World Building Like Crazy

I spent the last two days doing some major world building for my novel. There were a few details that I had neglected to figure out and I realized that having those details would make it much easier to piece my world together.

I figured out approximate populations for countries and major cities and created maps for two of the kingdoms where most of the story will be taking place instead of just having a world map.

I also changed a few place names around and created distinctive regions in each country.

I also did a little bit of writing in A Clash of Crimson and I was able to add about 1000 words to the story. If I can keep this momentum up I will be looking good for NaNoWriMo.

As a quick side note, I’m attending a diversity journalism conference in Oregon next week. Because of this commitment, I had to refuse an offer for two $50 tickets for row 17 to see Def Leppard in Tacoma on October 1. Ugh. I really want to go to that concert.


Writing, Writing Again

I was inspired to write a little bit more in my novel yesterday. A Clash of Crimson has been the absolute biggest headache and the hardest project of my life, and it doesn’t look like it will ever be finished. But, I’m pushing forward.

I gave up on my rewrite at about the 30,000 word mark in the middle of Camp NaNoWriMo – July 2016. Now I’m trying to play catch up so that I’m ready to begin writing part 2 for NaNoWriMo in November. I figure if I can at least get a little bit of writing in each week, then I’ll be in good shape.

September 11, 2016

Starting Word Count: 30,177

Ending Word Count: 30,836

Difference: +659

Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 6

Welcome to day 6 of Camp NaNoWriMo!

After writing yesterday’s blog post I sort of kicked it into high gear with my novel. I realized that I really want to finish rewriting this to the point that I start writing new chapters all the way until the end.

Of course, that means that some of my edits aren’t going to be perfect and some scenes will be left mostly how they are. But, that’s okay for now because the novel isn’t even done yet. I’ll worry about trying to be perfect AFTER I write “The End.”

I’ll just walk away knowing that my novel is better after this Camp NaNoWriMo than it was before I started rewriting. That’s all that matters: It’s better.

Yesterday I passed the 13,000 word mark in my rewrite and reached the end of Chapter Two. That’s a big achievement this early in the game, because I only have 11 chapters written, and many of them are much shorter than Chapter Two was.

How I finished rewriting the dreadful second chapter:

Yesterday I complained that Chapter Two was awful. Well, I’m feeling a little bit better about it now. I ended up keeping the plot of the chapter exactly the same.

I expanded a scene in the middle of the chapter where the main character, Arrellia, originally was just corner by merchants who wanted to mug her and was rescued by an old man named Tancard and her knight in shining armor, Bedric. Now, she actually does kind of get mugged, which adds a bit of a thrill to the chapter. Plus, I was able to hint at the dangers of a certain coin Arrellia was given, whereas originally she was just given it and it later came back to bite her. Kind of a plot hole right there. But that’s all cleared up now.

I also made Tancard a little bit creeper by adding only an additional line of dialogue. Originally he gives Arrellia a letter for her grandfather and she thinks nothing of it. This time around she realizes that this stranger had the letter prewritten, and Tancard admits that it wasn’t a chance meeting.

Ooo, mysterious.

Hopefully today will be another great day of writing!


Until next time,



Camp NaNoWriMo Word Count as of 1:28 pm: 13, 555



Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 5 & Fireworks Video

Happy day 5 of Camp NaNoWriMo!

I haven’t done any writing yet today, but I’ve finished some very important world building to assist in my rewrite. It partly had to do with reorganizing the main country’s government and actually drawing the capital city so that I could keep everything straight.

Now I’m hoping to get 2,000 words written today.

Chapter Two is really just a big mess. It’s my least favorite chapter in the original draft of my novel, and I’m starting to see why.

  1. Even though there’s a really good hook to start off the chapter, it quickly loses steam. There’s plenty of big events in the chapter to keep it interesting and to build the plot, but it just doesn’t seem to work.
  2. There’s a lot being introduced to the readers here
  3. It’s 17 pages long, which would be fine if it was better

So, I’ll be trying to work through that chapter or at least figure out how to make it better.

In the meantime, I also uploaded a new video to the YouTube channel. It’s just some of the neighborhood fireworks from last night’s Fourth of July festivities. Now you can see why I’ve been annoyed by people letting them off all week. There’s just so many people in the neighborhood lighting them off.

Until next time,


Camp NaNoWriMo Word Count: 8004

Winning NaNoWriMo, Again

10 minutes before midnight on November 28, 2015 I validated my novel to finish my third consecutive quest for 50,000 words in a month.

This year was my most stressful National Novel Writing Month yet. I had to balance my first quarter of college, my first job, and writing a high fantasy novel in one month. It makes me never want to do it again (jk).

I clocked in at 50,055 words but I’ll probably keep adding more throughout December. I made the mistake of quitting on this day last year when I won NaNoWriMo and not going back to the novel until July. Whoops. I need to keep writing while the plot is fresh in my mind.

Not having NaNoWriMo hanging over me means that I can gradually return to blogging! Yay for free time.

Congrats to all of the other winners.

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 8

13,364/50,000 words

I just finished day 8 of National Novel Writing Month and I’m exhausted. It’s been such a busy week with work and college, yet I was still able to write and meet today’s goal.

This year’s NaNoWriMo feels harder than usual, yet this is the first time I’ve ever had 13,000 words on the 8th (my previous day 8 total was 10,653). I just started writing Chapter Three: The Letter, which is a bit of a fun chapter to write. Chapter Two was hell because I wasn’t sure where I was going with it and it seems to childish and unnecessary, but Chapter Three rocks. Chapter Three has snow, mountains, tea bricks, and an attack on the outpost. What could be better?

Actually, I’ve only written up to the tea bricks, but there WILL be an attack.

I spent most of the weekend working on world-building. I developed the basics of the world religions and gave them all names. I also worked on the currency system in use by my world and I have started renaming things.

I’ll see if I have time for another update this week.

Until then, happy writing.

World-building: how far do you go?

Whenever I start writing a novel or short story I do a little bit of world-building. I usually start with a map and develop names for countries, major cities, bodies of water, and mountain ranges. Then I start plotting them on the map and take a look at what relations they could have with one another.

For example: does country A have a peaceful border with country B, or do they constantly war with one another? Does this river have an affect on this town or this economy?

Then I usually get into style of government, leaders, and brief histories that I can tie into my story.

How much world-building do you do before you write your novel? What types of questions do you ask yourself regarding world-building?

Current writing project: a dystopia

I have decided to start experimenting with other genres than epic fantasy. I am going to attempt a dystopian novel or short story based on the nation I had created on a role play forum a while back.

Continue reading “Current writing project: a dystopia”

The Mission (flash fiction)

Recently I have been interested in breaking the rules of structured writing and what publishers or critics want you to do. I am interested in doing it with the newspaper, and also with this blog. Just as a start, I am going to continue my series of story fragments about the father and son, Gunnar and Sean, living during a future world-war.

Instead of writing a traditional short story, I am only going to present fragments of letters, transmissions, dialog, etc. to tell the story and to give the reader a glimpse into this world.

Please read “Serenity” and “This Isn’t America” first.

Serenity (part one):

This isn’t America (part two):


I can’t begin to explain how sorry I am. You will never read this, perhaps no one will, but writing this letter is just as important to me as if you had. I made a big mistake, many years ago, and now the world is paying the price, even if they don’t see it that way.

You told me once that I was wrong for siding with the United States, for fighting against the Empire. You said that I followed my superiors blindly. I didn’t. I was involved in the decision making, I knew what I was getting myself into. 

Its showering outside, just like all of those days when I would take you into the woods to go fishing or hiking. I have been looking out towards those mountains every day since you left, hoping and praying to the unknown that you were right. I hoped and prayed that the government would never find you, because I wouldn’t be able to let myself live if they tortured you. 

I realized that you were right six days ago. I received orders from the high command of the United States of America, wanting me to lead an assault on the Empire’s mainland. They said that it would be the strike that ends this bloody war and returns the world to a state of peace not seen in decades. No more American lives would have to be taken by this conflict. I followed my orders, and delivered the devices to the mainland. I ordered the strikes against the capital and the coastal cities just like I was told, without even thinking about what it was that I was doing. 

They are estimating millions of civilian deaths. The Empire surrendered all right, they wouldn’t be able to stand another hit. Is this what victory feels like? No. This is what it feels like to be the modern Hitler. This wasn’t another Hiroshima or Nagasaki, this was cold blooded and unnecessary murder. What has the U.S. become? What have I become?

They will say that my mission saved the world. They will call me a hero, a savior, and a saint. I am none of these things. My mission toppled the last free nation of the world. Now who can stand against the might of the great American superpower? 

I can. I wish that I could join you in the Empire, living alongside the free. I am about to do something that there is no coming back from. I’m going to get revenge for everything that has occurred in this broken world. 

I love you, son,


This isn’t America (flash fiction)

This piece of flash fiction is related to a previous post of mine. Please read “Serenity” here:

Sean: When I was little, and I saw those missiles, I was terrified. When I started to learn more and more about the war, I thought that the Empire was the worst government to ever exist. Worse than the Nazis, worse than the Soviet Union, and worse than North Korea.

Gunnar: Well, that’s the truth about them. Do you have something important to tell me?

Sean: Just listen to me, Dad, for once. When I enlisted in the armed forces to fight for the damaged United States of America, I thought that I was doing my country a great service. I was going to be a part of reclaiming freedoms and security. I was going to follow in your footsteps. As I fought on the frontlines and in secret operations, I learned a lot about both the Empire and the United States. I found out how we started the war.

Gunnar: The Empire deserved it. We expected to win. We underestimated them and their willingness to fight back, to sacrifice all they had.

Sean: You committed acts of terrorism and mass slaughter, just for their natural resources and land. You also wanted to display your power to the world, to prove that the U.S. was still a superpower.

Gunnar: And now what? What are you trying to say? Are you going to defy me and your country?

Sean: I intend to fight for the right side, the one that will ensure a better world in the end. I will side with the Empire.

Gunnar: Can’t you stop and think this through? You are making a stupid mistake! The U.S. is the home of the free, the Empire is not.

Sean: The U.S. hasn’t been the home of the free in years. We used to be the greatest country in the world, Dad. Open your eyes, this is not America. You want me to stay? Prove to me that the U.S. is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Prove to me that this is the greatest country in the world.