The Kingmaker: End of Year Review

Hello Everyone!

I’m just updating everyone on how the book is going. The Kingmaker is moving along well and I’m currently writing chapter 49 and plan to finish on chapter 50. The word count has risen to over 80,000 and after I’ve finished the first draft, I will be able to start the editing. The holidays have certainly gotten in the way of writing, a lot of planning and partying, leaving me completely drained. But it’s been a wonderful Christmas, amazing times with the family and friends.

Once the first draft is finished, I will start editing. I can’t wait for this to happen, this is what I’ve been looking forward to. I’ll be doing most of the editing myself, plus I also have a few beta readers looking over what I have of the manuscript. These people are completely invaluable. There are so many people who I can thank, for help and advice. In my time on Twitter, I’ve found so many good friends and valuable teachers. Meeting other authors and writers on Twitter has helped me reach out and meet so many people.

As the year draws to a near I feel very lucky that I have met all the people that have helped my writing, I’m very thankful for NaNoWriMo which I discovered this year. This has spurred me on to finish the first book in the saga and plan the next book. The characters have certainly popped out from the pages for me and seem to come to life. Sometimes, I don’t think I’m writing the book, I’m just typing while things happen. This is wonderful, as you can probably tell I’m a bit of a Pantser. Yes, sometimes I’ll just write to see what happens. In fact, most of the time I will end up writing a chapter and it will take it’s own spin on things and end up different to what I had planned but come together in a strange way.

Also if you’ve missed it, I have finished the front cover of The Kingmaker and finalised it. You can see it below.The Kingmaker Book Cover

How did all your plans go for the year? Did you get all of your ideas finished? How far are you through your novel?

 

The Kingmaker: How To Create A Villain

Hello Kingmaker Followers!

I’m back once again, this time with some helpful hints and tips on something I adore doing; creating a villain. I get an immense pleasure from creating a seriously powerful antagonist. There’s something about making one that just makes me smile, is that my inner bad guy? Possibly. I won’t delve too deep into that thought, though.

So let’s get started! Of course, there will be some headers, let’s break this down into sections.

Motivation

Any good villain has a motivation, a want, a need. There is something he craves, whether it be wanton destruction or to kill a certain person. Maybe he just likes killing people, he could want something precious to him. You can look at any bad guy in a film or book and see what motivates them. Usually this is broken down into three categories.

Money

Some bad guys/villains/antagonists just want money, plain and simple. These guys are so heavily motivated by it, they will take it in any way they can to fund their life styles. It doesn’t take much for them to see an opportunity and take it. If it’s gold or silver, they want it in their pockets. Want an example? How about Hans Gruber from Die Hard? This man wanted money so badly, he took on Bruce Willis and lost.

Power

These guys are power crazed, whether it’s for a high powered job or to be royalty, they want it. They’ll go out of their way to take what they want, usually by either scheming or force. They aren’t afraid to take what they think is rightfully theirs. Want an example? How about Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter? This guy was such a powerful wizard that wanted more power and built an army of followers to get it and secure it.

Chaos

Now these guys are arguably the most dangerous of the three. Villains of chaos have a tendency to want to put an end to everything, leaving a destructive path in their wake. Some kill for the fun of it, some kill because they believe they were sent to do so, but either way, they do it with little regard for anyone else around them. You want a good example of a Chaos Villain? Look no further than The Joker from Batman: The Dark Knight.

Character Traits

Of course, every villain is different. Just as life shapes us as human beings, life also changes these people for the worse, feeding off their past experiences, shaping them into the baddies that they are. Every single one of them are unique in their traits, their mannerisms. Here’s a few suggestions on what kind of character traits to include in your villain of choice.

Master Manipulator

It goes without saying that most villains are charismatic men, turning heads and minds to their cause of choice. These men or women can be extremely dangerous, finding people who are useful to them and exploiting them until they are no longer useful. Depending on what kind of villain you have, it might even lead to them killing their victim once they’ve finished. These guys are usually in the Power group.

The Psychopath

I use the term loosely, these people are very dangerous in their ability to interact with other people as if they care. Often having a close circle of friends and being the most helpful person you have met. But they have a darker side, harbored deep inside them they care about you less than you think. They are predators, lacking emotional connection but have an extreme ability to fake them. These guys are usually in the Power group, looking for a way in to something they want.

The Cultist

These people believe firmly that they were put on the earth to do something, whether it was by god or just that they were chosen, they believe it with all their heart. Tasking themselves with something that makes no sense to anyone else, they follow their path with a strict code. Some of them can be ethical, refusing to kill certain people because they believe they are good or killing them because they perceive them as evil. These Guys are usually in the Chaos group but can also be in the Power Group, depending on whether he has built a following.

The Narcissist

The Narcissist is a strange villain, incredibly vain and self glorifying, they love to be regarded as the best at what they do. If they aren’t, they tend to become angry and lash out aggressively. No one else could possibly be better than them, they’re the best at what they do. These guys are usually in the Power group.

The Crazy

Whatever happened to this guy, it sent him nuts. He finds it hard to deal with things, constantly moving, pacing, rubbing his hands or scratching his head. Some hear voices that guide them or believe themselves to be freeing the world of the evils within. These guys are usually within the chaos group.

The Thief

He’s a thief, what more do you want? He loves gold and silver, steals when he can and does it without being seen usually. Of course, every good thief is completely unknown until an unfortunate capture. Driven by a lust for money, these guys are obviously in the Money group.

The Brain

Of course, these guys are incredibly smart, usually staying two steps ahead of the hero with their plotting and scheming. They love the thrill of a plan well laid and executed. How can they not? They’ve planned for every eventuality. They truly believe they cannot be stopped and if even if they can, they have a contingency. These guys can fall in any of the Money, Power or Chaos categories.

The Could Have Been

You can’t help but feel sorry for this villain. He had a hard time growing up, the events in his life were skewed and left him in tatters. He’s an emotional wreck, but found solace in something. He’s the hero that could have been. Powerful and determined, crazed and intelligent, he could have been the hero of the story if things hadn’t gone so badly for him. But it did. And when no one came to help him, he helped himself. And hated everyone for their ignorance. These guys can fit in all of the categories.

The Avenger

These guys tend to be ones with a grudge. Usually an earlier run in with the hero gets their attention. They plan, plot and scheme all in the name of revenge. They are merciless in their pursuit and stop at nothing to inflict any kind of pain they can against their victim, be it emotional or physical. These guys can be found in the Chaos category.

Past Experiences

This is the final piece of the puzzle, the villains past experiences. What brought them to be the person they are? Why are they doing all of the evil things? Who in their right mind is this insane?! Your villain is. Try and think why your villain is the way he is. Was it something that happened to him as a child? An illness? A beating? Being left alone to fend for themselves? Were they recruited at a young age into a super secret society of evil assassins? Only you know that. Once you know why, you can better understand your character, your villain. Harness their passion and hatred, put it on the page and send them off into your world for your hero to try and stop.

But can a true villain, ever be stopped?

The Kingmaker: Book Cover Unveiling

Hello again, Kingmaker Followers!

During a period of sustained writers block, (damn I hate writers block) I found the time to be creative and at least work on the book in some fashion. Thankfully, I’m not too bad with the old photoshop and managed to put together a few book covers for the novel in a short space of time. Moving things around and changing fonts and big the picture was. Eventually, after asking a few people, I settled on the design below. DRUM ROLL PLEASE!….

The Kingmaker Book CoverI’ll be damned if it isn’t too bad, even if I do say so myself. So in this period of block, I have achieved something at least. It’s distinct and from what I’ve been told, it draws your attention. I hope so, it seems quite powerful in it’s imagery.

What do you think of the book cover? Thoughts and opinions below! Alternatively, send me a message on Twitter @KingmakerSaga or Facebook facebook..com/KingmakerSaga

The Kingmaker: Nearing The End of The Manuscript

Here’s your latest update on The Kingmaker, the first book in The Kingmaker Saga. Right now, I feel like Rocky Balboa in Rocky II, training as much as I can, hammering away at my keyboard. Preparing for the fight of my life. It’s all I can think of. Over the next week I’m nearing the end of my manuscript, when I can finally say I’ve finished the first book and won the world heavyweight championship! Fine, I might be overextending my reach a bit. But still, it feels like I’m on the way to winning something big.

And like Rocky at the end of the his training montage, followed by all of his fan, I’m taking you with me. As you read this, I’m more than likely at work, but still typing out the next chapter in an email and preparing to send it home to finish it. Right now, I’m on 69,888 words after finishing chapter 41. I’m aiming for 50 chapters in this first book and giving the next one something to lead in to.

It’s a long hard fight, but I know, when it comes down to it, all the training I’ve put in will give me the edge in the fight. I’m a champion! I’m a writer! I’m an author! ADRIAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!

Sorry for the outburst. Can you tell I’m excited? Of course, the next part of the process is to reread it, check for misspellings, punctuation, grammar and the sorts. I have to get it as close to perfect as possible. Then of course, there’s the book cover. Some of you may have seen it, others might not have. Either way, I’m not completely sold on my own design. Cover art is a serious part of selling the book, so I need to have another look and see if it does work.

I have to get back to my training montage, I can’t win without a good montage.

Feel free to follow me on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/KingmakerSaga I’ll be running a competition later on in the month. Everyone has a bit of spare time in between Christmas and the New Year. If you’re creative, you might enjoy it. If you’re not, have a go anyway!

 

The Kingmaker: Why Beta Readers Are Awesome

Welcome once again to my blog! Sometimes I have to take time away from writing my novel, just in case I forget which world I actually live in. Writing can be hard, so I’m trying to help each and every one of you as I go along and help myself. In this blog I’m going to be talking about Beta Readers and how awesome they can be! Of course, everyone has their own opinions, but mine is that Beta Readers are invaluable to your writing project. Especially writing novels with fiction. They’re not replacement Editors or Proof Readers professionally, but some are extremely good at helping you with those things.

I have a few Beta Readers working through my unfinished novel at the moment, first off I’ll tell you why I use them.

Plot Holes

Plot holes can be incredibly annoying, if you’ve worked incredibly hard with your novel and you release it, only for it not to make much sense, then it’s going to work against you. Beta Readers are usually avid readers and enjoy seeing a story unfold before them, so if it doesn’t make sense, they’ll point it out to you. Remember, they’re there to ask questions about your plot and if it doesn’t make sense to them, it won’t make sense to your demographic.

Continuity

Have you ever left a character for a few chapters, then come back to them and forgotten some things that have happened? Such as them carrying bruises from a fight or that damn broken arm that your hero is now fighting with? Beta Readers can help you catch these before your novel releases. It’d be a shame if you forget your arch enemies one weakness and your hero never exploits it.

Character Believability

Of course, everyone wants their characters to be more lifelike. But sometimes, us writers just mess it up. We can’t help but make some of our characters flawless and divine in nature, but characters have to be believable in their nature in order for the reader to engage with them. How compelling is a character who is always right and never does anything wrong? That character would become incredibly boring after a while, even superheroes have weaknesses.

Suspension of Disbelief

This is one of my favourites, it’s basically how well your story flows. A good story leads the reader in to a state where they can suspend their disbelief and fully delve into your world. They can see for themselves how effectively you do this and how immersed they become. This is always useful to get feedback from, if your story doesn’t flow well, they’ll lose that state and become disinterested.

Flow

This is a prime one, as I said above, a story must have a good flow. Of course you can have slower parts in your story, those parts are for explaining what’s happening. But you can’t have that in every chapter, wouldn’t you get bored if all each chapter was doing, was explaining back story? Beta Readers can tell you how well your story flows, if there is enough action to work with the slow parts. A good story will have a intertwining of both.

Grammar and Spelling

Sometimes, when your immersed in your writing, you can’t see the rain for the storm. I frequently read over my newly written chapter only to find terrible grammar and spelling mistakes. Not because I’m bad at grammar or spelling, but mainly because I’m so into the scene, my fingers are typing faster than I can keep up. Beta Readers can help catch these for you, no one wants to read a story that has terrible spelling or the wrong use of ‘affect’ and ‘effect’.

Cost

Most Beta Readers will do it for free, do you know why? Because they’re readers! They love to read and they want to help writers! If you can find a Beta Reader that loves reading your genre then you’re in luck! They know their genre, they have a feel for what works and will tell you if they like the story. Just remember to mention them in the first few pages as a thank you. Everyone loves a thank you!

Where do I find them?

Ah, now this is a good question. Type Beta Reader into google and it may well be your friend and point you in a sort of right direction. But just in case it doesn’t, try the links below.

Absolute Writers

Goodreads Betas

World Literary Cafe

These are just three of the many websites out there. But maybe you don’t feel comfortable sending your manuscript to a total stranger? Well that’s fine, you trust a friend or relative, don’t you? Well they can be just as effective, why not try them? Ask if they wouldn’t mind reading your book and telling you what worked and what didn’t. Tell them not to hold back, this is your prize remember? You want it to be good, so any feedback, positive or negative, is good.

Have any thoughts? Share them below!

The Kingmaker: Architect or Gardener?

Hello Kingmaker followers! What a week it has been, I’ve taken to writing some of my book at work and emailing it home (work smart.) This is of course making it easier to write up the book as I go along, bringing me closer to completing the first book in The Kingmaker Saga. I am beginning Chapter 39, I’m approximately 64k words in with the word count rising, literally every day. So far this week it hasn’t been a struggle to write the chapters as they come, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been looking for inspiration where I can. Yesterday, I found a picture of George R.R. Martin with a quote he said that speaks volumes about the way I write. It might sound strange, but the way both him and I do things are similar, in relation to writing anyway.

Of course, I’d consider myself more of a gardener. That’s just me, I’ve often written just to see where it goes with the book and found that, somehow, it just worked out for the story in the long term. Whether it’s adding a character or event and seeing how my characters react. I my head they’re real, I know them, I’ve spent time with them. Sometimes, I place an event in there and watch my fingers type their reactions. Seeing their anger, sadness or happiness shine through the words.

I had a conundrum in an earlier chapter that featured a character that needed saving. I toyed with killing him off in an unexpected twist, but decided against it. In the end, I created his saviours. But after a while, when I came back to them as they naturally appeared again, I had no idea what they were for. I started pacing the room, talking to myself, trying to establish what they were there for and what defined them and their actions. Then it happened, like a hammer of brilliance beating me in the head till I listened. Within moments my fingers were once again typing furiously, but this time with an answer, the seed I had planted grew up into something I never saw coming.

Which was a great thing, else I would have had to retype the entire chapter I had just done and the chapter where they were created and try and find a different way to save said character… Or kill him. No, definitely wouldn’t have killed him.

I’ve done this several times in my book. Well, if I’m honest, I’ve done this a lot in my book. I sent a tweet out the other day that said it all really.

 

Plot twists seem to come out of nowhere as you type and sometimes, you discover things about your characters that you didn’t know, like a friend telling you one of their darkest secrets. Then things unfold that you didn’t plan but hardly anything is planned in life and when it is, it usually goes completely wrong. A book world should be no different.

But that leads me to ask you a question, as George R.R. Martin said, we’re all part architect and part gardener. But which one are you?

The Kingmaker: The Book Trailer

Hello Kingmaker Followers! Once again we dive into the world of Vikinsa to add more depth and adventure to the story of Rhyn, The Kingmaker. Time has not been in my favour recently and the books progress has slowed with some writers block. But the good news is, while I’m letting my mind ease off from the story, I’m continuing with the creativity, so when it all comes back (which I feel it will very soon,) I will be more than ready to finish it.

So, for your viewing pleasure, I am proud to unveil The Kingmaker Book Trailer. I went for simple and effective. I believe it gets the message across. Let me know what you think.