Hey all, it's been a while, so I'd figure I would post a bit on my new book idea that has engrossed me for the past 3 weeks or so. By the way, my wife suggested I get some author cards made since I never had any. A sample is here on the left. Cool, huh?
Anyways, the new idea is a Civil War historical fiction set in 1864 Louisiana entitled "The Cross and the Bayonet". This is a unique story in that it incorporates a cornucopia of people from different races fighting for different things in a war they were avoiding. It takes place when a rogue Union general is given the 'black flag' to wage war on the southern populace in conjunction with other Union operations to bring the Confederate army to its knees. When the main character, Horus Cain, a free black man and successful business man has his family murdered by Jayhawkers and other pro-Unionists, his view and the life of many are changed. His Christian principles are challenged when he and the surrounding townsfolk enter the war to defend family, home, and Louisiana.
This becomes fairly interesting and tricky in that I have to keep voices, accents, and views separate as I write about the men involved. Speaking as an educated black man, switching to a French Creole, jump to a poor southern slave, then a Greek, perhaps an Italian, and even an Indian will make for a very creative story and dialogue. Since I'm Greek, and being around conversations where Greek and English was spoken between various people, I shouldn't have too much fuss writing this.
As of now, I'm on chapter five, and I may post a rough draft writing sample for you all to peruse through. I've finished a Teutonic knights novel and begun its second story. It will be a duology, but unsure if it will go to a trilogy. Trilogies are a lot of work. I also am nearing the end of the first draft of a historical fiction "A Haunt of Jackals", the story of Jeremiah with a medieval twist. For some reason, I've stalemated on this, and ended up switching to "The Cross and the Bayonet". I'm hoping to get plenty of human emotion an the tragedy of the Civil War across to the reader. My novel Enemy in the Ranks did a pretty good job doing so.
Oh well, enough for now. Drop a line if you'd like.
I truly hate when I am reading a book and there is a word repeated over and over and over and...well, you get my point. I am not talking about simple short words like "and, the, etc.". A good editor will catch these. I am talking about bigger words.
For example, I read a book where the word "chiseled" was used a bit too often on several pages to describe a man's features. There is a thing called a thesaurus. Use it. Repetitive words pull me away from being absorbed into the story. Change it up. Besides, if you have a weak vocabulary, this is a good way to strengthen it.
Now, my rant doesn't just pertain to words, but scenes as well. If you are going to describe a common scene that you know appears more than once in your story, change the description. Don't keep saying "the crackling hearth was ablaze" EVERY time you mention a fireplace. Be creative and figure out different ways to describe a roaring fire. You can Google your question on a particular feature you are trying to describe and something will come up. I am not privy to a specific website that will do this. Yet, I know they are out there.
Not much else today. Keep writing and do not be afraid to express your thoughts the way you see it. Who knows, your voice may be the next big thing.
Whew! I never thought I'd get them done, but I did. My first trilogy is complete. I just sent in my line edits and now await the cover art and maybe some fine tuning before its release on ebook first in August, 2012.
Which brings me to a question...have you ever finished anything you've started? Do you have more things on the back burner; the infamous pile of "I'll get to it later"? Maybe you figured it's not worth it because of what others have said. Granted, there are people who cannot write well but I am speaking to those who know they are gifted to etch pen to paper, or stamp key to screen.
So, for those procrastinating on writing because of crappy things said to you: get off your hind parts and start! Geez! He's rude. It may sound rude, but there are times in life people need a fire under their feet to get them moving. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "Hey, that would make a cool story," and did nothing about it. Honestly, I wasn't sure I had it in me. Yes, I've written things for school, and articles for an organization I've belonged to, but I thought those jobs to be minuscule. I truly felt you needed some massive training, degree, or job entailing tons of writing experience in order to script a novel. Not so. In fact, when I first wrote my first draft, I thought it 'neat' until other people liked what they heard.
Hmm, maybe I have something here. So, with God's help, I pursued it. Now, I have two novels published, one to be released, another awaiting contract, two more completed, and another half-done. Whew! Those works may be on the back burner, but I shift my pots around and let some simmer while I add ingredients to other masterpieces, and all of it done despite what others have said.
Do not quit, stop, or just plain forget. There may be something hidden in your words, a story to tell, a testimony to share, which could change the lives of people who read them, forever. Never underestimate your potential by accepting doubt, negativity, and disbelief as the final verdict. Those words are DREAMKILLERS!
Now, I'm talking about verbiage expressed by family, friends, fellow authors, etc. You name it, there have been folks who've either said harsh things to crush my dream or remained silent, saying naught, and being just as uncaring.
But you know what? It didn't stop me. Accept what others say about your writing and you might as well tie some strings to your limbs, head and buttocks and let them control you in life; be the puppet they want you to be. OOOORRRR...do what you know you are capable of doing and start your dream. And now is as good a time as any. I look forward to seeing your works published.