Tag Archives: dark fantasy

Yup I’ll Be That Guy

Hey!  So you know how I criticize people for always blogging like “BUY MY BOOK”?

Well, I’m about to be that guy.

Money’s kind of short and I need to pay rent and eat (I do have a job, it’s just not enough).

I’d like to suggest that you purchase (yes, the accursed p-word!) your summer reading NOW, since it’s not like the story is going to disappear from your Kindle app.  $5.99 isn’t a lot–it’s the price of your coffee, your visit to the bar, your sandwich, etc.  But that’s all it costs to get my 350-page YA fantasy novel.

And it would really help your beloved blogger out 🙂

Here’s the description and a link.  Cheers!

Elithius New
Copyright 2018 Elizabeth M.

“The clock is ticking…”

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 fabled monsters of the Dark Lands break down the door. They kidnap his siblings. And they leave him bleeding out on the floor of his own home.

But he survives.

Fear Hedekira is a hot-headed sixteen-year-old faced with a world that is becoming more warped by the day. Joined by his friends Aislin and Arik, it becomes his mission to punish the monsters that attacked him–the Volcyrie–and rescue his brother and sister. But time is not on his side. If he can’t free his siblings in time, they’ll be taken to another world entirely…where they will be sacrificed to the God of Death.

The story of Elithius has just begun.

Get your copy here!

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Modern Fantasy vs. Traditional Fantasy

Although it is certainly not the most popular genre in literature, fantasy is still a prevalent concept to this day.  New authors are emerging with intriguing worlds and systems of magic, and it seems like the influx of new ideas and creativity is boundless.

But which is better, modern fantasy or traditional fantasy?  What’s the difference?

Traditional Fantasy

What comes to mind when you hear “traditional fantasy”?  Probably The Lord of the Rings.  Why?  Because J.R.R. Tolkien has been called the “father of modern fantasy” (which means his type of fantasy is technically old, but it just paved the way for modern fantasy).

Image result for lord of the rings art

The Lord of the Rings was one of the first stories that had a truly unique world, a world with its own history, diverse cultures, races, secrets, etc.  Even if you aren’t a fan of Tolkien, you have to appreciate the sheer greatness and vastness of Middle Earth.  To this day, all the works of Tolkien haven’t been deciphered and published…a job which has been passed down to Tolkien’s son, Christopher Tolkien.  It’s incredible that an elderly man could have such a crazy but fantastic imagination!

Image result for lord of the rings art

As is evident by the pictures I’m using, people go crazy for the world that Tolkien created.  Something that I think a lot of people are impressed by is how well Tolkien contrasts light and darkness, the forces of Good and Evil, without sounding preachy or sugar-coating anything.  Although, in my opinion, the books themselves are not fantastically written, the STORIES of Middle Earth are fantastic and beautiful.

Okay, yeah yeah, Tolkien is great.  But what’s unique about his literature, giving it the title “traditional fantasy”?

Well, like a lot of old stories (aka, classics), the Lord of the Rings is written with a sense of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.  According to the Ancient Greeks, particularly the philosophers, art was meant to reflect the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.

The work of art should reveal to the viewers the Truth…so that they people might understand the Good…and, in doing the Good, they might obtain what is Beautiful.

Isn’t that awesome?

And the Lord of the Rings does this by pitting Good versus Evil against each other, by showing how wonderful Light is against Darkness, by creating heroes and stories that are truly empowering to those that witness and read them.

This is what makes traditional fantasy unique and treasured.  Pick up The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Once and Future King, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.  It is from these stories that we obtain the idea of fantasy, and, in light of the True, Good, and Beautiful, what fantasy is meant to be.

Modern Fantasy

Modern fantasy both has and lacks some things that traditional fantasy lacks and has.  For instance, modern fantasy is very entertaining.  Pick up Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (sometimes called the Modern Tolkien), or the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and you’ll find these books are very entertaining.  Usually, the pacing is a lot faster.

Related image

Some good things about these books is that the characters are more relatable.  They have flaws.  It’s not that the characters in LOTR do not have flaws, it’s just that the characters are not as “down to earth”.  They don’t struggle as much, or their flaws just aren’t as apparent or human.

Contrast that with the heroes of Mistborn or The Mortal Instruments.  These characters are more down to earth.  They have relationship issues, identity issues.  Things that people struggle with on a day-to-day basis.  This is good; it helps people connect better with the characters they are reading about, it might even help them overcome similar problems.

Image result for the mortal instruments

However, from what I’ve read, what do modern fantasy stories lack (sometimes)?

The True, the Good, and the Beautiful.

Sometimes, I get the sense that authors are trying to justify their own problems through their characters by allowing the characters to be heroic even though they aren’t truly True or Good.  This can obscure a story from becoming Beautiful.

It’s not just fantasy; take a look around you.  Standards aren’t too high anymore for a “hero”.  They can drop somebody dead without thinking, steal, and act out of vengeance and still be paraded about.  Who cares if they sleep around, kiss three different boys, etc?

There can just be a lack of depth to the writing too, as if Modern Fantasy does nothing to challenge the reader to think about life’s big questions.  There is less of “what does it mean to be human?”  “what is truly evil and truly good?” etc.  It’s simply all about “what happens to this characters, the choices he or she makes, etc”.  And then we are left with the uncertain feeling of what’s right or wrong, or even believing (in error) that there is no right or wrong.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter!  Are there any modern fantasy stories that impress you?  Fail to live up to expectations?  Let me know in the comments!

As luck would have it, I have written my own fantasy novel!  I would love to hear how it makes you feel and think.

Is it a good modern fantasy novel?  On Kindle, it’s only $0.99!  I know you have 99 cents to spare, so the only reason you wouldn’t buy it is because you’re lazy!  And you don’t want to be lazy 😉

Click here!

elithius-cover-official
Cover art by Elizabeth M

The Story

As my audience gets larger, it’s important that I reexplain what this blog is about.  This blog is obviously about sharing my experiences as an author/blogger.  Most of my posts are about how we can become better writers and bloggers.

But this blog is also about Elithius.  Elithius is the fantasy series that I’m writing; it had previously been called The Golden Lands, but I decided to change the name because I thought Elithius was a cooler name.

So, what’s Elithius about?

Here’s my logline:

John Hedekira and his friends must track and rescue Cassie and Luke, John’s little sister and brother, before they can be taken and sacrificed to the God of Death by Nirak, the Red Captain.

elithius-cover-official

That’s the initial plot.  But to go into more detail…

John Hedekira is the main character of this series.  Quite unexpectedly, his home is raided by a band of Evil–mysterious, unearthly creatures–and the Evil kidnap his siblings and leave him for dead.  John survives the encounter, however, is determined to rescue his siblings and get revenge.

The thing is, there’s a time limit; John must save his siblings–Cassie and Luke–before they can be sacrificed to the God of Death.

Saving Cassie and Luke is far from simple.  As John chases the Evil, he makes friends, but loyalties are tested and betrayal is in the air.  His desire for vengeance grows stronger.  A mysterious ghost is discovered to be hunting him.  And even Death itself will try to ensnare John.

John and his friends have to fight with every ounce they have in order to overcome trial after trial.

Can John and his friends rescue Cassie and Luke in time, in spite of these obstacles?  And who will they be when all is said and done?


This is the story I wrote.  I really hope you guys enjoy it when it’s ready!  In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been posting a little less, but that’s just because I’m trying to finish revising the novel.  Thanks again for all your support!

What do you think of my story?  Does it sound interesting?  Is this a book you would want to read?

Cover Description!!

elithius-cover-official

As I mentioned yesterday, the cover of my first book has finally been finished!

Credits

All credit goes to Elizabeth M., who happens to run a blog over at https://lilyorphaned.wordpress.com/

Elizabeth, as is evident by the image above, is an excellent artist.  She’s just beginning her career as a cover/character/anything-you-want designer.  Aside from being skilled and disciplined, Elizabeth is EXTREMELY patient.  She knows how to listen and take corrections (or enforce her own).  I don’t know if she’s quite ready to receive a torrent of requests right now, but if you ever want a cover for your book, or if you would like your book to be illustrated (she does children’s books, too!) I would highly recommend her!  You can contact her here: lilyorphaned@gmail.com

Right, on to the description!

Description

I would ask you to take another good look at the cover.  Notice the light as it falls through the trees, look at the thick, luscious grass.  The picture perfectly captures the feel of the Golden Lands.  It’s pretty.  It’s peaceful.  It’s even magical.  Come on, let’s be honest, you could fall in love in this place!  Or maybe you could die peacefully here.  Or maybe, this is what heaven looks like after you die!

That’s how the Golden Lands is supposed to feel.

So…why is there a determined, angry-looking kid standing there with a sword?

That kid is John Hedekira, the main character of Elithius.  Other than looking like a boss, he’s not really doing anything.  But what’s the point of a book cover?  It’s to make you feel or understand something about the story.  How does John make you feel?  What do you think his appearance is saying about the story?

Maybe…he’s angry about something.  Maybe he has a sword because things actually aren’t as great in the Golden Lands as we would think.

That sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it?  Nothing is ever quite as perfect as it seems.  The world might look beautiful and wonderful, but oftentimes, it’s not a wonderful place.

What makes the Golden Land a not-so-nice place?

“Well, start reading the book and you’ll find out!”

And that’s the point of the book cover 😉


Thanks for all the support!  Hope you guys are excited!  Once again, great job Elizabeth!

Blogging Vices

I know we’ve already talked about this before, but this is an important topic, and I think we should discuss it in depth.

Blogging Vices are no-no’s, things that we shouldn’t do in the blogosphere and which will ultimately lead to our failure.  These vices disrupt the atmosphere of blogging, and make it something unhealthy.

So, what are these blogging vices?

1. A consumerist attitude

 

its-all-about-me
The image is not mine

Ever run into that person in the blogosphere who seems like they can’t stop trying to GET something from you?  They continuously reappear in your blogging circle (come on, everybody has one) and seem as if they are spamming everyone for attention?

Look, I get.  We are all trying to accomplish something through blogging.

Maybe we want popularity, just for the sake of popularity.  Maybe we want popularity for a book or another form of art.  Maybe blogging is directly related to our job–it’s a business for us.

I get it.  We all want attention, we all have something to prove.

Which means that if we all act like consumers, no one will get anywhere.

In order to gain, you have to give.  It’s a simple rule of life–not really a rule, to be honest.  More or less UNFORTUNATELY, life doesn’t always work like that.  Sometimes we gain without having to give (yay!)…and sometimes we give without gaining anything (awww…).

But the point is, in order to have a healthy blogging atmosphere that benefits EVERYONE (including ourselves), we have to be willing to give, not just gain.  If we have an attitude where we are only looking out for ourselves, we aren’t going to gain any loyal followers, we aren’t going to acquire massive audiences.  Because all we ever cared about was ME. ME. ME.

2. ONLY blogging about your personal endeavors

thank you gif

This is a personal pet-peeve of mine.  I see these bloggers who have a decent following (1,000+) and all they ever do is blog about their personal endeavors.  Their posts read something like this:

“Update on my story, (insert title here)!  Check it out!”

“Guess what!  My story is now FREE for a limited time only”

or,

“Part 17 of my blogging series, check out the other chapters here!”

And they NEVER.  BLOG.  ABOUT.  ANYTHING.  ELSE.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that you’re here to promote something.  I’m writing a book, and will I use this blog to promote it?   YES.  But if I allow my book to become the focus, if I make my blog all about ME, will anyone care?  No.

Because no one likes a selfish, self-promoting jerk.

In regards to this vice, there needs to be a healthy balance.  To be honest, it’s less of an “equal” balance; I would advise that you blog about things that other people can actually care about. Write posts that appeal to OTHER people, not just to yourself and your super loyal followers.

It’s a simple truth: if you blog about things that appeal to other people, if you make them interested in your blog for THEIR sake (not yours), they will eventually be interested in your own writing endeavors.

But in order to gain their attention, you have to be willing to GIVE something to them.  (And no, I don’t mean your free book!)

3. Spam bloggers

spam
the image is not mine

I remember when a random blogger re-blogged a post of mine.  It was the first time I got a re-blog, and I was ecstatic.  I decided that I would reward that person by following their blog.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I had made a mistake.

This person re-blogged about twenty posts a day.  No joke.   There are these people on the blogosphere who act more like Spam than human, and it drives me crazy.  I can’t concentrate on my newsfeed with all of their stuff clogging up my Reader.

Don’t be a spam blogger.  If you write often, that’s great!  I think that’s a good habit.  But don’t SPAM people.  Believe me, it will have a negative effect, not a positive one.


So, these are some vices I would advise you to avoid!

What do you think?  What are some vices that bug you?  

Blogging Vices

I know we’ve already talked about this before, but this is an important topic, and I think we should discuss it in depth.

Blogging Vices are no-no’s, things that we shouldn’t do in the blogosphere and which will ultimately lead to our failure.  These vices disrupt the atmosphere of blogging, and make it something unhealthy.

So, what are these blogging vices?

1. A consumerist attitude

 

its-all-about-me
The image is not mine

Ever run into that person in the blogosphere who seems like they can’t stop trying to GET something from you?  They continuously reappear in your blogging circle (come on, everybody has one) and seem as if they are spamming everyone for attention?

Look, I get.  We are all trying to accomplish something through blogging.

Maybe we want popularity, just for the sake of popularity.  Maybe we want popularity for a book or another form of art.  Maybe blogging is directly related to our job–it’s a business for us.

I get it.  We all want attention, we all have something to prove.

Which means that if we all act like consumers, no one will get anywhere.

In order to gain, you have to give.  It’s a simple rule of life–not really a rule, to be honest.  More or less UNFORTUNATELY, life doesn’t always work like that.  Sometimes we gain without having to give (yay!)…and sometimes we give without gaining anything (awww…).

But the point is, in order to have a healthy blogging atmosphere that benefits EVERYONE (including ourselves), we have to be willing to give, not just gain.  If we have an attitude where we are only looking out for ourselves, we aren’t going to gain any loyal followers, we aren’t going to acquire massive audiences.  Because all we ever cared about was ME. ME. ME.

2. ONLY blogging about your personal endeavors

thank you gif

This is a personal pet-peeve of mine.  I see these bloggers who have a decent following (1,000+) and all they ever do is blog about their personal endeavors.  Their posts read something like this:

“Update on my story, (insert title here)!  Check it out!”

“Guess what!  My story is now FREE for a limited time only”

or,

“Part 17 of my blogging series, check out the other chapters here!”

And they NEVER.  BLOG.  ABOUT.  ANYTHING.  ELSE.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that you’re here to promote something.  I’m writing a book, and will I use this blog to promote it?   YES.  But if I allow my book to become the focus, if I make my blog all about ME, will anyone care?  No.

Because no one likes a selfish, self-promoting jerk.

In regards to this vice, there needs to be a healthy balance.  To be honest, it’s less of an “equal” balance; I would advise that you blog about things that other people can actually care about. Write posts that appeal to OTHER people, not just to yourself and your super loyal followers.

It’s a simple truth: if you blog about things that appeal to other people, if you make them interested in your blog for THEIR sake (not yours), they will eventually be interested in your own writing endeavors.

But in order to gain their attention, you have to be willing to GIVE something to them.  (And no, I don’t mean your free book!)

3. Spam bloggers

spam
the image is not mine

I remember when a random blogger re-blogged a post of mine.  It was the first time I got a re-blog, and I was ecstatic.  I decided that I would reward that person by following their blog.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I had made a mistake.

This person re-blogged about twenty posts a day.  No joke.   There are these people on the blogosphere who act more like Spam than human, and it drives me crazy.  I can’t concentrate on my newsfeed with all of their stuff clogging up my Reader.

Don’t be a spam blogger.  If you write often, that’s great!  I think that’s a good habit.  But don’t SPAM people.  Believe me, it will have a negative effect, not a positive one.


So, these are some vices I would advise you to avoid!

What do you think?  What are some vices that bug you?  

Longer or Shorter Books? Which Do You Prefer?

books
the image is not mine

This is actually a serious question.  I think there are different types of readers out there.  There are some who prefer quicker, shorter novels that they can read in a day or two.  And then there are other readers who like novels that are longer, that they can snuggle up with for a week or two, and read at a leisurely pace.

Make note, this post has nothing to do with how readers PACE themselves.  I genuinely want to know which kind of book you prefer: long or short.

I think we can agree that some books are TOO long…those exceeding 800 pages tend to push it for me.  If the book is part of a series, all right, maybe it’s not such a big deal (in the case of Inheritance by Christopher Paolini).  But no one likes picking up a standalone that’s 800 pages long.   If the story is 800 pages long, why not split it up into three smaller books?  Big books can be daunting.

The benefits of longer books, especially if they are a part of a series, is that those books seem to go way deeper into character development, plot development, cultural issues and formation, descriptive writing, etc.  Shorter, fast-paced books seem to avoid these; they are page turners, instead.  Don’t get me wrong, there can still be lots of descriptive writing (like in The Lord of the Flies).  But shorter novels tend to focus more on actions, without taking the time to describe the setting.

froggy

I’m currently wondering about how I should form my own book series, Elithius.  Before, when my series was called “The Golden Lands”, I had planned about 18 volumes of novella-sized stories.  No volume was going to exceed 200 pages.

But now, I’m considering compiling several of the books together.  For instance, the first four volumes of the story will now become Book One of Elithius.  

What do you think of this?  Do you prefer longer or shorter books?

Do you think it’s better to keep the volumes separate, and have a lot of books, or to make them more novel-sized (about 320 pages each), and have just a few books?

Your input really matters!!!