How much should I advertise before My book is complete? #Advice #Writing #Literature #Fiction #Nonfiction #Rebranding

I just discovered your blog because you “liked” my poem. I have previously self-published short stories and had a couple of short stories published in literary journals. I am re-branding myself and “relaunching” myself so to speak into the literary world.
Am I able to mention these other short stories to potential agents if I published them under a different pseudonym?
Also, I want to generate some buzz about the novel I’m working on, but if I end up getting an agent and getting published and things change, I don’t want to deceive people (i.e. teasers, celebrities I’d like to play my characters, general marketing tactics). So do I just avoid talking about what I’m working on in the meantime?
Thanks in advance. Your blog is very helpful for a new author!

Hi Isabelle,
As long as you can verify that you are the person using that pseudonym, I don’t see a problem with that. Why shouldn’t you mention them? That’s part of your resume! Just be sure to provide documentation that you are the same person, otherwise you may get a literary agent scratching their heads.
On the other hand, typically when people try to update their brand, they often try to pull away from their old look. So it’s really up to you there. I personally don’t see an issue with it.
As for advertising your book before it’s done… vagueness is key. For my stories, I typically let people know that a new book is coming out and give a very brief idea of what the plot is about, usually one to two lines. I don’t go into great detail because things change. I answer a few standard FAQs and then say stay tuned. I tend not to give much more of an update regarding plot until the book is going through editing once it’s been completed. Even then, I limit the amount I tell.
Anyway, I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!


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

Are Villains Necessary? #Advice #Writing #Literature #Fiction #Nonfiction

I’ve actually heard debates about this quite often. Do you need a philosophical ‘bad guy’ in a story in order to create a working plot and tell a story?

The answer is, simply put, it’s complicated.

Let’s think about this for a moment, does every story need a Maleficent? Do they need, at the very least, a one-dimensional villain with little to no backstory to overcome? To that, I said no, not really. We see plenty of stories where that is simply not the case. Honestly, making Hans in Frozen a ‘surprise’ villain right at the end was not only unnecessary, but detrimental to the plot.

Let’s explore that for a second. If you remove Hans’s subplot, what’s lost from the story, anything? If you think about it, Anna and Elsa already had a villain to overcome; their awful parents.
The poor, albiet well-intentioned, parenting of Arendale’s rulers left Anna desperate for attention to the point where she ‘falls in love’ with the first guy she talks to for more than a minute, and left Elsa a complete recluse who was scared of herself and unable to control her temper after years of bundling her emotions. The two princesses already had to overcome what their parents had done. Hans being a bad guy was completely unnecessary to the plot and actually somewhat unbelievable, given his behavior during the rest of the story.

So in that way, I guess you could technically say, no. You don’t need a villain, however you do need some kind of antagonistic plot point that the villain usually fills. You need to give them something to struggle against or at least overcome, because if you don’t… you really don’t have a story at all.

So what do you all think? Is having a villain or antagonistic plot point necessary to a story? Let me know!



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

Revisiting Dead Works#Advice #Writing #Literature #Fiction #Nonfiction

Hi Jim,

I have a whole library of stories that I’ve never been able to finish or I didn’t think I wanted to publish. I spent a great deal of time on them and every time I look at them, I feel like it was completely wasted. Sometimes I’ll go back and write a few more lines or make edits. Should I try to finish these or just delete them so they don’t continue to bother me?

Thanks,
Melynda


Hi Melynda,

It’s a good question… sadly, I don’t really have an answer for you. Truth be told, I have a rather large library of unfinished works, the best of which I’ve posted on this blog in the past. They range from sequels, to prequels, to stand alone novels, to… yes, I actually tried this… the score to a Musical… Before anyone asks, no, that will NEVER see the light of day.

One thing I will say is that I don’t look at those works as a waste. Nothing a person creates with their own two hands is EVER a waste of time. (Quote me on that!) Likely those books gave you characters you could use elsewhere, If not, consider trying it. Believe it or not, one of my early characters, General Xaphine, was a hold over character from a Star Wars fan fic I had written. I changed her name and turned her powers from Sith to Demon, but the character’s personality and appearance were still very much the same… minus her wings.

It really is up to you. If these books are blocking you from writing new stories, then by all means delete them. However, you may be able to use them as a template for scenes, themes, or characters, in other books. Think about it, look through those books one more time, and make your choice.

Either way, I’m sure it will be for the best. Hope this helps!



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

Damnation Sample Chapter

SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T READ DIVINITY!!!


“The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

– Revelation 12:9



Book I
     Hell Hath No Fury

I

There was a cold breeze in the air as Michael stood at the podium. In front of him, the Choirs of Angels filed into the main meeting hall little by little. The bitter chill complimented the rather dismal scene in front of him. The general of the Most High’s armies had seen worse over the years and did the best he could to ignore it.

Seated on either side of him, were the other 6 great Archangels, leaders of the Celestial World. The large council hall seated thousands of angels, all of whom listened intently waiting for Michael to speak. The last of them had taken their seats sucked in a deep breath.

The long war had dragged on for eons, costing uncountable angel lives. For years, the angels fought against the armies of Lucifer to no avail. It seemed as though the war would continue until the angels were all but extinct, but a daring campaign carried out by a small group of angels had turned the tide of the war.

The thousands of occupied seats were dwarfed by the seats that no longer had an owner. Those empty seats had lost their occupant either to war or treason. The scene was a sad reminder of everything that the war had cost them.

Michael had taken his rightful place as the leader of the Nine Choirs of Angels. It was a job, some thought, he had let go to his head. Not that he cared, others could have criticized him all they wanted, but in the end, he was still the leader.

Michael stood in front of the choirs and looked out on the chamber that had been carved of Ivory and marble. Like all else, it had been badly damaged during the war and needed to be rebuilt. Large craters had shattered the marble floor tiles. The holes in the ceilings were singed black from firebomb damage.

Michael did the best he could to ignore the dismal scene as he addressed the Choirs, “Brothers and sisters, you all have good reason to rejoice. For after years of watching our brothers and sisters being cut down in ruthless combat, the war is mercifully over. Our little gambit, paid off and four of our bravest warriors breached Lucifer‘s position, forcing him to surrender. He has since been driven out of the Celestial World by the Most High and punished for his crimes.”

Michael sighed before he continued, “However, peace is not yet ours to enjoy. There are still those out there that remain loyal to Lucifer and his cause. It is true that the bulk of his force has been disbanded, but we believe that there are still some creatures in our midst that remain hidden. I can assure you all that they are being hunted down and will be brought to justice.”

A deafening applause erupted from the Choirs as now peace was actually within their grasp and the Most High could continue his plans to create a child race in his own image. Michael smiled and nodded as he too joined in the celebration. He allowed the angels to rejoice for a few moments before raising his hand again to regain their attention. The large chamber immediately quieted down at the sight of Michael’s gesture.

The smile never left Michael’s face as he spoke, “Thank you, brothers and sisters, this is truly a day to rejoice, but I regret that such celebration may be shadowed by business that we still must to attend to.”

Michael’s gaze left the choirs and turned to the entry way next to his podium. A guardian, who was just standing at the door waiting for a signal, returned his look. Michael nodded to the guardian, which prompted him to exit the chambers.

Minutes passed and the specter of curiosity loomed in the chambers. What did Michael want the Choirs to see? Could he have captured another traitor?

Suddenly, the sound of clanking chains could be heard from outside the room. It sounded as though someone was struggling against heavy metal bonds. The noise served to elevate the curiosity of everyone in the room as they waited to see who it was.

A moment later, the guard reappeared followed by an angel covered in blood that was practically being dragged in by her chains. She was shackled at the arms, legs, and neck.  Her wings were weighted down to prevent her from being able to take flight and the look on her face was indicative of pure hatred.

The guard pulled her forward onto the main stage. She defiantly refused to move, making the guard’s job even harder. If anyone was going to publicly humiliate her, then they were going to have to work for it.

Michael shook his head and looked back up to the Choirs, “My friends, I must inform you that we have captured one of these agents and not just any one either…”

As the archangel spoke, the young angel refused to look at anyone and instead kept her eyes fixated on the massive walls of the Choir Chamber. She had always been amazed by the sheer size and intricacy of this hall. It had somehow been hand carved almost completely out of marble and ivory. Murals on the wall told the stories of angel’s deeds throughout their history. She smiled to see one of the divine temples being set to flames. She appreciated that someone had seen fit to immortalize her work.

The entire design of the chamber was beyond anything anyone could image, but something about it was different than the last time she had seen it. The burn marks and blast craters in the walls almost ruined the tranquil view. She remembered the battle early in the war that had caused this damage. It was the first battle that she had been a part of.

Not a day went by that she had not regretted Lucifer’s decision to fall back rather than risk heavier casualties. Being Lucifer’s military strategist and general, she was certain that they could have occupied the Celestial Temple in one swift stroke had they continued to press forward. It just didn’t make sense, yes her forces were being bled, but they had inflicted far more casualties than they had taken. Falling back was a critical error on Lucifer’s part, and it would prove to be one that would cost them everything.

Her thoughts were broken as Michael spoke directly to her, attempting to get her attention, “General Xaphan, step forward, please.”

Xaphan moved defiantly closer to the podium where the Archangel stood. Michael watched her every move, waiting for her to try to break free of her bonds. She made no such attempt and kept her hands tucked away behind her.

Many of the angels were dismayed by the sorry state she was in. Xaphan was at one time a respected soldier in the armies of the Most High, even Michael was sorry to see how things had turned out. It definitely was not helping morale.

Xaphan wore a tattered black outfit that flowed below her knees. It was all she was allowed to keep after being stripped of her sword and armor. Her pale white skin was filthy and scarred. Her wings were missing feathers and covered in blood, most of which was not her own. Her black hair was a mangled mess from weeks of her being too busy to tend to it. She breathed in deeply as her pale blue eyes looked up scornfully at Michael.

Xaphan’s glare pierced right through Michael’s presence and it was as though she wasn’t looking at him at all. She didn’t even acknowledge his presence. To her, it appeared that Michael was little more than an obstruction standing in the way of what she was really looking at.

Uriel followed Xaphan’s gaze and noticed that her eyes were fixated on the Celestial Temple and the chambers of the Most High. A partial smile appeared on her face when she saw that much of its damage had not yet been repaired.

Michael noticed where her attention was too, but dismissed it as he began speaking. Almost to spite Xaphan’s gaze, Michael spoke in a tone that wasn’t speaking to her at all. It was more like he was dictating to her for all to see, “General, I assume you know why you are here.”

Xaphan gave a defiantly unenthusiastic nod and spoke through her teeth, “I do.”

“You have been charged with treason, espionage, wanton destruction, and plotting against the Most High,” Michael said in an accusing tone. “The evidence against you is absolute. We have examined everything in great detail and have found you guilty on all counts. Have you anything you wish to say before your sentence is carried out?”

Xaphan quickly turned to the other angels in the hall, “I fought for you… all of you. It was Lucifer’s wish to see you all freed from your bondage. The world that the Most High is now creating… it should have been for us! It is ours by right, but he would give it to some child race that would only scorn him! Ours was an eternity of servitude… I wanted something better than that for you! I am not the monster that many have you have been led to believe I am. That monster stands in front of you in the form of an Archangel!”

Xaphan pointed an accusing finger at Michael, “He would see you remain in bondage!”

Screams of support for Michael and angry cursing was spewed in Xaphan’s direction, but she ignored it and continued speaking, “I wish I’d never given you fair warning to evacuate the temple before we attacked! I would willingly give up my wings to see all of you burn for this!”

The words hurt Xaphan as much as she was certain they angered the Choirs. She didn’t mean much of what she had said and still cared about the friends that she had betrayed, but they were words that she felt they needed to hear. She still desired to see them free, above all else, and if she was to be a martyr for this cause, so be it.

As the yelling got louder, Uriel stood up, “Enough!”

Michael shook his head as he looked down at Xaphan. He felt a twinge of anger himself as the room quieted down, but as he was about to speak, another voice spoke up.

“Excuse me…”

The voice cut in from the back of the chambers. “I request to be heard.”

The room fell silent as every eye turned to where the voice had come from. Michael smiled, “Ah, one of our local heroes. If anyone here has earned the right to speak before the council, she certainly has. The floor yields to you, Adalyn.”

Adalyn immediately flapped her wings to elevate herself off the ground and gently glided down to the main floor of the chamber. She touched down gracefully and brushed the hair out of her face. As though defending Xaphan from attack, Adalyn stood in front of her, blocking Michael’s gaze, “Brothers and sisters of the Nine Choirs of Angels, I have come before you to plead for mercy on behalf of my sister.”

“What are you doing?” Xaphan whispered in a demanding tone. “I don’t want your help, get out of here.”

“You are my sister. No matter what you have done, I still love you and don’t wish to see you harmed.”

Xaphan sneered and turned her back on her defender as archangels looked at each other oddly. The room suddenly erupted in quiet whispers and gasps. They were intended to be low, but there were enough of them to make a ruckus. Michael raised his hand to silence the noise, “You have earned the right to speak, but judgment has already been passed against her.”

“I realize that Master, and I’m sure that whatever you have decided to charge her with, is more than appropriate, given the magnitude of her crimes.”

Adalyn lowered her eyes as her tone became pleading, “However… I would like to point out that while she is responsible for the initial attack on the faithful, and responsible for the damage to the Celestial Temple, she did not shed a single drop of innocent blood by her own hand. Lucifer was the architect of the massacre. I also happen to know that you have proof that she gave us sufficient warning before burning the temple to allow our people to evacuate.”

Uriel rolled his eyes, “Please make your point, young one.”

“My point sir is that despite her attacks, despite the fact that she sided against us, and despite whom she cast her lot with, she has been an honorable foe since the first days of the conflict. Even as it dragged on, she still maintained a strict code of honor. I should know, because I fought against her on several occasions. That honor is the only reason that many of us now stand here in judgment of her.”

Michael nodded, “I am aware of that, Adalyn. However, being an honorable thief does not make someone any less a thief. I would think that after all the time and effort you put into catching her, that you would understand this.”

“I do understand it, Michael, but there is a difference between understanding and agreeing.”

“That is something you will have to come to terms with. I’m sure your sister appreciates your efforts on her behalf and you have secured your honor, but the decision has already been made and there is no further room for debate.”

“Still not willing to listen to reason?” Xaphan scoffed. “It’s nice to see that nothing has changed in eons. You would think…”

Uriel stood up, “Silence you!”

Xaphan turned back to face Uriel with a malicious grin on her face. He snorted at her defiance, “General Xaphan, for your crimes you are hereby banished from the Celestial World. Personally, I would have preferred it had you been removed from existence, but ironically enough, the Most High still cares about you and has decided to show you mercy. We are therefore sending you down to be with your mentor, Lucifer.”

Xaphan hissed as she suddenly shook off her shackles, revealing that she had broken free of them earlier, and was waiting for the chance to escape. She dodged around the guard when he tried to grab her. Before anyone could react, she spread her wings and launched herself into the air. It looked as though she had a clear path to the exit when Adalyn suddenly appeared in her way.

Having no way out, Xaphan landed a few steps away from the door with her fists clenched. Her eyes met her old friend with contempt and worry, “Get out of my way, Adalyn. Don’t make me hurt you.”

Adalyn moved her arm downward in a thrusting motion. A blade appeared in her hand which she pointed it directly at Xaphan’s throat, “I’m sorry sister that is not going to happen and I don’t think you’d hurt me even if you could. Stand down; I don’t want to have to fight you again.”

“And if I dont, are you going to kill me, Adalyn?” Xaphan asked in a malicious tone.

“I don’t want to. Please don’t push it that far… sister.”

The two glared at each other for a moment. Xaphan could see the tears in Adalyn’s eyes as she stood, ready to strike. Though a loyal servant of the Most High, Adalyn would have preferred to allow Xaphan to get away. She knew what fate lay ahead for her sister and had to resist the urge to stand aside.

Adalyn knew the consequences of making such a decision and held firm. Xaphan sighed, she hated her sister for getting in her way, but at the same time, didn’t like seeing her in pain, “Very well my dear sister, you win, but this is not over between us. Someday, our positions will be reversed and you will be staring at the end of my blade. Don’t expect me to show you anymore mercy than you have shown me. I will kill you.”

“I know that, sister… I know…”

Xaphan raised her hands and turned back to Michael, “So it is damnation for me then?” She hissed. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d rather suffer there than serve here!”

Michael sighed, “After a few eons in the world of shadows, you may find yourself regretting those words General.”

“I don’t plan on being there that long. I will return with an army… and the temple will be consumed in flames once more.”

Not wanting to argue further with Xaphan, Michael snapped his fingers. There was a sound of glass shattering in the distance and suddenly Xaphan noticed the feathers on her wings beginning to look odd. She watched as the roots of her feathers slowly turned black and then each bristle of each feather also slowly began to turn.

Within moments, her wings looked very much different from those of her brothers and sisters. Her feathers were blacker than even the largest void. They quickly began to match her dress and hair.

Xaphan looked at her wings with disgust and began to feel unsettled. As their color changed, she began to notice that her wings were getting extremely heavy. Each feather began to weigh her down more and more. It became much harder for her to remain standing. Her breathing became labored as she struggled to hold herself up. Though she did not want to show weakness, eventually the weight became too much for her, causing her knees to buckle, and give out from under her.

As Xaphan collapsed, her defender stepped forward. Before Adalyn could do anything, Xaphan raised her hand and signaled Adalyn to stay away. She then turned back to Michael, “What… have you done to me?”

Michael’s expression did not change, “You are being banished, and your wings will never allow you to fly here again. This will ensure that you can never return.”

“Is this really necessary?” Adalyn demanded. “She’s struggling and can’t stand or even move. Your sentence was banishment, but this is more of a horrific death sentence, how will she survive without her wings?”

Michael sighed, “Her wings are too heavy for her to fly here, but when she reaches the Netherworld, she should be fine. They should not be such a burden to her there.”

“Master, I beseech you, reconsider this! There must be another way! Such punishment does not befit angels. This is far too cruel for…”

“Silence!”

Adalyn turned away from Michael and looked down at Xaphan. The intense pressure from the weight of Xaphan’s wings felt as though it would crush her. She looked up weakly, “Michael… please…”

Adalyn felt the tears began to fall down her cheeks and rushed to her sister’s side. She grabbed one of Xaphan’s wings in a futile attempt to take the pressure off her back, “Sister, forgive me… Had I known that this would happen…”

Michael thrust his hand forward at the two angels. Adalyn lost her grip on Xaphan’s wing, went flying backwards, and landed on one knee a few feet away. She glared at the archangels as she got back to her feet, “Michael!”

“Adalyn… It’s time for you to leave. Your intentions are honorable and so they shall be noted, but you are getting in the way and allowing your emotions to bleed through. This can no longer be tolerated from the floor. You are compromised, leave now.”

“Under protest, Michael! I want that on the record too!”

“So noted.”

Adalyn stood up and reluctantly walked to the doorway. Her eyes were locked on Michael as she disappeared from view. She looked back only once at her sister with tears in her eyes.

As Adalyn disappeared from the watchful eyes of the Choirs, Michael turned his back on Xaphan and raised his chin, “Be gone.”

The mist beneath Xaphan could no longer handle her weight and gave out. She quickly began to sink through the cool surface as the weight of her wings pulled her down through space and time. Just before she disappeared from view, Xaphan raised her fist into the air and uttered one last cry, “Forever freedom!”

As Xaphan fell, she began to notice that the further she plummeted, the less her wings weighed. Much to her relief, she was quickly able to slow her decent by spreading her wings as far as she could. They caught the air, allowing her to hover as she proceeded downward.

Moments later, there was a bright light and a flash of energy. She was temporarily blinded by the light and did the best she could to remain hovering while her eyes adjusted. This was it; the light was her path out of the Celestial World.


Hope you enjoyed the first chapter. The rest of the book can be purchased here.

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692499059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692499054

 



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

STOP Blaming the Audience #Writing #Author #Advice #Movies #BirdsofPrey

So this is going to be an op-ed more than an advice piece, so feel free to skip if you’re not up for that.

Recently in Hollywood, the Comic Book world, and even the literary world, we’ve seen a trend where a new piece of material is put out and bombs. Instead of going back to writer’s table to figure out what went wrong, doing any sort of soul searching, or asking the question why, we see the creators do one of two things… either A, throw a temper tantrum online, or B, Insult/Blame/Slander their audience.

I cannot say this enough, STOP IT! This is not going to solve anything except push people away form you and your work!

We first really started to see this trend with Ghostbusters 2016 where literally anyone who said the film wasn’t good, myself included, was slandered as woman-hating. You literally had Melissa McCarthy go on TV and mock people who took issue with the trailer of Ghostbusters as basement dwelling man-babies.

This trend has continued with everything from DC and Marvel, to various Hollywood titles, even to video games.

Full disclosure, all I said about Ghostbuster 2016 was that the CGI looked like something out of Eddie Murphy’s haunted mansion and I didn’t care for Melissa McCarthy’s brand of comedy as she always seemed to play the same loud, crass, woman in every role. If that’s sexism… people pushing for traditional gender roles must make heads explode.

Anyway, I recently came across an article talking about one of the new Punisher’s creators doing exactly what I said above…

Capture

Okay, for the record, I’m sure that there are some people who are guilty of what they’re saying, lord knows there were a some during the GB2016 controversy too, but is that really the majority? That strains credulity at best. This is coming from someone who writes strong female leads in most of his stories, get’s fan mail from predominantly male readers, and even get’s angry responses from said males when I kill off one of those characters…

(Seriously people, I loved Qira too, but it was her time to go!)

Look, I understand if these are passion projects for you that you take personally, but if that’s the case, you need to understand that few people hold the exact same values as you do, not everyone is going to like what you do, and most importantly not everyone has the same goals. While you might want to send a political message, many people just go to the movies to see something they enjoy and experience a good story FOR PLEASURE! If they didn’t get what they wanted from your work, that doesn’t make them hateful people in general.

I actually get questions from readers on this subject from time to time as well asking me why their audience wouldn’t accept or like a character, why they were a bunch of sexists, etc.

I refuse to post those here because I don’t feel it’s appropriate, nor will I shame anyone who emails me asking for help. Instead, my response to them is always the same thing…

If you get comments from people that are hateful, do one of two things;

  1. Report them.
  2. Ignore them.

You should not engage with them or let them know that they bothered you because all that does is give them power to continue doing it. You won’t help your cause that way or take the intellectual high ground by wasting brainpower on those types of people.

The other thing you should ABSOLUTELY never ever do is assume that this is the majority of your base (it’s not) and make blanket statements about them. You want to lose your reader base? Call them all sexist/racist/homophobic or whatever else is in your playbook. That is a sure fire way to keep not only people who aren’t in your ideological camp away, but the majority of people in general.

Somewhere out there, I guarantee you that there are people out there who read what Gerry wrote and thought, “Well… I don’t think I want to look through any of this guy’s work. He sounds kind of angry and I don’t want to be called something that could badly damage my reputation and career if I don’t like his work.”

That’s certainly my attitude when it comes to any medium, but I try to stay out of whatever this culture war is that we currently have going on.

Look, I don’t want to spend too much time on this, so I’ll just put it plainly. If you are unable to handle criticism or failure, and/or convince yourself that you are never wrong, perhaps the writing world isn’t the place for you. We all have our flops and some critics who don’t like what we write or how we write it and that’s fine. It doesn’t give us the high ground to go around erroneous and irresponsible accusations like that. We take the criticism, learn from it, grow from it, or ignore it. That’s called being an adult and wanting to keep an audience who enjoys the things we write.

Anyway, that’s just my two cents. People, don’t insult your audience. It will only hurt YOU in the end and it’s really a childish way of handling things. I personally hope people like this and those that have emailed me learn that before it’s too late and I mean that genuinely. I hate to see talent get overshadowed by this kind of thing.

YOU CANNOT SHAME PEOPLE INTO LIKING YOUR PROJECT!!!

Please share this around, there are too many people who need to read 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

Ending Importance or Lack Thereof #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,

You write a lot about endings and how important they are. I’m currently part of the way through my first book and was actually thinking about some of your advice. You seem to put a lot of stock in the ending, and I mean to the point where it’s the most important element to the story. I’m reminded of saying ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey that counts’. I was actually wondering if you could explain a little more your thoughts on the subject, because at this point, I kind of disagree with you.

Best,
Krysten


Hi Krysten,

Thanks for the question. It’s fine that you disagree. Writing would be a completely boring job if everyone agreed. Honestly, the whole ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey’ argument is one of those rare instances where it holds up in life, but not on paper. I can only speak for myself here, but in most cases, I find that people read stories to “see how it turns out” or “see what happens”. They want to get to the end of the story to have a complete, well-rounded, story and a sense of completion and finality. I’ll cite my inbox and the unending emails I got after Damnation’s open ending and my handling of Radley’s ultimate fate.

So it may sound pessimistic, but the idea that the journey matters more than the ending is true for life, but not true for stories, at least not in my experience. I mean in life, that’s clearly the case. I have no interest whatsoever in ‘seeing how it turns out’, I plan to live a very long time with more chapters than all my books combined.

In literature, it’s little more than a nice piece of sophistry. I can cite two pop culture references as proof. I’ve heard a number of people say this and honestly, I share their feelings… Let’s look at two perfectly good series with disastrous conclusions…

  1. Game of Thrones…
    Yeah, this is the most obvious one. The ending was rushed by two creators that had other things they wanted to go out and do, and it showed. The ending could have worked had they taken the time to  flesh out why Dani was going nuts. Having her suddenly go completely mad on a genocidal level because… her friend was murder and her nephew refused her sexual advances… yeah I think we’ll just leave it there. This ending, preluded by the slow downfall of the series when the source material ran out, made it virtually unwatchable.
    I personally hate the first season and it wasn’t until season five was being filmed that my friends coaxed me back in… I wish they hadn’t. I got gripped by season three and thought, “Okay, now they’ve found their place. Here we go…”
    Boy did I get that one wrong… Moving on…
  2. How I Met Your Mother…
    This one royally pissed me off. One, because I’d watched the show from day one, and two because it never got bad. It was consistently funny throughout the entirety of the series… only to come crashing down right at the end.
    After all that build up, after all that character development, after LITERALLY everything we’d waited and wanted for… it all came crashing down. Two main characters who were emotionally unstable and immature came together, grew together, got married… only to get divorced and go back to pretty much where they were in season one. The ‘mother’ we all waited for… died part way through the last episode and the kids kind of callously accepted their father’s pinning over an old flame, as well as the disregard of their mother in most of the story. All character development went out the window, and everything they went through pretty much didn’t matter at all.
    What’s worse, this awful ending shined lights on other areas of the story that the writers may not intended, particularly just how awful some of the characters actually were.
    This made a show that I had faithfully followed for 9 YEARS, completely unwatchable. Since then, I’ve literally had no desire what so ever to go back to the show.

This is why I say the ending is so important. You need a good beginning and a good body, but flaws in those areas are usually at least slightly forgivable. This is not the case in an ending. Unfortunately, we live in a time where writers substitute good writing with subverting expectations and think that if they do something unexpected, they’ve done something clever. This is not the case.

I’ll never understand why writers panic when people guess their plotlines. I had Rey pegged as a Palpatine pretty early in the series, did that affect my enjoyment of the Rise of Skywalker? Hell no, I cheered that I’d gotten it right. It actually made for an enjoyable watch to see how they worked through that.

Anyway, I hope that answers your question about why an awesome ending is absolutely essential to good writing. Readers, what are your thoughts? Am I right or way off?



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