope that made sense. I'm starting to get tired ;)

Number two is simply relevance to the story. Which has already been overly discussed (people will think I hate descriptions or something). Just write enough to set the scene, you can do this eloquently and with detail. But if it doesn't matter at ALL, don't tell it.

Do YOU have any advice for writers on description? I sorta botched this post but I believe we can get some good discussion going. What kinds of things do you try to do with descriptions? What fun tricks do you do?

I like posting dialogue and then posting description, or truly any combination of the two. Especially to start a scene. Another thing I, along with others, like to do is use descriptions to get ideas across into the story. To get into the character's head. This is a scene hastily written with some description, not the best in the world, that I used to dive into the character. The rest of the scene does some more inner searching but contains spoilers so....I'll not post it.

Nerp Keeneye walked out on the battlements of Kinth’s very own capital, Defender. He wasn’t dressed in the common armor of a Kinthian knight, or even that of an officer. Rather, he proudly displayed the colors of Sentor.

He looked over Kinth’s ancient fields, the very place—it was said—that the Most High crafted the first Lak├»ethian horses. Farmers were plowing the battle ravaged land, trying as best they could to bring back life to the place of death.

Nerp wrapped his hand around the pommel of his sword, expecting the warm heat that was usually emitted from such a touch. But the feeling did not come; he was no longer the wearer of the great Sword.

He tapped his blade once again and turned around to face Defender’s insides. Reconstruction was happening here as well. Sujes wanted everything back to the way it had been before the Rindorian captivity of the city. The only difference Nerp could make out were simple things—less detail applied here, a little less color here—nothing major, but it pained his heart to see the city become a place of war and not beauty.

He had voiced these thoughts to Sujes, saying, “Why must our brightest light be dimmed? Why should we allow the enemy to win by simply creating a shadow of what once was?”

The King had shown a weak smile at this. Obviously he didn’t like it either, but he had peace in something no man could have but himself. “Nerp, my son, things are not always meant to be the same as they were in the past. Some things are meant to be made better.”

“But the city isn’t becoming any better!” Nerp had exclaimed. He could remain silent. Even though Defender was not in fact his home, he felt a sense of reverence for the place. It was the home of the King.

“Is it not?” Sujes had showed off one of his smiles yet again. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What I see when I look upon the men and women that are rebuilding our city, is men and women trying their best to please their Master, men and women striving to imitate the works of their King.”

At this he had leaned in and rested a hand on Nerp’s shoulder. “Rejoice in our rebuilding, my son. It is an act of worship made by those who love their Maker.”

And so it had ended.

Nerp sighed. Sujes could always make the simplest of things sound so beautiful and eloquent that they would never again be overlooked.

He felt a firm hand on his shoulder. “How does it feel to be dressed again in the colors of Sentor? The kingdom named Defense again being represented in Defender by one who could claim greatness men can only dream of.”

Nerp turned. The now trimmed up face of John Oakwood smiled back at him. He laughed. “John, you flatter me with too many words.” He patted his friend’s arm. “You know that I no longer seek authority.”

John smiled and looked up at the rising sun. “Ah yes, humble as ever my friend.” He let out a contented sigh and looked down at his feet. “You know, I saw your boy through.”

Nerp straightened. “Did you now? Where was this?”

“Back in Division. Saw him right on through to Glexotam├Č.” He chuckled. “Wonderful lad, chip off the old block if I say so myself.”

Nerp smiled. “Wonderful he is. But I certainly hope he turns out nothing like me.”

“Ah.” John slapped Nerp’s armored shoulder. “You turned out alright. You just needed to get out from the castle is all.”

Nerp looked down. “I did get out. You came with me.” He looked up and gazed deep in thought at the sunrise. “She looked right at me…I saw the fear in her eyes. And I…I…”

“That was years ago.” John interrupted. “And like you stated, I was with you then too.” He squeezed Nerp close to his side. “And now look where we stand, atop the walls of Kinth preparing to war against the tyrant who caused all this.” He sighed and turned, joined by Nerp, to gaze off into the north. “Rindor’s end will come soon. Evil cannot stand.”



Thursday, October 22, 2009

NaNoWriMo

It's obviously been a while since my previous post, a fact for which I apologize. I've been quite busy with school work, Youth Group, family stuff, and all things of the like. Lif'e's busy! And sometimes that keeps blogs from being updated.

Aside from the usual business I have been avidly, aka a few times a week, preparing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Am I participating? No, not officially. But I plan to use the month to dive back into the story.

I plan to finish the novel. So why am I not participating? Well, there aren't 50,000 words left to write, so I figured I'd write solo.

In preperation for this month I've begun to compile my notes, outlines, and previous versions of the chapters I will be writing. I am so stinking excited to do this! Four years in the making and the book will finally have a draft that I'll be mainly happy with. Of course I will then begin traditional editing, or my own version involving a TON of rewriting along with editing.

Here's a pic of what my desk looked like the other day.


Fairly messy I'd say, wouldn't you? And that's only the desk...I didn't post pics of the top of the dresser and the FLOOR. But that's my writing for ya. All digital copies of the first draft were lost in a computer crash so all I have from the originals is what you see.



Of course, that's not the originals proper, but it is the draft I am rewriting (I'll stop now to avoid confusing *laughs*)


I'm so pumped to finish this draft. Some of the cooliest scenes are coming up next.


Many of you are joining in on the writing fun I hear (with the NaNoWriMo propper) and I'd love to hear what your story is and what your goal will be. Perhaps I can host a few writing challenges on this blog to help with the competition. I'd love to do Word Wars with you all, just shoot me an email or Facebook me and I'll try and join you.


Every Friday in November I might post an update on TSOF as well as a word challenge. Would that be cool? I hope to see many of you hop on board. As long as one or two people comment or email me saying they'll do it I'll start ones.


Now for a bit of off-topic-ness


Very soon I will be hosting a book giveaway ::looks over his shoulder:: Very soon.


I've started a book reviews blog so you all need to check it out! (Books For the Kingdom) There's only one post now, but expect many more to come!


I'm entering the Scholastic Arts and Writing contest. I'll post my stories and such later, so I'll need your all's feedback!


As always, thanks for reading! Sorry about the late post, but I'll get back on schedule soon.

Vote in the poll at the top for the type of posts you like best! (it's a four way tie now)


To the end!

-Nathan R. Petrie

Friday, October 16, 2009

Novel Update and Contests



Heyo! Seems it has been a while, far too long, since my last blog post. So I figured that since it had been such a long time that I should post the coolest topic so far right? I was then faced with the problem of deciding what the coolest topic was. The answer?

My novel, and free stuff.

That's right. I'm writing a novel.

Which of course, if you know me, you should already know.

This novel is part of a trilogy, with a prequel, that I've currently titled Redemption's Journey. While I personally find the story exciting, an obvious bias I know, I am not entirely sure what others will think. If the story is found not good enough...I've got a few other projects up my sleeve. :D

Considering that I now have a blog I thought I'd post where I'm currently at in the story. Keep you all on your toes if you will. Many of you have read bits and pieces of the first book, The Sword of Fire, and so I thought it'd be best if I let you know how the book is coming along.

I just recently finished a chapter I've called Worth Dying For. This is the book's 46th and is the highest point of the climactic battle (If one could consider this scene the "big" battle). The word count surpassed the 100K mark in this scene and I've been writing on it ever since August.

What's this mean?

The book is almost finished.

So I am super stoked to finish. The scenes will be easy to write as I draw nearer to the end. I've been rewriting for all these years and I'll finally be reaching scenes yet to be rewritten. The end of this novel might be one of the best endings EVER! (no...that's not biased at all). So I am really pumped to write it.

BUT

I also have a life. And lives involve frustrating homework, and awesome contests.

As most of you know I am a major competitor, or would like to believe that I am, in the Alternate Reality Game hosted by m'lords Batson and Hopper. And seeing as how this contest is now taking back off more of my writing time will be taken by this, as well as the usual stuff.

On top of that there is the Tribe Building contest which I seem to be utterly failing at. Hopefully things will shape up shortly.

Not sure what these strange terms I'm using are? Check out the links I gave. The ARG is hard to descirbe...but essentially it is a treasure hunt throughout the internet. One must begin here and fall down the rabbit hole to begin.

Tribe building is explained in the the link I gave and is REALLY awesome. Lots of great prizes and opportunities.

And all of these challenges revolve around Mr. Batson and Hopper's new book. The Curse of the Spider King. I for one plan on purchasing this book, supporte the two awesome writers, but there are MANY oppurtunities to snag this puppy for free.

Up-and-coming author Jacob Parker posted a giveaway on his blog (three chances to win).

There are a few others that expire shortly. So check 'em out!

So considering I'm a part of all of these completely awesome contests I'm having difficulty finding time to write. I've got these, school, and family to balance...and that's not always easy.

So here's my question for the day. When do you write? How do you write (type or by hand, music or without, pen or pencil, etc)? And are there certain rituals you do before hand (such as reading over something, listening to music, dancing, lighting a red candle, etc. lol)?

Oh...and to keep you all jumping...here's an excerpt (VERY unedited) from my novel.

Happy writing/reading/breathing all!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Live by Faith


Habakkuk 2:4
"...the just will live by his faith"

Those words are timeless, and at least to me they are some of the most powerful words transcribed in the Bible. If the Word of God is a double-edged sword Habakkuk 2:4 is its tip.

Live by faith.

Timeless.

In this life we will have struggles, those are the words of Jesus Himself. And these struggles often threaten to uproot us, to tear us to pieces, lock us away, and throw away the key. They are seemingly overpowering, shaking us to our very core, and threatening all that we've called dear.

They are the meat of life.

You see, if we truly believe that we were made for another world, that we were created to live different lives in the midst of a different land, that leaves nothing to this life but struggles. Our time on Earth is a time of testing, it will sift out the weak from the strong. Those who will cling to their Master and those who will reject Him.

Once we decide to cling to our God, our lives become a storm. A never-ending storm. It is through these times of misery that our strength is tested.

Let's use that lovely lighthouse at the top of this post as an example. That raging sea is life.

And we're a ship wreaked human.

A light shines into the darkness.

A solid rock is revealed.

It is during the storms of life that we are forced to cling to the one solid foundation that has built us. Only when the wind blows is the cornerstone proven firm. And a lighthouse does no good until there is a darkness for it to shine through.

God allows the storms for the joy of revealing Himself to us, and to test our faith in Him.

And when the storm finally clears we will have learned to cling to that rock. We will have learned the meaning of faith.

Then we will continue to live with it.

The just will live by his faith.

This idea is important to me, as it should be for all who claim the mantle of Christianity. Recently I not only wrote a poem about it but also wrote an entire chapter of my book in dedication to this thought.

To complete this post I shall let you see them.


Josh stood tall on the mountain-top post of the archers. This was the archers’ post, and yet Tarth—taking lead over Ithcar—had decided to allow the army to wait in their midst, three sword or axmen for every archer. When the signal to charge was sent, two for every three solider would rush onto the field, leaving the remaining dwarves to protect the archers. The sun was slowly climbing higher as Mollidia’s army suddenly appeared on the field, a few miles away from them.


A large speck, silhouetted against the sun, flipped and turned through the sky—Yahsor, with Glorf atop his back.


He looked about the mountains surrounding him. He could see clearly the posts for the archers. He and the other three commanders—Okran, Brontoc, and Tarth—stood clumped together for now, but when the battle began they would split up. Okran and Tarth would charge at the signal, and across the valley, far to Josh’s left, a flag had been set up to designate the command post of Brontoc. That was where the dwarf would run. And nearby to his left was his own. On the field of battle these would be the only two command posts. Above and behind him was the post of the Jreen Ithcar. The signals would come from him. The king had a better view of the battle than they did.


Josh sighed and opened his leg quiver to check his arrows. He had plenty to spare. He shrugged his shoulder and let down the quiver on his back. Yup, there was more than enough. And a whole bucket full was at his side.


The boy stared out onto the battlefield. Their army was drawing closer to the Tiriks.


He began to hear a sound in his mind—a young girl weeping. Josh shook his head as the wind blew his hair. He knew that voice, it belonged to the one he loved—Zark Keeneye.


Josh pinched the bridge of his nose. He loved that girl, loved her. And if she hadn’t been kidnapped he would have been engaged to her. He would have done it. He knew he would have. And now…


The boy wiped a tear from his eye and sat down on a chair set for him and let the tears fall. For once in his life he had been so sure, everything was going his way. But Zark had been taken! And he had to rescue her!


In his mind he wept along side her. He could only hope that Zark was still alive.


“Are you alright?” Josh looked up to see the elf turn his way, a worried expression on his face.


“I…I’m fine.” But he wasn’t, and the tears streamed all the harder.


Tarth nodded his head and then walked over by him, crouching next to the boy. “Josh, there is always hope. I once said that I was not sure if the hope was for us, but it is.” The Prince stared out at the battlefield and pursed his lips. “We walk in a time that will forever be remembered. History is being made, son. Zark is held captive by darkness’s claws, but the light is dispelling the darkness. Soon all will know and bow with trembling at the feet of the Most High, and we shall stand beside Him.” The elf laid a hand on his companion’s shoulder. “And Zark will stand as well.”


The boy looked up, eyes still shinning from tears. He believed this all in his heart, but he couldn’t make it clear to his mind.


“The light is shinning amidst the darkness, Josh. Embrace it, and do not hide from it is sting. Live by faith, my lad. And cling to the hope which you have.”


Josh wiped a tear, nodded his head, and forced a smile.


Tarth stood and placed a hand on the pommel of his sword. “Stand firm. Let us make clear the way for the justice of our King!”


I love this scene! Story lines such as this always excite me. And what's the lesson here? It's the same as what I've said thus far. When all fades away cling to the cross! Cling to the King! And live by your faith!


Verse 1;

The storm is blowing, that I know

There is a power down below

He’s pushing me, and blowing snow

And I can’t see, where I’m to go


I hear a voice cry out to me

His tone is sure, rings out with glee

His words delight the whole of me

And once they’re spoke, I fin’ly see


Chorus;

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand

And death is raging in that land


The rock it will not ever leave

Oh, never since I first believed

I stand with pride, in my great king

Who’s words are true and rescuing


Verse 2;

Though the storm blows I’ll never fall

Because of hope and grace to all

There’s not a giant that’s too tall

For me to surrender the call


Chorus

Verse 3;

Take hope my friends and lend an ear

There’s one that I’d like to bring near

His name is Christ, slayer of fear

His sword is bright, God’s fin’ly here



(music)


Bridge;

There is a hope for you

There is nothing left to do

Join hands and sing out loud

Our God’s a rock, of this be proud


Chorus


While I do not find this poem particularly well written, I believe God understands.

Thoughts such as these, the truths about the power of faith, have been my passion as of late. I've been going through a whole lot of...testing, though nothing compared to many of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and it is only my confession of faith and Christ's solid rock that have gotten me through it.

I chose to grab onto the lighthouse.

The light is shining in the darkness.

Have you embraced it?

Do not hide from its sting.

Live by faith.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Group Writing - The Underground Edition


How many of you love to write? Most of you do I believe, if not....give it a shot. I dare you.

For those of you who do love to write, and actually for those who do not, have you ever participated in a group writing project/game? Typically I refrain from such activities, as I find them distracting and generally discouraging, but I seem to have found one story that works for me.

The Official-Un-Official Story of the Underground

That's right, I'm an elf.

For those of you who do not know, there are a certain two amazing authors that have begun their own forum--for a book not yet released. Who are the authors? None other than Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper themselves! Not heard of them? You will. Their books are amazing!

So this forum is called the Underground and is for a new series the two guys have coauthored entitled The Berinfell Prophecies. The first book is The Curse of the Spider-King, currently ranked at about 600 on the top Amazon sales list. That's higher than Ted Dekker's latest novel Green.

Cool stuff.

So this forum, The Underground, is growling rapidly and one of the big things we members do on there is write. Most of us are writers, and most are descent enough if not all, and so we have begun a group writing project.

And I'm actually enjoying it.

The way we do it is different from the other ones I have tried before. In here, we each control our own characters...and that's it. We write for the story and not to show off our skills. Often our writing stinks but it doesn't matter. In this case it's all about the story...not the skill with which the tale was written.

It's very encouraging for me. The story is original enough, though it would likely fall under the category of fan-fiction, but the Christian writer fellowship is amazing. I love bouncing ideas off people.

Which makes me think I may have coauthoring in my horizon.

So that's that.

If you'd like to read our lovely story you can check it out here. The beginning, most of it, is on the first post...the rest is on page two.

For reference purposes...my character's name is Theodore.

Now, time for some reading suggestions.

Like I said, this forum is for authors Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper. And their book is coming out shortly.

This book looks to be one of the best I've ever read.

Which means it will likely be the best you might ever read.

So you should buy it...now!

Seriously though, from the things I've read and heard about this book (which received a silver Moonbeam Award for teen fiction) I have the feeling that I'm going to be blown away. So you should give it a try with me.

The link to the Amazon page is in the picture. Also, those who order today get signed book plates (it's a bit late for today...but they will probably give you them anyhow).

So what shall we talk about? Here's an idea. Tell me about any group writing you've done, what you thought of it, if it was encouraging, and if you'd do it again.

I absolutely am having a ton of fun with the story on the Underground. But I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Chat me up :D
"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."