The following 225-word scene is a sneak-peek at my upcoming book in Elithius. Let me know what you think!
(note: Ultra Malam=the Evil=the monster, etc)
PROTAGONIST: AETHYER GRIM
What is this thing!?
I grip the ground. Have to get up.
The monster steps closer.
I push against the ground, causing pain to spike through me again. My arms quiver; I can’t even lift my own weight. You have to! I scream at myself. My eyes fall to my sister.
The Evil is five feet from us.
An arrow slams into the left shoulder of the Ultra Malam. The Evil jerks backwards in response, uttering a harsh, furious growl, and grabs the shaft of the arrow, ripping it out. Where did that come from?
“Get away from them! Over here!” someone shouts. It’s a male’s voice.
“Over here!” calls someone else.
The Ultra Malam raises its eyes from me and Addy, its gaze alighting on a new target. I immediately know what the Evil is about to do. “Watch out!” I scream, forcing the words out. Or at least I tried to scream. I am surprised at how weak and hoarse my voice is.
The Evil vanishes into the air…as I expected. I wish I could turn around, to see what’s going on. Or I wish I could rise and help, or at least get Addy somewhere away from here. She’s already passed out…I hope she isn’t dead.
Because if she is…I’m not too far behind.
I black out.
A while back, I had the honor of asking for and receiving advice from Joel Eisenberg, a Hollywood producer whose books are now becoming a television series (The Chronicles of Ara).
This information just doesn’t get old!
So here are the questions I asked him, after reading a post about his journey as a writer.
Would you call your story of becoming a writer…relatable? How much of your path relied on luck, being in the right spot at the time, etc.? I hear stories like yours a decent amount, and I always find myself sighing: How could that ever happen to me?
From what you said, I understand that you literally gave up everything to become a writer. Maybe it didn’t seem like you were giving anything up, but from my perspective, it certainly seems like it. You ditched reason and what others would call having a “normal life” (by ditching your job!). I understand that this worked for you in the long run…but would you encourage others to do the same thing, even though this could potentially distort someone’s life…and then, in the end, it may not even pan out the way it did for you?
Just coming to you honestly, thanks for any advice!
Love the questions, Dominic. Thank you and I appreciate your honest feedback more than you know. Let me try to take these in order.
“Would you call your story of becoming a writer … relatable?”
– My path was my path; some may relate, others may not. Remember, Dominic, as I mentioned in a prior reply above – everyone’s path is individual. Some may have commitments with their children, for example, while others may have no children. Some may work 15 hour days to pay bills and work jobs they loathe, while others may have certain freedoms based on the amount of money in a savings account. Your path will never exactly follow another.
However, like John Grisham, who worked countless hours as an attorney and wrote “The Firm” in whatever spare moments he had, like Stephen King and so many others … A person can ALWAYS find the time to write, or send an email query, or replay to a blog post. It becomes then a question of time management and discipline to most prudently work with the tools you have to attain your goals.
“How much of your path relied on luck, being in the right spot at the time, etc.?”
– That was actually my problem for so long. I waited and waited and waited some more … and nothing happened. There were projects here and there, stacks of returned scripts … but my career went nowhere. It’s only when I got desperate that I realized only I could turn all this around. I did something I never did – I wrote that book (and did have a few non-performing films prior) – and it made all the difference for me. I PROACTIVELY kept in touch with all the people who contributed that trod similar paths, and I PROACTIVELY kept up my networking group for years. I got out of my comfort zone. I don’t believe “luck” was part of the equation.
“I hear stories like yours a decent amount, and I always find myself sighing: How could that ever happen to me?”
– I made that same observation and asked myself that exact question for so many years. I’ve so been there. But see above. I never stopped writing. I never stopped dreaming. The sacrifices were outrageous and I would not recommend those sacrifices to everyone. But, again, I’ve always had a sort of primal “need” to write; it’s always been more than a simple “want” for me. I made it work. The others who share similar stories made it work as well.
Look, sacrifice is a monster. I ended relationships, risked sleeping on the street, and a relatively new marriage, didn’t eat well, paid bills late … I would not recommend this. But my point is — I found the way. I tell people who attend my courses, speaking engagements and such that they don’t have to go to the extent I have. I did all the work. I learned what works and what does not, and why. There is no road map; if there was everyone would follow it and everyone would share the same degree of success.
There’s not a roadmap, though, but what there is are very specific strategies to save you an insane amount of work to help you get where you need to be.
Not luck, science.
Hope the response helps …
I was so happy that he took me seriously and actually got back to me! I also respected that he didn’t sugar-coat anything; he was being totally honest. Overall, I think what he said was encouraging, but you still get the sense that being a writer is HARD.
What do you think of his response? Thoughts?
So I published a book!!! Here’s the description:
His parents abandon him when he’s thirteen. He’s left to care for his little brother and sister. Life is tough. Things can’t seem to get any worse.
But then Evil Itself breaks down the door. It kidnaps his siblings. And It leaves him bleeding out on the floor of his own home.
The Golden Lands, one of the Three Worlds of Elithius, is supposed to be a place of light, peace and happiness. But the Golden Lands hasn’t been such a place for John Hedekira, a jaded, hot-headed sixteen-year-old. Joined by his friends Faith Pinck and Bernard Tanner, John must rescue his brother and sister from their captors…before his siblings can be sacrificed to the ominous God of Death.
So I’ve been noticing that, now more than ever, there is an influx of new bloggers. What’s more, many of my most recent followers seem to be bloggers that are just starting their journey here on WordPress.
To all of you, welcome!!!
A lot of you seem to be very attracted to my more educational posts, like “The Reason Why People ‘Like’ But They Don’t Comment”. So I thought I’d write another “educational post”, particularly geared towards you new bloggers.
The First Thing You Want to Do…
Identity yourself to yourself. What does that mean? It means that, as you start writing, as you start reaching out, networking, meeting other bloggers, targeting specific audiences, you need to know first and foremost WHO YOU ARE as a blogger. You can only reach the audience you want once you decide what kind of blog you are going to run.
So identify yourself to yourself. What do you think you’ll write about? Do you review books or movies? Write about sports? Cooking? Are you trying to promote a book or a business?
You need to figure this out.
The truth is, it’s obnoxious as a reader to visit a blog about book reviews, only to find they decided to go off on a cooking tangent. Centralizing what you write about is important to maintaining and developing a community around yourself.
However, if you’re the kind of person who likes to blog about anything and everything, disregard this completely! 😀 😀 😀
Next: Identify Your Audience
I cannot stress this enough: once you discover and surround yourself with like-minded bloggers, blogging becomes so much more FUN!
The number one word that captures the essence of blogging is COMMUNITY. And to build and enter the community that you want, you have to find the right people.
So identify your target audience.
A while back, I wanted to target an audience of anime-watchers. Why? I’m writing a book that is very anime-esque (among other things). So I tried to write about anime, to reach out to other people that liked anime…but it just wasn’t working. Why? Because I don’t watch enough anime to connect with other people.
Although I thought anime fans were my target audience, it took me a while to understand that I was wrong.
So I took a different approach: I started targeting fellow writers. And let me tell you, that made a big difference!! I discovered my community in them, aspiring and self-published authors like me. And suddenly, my blogging world truly became alive.
Identifying your audience is important, especially if you’re trying to promote something. But, in the end, it’s even more important for the sake of creating a community…which, once again, is what blogging is all about!
Stick With It
We all struggle with this from time to time. We lack motivation because life gets busy, our blogging efforts seem fruitless, or other bloggers seem to be doing so much better. Believe me, I get it. I’ve been blogging for three years and I only have 420 followers. To some of you, that might seem like a lot, but it’s not.
The goal is to keep at it. Fight through the dull moments. Keep on writing.
Believe me, if you stop writing, you’ll accomplish nothing. I know that seems like an obvious statement, but it couldn’t be more true. If you stop writing, you’ll accomplish nothing.
So you must continue to write.
I hope these tips were helpful! As always, Let me know what you think!
Like the way I write? Check out my new book Elithius on Amazon here! The Kindle version is only $0.99 for a limited time only!! Get it now!
As bloggers and writers, both published, self published, or unpublished, I think we all get to that point where we wonder: is it ever going to be enough?
Are my efforts ever going to be WORTH it? How much longer do I have to persevere? When will my story take off?
Fair questions. Everybody is asking them.
The truth is, I don’t know how much is enough. I don’t know where you have to be or how far you have to go. The world is a cruel place, especially to writers.
Well, first of all, there’s simply TONS of competition. Years ago if you said, “I’m a writer–I wrote a book” people’s jaws would drop in amazement. “Really?!” they’d say. “I could never do that!”
But nowadays, if you tell someone, “I wrote a book”, they very well might reply, “Yeah, me too!”
Let’s face it. Being a writer isn’t an anomaly anymore.
You know what is an anomaly? BEING A WRITER THAT STANDS OUT.
It’s easy to be a writer. It’s easy to be a GOOD writer. But being a writer that stands out is what everyone is looking for.
I guess that’s your answer then: how much is enough? How far do you have to go?
As far as it takes to make yourself STAND OUT.
Lots of people have great writing skills. Lots of people have good stories, compelling characters, etc. But not everyone is able to put all of those traits together into something wonderful, unique, and capable of being BETTER than everyone else’s.
Take a step back. Analyze yourself and your writing. What makes you stand out? Or what WILL make you stand out?
If you can figure out the answers to these questions, then you’ll soon know how much is enough.
What do you think?
My book, Elithius, is still available for download and purchase here. Lemme know what you think of it!
It’s been a while since I’ve given you more inside information about the world of Elithius. Today, I want to share with you a concept and a “species” I made up that ties in with that concept.
What’s a heyndai?
Basically, a heyndai is a manifestation of yourself…but a manifestation of the version of yourself that you think you’ve always wanted to be. Thus, your heyndai contains and fulfills every desire you’ve ever had for yourself. Everything you’ve dreamed of being–your appearance, your social status, your skills, your level of intelligence–is encompassed in your heyndai.
Your heyndai can only be seen by you; only you yourself will ever experience it. It is something that you must encounter directly through your mind–in a dream or a vision, for example. So, technically speaking, your heyndai isn’t even real! It is purely the product of your imagination and your views of yourself and the world around you.
Sounds pretty neat, right?
The problem is, what if your desires aren’t pure? What if you’ve always dreamed of being beautiful, and your heyndai makes people divorce their spouses for you? What if you’re tired of being bullied, and wish to become the bully? What if your idea of being perfect is flawed?
The problem with heyndai is that it’s an alluring, captivating version of yourself. So you are always trying to become your heyndai…and you can!
You just have to forsake your soul to do it.
That’s right. Allow yourself to be consumed by the idea of becoming your heyndai, and that’s exactly what will happen: you’ll be consumed.
This whole concept of heyndai and whether they are good or bad is very significant in Elithius. Should we try to become heyndai? Do we desire to become something pure? If your heyndai is what you’ve always wanted to be, do you even know what it is you actually want to be? How well do you know your desires?
These are the struggles of John Hedekira as he begins to make contact with his heyndai.
Deep questions, right?
But then, that’s Elithius for you!
Interested in Elithius? The first book is only $0.99 on Kindle and only $12.00 as a paperback! That’s a great price for a book that’s 300 pages long! Click here.
Ever notice how there are hardly any stories that encourage society or the way that humanity has progressed? How many stories are about patting humanity on the back and telling it “Good job!”?
Think of all the classics out there. Think about all those books you had to read in English. What were they about?
They were about change. They were about revealing how crummy this world really is. They were all about prophecy, and how our world would fall apart if we continued down the same path. They were about destroying something that shouldn’t even exist.
Sure, there was a lot of symbolism. Nothing is ever clear in great art…because it makes you think. Only the wise will ever understand.
Well, I’m asking you to understand what I’m saying. What makes a world-changing story, you ask?
A story that rips out and burns the status quo…and helps us see why…and maybe shows us a better one.
Tell the world it sucks. Go ahead, doing it. You’re probably only a writer because there’s something about your life that you hate, or there’s something in this world that disgusts you. You only write because you want to change or you want to be heard.
Isn’t that why you’re here, dear writers?
The stupid, forgotten stories are the ones that congratulate humanity. What’s there to congratulate? The only times we are triumphant is when we have God working through us. Other than that, we fall short.
Write something that makes someone stop and think. Bring their life to a sudden halt; make them slam the brakes and let them just sit there in the middle of the road, listening to their engine idle, as they strive to grasp the audacity of what you have said.
Think I’m wrong about all this? Go ahead and prove it. Your opinions are welcome here.
What do you think?
By the way, I’m officially a self-published author. If you like me and you like the way I write, check out my fantasy novel here. It will stop and make you think.
We the Waffles
Being a writer is a lot like being a waffle. You have to compartmentalize things. Like your money, your attention, and your time. There’s a compartment for everything; your family, work, school, relaxation, and writing. No two compartments overlap or share: each compartment is entirely dedicated to itself without distraction.
And also, from time to time, each compartment experiences an abundance of sweetness from that oh-so-pleasant “life syrup”.
Yeah, being a writer is like being a waffle.
Why a wolf?
Because writers howl. We cry even when no one is listening. We scream out our defiance of the world. And we are hungry. Hungry for more. Desperate to be quick enough, to be sharp enough, to pierce others…while realizing that, at the same time, it’s really we ourselves that must bleed first.
We are also wolves because we work in packs. We work together. And we need to, because that’s the only way we’ll survive. We help one another cry, help each other pierce the world with our gleaming white fangs.
So writers are waffle wolves. Makes about as much sense as being a writer.
But that’s being an author for ya 😉
What do you think?
Hey, just so you all know, my book Elithius was recently published and is available for download or purchase here. If you like the way I write, consider showing my story some love and let me know what you think of it!