Is Spellcheck Enough? #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,
I’m sure you’ve answered this before, but I can’t find it in any of your recent posts. I finished my book and just finished running spell check. Everything looks good and the only things it says I still have to fix are grammar errors that are part of the dialogue. Is that sufficient for submitting it to publishers?
Thanks,
Michel


Hi Michel,
NO!!! Spell check is by no means good enough. It will fix some of the more glaring errors, so it is a great tool to use, but being 100% reliant on it is extremely ill-advised. Spell check won’t catch some of the more nuanced or complex grammatical errors.

Let me give you an example… This is something that I’ve run into.

Say you’re writing a paragraph in the past tense, but one sentence you just accidentally switched.

What you wrote:
The little boy wants the candy.

What you meant to write:
The little boy wanted the candy.Now, the first sentence isn’t going to make that much sense in context with the rest of the paragraph, but Spell check doesn’t look at context. It’ll look at the rest of the sentence, but that’s it. Because of this, it won’t catch the problem in that sentence.

That’s just one minor example… there are worse.

So what should you do? Re-read it three, maybe four times, and have other people take a critical eye to it. Find at least two unbiased sources to pick it apart and try to help you. Let them read it, critique it, and find the errors.

I hope this helps, please do yourself a favor and do not submit this until it’s ready.
Readers, what do you think? Is spell check good enough or do you agree? Do you have any advice for Michel? Let me know in the comments.


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

Drakin, where to buy, and what’s next? #Writing #Fantasy #SciFi

Hello all!

I hope everyone has enjoyed The Drakin Series!! Please don’t forget to leave me a review on Amazon once you’re done. That really helps me out a lot.

Copies of these books, as well as my others, can be purchased on Amazon by following this link:

James Harrington’s Author Page

They’re also available at Barnes and Noble, as well as many other places where books are sold!

Please feel free to like and reblog this post. Word of mouth helps us writers out a lot!


Drakin: The Story of Raiya


Book Synopsis:
‘ “Abomination, freak, monster…”  You get used to names like these when you have yellow eyes, horns, and scales, but Raiya could have really cared less.

After being forced into exile because of her appearance, Raiya’s mind has been focused on one goal; hunting down the dragon lord that killed her parents. For over thirty years, humanity has been locked in a struggle for survival against a race of dragons that had fallen from the heavens. They took everything from her and consumed the planet in a fierce war. Humanity’s numbers are quickly dwindling, leaving her few options in the way of allies.

What she doesn’t know is that her journey will strike at the very heart of the Red War and uncover truths about her past that she may not want to know. Can she finish what she started while coming to terms with the truths of her origin? ‘


Drakin: The Orphans of Haven


Book Synopsis:

The Red War may be over, but not all wounds have healed. For Sergeant Radley Zall, the nightmares never end. After years of struggling for survival, he finds himself in a dead end job, deporting wayward dragons to the Exclusion Zone. The horrors of his past have left him a broken man, slowing killing himself in a bottle of whiskey. It’s a wearying existence that many former soldiers have been subject to since the war ended, but for Radley, that is all about to change. Throughout his life, Radley’s hatred of dragons has been unmatched until one evening when a small one shows up on his doorstep. The pathetic creature is emaciated and begging for shelter. Her appearance reminds him of his younger self, compelling him to help her. That uncharacteristic decision forces him to confront his past actions— some of which may have contributed to a sinister plot to reignite the Red War and wipe out the few remaining dragons on Earth.


DRAKIN: An Empire of Ashes


 

Synopsis:

Two hundred years have passed, and the Red War has become a distant memory for most. Dragons and humans now live together in peace… but one powerful woman who has been deranged by her own history unleashes her vengeance on a helpless population.

Now, the world’s only hope for survival rests with Kaori, a naïve and wayward princess of the Eastern Empire. Having been disillusioned with her mother’s rule, she discovers a dark secret about her family that will change the course of history forever. She soon crosses paths with Nayeli and Joaquim, a pair of rogues living within her borders.

Their fight for survival takes an unexpected turn as a shadow of from the past reveals that the situation is more dangerous than they know. The fate of billions of lives rests on these three unlikely companions putting aside their differences to stand against the world.



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

Endings: Memorable is More Important Than Happy or Sad. #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,
I’m getting ready to publish my first novel. I’ve finished the rough draft and have given it to an editor. They came back with a critique and it honestly got me thinking. He said that my ending may shut readers off because of how sad it is. I will admit that my story doesn’t end on a high note, but now I’m worried. Do you think I should re-write the story with a happy ending instead?
Thanks,
Lisa

Hi Lisa,

Let me first congratulate you. What an amazing accomplishment! Publishing your first book is no easy task. You’ve overcome so many hurdles and will soon join the ranks of many master storytellers who came before you! It’s both a rewarding and ominous feeling, putting your first book out there. I wish you nothing but the best from it.

Okay… now onto your specific question.

Lacking context, I can’t say that the editor is necessarily wrong. He may have thought it was a little too sad or dark? Perhaps his issue isn’t with the fact that it is sad, but maybe too sad for his liking?

I honestly can’t say as I don’t know him and I don’t know your story. So my advice is going to be somewhat generic. I think you should write what you want to write. I don’t know what your relationship is with your editor, but in most cases, you’re not required to take their advice. If he is the gateway to you getting published, then you may need to take a closer look at what he’s asking.

That being said, in my opinion, I don’t think you should rewrite your book with a happy ending. If your book was meant to have a sad ending and you’re satisfied with that, then you shouldn’t now change that. I honestly think fans reacting negatively to a sad ending is really a non-issue. Some of the best stories ever written ended on downers.

A good ending can make or break a story and the best endings aren’t always the happy ending. In the past, I’ve had the same problem. Think about it, which ending is more powerful…

  1. A character that has made all the wrong decisions throughout their life, finally, at the end, realizes the error of their ways, and makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the people he cares about.
  2. A character that has made all the wrong decisions throughout their life, finally makes a good one, and get’s to live out the rest of their lives in peace.

I would say honestly, the first one has a lot more weight and power to it. The reason for this is because of the sense of permanence pertaining to the sacrifice that character made. It’s also the importance of what the character did in this case.

These are very important factors to consider because an ending can make or break your story. You can have a happy ending that gives people a sense of satisfaction and leaves them with a good warm feeling, but then you can also have one that feels fairly like a run-of-the-mill ‘happily ever after’ tale.

On the other side of the coin, you can have a story that plays with your audience’s expectations. Imagine the emotional roller coaster if they aren’t expecting a character to die or for the story to end on a low note. If you do it right, that could easily be the most memorable thing you could do for your story. However you can also run the risk of upsetting audiences that are invested in the characters. It’s a big risk, but one that’s worth taking in my mind.

When I write my endings, I always remember one rule; make it memorable. It doesn’t matter if it’s happy or sad, it just has to be something that leaves an impact. Whenever I write, if I think my ending is turning into a generic ‘happily ever after’ one, I tear it up and start over.

So in the end, mind what your editor says, look at what he’s talking about, and consider his words. However, write what you want. If you think your sad ending is going to leave the most impact, then keep it as it is. Audiences are rarely turned off by an ending that is sad, as long as it’s a good ending.

So that’s my advice, but I’m going to turn it over to my readers. What does everyone else think? Do you have advice for Lisa here? Let her know in the comments.



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

Character Creation, The How To #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,
I’ve been working on my story for a while, but am having trouble coming up with new characters. I was wondering if you had any advice about how you create yours? By the way, I am a huge fan of Vlad from Soul Siphon. I love how you made him a salty old Soviet Commie!
Thanks,
Ty

Hi Ty,

 

Glad you liked Soul Siphon. Thanks for your support. So character creation is always a tricky subject. How do you create new and interesting characters that are relatable.

Personally, for a while I just created blank slate characters and just have them grow as they react to different situations. This… worked for a little while, but honestly the characters were quickly coming out all with similar personalities. It became apparent that I had to try something else.

So in a few cases, I started creating characters that were similar to people I’ve encountered in my life. I tried to emulate people I liked in certain roles and people I didn’t in others. That worked for a while, but you have to be very careful. You don’t want to make it too obvious who you’re writing about… especially if you plan on killing off the character.

When I write about people from history like Mary Kelly, I do as much research as I can into their historical persona and build a personality for them based on their documented decisions and behaviors. This is actually really fun. Researching history is something I’ve always found incredibly rewarding. The result with Mary Kelly was a very dynamic character with over 100 years of bitterness and righteous anger to her name.

After a while, I decided to start creating characters with generic backstories and save them for future use. Jagger (Drakin), Vlad (Soul Siphon), Raiya (Drakin), and Andrea (Drakin), were all generic characters that I added more in depth back stories to and had them react to the situations as they came up. The story then began to grow around how these characters reacted to their situations.

So in the end… I really haven’t created new characters in a while. I have a whole library of generic characters saved and ready to go in whatever I start writing next. It’s not a bad way to go about writing.

I hope this helps. Readers, how do you create characters in your stories? Do you have any advice for Ty? Let them know in the comments.



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

Social Commentary/Political Agenda in Writing, The Good and Bad. #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,
I’ve been reading through some of your posts regarding avoiding politics, and escapism in entertainment. You seem to be extremely anti-politics in your advice. You use Marvel Comics and others as your primary example, but you do realize that they have always been political, right? Most of the mediums and genres you’ve addressed have historically been political. So I’m not really sure what your gripe with them is.
Thanks,
Wil

Hi Wil,

 

You’re absolutely right, most of these stories have a moral/political message/social commentary, etc. Admittedly, it’s next to impossible to avoid in stories. Even if you don’t intend for your story to have any sort of message like that, one could be drawn from it.

When I first published my YA series Magnifica , I started getting emails from people who wanted to comment on my ‘handling of racial discrimination and bigotry’. I actually got a lot of positive feedback on how Lia’na was treated in modern society, which I was surprised about.
All this time, I’m sitting there scratching my head like, “That… wasn’t really the intention. Elves have traditionally been bashed, badmouthed, and mistreated by other species around them. I just put a modern slant on it.”
However, that’s what my audience drew from it.

So let me address your specific criticisms. You are absolutely correct on all counts that each of those mediums have inserted social commentary or political message into their writing. That being said, I invite you to pick up a copy of something like Mockingbird, or some of the newer X-Men and compare them to the original… even just go back to the early 80s during the Chris Claremont age.

Do you see a difference? The key to putting a message into your story is to do it in a way where the story doesn’t take a back seat to the message. If you write just for the sake of delivering a political message, nine times out of ten, you’re going to either bore or disenfranchise your audience. Yes, there are some writers that have successfully pulled this off, but a broken clock is right twice a day. That’s the exception, not the rule.

The difference we see is that when Claremont or Lee wrote their stories, they were aware of the message that they wanted to convey, but they also respected their audience’s intelligence. Not only did they show their perspective, but they demonstrated an understanding of the other perspectives as well. In the case of the X-Men, you saw how hatred and segregation affected mutants, you understood not only Professor Xavier’s position, but also Magneto’s. You understand both their philosophies, and it’s honestly sometimes to take a side.

On the other side of the coin, you’re also presented with understanding of why people fear mutants. You can sympathize with, understand, and even make the case for why they feel the way they do, even if you don’t agree with it. What’s more, when we start seeing projections of the future and the seemingly unavoidable wars that break out, the writers almost make the case that Professor X’s beliefs and goals may be little more than a pipe dream. In other words, the writers acknowledge the flaws in their own beliefs.

Now take that and compare it to what we see these days. Writers for movies, comics, and normal literature have decided in many cases that hammering in a political narrative is more important than telling a good story. They’ve done everything from breaking the fourth wall, to stopping stories just to have a character get on a soap box, to insulting the intelligence of their audience, to flat out drawing a line and saying that anyone who doesn’t agree with their… increasingly narrow view is the spawn of Satan (literally in a few cases).

This is not how you attract an audience, it’s not how you keep an audience, and it’s certainly not an advisable way to get your name in print. I cancelled my subscription to some of these comics because, while I agree with some (emphasis here) of the messages they’re trying to deliver, I felt like I was being talked down to and condescended. You can really sense the cynicism in some of their writings.

So Wil, I hope I answered your question. I’m not against having a moral or political agenda in a story or medium. I am, however, very much so against the way people are going about it. We’ve seen a lot of comic writers come out and bash fans saying that they don’t work for us… and yes, that’s true… you’re free to write whatever you want… but being disrespectful, condescending, and showing little understanding or tolerance of those who disagree with you, is a good way of insuring your unemployment or solidifying your status as a ‘starving artist’ for the foreseeable future.

Readers, what do you think? Leave your comments below!



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

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate the publishing world. I don’t really see another way around it.

So if you have questions regarding publishing, PLEASE check below to see if any of this helps you before reaching out. I’m always happy to help, but I may have already answered your question.

Publishing is a tough road to navigate. Please check out the links below. These are previous posts I’ve made about the ins and outs of publishing. They should be of assistance in your journey:

Am I Ready To Publish? This is a must read BEFORE even considering starting the process. I can’t tell you how many authors burned bridges by not being ready.

Editing… There is a Cost That Must be Paid… or is There? You can skip this one if you’ve already had your writing edited (by someone other than you!). However, I’d still recommend reading.

Getting Published… the basics… In this post, we explore traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. Here you’ll get the pros on cons of each and the steps you need to go through in order to be successful in either.

Finally…

Copyrighting my Writing. Am I Protected? This isn’t required reading… however, if you’re concerned about plagiarism, or in the future may need to file a copyright claim, I recommend giving it a read.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. The only sage advice I can offer you other than the documents above is simple…

  1. Do not give up. A million “No’s” suddenly become irrelevant if you get that one “yes”.
  2. People will tell you that everyone and their mother wants to publish a book. You’re up against insurmountable odds and a flooded market. This is false. You’re not up against everyone and their mother. Permit me the luxury and I’ll prove this mathematically: First of all, take the entire group of people who want to get published. Now take that number and reduce it by roughly 60%. You just eliminated all the people who want to get something published, but don’t have the time, ability, drive, or inspiration to write. Next, eliminate another 20%. You’ve now taken down all the people who can put pen to paper but can’t afford the time/money to put the work into advertising and getting published. Eliminate another 10% who can’t take criticism and thus aren’t going to be able to get their writing properly edited. Now eliminate another 5% either don’t have the patience for or get discouraged by receiving a series of “No’s” from publishers.
    Now take that last 5% and eliminate all of them, except you. Why? Because they’re irrelevant. You have your writing and they have there’s. Whether or not you get published and how successful you are isn’t about other people’s writing. Yes, in the end, it’s you against one person, you. Whether or not I’ll ever get to buy your book off the shelf depends on you; how much time, effort, and funds you’re willing to put into your writing. So make it good!

Let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, do you have any publishing advice for our friend here? Let her know in the comments!



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

The Phoenix Effect: After Being Burned by Bad Reviews #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,
I’m really upset about the feedback one of my book has been getting. For the most part, the reviews have been constructive, but they’ve mostly been negative. The book in question is a sequel to one that got a lot of positive reviews. The story had a great following, but now I’m afraid the sequel may have ruined it. I was really hoping to turn this into an ongoing series, but now I’m worried that if I try to publish another sequel, no one will want to read it. Do you think I should abandon the series?
Thanks,
(Confidential by request)

Hi there,

Oh boy, that’s a tough one. My sympathies on the negative reviews, they’re always tough to get through. Fortunately for you, it seems like most of them are genuinely trying to help by providing you constructive criticism instead of your run-of-the-mill “This Sucks!” or “The Author Needs To Stop!” and so on.

At the same time though, the reviews with constructive and legitimate criticism are next to impossible to ignore, and I wouldn’t recommend ignoring them either. It’s a bit of a balancing act that you have to perform. On one side, write how YOU want to write. You don’t owe your audience anything on characters and stories you created. On the other hand, you have to remember that audiences vote with their wallets. So if you’re hoping to actually be able to sell the book, you do need to at least reflect on said criticisms.

For starters, I would read through them, find some recurrent themes. What are the major complaints about the story that people didn’t like? Did you do something that didn’t make sense? Is there a major plothole, or did the story simply take a direction that the audiences didn’t like?

When you figure out what the pattern of negativity is, you can go from there. Write down the primary complaints, keep them in your mind and then go back over your thought processes, experiences, and feelings when you were writing that book. Try to pinpoint what made you take the directions you did and where your inspiration came from.

Then you have to decide where to go next;

  1. You can invalidate the previous book. To do this, you need to retcon what happened in the previous book, but then have your characters find a way to undo whatever happened (time travel is usually a pretty good way of handling this), or you can do what Roseanne did and make the previous story a figment of someone’s imagination or something like that. There are some creative ways of doing this… but I don’t recommend it. This is a pretty shallow way of handling the problem and it’s something audiences can see right through.
  2. Stay the course. If you think you’ve got a solid story and that bad novel was pretty much just a way to bridge two good stories, then you have the option of weathering the criticism and pressing forward. I’d recommend a press release in this case. Actually tell your audience. A few simple words for example:
    “Okay everyone, I wanted to address the negative feedback I’ve been getting. I know a lot of you are concerned… look, all I ask is that you give the next book a chance. I promise that this whole thing is going somewhere and hopefully you’ll like where we end up. That’s all I can ask.”
  3. Change direction. Look at the criticism, see where things went off the rails for your audience and turn it around. Find ways to restore certain characters who were altered or end plot points that people didn’t like.

I wouldn’t worry about audiences not buying the book. The thing about readers is that they tend to be very forgiving, especially if everything ends well. In the end, you’re the only one who can decide which way to take the story. It’s your story and it’s entirely up to you.
If you think about it the right way, this could actually work out pretty well for you. Your story took a beating, crashed and burned, it disappointed your audiences and crashed and burned. Now imagine if it rises from the ashes and surprises everyone by being awesome? You play with their emotions and their lack of expectations make them love the story even more. I call it the Phoenix Effect. Your story went from being good, to crashing and burning, yet out of the ashes it is reborn more radiant than it started.

Anyway, I hope this helps you in some way. Hopefully you have a little perspective on where to take your story next.

Readers, do you have any advice? Let us know in the comments!



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

Drakin, An Empire of Ashes Sample Chapter #Writing #Fantasy #SciFi

Synopsis:

Two hundred years have passed, and the Red War has become a distant memory for most. Dragons and humans now live together in peace… but one powerful woman who has been deranged by her own history unleashes her vengeance on a helpless population.

Now, the world’s only hope for survival rests with Kaori, a naïve and wayward princess of the Eastern Empire. Having been disillusioned with her mother’s rule, she discovers a dark secret about her family that will change the course of history forever. She soon crosses paths with Nayeli and Joaquim, a pair of rogues living within her borders.

Their fight for survival takes an unexpected turn as a shadow of from the past reveals that the situation is more dangerous than they know. The fate of billions of lives rests on these three unlikely companions putting aside their differences to stand against the world.


DRAKIN: An Empire of Ashes


Chapter 1

So few of us left… No matter where we go, no matter how far we run… death always follows. The fires of Old London burned brightly in the distance. They engulfed the buildings in a veil of yellow and orange. They were miles away, but their smoke choked out the stars in the night sky. A dim orange hue added a sinister touch. The pungent odor from the decaying corpses added to the dark scene.Nayeli could hear the crackle of the massive flame like a million pieces of paper being crumpled in the distance. She ignored it and scraped through the rubble, looking for something, anything of value that could be traded for food or supplies. Bodies of dragons, EastCon, and Imperial soldiers littered the ruins. Many of them had been there for years.You would think that with all these bodies, at least one bolt pistol would have been overlooked! Nayeli was familiar with the scene, she’d lived in that horror for years in almost every city along the outskirts of the Imperial Territory. This was the fate of those who dared oppose the Eastern Empire.She kept her head close to the ground as she quickly turned over another body. A relieved sigh escaped her lips as she looked at his belt, “Yes!”Her eyes flared as they focused on a black holster that had been hidden under the fallen soldier’s hip. Unlike the others she’d seen that day, this holster wasn’t empty.Nayeli’s hands shook as she quickly unsnapped the flap that was holding the bolt pistol in place. She paused as a light flashed in the corner of her eye. A massive silhouette loomed in the distance, letting off a menacing hum. Her spine stiffened as a feeling of dread overtook her. An Imperial Hunter-killer… Shit, I need to get out of here.Her left hand wrapped around the pistol and pulled it from its holster. She had no time to check out her prize. The distant hum grew louder as the silhouette approached. She quickly hid the gun under her filthy red cloak and dove behind some rubble as the patrol ship passed overhead. A blue energy beam carefully scanned each piece of rubble.Nayeli pressed herself against the remains of a concrete wall. Like everything else in the area, it was covered in black soot. Small metal pipes protruded from the sides. Where ever it came from, something powerful must have dislodged it.As the hunter-killer passed overhead, her hand clenched her own gun as she held her breath. The ground shook, dislodging small pieces of rock and dust, sending them flying. Her lungs began to ache, but she refused to breathe as she waited.She pressed her back hard against the rough concrete and waited for fate to pass its judgment. If the hunter-killer found her, it was all over. There was no way to escape one of these things. They were fast, maneuverable, and almost completely impervious to ground attack. The curved armor covering the thrusters made shooting it down a difficult task.The ship cruised overhead as though it was ignoring her completely. The debris had blocked her from its field of vision. She was safe for the moment.Her lungs felt like they were about to explode when she finally released her breath. She pulled the dead soldier’s pistol from under her cloak. Though filthy, it looked intact. She pressed the safety in and waited to see what happened. Come on… give me something.The lights on the side flickered off and on a few times. It took a moment for the indicator on the side to come to life. The meter rose out of the red, passed through the yellow bar and stopped with barely a sliver of green illuminated. Yes, plenty of power left!She carefully inspected the markings, using the little rays light that peeked over the concrete, “Mauser T-21… with half a cartridge left. Not a bad piece…”Guns had been a valuable commodity for dissidents since the UPW was forced to withdraw from Europe. If anyone had any hopes of survival, they carried one, but that’s not why Nayeli was looking for it.The right buyer would pay handsomely for a gun. Even a small pistol like the Mauser was worth a small fortune. She quickly returned it to her pocket and focused her situation.The hunter-killer she’d seen in the distance was now passing over another large piece of debris. The sophisticated trackers could sense even the slightest movement from the ground. Even something as gentle as a heartbeat could give someone away.The sleek, black, cone-shaped vehicle passed quietly over the rubble. The blue thrusters glowed as they held the craft a few hundred feet off the ground.Scree! Scree! Scree!“Shit!”Had she been detected? No, it was too far away for the sensors to have caught her movements. The craft immediately turned and headed towards another pile of rubble where a second hunter-killer was hovering.At that moment, Nayeli saw what it was going after. A female dragon and two lings had tried to take refuge in a collapsed building. They raised their hands with terrified looks on their faces.Even at a distance, Nayeli could make out the sheer horror. The eyes of the dragonlings were soaked with tears. The older one trembled with fear while trying to hide it. They were fully aware of the fate that was likely waiting for them, Nayeli was sure of it.The older one threw her hands in the air, “No, wait, plea…”The terrible robotic sound of a rapid-fire pulse cannon cut off her screams. Nayeli immediately turned away and closed her eyes. She knew what was happening. The body of the female dragon hit the ground with a loud thud.A second later, the firing ceased and was replaced by the screams and sobs of the juvenile dragons. Nayeli closed her eyes, waiting for the next shots that would end their lives, but to her surprise, it never came. The pilot had apparently decided to spare the lings, but why?Their voices were quickly overpowered by an older, far more intense one, “Don’t move or we’ll open fire!”Nayeli turned back to see that two soldiers had apparently been winched down from the hunter-killer. They were dressed in heavy black armor and brandished massive rifles. Their masks made them look like fearsome monsters.The children obeyed the commands, likely more out of terror than obedience. Nayeli reached into a second pocket in her cloak and withdrew a larger pistol with a scope and significantly larger muzzle.The rubble crumbled as she rested her stomach against it and peered into the scope on the pistol. She steadied her grip and slowly moved the crosshairs so that they lined up with one of the primary thrusters on the hunter-killer. It was a narrow slit between the armor and the thruster itself.She sucked down a deep breath, waiting until she was ready. It was nearly an impossible shot, but she had to try. A scream from one of the dragonlings prompted her into action, “Let’s see how you like this, Imp scum!”She squeezed the trigger, unleashing three blasts from the pistol. The blue bolts screamed through the air, striking the hunter-killer on the port side primary thruster. The engine sputtered and died out, causing the ship to lose altitude and pull away. Yes, got it! Oh man, Joaquim will never believe that!The startled soldiers turned their attention to the rubble where the gunshot had come from. One of them raised his rifle, “We’re under attack, take cover!”Not happening! Nayeli grabbed something under her cloak. It was a smooth, round, device with red lights on it. She depressed a small button on top. The light changed to blue as it released a high-pitched sound. Here we go!She quickly stood up and threw it. Her body was only exposed for a moment, but it was all the soldiers needed. One of them took aim and opened fire, hitting her in the shoulder before the small orb exploded in a flash of light.She yelped and collapsed behind the rubble again, nursing her shoulder. She only had moments to deal with the pain and did her best to ignore it. It’s okay… it’s just pain… just pain… it’s not bad.Her hand squeezed the wound as she turned and looked back over to see what had happened. Both soldiers had been knocked out by the concussion grenade, while the dragonlings were sobbing a few feet away. They were both shaking, afraid to move from their spot.Nayeli sucked down a deep breath before moving over to the soldiers. She quickly grabbed their rifles and sidearms and threw them in her pack.A small flicker of light caught her eye from the side pouch on one of the soldier’s hips. He was carrying four replacement power cells for the guns. She grabbed the cartridges and tucked them away. Jackpot! Having grabbed everything she could carry, Nayeli turned to leave. The sobbing of the dragonlings stopped her in her path. She looked back at them with an indifferent stare, “You should get out of here. They’ve only been knocked out.”The two dragonlings curled up together but refused to speak. Nayeli frowned, “Don’t you have someplace to take refuge? A home somewhere?”One of them shook its head.“Nowhere?” She demanded.The dragonling again shook its head, “No.”Nayeli looked at the dead dragonkin a few feet away, “Was that your mother?”The tears in the dragonlings’ eyes answered the question for her, “Oh… I see…”“They came for us in the night… they killed our daddy! He never even…”The dragonling lowered its eyes, too upset to say anything else. Nayeli clenched her fists as she looked back at the two soldiers she’d knocked out, “I’m sorry…”This was nothing new. Several dragon refugees at her camp had similar stories to tell. She had slowly become numb to them over time. However, she couldn’t leave these babies where they were.She reached out her hand to the nearest dragonling, “Come on, I’ll take you somewhere safe.”The dragonlings looked up at her in fear. They looked at her hand but didn’t take it. The smaller of the two recoiled nervously.Nayeli sighed, “What’s your name?”The larger of the two blinked as it timidly looked up at her, “Eutera, and this is Ixen…”“Eutera, those people are going to come back. If they catch you, they’ll take you somewhere that will not be pleasant. I can’t stick around and make you feel better. I’m really sorry about your mother, but she gave her life to try to save you. I can help take you somewhere safe, but you have to come with me now.”In the distance, she could hear the smooth engine of a hunter-killer. Ixen sucked down a deep breath and quivered, “They’re… they’re coming back?”Nayeli looked into out towards the crumbling buildings as a shadow passed by. The damaged ship must have sent out a distress call, “It won’t be long now.”Nayeli turned back to the dragonlings, “You have to trust me! We don’t have any time, you’ve seen what these people will do! Now, are you coming or not?”Her eyes flared as she spoke. The dragonlings looked at her oddly for a moment before Ixen grabbed Eutera’s hand and then reached out for Nayeli’s.She smiled, “Okay, good. Let’s get out of here!”Readers,Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.jimthewritingwizard@gmail.comI’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/B00P7FBXTUNote:
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

My Biggest Obstacle in Writing #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,
I just started reading some of the advice you give out. I don’t really have a specific issue that needs to be addressed, but I was wondering what you consider to be the biggest issue you encounter when writing and how you overcome it. As a writer, I’m always interested in hearing about the experiences of other writers.
Thanks,
Lauraine

Hi Lauraine,

Always happy to share my experiences. So honestly, there are a number of issues that I encounter when I write. I can’t say that there is one particular recurrent issue that I encounter. Usually when I have an issue, I figure out a workaround that I can apply in future writing. However, I can give you an example of one I’m currently going through.

Between other projects, I’ve been working on a prequel to Magnifica. Whether or not I ever publish it, remains to be seen. I just really wanted to explore the story behind Toby and Lia’na’s parents and how their decisions landed their children in the middle of a struggle for survival. So the problem I’m running into is that I keep rewriting scenes that deal with norms of the 80s. It really hold me up from progressing further because I want to get the scenes perfect. I have very fond memories of the 80s and wanted to properly portray them in my writing. Sometimes when writing these scenes, I find myself willing to give almost anything to be back there again. This has unfortunately slowed the progression of that novel to a halt.

The only way to deal with it is to stop and either work on something else, or if I’m determined to get through the current chapter, sit back and flick on some calm music from that time period. Something that adds a little atmosphere to the nostalgia. It’s not perfect, and honestly that’s why this story has been ongoing for two years now, but it’s how I deal with the urge to constantly rewrite those scenes. Sometimes taking a break can also be helpful, but that only prolongs writing the book even further.

Anyway, hope this gives you some idea of what I encounter when I write. Readers, do you have a specific issue that you encounter when you’re writing that has proven to be a bane? Let me know down in the comments.

 



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

Drakin, The Orphans of Haven, Sample Chapter #Writing #Fantasy #SciFi



Drakin: The Orphans of Haven


Book Synopsis:

The Red War may be over, but not all wounds have healed. For Sergeant Radley Zall, the nightmares never end. After years of struggling for survival, he finds himself in a dead end job, deporting wayward dragons to the Exclusion Zone. The horrors of his past have left him a broken man, slowing killing himself in a bottle of whiskey. It’s a wearying existence that many former soldiers have been subject to since the war ended, but for Radley, that is all about to change. Throughout his life, Radley’s hatred of dragons has been unmatched until one evening when a small one shows up on his doorstep. The pathetic creature is emaciated and begging for shelter. Her appearance reminds him of his younger self, compelling him to help her. That uncharacteristic decision forces him to confront his past actions— some of which may have contributed to a sinister plot to reignite the Red War and wipe out the few remaining dragons on Earth.


Chapter 1

“Let us overcome these obstacles together, in the spirit of what our forefathers, friends, and neighbors fought and died for!”

It was a good speech… too bad that’s all it’ll ever be. I remember the cheers. I remember the savior standing off to the side before she disappeared… It was only ten years ago, but I remember it like I remember my childhood… as a distant memory.

“Radley? Sergeant Radley Zall, are you with me?”

Radley felt a gentle elbow to the midsection, “Sarge, snap out of it!”

He immediately came back to reality and nodded, “Yes, sir. I’m ready, sir!”

A gruff-looking commander eyed him suspiciously, “Are you sure, Sergeant Zall? I mean we can wait. Whatever you’ve got going on is clearly more important than doing your job. No rush, you know? It’s just a dragon after all. It’s not like the men rely on you to back them up.”

Radley felt his face heating up and was sure that it was turning red, “Sorry sir.”

“Are you feeling sick? Do we need to have Sergeant Bosell check you out?”

Radley felt the tension in the back of his neck. When Commander Miles decided to mock someone in his unit, the man would push it as far as he could. The worst part was that it worked. The officers did everything they could to stay on their toes and avoid it.

“No, I’m fine, sir!” Radley replied as he straightened himself out. He could hear a couple of snickers coming from the ten armored men standing with him.

“You sure?” The commander asked.

“Yes, Commander Miles… I’m sure.”

Commander Constantine Miles eyed Radley for a few moments. The younger officer blinked as he waited for the commander to finish. His blue eyes felt dry under his protective goggles. He could feel his brown hair matting to his head under the heavy helmet he wore.

Commander Miles had been his commanding officer since he joined the security division. The man knew him well, too well. He clearly didn’t buy that Radley was all there.

Finally, Commander Miles nodded, “Well… All right, let’s go.”

He flipped on the radio wired into his vest, “Command, this is Security Group Alpha, we’re in position and ready to move in.”

“Copy that, Commander. Proceed with caution. Good hunting.”

The group entered a massive cave that was hidden deep in the Yellowstone Canyon. The cave walls were as black as coal. The stone floor had once been molten rock, flowing outward. This gave the floor an almost organic look.

Radley carefully balanced himself on the terrain that looked like it had been frozen in time and petrified. He planted his legs between to inclines and raised his bolt rifle.

Six of the other officers followed close behind him. One, a younger man jumped up behind Radley “I thought we’d be waiting out here forever. Finally, we can get this over with.”

“You may hope you’d been able to wait even longer, Kevin,” Radley replied as he removed his goggles, revealing the burn over his left eye. “These dragons usually do not want to come willingly. Often they’re protecting a nest.”

“Is it going to attack us?”

“Hard to say. That happens from time to time.”

“Oh boy…”

“Stay close and keep your weapon ready, Rookie. You’ll do fine.”

“Cut the chatter,” Commander Miles called out from the front. “Let’s get in and out as cleanly as possible. We don’t want a repeat of your first time, Sergeant.”

“First time?” Kevin whispered.

“It’s a long story Rookie, and I’m tired of telling it. I’m sure someone will fill you in before too long.”

The group separated into two as they entered the cave. One proceeded left, while the other went right, forming a pincer. Radley led the second group, closely behind Commander Miles’s. Within moments, both groups were cloaked in almost total darkness.

A staticky sound filled his helmet as the groups kept moving. It was quickly replaced by Commander Miles’s voice, “Okay, everyone… lights on, stay sharp, and keep focus! –Command, this is Unit Commander Miles. We have confirmed the location of an illegal dragon roost. We’re moving into position now.”

The sound of the officers’ footprints was quickly replaced by the sound of throaty breathing. The sound resembled the growl of a lion, only deeper. It echoed through the cave like a shockwave rushing to the entrance.

Radley clenched his rifle as they stepped closer to Commander Miles group. He’d seen this situation play out before and it was nothing new. They’d go in, surround the dragon and take him down from either side. If he tried to fly, they’d shock his wings. If he tried to fight, they’d incapacitate him. It had all become perfectly routine.

“Member of the Dragon species, my name is Commander Miles, Western Coalition Internal Security. You are in direct violation of WestCon Provincial Edict 453, stating that no dragon shall roost outside of the designated dragon zones. This is several miles outside of the Exclusion Zone and your designated areas. You are ordered to surrender and submit to processing. Once you have been tagged, you will then be transferred to a designated holding facility for processing. Please understand, we do not wish to harm you and if you surrender peacefully, you’ll be treated with care.”

The low breathing turned into an angry growl, “The Exclusion Zones… you mean the barren wastelands that your people have set aside for us… You mean the lands with minimal food and few ideal places for us to build roosts! Lands that we have to fight cannibalistic humans for. You offer us amnesty and then force us into the worst possible living conditions!”

Miles didn’t appear to be moved, “I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them. We gave you nearly the entire western coast of this hemisphere all the way down to Mexico. Many dragons have found ways to cultivate a living. If you can’t do something with that, it isn’t my problem. Surrender now, and we promise you’ll be treated fairly!”

This isn’t going to end well… Radley thought as he raised his rifle. This dragon is going to escalate!

“Get out of my home!” The dragon roared before a plume of flame shot past the officers, out of the cave.

The cavern walls lit up orange and revealed the large green dragon that was curled up in a small nest. There were no eggs and no sign of a mate, so this was likely a rogue.

Radley’s eyes widened, “Alpha class. Watch it, everyone! This guy is going to be tough!”

Miles dove away from the flame and hit the ground hard as a second plume passed over him, “Light him up! –Command, we’ve got a code 42. Engaging hostiles!”

The orange hue was replaced by momentary white and blue blasts that spread throughout the cavern as the officers let loose with a spray of electrically charged pulses. The loud pops from the guns echoed off the walls creating a deafening cycle

The dragon’s scales glowed as the pulses electrified them. Little beams of blue and white static outlined each scale. The dragon let out an intense scream as it immediately fell to the side. Its body trembled but otherwise did not move.

The moment the dragon’s head hit the ground, the officers gather around it. The sparks slowly died down as the group moved in. Commander Miles stood in front of its snout and turned to the man closest to him, “Get the shackles.”

“Yes, sir!”

As the man went back to the tunnel to fetch the large metallic rings, Commander Miles read the dragon the required statement of rights, “Illegal dragon, you are hereby under arrest. The charges are illegal roosting, desecration of human territory, and resisting relocation efforts.”

The dragon looked menacingly at Miles as it was shackled. The stun bolts had done their job as it was unable to even lift its head. Smoke emanated from its mouth as it spoke, “May you burn for this…”

“Not today,” Commander Miles replied as he switched on his shoulder radio, “Command, mission accomplished. The dragon has been subdued. We’re looking at an Alpha class, so you’re going to want to bring in the heavy hauler.”

“Acknowledged,” replied a staticky voice. “We were starting to worry about you for a moment. Good work.”

Commander Miles nodded, “Sergeant Radley, let’s get cleaned up here.”

Radley sighed as he turned to his group, “All right men, we’re done here. Let’s head back to the entrance.”

The rookie officer’s eyes focused on the dragon. He remained still as the others moved towards the exit. He was like a statue, frozen in place as though forever contemplating the universe around him.

Radley stopped in front of him as the rest of the group continued, “Hey Rookie, you okay?”

“It’s… it’s not what I expected at all,” Kevin replied.

“What do you mean?”

Kevin beckoned to the dragon’s eyes, “Look at it… I always thought they were giant killing feral machines, acting on instinct like a shark. Now… they actually…”

“You’ve never been up close to one of them, have you?”

“No, I mean I’ve seen pictures and all, but they always flew overhead or were at a distance.”

Radley nodded that he understood, “Right, that’s how it always is. It’s easy to take them down when they just look like mindless killing machines, but when you see them and see the life and intelligence in their eyes, all that changes. Still… it’ll pass and you’ll see them for what they really are again.”

“Really are? You mean…”

At that moment, the dragon came to life and snapped at them, “Inanimate killing machines? We are living creatures, just like you! We think and we feel things. All we want now is peace!”

Radley ignored the dragon’s words. He turned calmly and gave Kevin a gentle push, “Come on Rookie, let’s get out of here so that the relocation team can get in and do their jobs.”

“All right…”

“You can’t ignore us forever!” The dragon roared. “Someday you will pay for what you’re doing here!”

“We already did,” Radley shot back, “5.5 billion times over.”

Outside, Radley closed his eyes and sucked in a breath of fresh air. For years, the air had been badly polluted from dragon flame and an extreme reduction in plant life. When the war ended, the coalitions put their combined science teams into creating massive air filters that were placed all over the world. They would clean the air until new plant life could take over. Is this what fresh air is like? It doesn’t smell like burnt wood or like something’s being cooked… it’s actually kind of nice.

“Good job in there, Sergeant Zall! For a moment, I thought we’d lost you,” Commander Miles said in a light tone.

“Sorry sir, I just… I was thinking about everything that’s happened since the dragon horde left Earth.”

“You certainly chose an interesting time to become reflective,” The commander chuckled.

“Sorry sir, it won’t happen again.”

“That’s fine. You’ve been at this longer than most, a little backward thinking is normal every now and again. Just try to save it until we’re in a little safer circumstance.”

“Yes, sir.”

Commander miles nodded, “Good. –How about you Kevin, you were all excited about getting to see some action, this everything you thought it’d be?”

Kevin frowned, “No sir…”

“No?” The commander asked, surprised.

“I joined the force to help fight canbans and raiders… I didn’t want to be assigned to the dragon core. This was kind dropped on me by command due to a lack of volunteers.”

Commander Miles nodded, “I understand, it’s not the most appealing work. Sometimes I wonder if the danger is even worth it, but it’s work that needs to be done.”

“Does it?” Kevin asked. “Do we really need to hunt down these dragons? Is it really necessary to force them to live in sectors that are cordoned off from the rest of the world? I’ve heard stories…”

Radley scoffed. His lips twisted into a menacing grimace. He’d heard people talk about dragon rights before and it always got him heated, “Have you forgotten the war that literally just ended ten years ago or how many people they wiped out?”

“No, I haven’t,” Kevin replied sternly. “But those dragons are gone. We built ships for them and they left as quickly as possible. It’s been years since then. These dragons didn’t want to fight anymore and requested amnesty, which we granted them.”

Commander Miles nodded, “Yeah and when the new government came to power, they enacted policies to protect dragons and humans. There’s still a lot of bitterness between dragons and humans, and rightly so. This is as much for the dragons’ good as it is our own.”

“You sure about that?” Kevin asked. “I mean…”

Kevin’s eyes darted between Radley and the other men. He quickly shrank back a little, “I’m sorry sir, never mind.”

“Speak your mind, Rookie,” Commander Miles said. “Tomorrow’s too late.”

“Sir, the dragons have done everything we asked them to right up until they were segregated. It was only after we pretty much banished them to the Mojave Wastelands that they began to try to find roosts elsewhere. I’ve heard of what life is like there; it’s hot, nothing grows, and finding food is difficult.”

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying that… maybe we’re part of the problem?”

“You think humans are part of the problem…?” Radley asked in a state of disbelief. “They came here uninvited, attempted to steal our world and wipe out our entire population. After they lost the war, we did what they asked and built them a ship to get back to their own world. We should never have allowed some of them to stay here, but we put aside our differences and allowed the ones that wanted peace. Now they’re hiding outside the designated area. They should have been a lot more grateful than that!”

“But maybe if we didn’t segregate them and allowed them to interact with humans, this wouldn’t be a problem,” Kevin shot back. “We want peace, yet we continuously take rights away from others, breeding hate and resentment! How does that make us any better than them?”

Radley clenched his teeth as he ripped his helmet off and brushed back his brown hair. His cheeks felt like they were on fire as the hair on the back of his neck bristled. He had to hold himself back from striking Kevin across the face, “Watch it, Rookie! You were only old enough to experience the ass end of the war. Watch a dragon torch a shelter for children and mock them as they burned… then we’ll talk!”

Kevin fell silent and lowered his eyes. Commander Miles stepped between them and spoke with a stern voice, “That’s enough, both of you.”

Radley nodded and stepped back, “Yes, sir… Sorry, sir.”

He flashed Kevin an angry look. It was momentary so that Commander Miles wouldn’t see it, but Kevin clearly got the message. The rookie lowered his eyes and bit down on his lower lip. Neither one of them said anything else.

Commander Miles turned and began to walk back to the other group, “Radley, head back to the carrier. The relocation team should be here any minute. It’s just about time for us to go home. You look like you could use some rest. –Kevin, I want you to wait here and go with the extraction team. This will be good practice for you.”

“Yes, sir.”



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