Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Paying Attention

I am a much different reader than I used to be. I used to blast through books, barely taking in the details as I rushed to finish the story. That's all that mattered to me...story. It's a problem for me now. I have a great story to tell, but I need to take to the time to set the scene and write the emotions and describe the details. It's not enough that they're all in my head. I have to get it down on the page.

That's what I'm doing right now. One more trip through the manuscript, making sure that I've dotted the i's and crossed the t's. I want the world of Eternal Knight to be as real to the reader as it is in my head.

I've been re-reading two novels in an effort to capture how the authors handle description and narration. One is George R. R. Martin's, A Game of Thrones, and the other is Christian Cameron's, Tyrant. I love the way these two authors write.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Progress Report

Slow but steady progress on editing. I'm going to revamp my time schedule for the query process. I'm thinking August 1st right now. It's been very hectic around the house finishing up landscaping and getting ready for a family reunion. Things should quiet down next week.

I'm very happy with the last batch of changes I've made. Kemp's suggestions have been a huge help. I'm not worried about the delay in querying--writing doesn't pay the bills around here. I needs to make the manuscript as flawless as possible before I launch it into the world.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rainy Day

Yet another rainy Pennsylvania day. My daughter and I pulled out the paint and markers and got to work on some art projects.

I tried to get her to stick around for the photo, but she bailed on me. She painted a nice forest scene as well a the sun shining on some flowers. I decided to do some Eternal Knight images.

The top image is Helna's Orb. It appears in the novel as a pendant on a necklace worn by the protagonist, Hadde. Helna is the creator goddess in the mythology of the Eternal Knight world.

The lower image is the face of the shield, Forsvar. The shield differs from the other shields in the novel as it is a round shield--the others are heater shields (you'll see some below). Forsvar is 500 years old and there have been changes in arms and armor since its creation.

The crossed warhammers on a white field are the coat of arms of Earl Waltas. White is the color of the South Teren of Salador and is often worn by its nobles.

The yellow dragon on a blue field is the coat of arms of Maiden Maret's family. I'd have to look in the manuscript to be certain, but it might be a blue dragon on a yellow field. Blue is the color of the East Teren of Salador.

Red if the color of the Royal House of Salador. Unlike the individual coats of arms worn by nobles, all of the Knights of the House carry the same shield. The Knights of the House are the elite profession soldiers in direct service to King Boradin. I am unhappy with the piece of "art". The lightning image should look like the one on the shield Forsvar. Sir Nidon, the Champion of Salador, carries a plain red shield in order to distinguish him from all other knights.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I sent my last chapters to my "final reader" last night. Kemp is giving me one last round of feedback from the perspective of someone who has never seen any part of the novel before. He's already given me loads of excellent advice. So far he hasn't found any critical flaws--things what would need a major overhaul.

Today I'll start a final run through the book incorporating changes Kemp has recommended and fixing any bugs that I discover. I think this process will take about two weeks. After that it's agent query time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Agent Dreams

Last night I dreamt I was in New York City looking for a hotel room. I came upon a row of townhouses and each home had a sign in front advertising itself as a bed and breakfast.

Every single sign had the name of an agent I've researched for future solicitation for representation. I remember wondering if staying at their bed and breakfast would help my chances at signing with them. I also remember comparing prices and peeking in the windows to see how clean and welcoming each B+B was.

It's so funny how the subconscious mind works. More than any time in the past I really think my novel will be published. With each passing day I grow more and more excited for the possibilities for my manuscript. With each passing day I also come closer to sending out that first batch of queries.

I also dreamt of receiving a stack of envelopes in the mail. I couldn't bear to open them. Phone calls are good. Emails can be good. SASE envelopes are not good. I've received some of those envelopes before. They are where the fleeting dream hits the hard wall of reality.

Getting published is a difficult road to travel. That's what will make success that much sweeter.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Back at it

Final exams are graded and my seniors are long gone. Time to get back to work on Eternal Knight.

The good news: My friends Mike and Kemp have been giving me some great feedback on the manuscript. The reworked manuscript will be greatly improved due to their advice.

The downside: My query letters will be delayed by about a month. All for the better. I want to put forward the best piece of writing possible.