Progress and Exciting Times

After something of a second wind, progress on Forshai Ascended has stepped up a notch or three. I shifted the progress bar all the way to 95% since there are about four chapters left to write and those are either fully planned or about half-written. Of course, that then means a switch from writing mode to editing mode. The fun part of that is I can justify a few more forays into the short story markets. That reminds me: one of my short stories, Planeshifter, was recently accepted for publication in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. Be sure to look out for that in the January issue.

Inspiration is always a big factor when sitting down to write. It makes the difference between a few hours of slogging and glorious hammering away at the keyboard for an irrelevant amount of time. On that note, I thought I would share a few of the things that help give me a nudge toward the inspired.

Music is one I expect everyone can relate to. It’s the riff that surges energy through you, the bow to string that gives you goosebumps. I like to choose something with appropriate imagery for what I’m writing. Something like Moving Mountains by Two Steps from Hell evokes wonder and mystery. If it’s action packed sci-fi, Framing Armageddon by Iced Earth works every time. Right now, I’m dealing with the climax in epic fantasy so the keyword here is ‘epic’. To that end, Audiomachine, Future World Music, Mark Petrie and Two Steps from Hell are providing the soundtrack to my writing. If I manage to transpose some of their grand imagery into words, I’ll be satisfied with a job well done.

The other media that I use is visual art. I think it’s a wonderful cycle where artists feed off one another’s creations. Books, film and music often inspires someone to paint a fantasy character in a mysterious setting which, in turn, can jolt something in the imagination of other artists. And so the cycle continues. My favourite site for artwork is DeviantArt. I could lose hours browsing the wonders on display there. I even found the talented Mat Andre on that site and persuaded him to create the banner you see at the top of the page. Another of my favourites is Phantagrafie who does excellent characters with roleplay gaming roots. Many of these guys are open to commissions so if you are a writer looking into the self-publishing route, you would do well to explore the services on offer at DeviantArt. They could make your covers and other promotional stuff really shine.

There is much writing still to do so I will sign off here. With the wind to my back, I hope to have the first draft of Forshai Ascended finished by the end of the month. There. It’s down in writing so you can wallop me with that target if it looks like I’m slacking.


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