Time is a relative concept, and literary fiction is effective at transporting you to another space, slowing down, and speeding up the moment. Writing books is no different, and for the past month, I’ve been putting in the hours to wrap up the next novel. Along the way, I learned new writing techniques that took me years to figure out. It’s better to learn something later than never. Writing is a lifelong craft. Take the journey.
Welcome to Another Edition of Unprocessed Thoughts
Writing is a never-ending skill that takes years to get good at. It takes even longer to be a master at your prose. Thankfully the writing community is quite willing to share their expertise and provide opinions on how to better each other. Context is critical when writing any idea down, fiction or non-fiction, and writing with clarity is the primary goal.
Improve At Your Own Rate
Writing is a lifelong craft, and each author grows at different rates. Some authors like Bram Stoker or Richard Adams don’t start writing fiction until their forties or fifties. Others start from the get-go, like Stephen King. Other authors, like Clive Barker, start early in their adulthood.
My own writing journey began when I was in elementary. As some of you know, I wrote backstories for the unbalanced board games I created. This evolved into what I am doing today with the Macrocosm and the upcoming flagship series Ash Born with book one, the Crystal Moth Conspiracy novel.
When I started writing, it was not good at all. The story structure, prose, and characters weren’t anything I would do now because I didn’t have the skillset. Writing must be done continually to understand how to improve, just like any skill.
Understanding the Craft
Writing isn’t the only component of writing. Reading is critical to becoming a better writer. Learning what other authors do with their sentence structures, story arcs, and genres helps you understand the tropes and innovative ways to use words.
Seeking expert help is a handy way to jumpstart your writing without spending years making the same mistake (don’t be me.) People who are more seasoned in writing can help you, and many of them are willing to.
Writings are a supportive group of people. Plenty of writing communities are online through Facebook, NaNoWriMo, geographical writer’s associations, and writing conventions. Take advantage of these to meet other authors and build a network of friends and colleagues.
Writing is a Lifelong Craft with No Rights or Wrong
There’s no silver bullet to strike true at writing. Like all artistic endeavours, the journey is not linear. You’ll jump ahead, regress, improve, and go in circles throughout your life. Along the way, you’ll have sparks of genius; other times, you’ll find yourself in a rut.
So Why Write?
That’s a good question. The process sounds frustrating, yet we keep at it as writers. Each person has their own reasons for doing so. For me, I found the best comparison is a compulsion. I’m fixated on writing and cannot imagine a time I haven’t written for something.
My journey has taken me through making board games, flash video games, poorly drawn high school comics, and, eventually, novels. Even my job as a graphic designer is about telling stories through visual communication. Storytelling is at the heart of who I am, and you can’t remove the core of your being. If you do, there’s nothing left.
The Next Book – Crystal Moth Conspiracy: Ash Born Book One
As mentioned at the beginning of the blog post, I’ve been grinding in the hours since the beta reader feedback to finish up the new book and have it out late this spring. The beta readers love the story and characters. The prose needed some polishing, and then it was off to the editor.
I had an “ah-hah” moment with a grammatical error in dialogue during the process. I couldn’t wrap my head around it until the fourth person explained it. Duh! My editors have told me for years to fix the basic error because it was so simple. It’s never too late to learn.
While the editor goes through the massive novel of approximately 143,000 words, I’m preparing the marketing. I have finished the interior art and cover design with unique original art by an illustrator friend of mine.
Keep watch in the coming months for more on it. In March’s monthly newsletter, I will reveal the cover art and synopsis for the novel. If you haven’t subscribed yet, do so to see the incredible art early.
Beer Note: Strange Fellows Brewery Talisman
This month, I’d like to highlight the Strange Fellows Brewery Talisman. It’s a west coast pale ale that isn’t foggy and has a good balance of hops and bitterness. This is my go-to when I am in the mood for a pitcher with some friends.
This one is my favourite of all the breweries I’ve tried so far. All of the Strange Fellows artwork is Viking-themed, as is the tasting room. The design on the can is also pretty fun, showcasing a linework mermaid.
I’d recommend checking it out if you are ever in Vancouver.