Sometimes music can help open your mind and let loose your soul. This is why, when I’m writing I always create a playlist that supports the themes going on. Click the picture below to be teleported to my author website to read the post!
The most common traps for aspiring authors that come to my mind are three things:
These are the three I’ve faced and the three I believe I’ve gotten past since completing my second book. When you are new to the writing game there is very little guidance and most of the work you have to be willing to do.
The reason for this is due to most aspiring writers approaching their writing from the wrong angle. You are looking at it from a readers standpoint not a writers stand point. As a reader you found a book on a shelf that you liked and in a sense that author did make it and attracted you to the work. But, new writers don’t see the middle part.
Authors spend just as much time figuring out ways to attract the reader to their book as they do writing it. They didn’t just make the book and wait for people to find it, most authors – at least the successful ones – had a plan to get people to read their books through marketing it or getting out there to show their face at certain events. I am still learning this part and trying to figure out a way to reach the people I know would enjoy my books. Being an author is equal parts marketing to equal parts writing. At least that’s what I have found.
A very unrealistic point of view. You love your book because you wrote it. You love your book because you created the story and put in the hours making it. Just because you love your work doesn’t mean everyone will love it. Not everyone reads the same thing.
For example: I love writing fantasy but I don’t enjoy reading them. I love historical non-fiction and memoirs mostly… that is when I find time to read.
You have to approach writing realistically and with some idea who you want to market your book to. Age, gender, location, interests… etc., these are all things to consider when thinking of who your reader is going to be and who may love your book.
Just like not everyone will love your book, not everyone is going to hate it either. You wrote a book or short story or poem that you needed to write. Something inside you called to you and said, the world needs this. That same voice is the reason why there will be people who will love your writing. Someone out there needs what you’ve written, and you may never meet them but they are there. The world is a big place with 7 billion people and there will be those that will not like your work but there will be just as many who will love it. You can’t be afraid of those few for the possible many that will embrace your creation.
Always think of ways to engage your potential readers, (maybe start a blog like I did), or become part of a writing guild in your community to learn and get to know other creators.
Not everyone is going to love your creation as much as you will. It is your baby and in that sense you see it through rose coloured glasses. Get someone you trust to review your work and see if there are places where you can make your piece stronger. Also never be afraid of criticism; take it as a chance to grow.
At the same time, not everyone is going to hate what you create. Explore places where those that might enjoy your work may be hanging out either online or in the real world. Try sharing your talents in small ways to build your confidence and maybe your following. Who knows? Your work may touch more people than you could have imagined.
When I comes to world building picking out names for the places, people, and things can be a challenge. Sometimes there isn’t a story behind a name for a location on the map or a name just pops into your head that will, ‘work for what I have planned’. Today I’m going to talk to you about how I came up with the names for my fantasy world and maybe my methods will help you build yours.
When I first started writing about this world back in grade eight the world was called Arrogwin and was much less developed/ much smaller. Over time, and years of improving my writing skills, I decided my world needed a face-lift and along with that face-lift would be a name change.
Gaitan is a massive planet. You can’t tell as you – at the moment – only see one continent due to the lack of technological development and other barriers (Western Mountains). The series Prophecy Six takes place on this one continent and there isn’t much talk about even knowing if there are others out there. To those of this first continent they believe they are the only people in the world of Gaitan, but they would be wrong. More on that at a later date.
When I came to thinking of the name for Gaitan the process was pretty much, how would I describe the world? Giant Earth. What’s another name for earth? Gaia. What’s another word for giant? Titan. Combine the two words – gaia and titan – and Ta Da you got yourself Gaitan.
Once the name for the world was made I created the map for the continent. I wanted to see the visual before I went around naming things. I knew I wanted dessert lands to the south, rocky lands to the north, mountains in the west and east, and lots of water. After playing around with some ideas – also flipping North and South so North is down and South is up – I got a map I was relatively happy with:
That’s when I went around placing circles where I wanted my capitals or cities, squares where I wanted smaller settlements like trading posts or villages, and later on I started placing X’s where battles were fought.
For the most part I reused the names for the North, South, and East. Derlin, Syder, Arrowgrav, Arrowhilm, and Calin were names I came up with in grade eight… which I honestly don’t remember how I came up with them but I liked them enough to keep. Other names like King’s Port, Stone Creek, Yorn, and Bay’s Lake were all references to places I read about or grew up near. Stone Creek is reference to Stony Creek, Ontario. Bay’s Lake is a reference to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Yorn is reference to the Norn, which is the race I usually play in Guild Wars. King’s Port is reference to the Port of Montreal in Montreal, Quebec as it is one of the major shipping ports in Canada.
Places like La’reen, Mispick… and many others were created from random thoughts in my head or from things my characters would say. Sometimes I would be writing and my characters would throw out a random location and the name would stick. The majority of the locations on the map as like that, but over time I’ve made up backstories for all of them. Some of these backstories I’ve even shared on the Prophecy Six Official site – FOUND HERE.
I sat there in awe… unable to believe what I was seeing. There had been legends and tales of the God of Sun’s ship sailing the horizons at dusk but never had he come to shore. As the large vessel drew closer the beating of the horses wings echoed in harmony with the waves crashing against the shore.
When the ship reached the port the sun had set and there awaiting the arrival of the God were my people packed along the boardwalk. I stayed where I was, standing now awaiting to see this man of legend.
When it comes to buying a book it depends on what your interests are. For example, I write young adult fantasy but I can’t stand reading young adult fantasy. My interests fall under non-fiction, historical fiction, or online comics. I find that a lot of young adult fiction follows too many clichés, has predictable story-lines, and boring/basic characters.
This could just be me… since I’m a 25-year-old… but specifically young adult fiction annoys me. I think it is the way the world building is approached. Yes, the book takes place in a universe completely new to the reader but there is so much useless information in a book that doesn’t add to anything pertaining to the characters or story-line development.
Every piece: dialogue, element, development, character in the story has a purpose. It may not be clear at first but maybe you’ll catch the reason in the second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth book.
My favourite part about reading is finding hidden meanings or making connections to things that the writer may have put there just to see who would catch on. Since I love that element as a reader I added it in as a writer. I love leaving breadcrumbs for my readers. These breadcrumbs could be as simple as finding out a secret to a character’s past or could be as mind blowing as to lead to the reveal of a new member of the Six.
Once I’m done with the Prophecy Six Series there are going to be more stories to tell. I have planned out two more series and at least four more separate books which take place in the Prophecy Six universe. The world of Gaitan is a vast place with rich history and interesting legends that hasn’t even begun to be explored.
If you didn’t know that you should check out the official website where you can find all kinds of information about the world, characters, and creatures. You might even find some interesting additions to the published works and fun reference to the books.
Child of the Light was inspired by the children effected by the conflicts going on in Syria. Liora was based off of the experiences of these children who not only lost their homes and family but also were forced to adapt to the rules/ culture of a strange land. Like these children, Liora isn’t able to go back to the place she calls home because it isn’t safe or in Liora’s case there is nothing/ no one to go back to. She has to learn to adapt to new people, new rules, and is forced to fit into their culture by, at times, having to put aside her own.
This is further explored in the second book of the series where Liora is struggling to find herself, understand the terrible event that killed her people, and hold onto what little she has left of who her people were. We also approach the topics of gender identity, gender roles, and gender policing in this book. While Liora is wishing to learn ways to protect herself those around her try to fit her into the box of being a ‘proper lady’. Liora struggles to fit these conditions and eventually turns to following her heart. Each of the younger characters in this book face these issues in their own way and in the end come to their own conclusions on how to deal with their current situation. Book two also approaches issues on mental health and LGBTQ issues, similar to what our current world is facing today.
What I try to put into each book are examples of understanding, acceptance, self-discovery, and most of all empathy – something that I find this world is lacking these days. Each book has its focus around a certain set of difficult social issues and in the end allows the reader to come to their own conclusion regarding these issues.
The Prophecy Six Series has its dark moments but like life there is always a silver lining. With realistic characters, a well developed world, and diverse/ deep story-line the books of this series are something new for young adults to experience. Those who have read my books have laughed, cried, and are counting down the days until the next book is released. This book shares elements of the fantasy series but does not share the same fantasy epic feel like Lord of the Rings or Aargon but it is one worth taking the time to explore… and maybe even enjoy.