June 25th, 2019

Since I last posted here I’ve completed not one but two writing classes, the second one ending just last week. They’ve been a huge help to me, getting me to write out many scenes and ideas that I had rough ideas for in my head but now I have committed to paper.

Well, to the digital equivalent of paper, to be precise. I still need to finish a solid outline and fill in the gaps between these scenes, but I’m much closer to completing an actual first draft than I was six months ago, and that’s not bad.

So, what’ve I been doing since classes ended, you might ask? Surely I’ve been working on said outline and filling in those gaps.

Ok, no, but I’ve got a good excuse. I’ve been reading.

That might not sound like such a great excuse at first blush, but hear me out.

Firstly, I’ve been reading The Starving by Jon Dobbin. Jon is an amazing local author and this title just launched last month. If you’ve not gotten a copy of it for yourself, do yourself a favour and either download the ebook onto your Kindle or (preferably, in my humble opinion) get your hands on a hardcopy. If you’re reading this before the end of June, and you’re in the St. John’s area, then you’re in luck, because all Engen book titles are 20% off at Broken Books until the end of June. You’re welcome.

Secondly, I’ve been devouring Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes. Sam is… not so local of an author, but I’ve been entranced by this story in a way no other story has gripped me for quite some time.

Why is reading such a good excuse? Because these two titles in particular have been more inspirational to me than any other book I could be reading at the moment. Jon’s because I’ve had the great pleasure of not only meeting the man, but having had some of my short stories in the same collections as his. He’s also taken writing courses from the same person I’ve taken them from, and it’s very inspiring to see the success he’s had with it. It makes me want to follow through even more, though nothing I could write would come close to The Starving. Honestly, folks, check this out if you haven’t yet, and get a load of that sweet cover art too.

The other title, Seven Blades in Black, is more of a personal inspiration because the main character / narrator in it has a voice very similar to what I’m trying to create. It’s an original fantasy setting, nothing like the urban fantasy one I’m working on building, but the main character is written in first person and has quite an attitude. Writing in first person is fairly new to me, so seeing a flawless example of that in a similar setting with a similar character has been a fantastic source of inspiration for me. And on top of all that, it’s just an amazing story. A can’t miss for any fans of fantasy out there, trust me.

So, yeah. Writing classes start again in a few weeks and I’m going to throw myself into it once again, with the ambitious goal of coming out of it with a first draft. Wish me luck!

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