Pages of Awesome

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know that it's going to be a bit until my next post. I am presently embarking on a media fast and I'm not sure when I'll come back. Until then I ask that you ask God to open my ears to hear Him and open doors for me to share Him. To the end, Nathan

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kestrel's Midnight Song - Party/Trailer!

Check it out guys, teen author JR Parker is hosting a huge online party tomorrow night!

This thing is going to be insane!

Hundreds of free (yes...FREE) BRAND NEW FANTASY BOOKS!
Tons of other giveaways (gift-cards, etc)
Interaction with the author of Kestrel's Midnight Song (due out this fall!)
An awesome time!

If you go to his website and click over to the party page you can see a hilarious, and very cool, video that explains pretty much everything that is going on tomorrow night!

I hope you all are able to make it! It's going to be stinking awesome! I'm so excited! And it's all to promote JR Parker's upcoming release Kestrel's Midnight Song!

Check out the awesome book trailer Jacob and some friends made. Even the score was created by these four guys!



Hope to see you all at the party! It's gonna be awesome!

To the end,
Nathan

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Guardian's Tree Novella....or More?


Followers of my blog will remember my excitement about my latest work The Guardian's Tree. Quite possibly the most original story I've ever conceived, I dove into it and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Soon after the idea hit me I was invited to submit the manuscript, when finished, to Flaming Pen Press.

Last night I heard back from the publisher and was totally blown away by the response:

"The Guardian's Tree" is the best work of fiction, to date, that has been submitted to Flaming Pen Press. I am a picky reader and rather slow. I started reading TGT last night and finished today! You hooked me from the beginning and pulled me along for a surprising, artful allegory.
...
The writing is excellent (reminded me of Bryan Davis's best) and I think we could launch a very sucessful seires out of the TGT storyline.


This, for me, is very high praise! Scott Appleton, owner of FPP and author of The Sword of the Dragon series (whom I met if you remember), is indeed a very picky reader. I was expecting a response along the lines of "Well...it's a good story" but this just blew me away. I am very excited about his reaction!

Plus, I am a huge fan of Bryan Davis, so to be compared to him means a lot.

Scott continued to say that though the story was phenomenal as is, he feels there is tons more story that can be told. He suggested that I expand the current TGT plot line into a novel and eventually a series of novels. After providing some suggestions on plot additions, he then invited me to re-submit if I decided to write a novel.

This poses me with a serious question.

Do I halt work on The Fire to start expanding TGT? Do I even make TGT into a novel? Do I continue my plans to go to the ACFW writer's conference this fall (where I planned to pitch The Fire)? And what do I do over the summer?

Here is my brilliant plan.

I will halt all work on The Fire, maybe outline here and there but pretty much stopped. I will focus all efforts on the new TGT series. At the moment I am jotting down ideas for plot expansions. I will still go to the conference where I will pitch TGT's first novel, assuming it's finished in time. I'll weigh my options after the conference and decide what to do with the manuscript then.

I was brainstorming this afternoon and I'm really excited to get working on this expansion! Trust me, this is going to be one must read :) [says the non-biased writer]

Anyhow, I'm posting to let you all know that TGT is so far having huge success! Please pray that I decide as God wills for the story.

Thanks for the support!

To the end,
Nathan

EDIT - If you would like to read two scenes from the novella version, you can! Go here if you're interested!

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Starlighter" Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of the amazingly epic fantastical superior awesomest giveaway every conducted by a blogger in the land of Blovgabler (don't ask) issssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Ahem, drum roll? Anyone?

This is no fun without a drum roll. Just saying.

Oh right, the winner!

So the winner of the amazingly epic.....oh whatever.

Congratulations DAUGHTER OF THE KING!!!

Email me, Servantoftheone (at) gmail (dot) com, your snail mail address and I'll ship the book your way ASAP!

And for all of you horribly broken over this contest, trust me...I feel your pain. Starlighter can be yours for ten dollars from the following places!

Amazon, CBC (for 8 dollars), or Bryan Davis himself (with autograph!)

Also, enjoy the book trailer!



To the end,
Nathan

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Problem with the Church


So I was sitting in church a few Sunday's ago and we had a visitor walk down to the pulpit. The visitor wanted to join our church. People clapped, the Preacher talked, and everyone seemed happy. But at the end of the service, we walked by, shook his hand, and went merrily on our way as if nothing had happened.

The Wednesday before I went with the youth group to see the Power Team. They smashed things, preached the Gospel, and shared love from their hearts. At the end of the service about a hundred people made decisions for Christ. What did we, the church, do? Clapped.

Somewhere in those two weeks we had a Sunday morning service dedicated to testimonies. I was very moved, to tears at a few points. But, at the end of the day, what did we do? We clapped.

While these three circumstances aren't proof in of themselves, they add to this nagging feeling I've had for quite some time.

The Church is dying.

While I don't want to live my life bemoaning what the Church could be, I do believe it is my calling to point these things out to people. We are not living like we believe in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let's take my third example for uh...example. lol

People stood up, and proclaimed what Christ had done in their lives. Where they had been, and where they were now. We that are saved clapped.

But what if we really believed in the power Christ has and gives us? How would we have acted?

Man, I believe we would have been dancing through the aisles, shouting "Amens" with conviction, breaking into song for seemingly no reason, and storming the very gates of Hell. When those 100 people met Christ, we should have flocked them with love and excitement.

We should be excited.

What do we Christians say we believe?

That we were on a one-way path to Hell, that our lives were meaningless and unsatisfying, that we were lost. And now we are on a path to eternal Heaven, our lives have purpose and are fulfilling, that we have been found and saved from our self-inflicted suffering.

So why don't we act like it?

Do we understand what this creed means? We were dead, now we're alive. Why don't we care?

If we believed this we would run around like crazy people proclaiming what Jesus has done in our lives. We would tell everyone. Every friend we have, every family member, we wouldn't ever leave their company without telling them.

Do we want them to die? Why aren't we broken for them?

And with our friends who know Christ, we would constantly be praising our King for what he has done.

We would have true, real, showing, joy.

We wouldn't make the mistakes we have made. We would live sold out lives for Jesus our Lord. We would think. And above all, we would act.

I think it's about time for a revolution. We're overdo for one.

Revolutions start when a group of people develop a similar passion. Join me on this revolution of joy.

You see, I believe the problem is that we don't believe what we say we do. Because the majority of the Church does not do these things. We've been living a faith based on happiness and have forgotten what it means to worship a God through suffering. We've forgotten that God doesn't live to make us happy. We don't remember that this life isn't about us.

And so we base our faith on our feelings.

And so we do not understand joy.

Christians should be the following. From the song All Because of This by MercyMe

Why do we do the things we do?
How can we sing when there seems no reason to?
How do we smile when there's not much to smile about?
When the world is down who are we to stand and shout?
They wonder why we do the things we do

It's all because of this
It's all because of this
We've tasted love, tasted hope, tasted holiness

They wonder why we do the things we do

I wonder why we don't.

But we can though.

Come back to the relationship with God. Quit living with religion, quit going to church.

Live like you believe it. And BE the Church.

Welcome to the revolution.

To the end,
Nathan

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Date Set For "Starlighter" Drawing

A number of people have asked about this and so I thought I would make it very clear when I will be doing the drawing for Bryan Davis's latest book Starlighter.

If you have not seen the Starlighter giveaway I encourage you to stop on by and enter. All you need to do is comment for one entry! There are other ways to enter as well but you can read that ;)

Anyhow, I have chosen when I will do the drawing.

Friday, May 7th at 8PM

Tell your friends! This is one awesome book!

To the end,
Nathan

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Never Tell A Story: I Saw the Light


Quite a terrifying title don't you think? Yeah...me too...makes me shiver in absolute and complete terror.

Cue creepy music.

In all seriousness, I hope it's obvious that I don't really mean to tell you all never to tell another story ever in your entire life. I'm not telling you to quit writing or that imagination is morally wrong.

Quite the opposite.

Don't tell a story.

We've all heard the rule "Show, don't tell" haven't we? I think most of us have. The problem with repeating this catchy little phrase all the time is that the majority of writers have no idea what this means. Most don't have a clue.

I am editing my novella, The Guardian's Tree, as many of you know. And one of the bigger problems I am having is this idea of telling. So I got the brilliant idea: I should blog on this.

Now there are many points to "telling", too many to go into in a single post. So today we'll take the following sentences:

Sir Win turned and saw Sir Fail walking toward him, blade drawn. Sir Fail was angry.

Okay, so most of us would agree that this is an awful scene. But let's look at the why's behind it.

The specific issues with these two sentences are the words "saw" and "was angry". Why? These are both POV errors--point-of-view infractions.

Cool Nathan, you used a lot of big writer words.

Most stories are written from a perspective called Third Person Limited, meaning that the writers stays in one character's mind at a time and that this character doesn't know everything. Everything in the narration, dialogue, thought-bubbles comes from this one character's point of view.

This was something I never really grasped for a long while. I used to write from a third person omniscient point of view, meaning that the narrator knew everything. But the more I read and the more I studied the craft, I realized that this is not the most accepted style today.

So let's look again at the sentences. We are in Sir Win's point of view. He turns and what? "Sees" Sir Fail walking.

The problem with this scene is that I told you he "saw" Sir Fail. If you follow me, you don't need to tell the reader that Sir Win "saw" him. Why? Because we are in his point of view. If you write him turning, and then write that Sir Fail is walking, the reader will assume that Sir Win sees this.

Other examples of this kind of thing are the words "revealed" "examined" "noticed" and anything like that. This is an error sometimes called Author's Voice or Telling. You may read these phrases in classical works or even some modern stuff but most people agree that these words, in most circumstances, are wrong.

The basic gist of this is that you need to stay in the view of your character. Get in their heads. What would they think? Would they think "I am looking at a tree". No! They would think "There is a tree" and we would know they were looking at it.

Secondly, comes the line "Sir Fail was angry". This is a combination of telling and a POV slip.

Telling - angry
POV - angry

So it all goes back to that word. Generally, using any emotional word lends itself to both telling and point-of-view errors. The reason being really quite simple.

POV - We are in Sir Win's head. He cannot know that Sir Fail is angry, unless he's a mind reader o.O Now, he could assume that Sir Fail was angry. How? By body-language. So how can the reader know that Sir Fail is angry? Well, you would need to describe the anger.

Telling - All emotion words are telling. "Love in his heart", "hatred coursing through his veins", etc. When you use a word like this, your scene will come across weak. How can you make it stronger? Describe the emotion. Body-language and other things similar.

Which creates a better image and understanding?

"Sir Fail was angry"
"Sir Fail stormed into the room, fists tight, teeth clenched. "Sir Win!"

Obviously, the best line is the second one.

Notice that I never used the word "angry" and I never told you how Sir Fail was feeling. But, I assume, you knew that Sir Fail was angry. And this description will better imprint it upon your mind.

This is something that even the pros struggle with. And no one completely understands the complete concept of show don't tell. Many writer's intentionally break these rules.

That being said, it is important to know the rules first so that you may know when to break them ;)

This is the dirt and grit of writing. The real nit-picky stuff. But I think it is an important basic rule to remember.

Show don't tell. And actually knowing what that means.

This is just the beginning of telling of course :D

Thoughts?

To the end,
Nathan
"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."