Happy Thanksgiving!!! #Writing #Fantasy #SciFi

No major posts today! I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, from everyone in the Drakin family to your family, I hope everyone is healthy, happy, and getting good and wasted for when your relatives start talking politics! Jack Daniels, Jim Bean, and the Kraken are our friends at this time!

Just kidding, have fun, be safe, and be sure to surround yourself with the people who love you! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

An Orphans of Haven Question!? #writing #fantasy #SciFi #literature #Fiction

Hi Jim,

I’m an art student at the University of New Hampshire and was looking for a subject for my next painting. I was thinking about doing one of Qira as I just finished the Orphans of Haven and I really relate to her. If you’re okay with me doing that, I was hoping you could provide me a little bit more of an in-depth description of what she looks like? I’d be happy to share the final results on your blog if you’d like?

Thanks,
Kate


Hi Kate,

That would be awesome! I’d be thrilled to have you take your stab at creating your vision of her. In fact, if anyone is inspired by my stories to do something like this, I welcome you sharing these things with open arms! I would love to see what you come up with!!

Where to begin?

Well first of all, are we talking about humanoid or dragon form?

We’ll go through both just in case….

Dragonform:

41079303_534669653660437_9066413543649181696_n(As no doubt you’ve seen by now, this is what her face looks like.)

Her features are a lot less rigid than some of The Story of Raiya’s counter parts. If you look at the cover there, what you can see of the dragons is far more sharp and spiky.

cropped-21475940_3653208088791_91509122_n2.jpg

This was done intentionally to illustrate the differences between Terran-born dragons as they evolved to their new climate, and the original elders who came here from another world. Qira is among the first to start displaying differences, which is why so many older dragons are confused by her size and age.

All right, so her description is fairly straightforward… her scales are bluish gray all down her body. Her dragonform is actually much more humanoid than some might expect. She is about the size of an average human, her neck is slightly longer than that of a human’s and far more bendable (she can turn her head a lot further than we can). Her chest is something closer to that of a snake’s in that it’s a lighter gray and far smoother than the rest of her body.

Her anatomy also resembled a humanoid; two front legs and two back. The claws on all four are similar to human hands. She has four fingers on each with a sharp nail on the end. Her teeth are silvery and extremely lustrous. Though most dragons stand normally on all fours, Qira actually alternates between that and being bipedal. As she spends more time with humans, she actually opts to spend more time on her hind legs. Her mane goes to the bottom of her neck where it becomes solid spikes that are the same color. The spikes remain consistent in size until they get to her tail where they start to shrink. Her tail is roughly 2/3 the length of the rest of her body. It is extremely sharp at the end.

Her eyes are probably her most striking feature. They look like human eyes. However, one thing I should note is that they constantly look sad, for some reason.

Her build is skinny to muscular. Keep in mind, she’s underfed during the first act of the story, but well-exercised. So why she appears thin, her arms and legs should be well toned.

Finally, her wings. She has a pair of wings that sprout from her shoulders. They should resemble demon wings with a spike at the joint where they curve. The muscle areas should be the same color as her scales where the actual flaps should be more like her mane.

So what about her human form? Well that ones easy.

Drakin-Orphans-of-Haven-Poster-Final

In the book, she appears once as a slender humanoid female. Again, well toned like in her dragon form, but she does have some differences… Her hair is silver and extremely lustrous, matching her dragon mane. Her eyes are nearly identical in both forms. Her skin is extremely pale with a faint shade of grayish blue in elect areas. Her ears match her dragon ears. They are slightly enlarged and pointed. She typically wears a white evening gown.

Here’s the original image of the model for reference…

12249689_1675854512658579_429201649381362701_n

(Care of the Boston Film Family Photography and  Nicole Hailer)

Both of these should give you a good idea of what she looks like in both forms. I hope this helps you come up with something really great for her! I can’t wait to see it!

Thanks and good luck!

-Jim

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Plot flaws… How to and NOT to handle them!! #Writing #Author #Advice

Dear Jim,

I stumbled on your blog and honestly, the timing couldn’t be better. I’ve put out the second book in my series and have run into a problem. A big problem… A major plot flaw has been uncovered by my readers! I’m not sure how I missed something so obvious and honestly, I’m not sure how it missed editing! I don’t know what to do now, I feel like a fool and my readers have been asking me about it like crazy. I don’t know what to tell them! Do you have any advice for me?

Thanks,
(Requested to remain anonymous)


Hello,

Phew… well let me just say… I understand why you wanted to remain anonymous, so don’t worry about that. You’re right, this is a pretty big problem. If the book has already hit mass market, pulling it back now is ill-advised. Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of shadow editing when people have already read the book. There’s certainly nothing wrong with putting out a second edition with some corrections or alterations, that happens all the time. Compare a 1st Edition of something like Lord of the Rings to one that was just published. Huge difference.

I’m not too surprised that editing missed this. Editing is mostly to make our amateurish writing look professional. Though we’re great story tellers, in my experience, writers really struggle with grammar and punctuation when telling their story. They get so engrossed that everything else goes out the window. That’s why so many become reclusive when they’re writing. In short, don’t blame the editors. Did you have anyone beta read your story? That’s where plot flaws should come up. Beta readers are the ones who would catch something like.  Anyway, that’s something to consider. Now, how should you handle this?

First, don’t panic. While this is a big issue, you’re published, you’ve got people reading your book, and they seem to be enjoying it other than this flaw. That’s certainly better than what happened with my worst book. I’m still not sure why, but Soul Siphon was my least-read novel. I’ve thought about retiring it, which is too bad, because I thought it was a good story. So you’re actually in a lot better shape there.

Okay, so now that we’ve gone over what not to do… what should you do? The best advice I can give you a two-syllable word; ‘retcon’. Are you planning on writing another sequel? You mentioned that it was a series. The best thing to do would be to take that plot flaw and flesh it out. Address it and make it part of your story. Flaws can be explained and built into the book. It can also be used to your advantage, because right now you’ve got people shrugging about it. Imagine you explain it out logically in your next book the resounding ‘OH!” from your readers. A good story teller is one who can tell an entertaining story. A master storyteller is one who can quickly adjust their narrative to be able to explain such flaws on the fly.

So what if you really can’t… like you’re stuck and you really don’t think you can retcon a plot flaw? Well… in that case, though I truly advise against this… you put out a public statement about it. Do NOT ignore this. It’s going to keep coming up and readers will go nuts. Put out a public statement, announce that you’re making edits, and offer free copies to anyone that can prove they purchased the original, should they want it. Customer service is key to success in these cases. However, I strong recommend you go with my first recommendation!!

Either way, I wouldn’t sweat it too much. The literary community tends to be… fairly forgiving about such things. Do what you need to and move on from it.

Hope this helps, but let’s open this one up. Readers, what do you think? How should this person handle this?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist #Music #Metal #Writing

 Not one of their newer songs, but I have to admit, this one grew on me. I’ve never really been a fan of their lead vocalist, but good music, good song topics (history/war), and a sort of neutral take is all something I very much enjoy.

When to listen: As with most Sabaton songs, they’re really trying to tell a story. These are brainstorming songs when you’re trying to come up with inspiration for plot or character development.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Drakeas Dragons. Who are they?

So the question I received yesterday really got me thinking about the drakeas species. While I did explain a lot of their attributes in the books, I feel like a little more detail might be beneficial. We see people like J.K. Rowling and George R R Martin do it, so I’m going to throw my hat into the ring.

So, let’s start out with the background from the books. Who are the drakeas?

Well… there are actually two different groupings. Let’s start with the Prime Drakeas Dragons. These are the ones that were either born on their homeworld or are the first generation Earth-born. I should also mention that when we’re talking about generation, I’m talking about a group of dragons that were born in a decade’s timeframe.

Simply put…
Generation 1: Original dragons or the dragons born in the first 10 years on Earth.
Generation 2: Dragons born in the next ten years on Earth.
Generation 3: Born a minimum of 20 years after the dragons landed on Earth.
etc.

The drakeas are a group of extraterrestrial beings from a different solar system. Their homeworld supported two sentient species. As both species matured and evolved, competition for dominance on the planet ensued. Over time, such competition turned into bitterness and resentment which eventually became an all-out war of superiority. It is generally believed that the drakeas were the aggressors.

After countless years of bloodshed and persecution, the drakeas were conquered. By this time, their numbers had dwindled to less than a hundred. In order to preserve their species, the dragon council agreed to surrender the planet if they were allowed to survive. A deal was struck and the remaining drakeas were loaded into interstellar time capsules and launched towards worlds that were comparable to their own. One of those worlds was, regrettably, Earth.

The capsule heading here drifted for thousands of years in space with the drakeas council in stasis until they reached our planet. Upon crash landing in New York, the few dragons onboard were awakened to find that the promised world was already inhabited by a primitive race that was slowing destroying the world… aka humans.

That’s where the Red War begins. Now at this point, the drakeas number less than ten, so they disappear into the mountains in both the Western United States and Siberia to replenish their numbers. Because one female drakeas can birth roughly three litters every five months, they were able to replenish their numbers very quickly. It wasn’t long before they had sufficient numbers to begin their takeover of the planet.

Because humans referred to them as dragons, the drakeas took that to mean that this was the English translation of their species’ name and adopted it as their own.

So let’s move on to their physical attributes…

Prime Drakeas Dragons are huge and extremely long-lived. Their skin is protected by solid scales that are impenetrable by almost all weaponry. Standard bullets and missiles don’t harm them. A nuclear blast could, but most world governments viewed that as a bad idea, given the collateral damage.

They have six limbs; two wings which protrude from their shoulders, two arms or forward legs, and two back legs. Some have argued that their tail is also a limb. Their spiny main runs the length of their body from head to tail. Their snouts are elongated and their faces are rigid. Their ears are sharp and run along the side of their head. Their eyes are a bright yellowish red. Their necks are elongated, allowing them a full 360-degree view.

A hatchling prime dragon will start off the size of a Great Dane and is capable of growing incredibly large. The largest one on record was the Dread Lord, Eutherys. He was recorded as being 900 ft. (275 m.) tall, including his tail. He was roughly the size of a late-Word War 2 aircraft carrier.

They are both bipedal and quadrupedal, though they ten to favor quadrupedal motion. Often dragons only use bipedal positions for eating or addressing one another as a sign of respect.

There are also various age and size groups…

Classifications: 
(These are human classifications, not Drakeas)

Dragonling- A dragon hatchling, no more than a few years old.

Wyvern-A young dragon that has just hit adolescence. They can fly and are very fast. These are typically the front line fighters, given their aggressive tendencies.

Wyrm- An adolescent dragon nearing adulthood, though still considered a child by drakeas standards. They cannot breathe fire and make up for their soft scales by being extremely fast.

Drake- A young adult class of dragon. By this age, they have mastered flight and can breathe fire, but have a harder time controlling it.

Beta The younger adult class of dragon. Though there is little difference between Alpha and Beta class dragons, some have noted that Beta class dragons possess softer scales that can still be penetrated by conventional munitions.

Alpha- An adult class of dragon. This is a fully matured dragon, not quite at the point of elder status. By this point, a dragon’s scales would have hardened, they can breathe fire from the air, and are extremely difficult to kill.

Elder- The last stage of growth for the dragon species. Though there is no determinant size for these creatures, most are massive in scale and are roughly the size of a three-story building. Their hardened scales are almost impervious to conventional attack. During the war, they were often seen leading the Dragon Horde into combat.

Lord- Though technically not a stage of growth, this is the title given to any dragon that reaches an abnormal size, which is typical of the dragon council.


Dragon scales come in different colors, though as of yet, no one knows what causes the color differentials. These colors include brown, black, yellow, red, green, and two-toned scales (red and black, gray and silver, etc,) In the drakeas culture, having scales with two different colors is considered a sign of importance. That dragon is destined for something great.

Dragons are exceptionally long-lived. Eutherys is believed to be roughly five thousand years old, not accounting for his time in stasis. Though the exact lifespan of the drakeas was forgotten due to decades of endless warfare, it is believed that they can live up to 10,000 years.

Like their scales, their bones are nearly unbreakable and very coarse. Their mouths secret a flammable salivatic liquid in a large gland under their tongue that is somatically activated. When used, the gland will spray the liquid with the force of a firehose. A dragon will then quickly scrape their front teeth together to create a spark and throw their flame… aka breathing fire.

Their immune system is very different from that of a human. It works very similar to most Earth-bound diseases. Their white blood cells are aggressive micro-organisms that will attack any pathogen they encounter, inject their genetic material into it, and allow the pathogen to continue as a host for new white blood cells until the young cells eat the pathogen from the inside out.

This resulted in a disease amongst humans known as ‘Dragon’s Bane’. It was a rare occurrence as most humans who had blood contact with dragons, never lived to tell about it, but those that did survive, suffered a grievous fate as the dragon cells took over their bodies. This prompted human scientists to create a vaccine that would render human cells immune to the dragon attacks.

The drakeas language is almost unspeakable by humans, due to the hissing and throaty roaring that is required to get some pronunciations right. Unlike humans, the drakeas have a central language for their entire species.

The drakeas brain is far superior to that of a human. They can learn a language simply by hearing a few conjugations. It’s not perfect right off, but they pick up more as they hear it. The drakeas also possess some forms of limited telepathy, though it is not known exactly how much they are capable of doing.


Okay, let’s move onto the Terran Drakeas.

These are Gen2/3 onward, and this is subject to change as the generations continue.

It was quickly discovered that Prime dragons had a difficult time surviving on our world, though similar, Earth’s atmosphere was far richer in Nitrogen than their’s was and our yellow sun resulted in a degree of radiation poisoning. Many eggs of Prime drakeas never hatched and it is believed that lifespans would be significantly reduced. Those that did survive turned out to be noticeably different on a biological level.

Terran Dragons have all but done away with the name ‘drakeas’. They barely speak the ancient drakeas language, if at all. Their scales are considerably softer, and they do not grow as tall. Their necks are shorter than those of their prime counterparts, and their manes are actual hair that reaches the end of their neck before becoming spikey again.  Their snouts are not as long and their features are far less rigid.

Perhaps their most noticeable feature is their eyes. While still possessing the flare of their prime ancestors, the shape and colors more closely resemble those of a human.

Unlike their prime ancestors, they are most commonly seen on their hind legs, favoring bipedal positions. The only time they drop to all four is when they go into attack mode.

Though physically inferior to Prime dragons in both size and strength, they do have some advantages. They have an easier time speaking human languages are often seen as less aggressive. Their mental abilities are far superior to the prime dragons. They can often detect feelings and emotions in other dragons and many have learned how to manipulate human and dragon senses in order to appear physically as humans.

Their lifespans at this point are unknown as none of died of old age yet, though it is believed that they will be noticeably shorter than their prime counterparts.


So I hope that this helps give everyone a better idea of what my dragons, aka Drakeas Dragons are like. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below. I’m interested in what everyone thinks!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Character Interviews: Qira

Host: Hello everyone and welcome back to character interviews! Today we’ve got a very special guest with us! Straight out of Jefferson County, Idaho. Please give a warm welcome to the leading lady of her own recently-published story, Drakin: The Orphans of Haven. Qira, it is an absolute pleasure to have you with us.

Qira: Thanks for having me… it’s nice to have a break from the wastelands.

Host: Wastelands? In Idaho?

Qira: Yes… it’s all that remains of the civilization there now that the Red War is over.

Host: Yes, we actually had Raiya as a guest on here a while back. She was quite the fiery one. I heard she’s now considered the ‘Hero of the Red War’.

Qira: She may have ended the war… but I have a feeling that her actions may have only postponed the inevitable.

Host: Oh? What do you mean?

Qira: Don’t you see it? Haven’t you been outside recently?

Host: Well… that’s a little complicated. Let’s pretend I’ve been living on another planet. Humor me, okay?

Qira: (sigh) Dragons are hunted throughout the land. We’re taken from our homes, our caves, and where ever else we try to nest. We’re then sent to a barren wasteland set up for us on the Western Coast of what used to be known as the United States. Dragons are not allowed to be among regular people. It’s called the Exclusion Zone.

Host: Why not?

Qira: They say it’s for our own protection… that because of the bad feelings from the war, we’d likely have to deal with mob justice. I’m starting to wonder if it was a good idea for any of us to remain on Earth after the war ended.

Host: So why did you decide to stick around?

Qira: I was born here. I don’t know our old homeworld. However, many dragons asked to stay because they were weary of constant violence and war. We just wanted to live peacefully.

Host: So what is life like for you in the Exclusion Zone?

Qira: I’ve never actually been there, but I’ve heard stories. It’s a wasteland where very little grows. Dragons have a hard time feeding themselves and constantly find themselves at odds with the canbans that have made the area their home.

Host: Canbans?

Qira: Feral humans. People who have either lost their minds and turned wild. They’re often religious fanatics and have taken to engaging in cannibalism.

Host: Goodness… but you say you’ve never been there?

Qira: No, my family went far north to get away from the war. We were pacifists. We didn’t want to exterminate humanity. We thought we could share the planet, but Eutherys wanted nothing of it. After the war ended, we slowly made our way back down through Canada to the Western Coalition Territory. Within a few years, the Western Coalition expanded its territory and invaded my home. My father and I fled and… well… we got separated. I’ve spent the last year looking for him.

Host: The last year? What do you think happened to him?

Qira: I… I think he’s dead.

Host: Oh no, are you sure?

Qira: (Sobbing) He would have found me by now. If he was still out there, he would have found me.

Host: He may just be lost, or maybe he went to the Exclusion Zone?

Qira: No… he would have found a way to break out. I’ve heard rumors of what happens when dragons are captured outside of their designated areas. Often they’re just put back, but…

Host: What is it?

Qira: Let’s just say that a lot of the people working with the relocation division of internal security are Red War Veterans… and many of them are holding a grudge.

Host: I imagine that must be difficult.

Qira: I sleep in ruins,  try to stay in the shadows during the day… Nearly get caught about once a week… I’m lucky if I get to eat every day.

Host: That’s awful.

Qira: It’s not different than what my people suffer in the Exclusion Zone.

Host: So when you leave here, what are you going to do?

Qira: I don’t know… I’m getting sick… I’m running out of energy. I’m going to try to take refuge somewhere… anywhere. Hopefully, I can find someone that’s willing to help me or at least give me a place to rest for a while.

Host: Well for what it’s worth, I have a feeling you’re going to find exactly what you’re hoping for, but we’ll see. Thank you for joining us today, Qira.

Qira: Thanks… it’s nice to have someone to talk to.

Host: That’s it for us, check out Qira’s story in her new book, Drakin: The Orphans of Haven. Here’s hoping Qira finds someone that can help her.

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

Not really on my playlist, but too good NOT to share. If ‘Masked Singer’ gives us nothing else… it gave us music legend Patti Labelle singing one of the best songs from Heart, one of the best ballad bands from the 80s. I’m satisfied with that!

When to listen: Stop writing, sit back and enjoy, because this is something we’re not likely to get again.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim