Article on plotlines

As a writer, I am always on the lookout for interesting articles (sometimes books) on improving one’s writing.

I have discovered an interesting video on Youtube which discusses the importance of plotlines. This is directed to screenplays, but it is relevant to storylines as well. Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLXwzj59mnM.

The video uses the example of the movie “Hidden Figures.” If you haven’t seen the movie, then I highly recommend it.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I.


—Robert Confiant 10 February 2019

Somethings one cannot voice or write about

For those readers who write on blogs, have you ever come up with on idea or story for your blog, wrote it down, but never published it? I have.

When such occurrences happen, do you consider this omission to publish a detriment to your writing, or a kindness in keeping quiet, very similar to, “A lie of omission?” I do.

I must confess. I write a lot of personal topics. I am very open about myself and my life at the chagrin of some of my family. Because of this, I try to protect the people in my life as much as possible. I try never to name names or exact circumstances (under most circumstances anyway). It is this need to protect the people I love and care about that I do not publish every thought or article which I have thought of and/or jotted down in my writing app.

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Is this akin to the idea of “A lie of omission?” I believe so; however, I do so because sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes the truth hurts so much as to tear friendships and family apart. Thus, I keep such thoughts to myself.

My brother, who was in town on business, and I had dinner and two drinks each. While at dinner we compared the crazy price of housing between Vancouver and Toronto areas. After dinner while walking back to his rented car, he observed how easily I got winded easily and he stated as such; he also noted that I gained a lot of weigh. I wasn’t upset but agreed. I went on to explain I that I was working on it and I had lost nine pounds. Later, after he drove me home to the condominium, he came up to see it. He stated that it was kind of small, but a least it had a balcony that we could sit out on (I never mentioned that I personally don’t sit out there much as I dislike heights).

There are some truths some people can voice; there are still other truths which others would rather not hear. When does one know when is it safe to voice the truth and when to keep one’s opinions to oneself? That is the question.
—Robert Confiant 31 January 2019

I have been working on the sequel

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I have been working on my sequel. I haven’t written any new chapters, but I fixed up what I already had written.

It felt strange and wonderful catching up with my characters and revisiting Lendaw. I can now continue onward, so I will not be pu

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I have been working on my sequel. I haven’t written any new chapters, but I fixed up what I already had written.

It felt strange and wonderful catching up with my characters and revisiting Lendaw. I can now continue onward, so I will not be publishing as frequently. I will try for once a week maybe twice. I still want to read when I am on transit. I have purchased a lot of e-books that I haven’t gotten to and I feel I should read them before I purchase any more. It is tricky juggling all I need and want to do, so this is my compromise.

I have been off for two weeks and during that time I have been reading and writing and playing/surfing/socializing on/via my computer. I also took time to just relax. Work has been busy and hectic, and we have been (are?) shorthanded, so I needed the break.

I am back to work (the routine) this week. It was a bit of a struggle getting up this morning after sleeping in for two weeks.

I will keep you posted and continue to post my stuff.

Until the next time,
—Robert Confiant 22 October 2018

 

Off and writing

Well, I am off for a while. I have returned to the sequel. I took time off. I don’t really know why; I wasn’t stuck or anyrhing like that. I guess I just needed time away.

Anyway, I am back at it. Here is the Prologue:

Prologue

Keri looked contemptuously at Gerek.

It was a mistake to escort the Dwaran. Such a loathsome creature.

Keri called it a Dwaran, for there was no name for a creature such as he before, after this venture, she hoped she never would see another like it again. The half-human and half-dwarf mix made for a creature that, in her opinion, was an abomination. A little taller than a lad, his hands and feet were too big for his body. In fact, everything about him seemed wrong he had a crooked nose, a patchy beard, his crooked teeth were yellow and brown, his breath was sour with the rank odor of gouk, a thick leaf weed for chewing. He wore a cap to cover his balding head, he wore travel pants, shirt and tunic. His looks were not the only aspect which Keri abhor Gerek. To make matters worse, he barely washed himself the resulting stench was too much for Keri to bear. Most annoying thing for Keri were none of these. No, she could tolerate his appearance, she had seen many strange creatures in her many travels; no, it wasn’t his looks that irritated her most, its constant bickering and droning on and on. Since Keri agreed to escorted Gerek through the Dark Lands three weeks ago, he had not shut-up. His constant whining and bickering began to irritate her. She despised him. For Keri, this was the final insult.

What has become of the world, when creatures such as this are deemed of such importance? In her experience, it was one’s actions and deeds that determined whether one was a great leader, or not.

Keri shook her head disapprovingly.

Keri’s rough exterior was a result of her being a woman in a man’s world. The cutthroat existence that was customary of the roamers. Her black hair grew mid-way down her back which she often wore up tucking her tresses under her hat; she had an oval face with a small, dainty nose, brown eyes, and a wide mouth with thick lips. She was medium built, lean and muscular, she was stronger than she appeared earning her place as leader of her tribe.

Keri was Chief of her people. For the most part, her people considered her a respectable leader. Her expectations of others where high; though no higher than that she placed on herself. She could be quick to temper, especially when irritated; she knew to keep her anger in check. She was not one who acted out of anger. Her people considered her a fair and just leader. One who listened to her people and contemplated her next move before making any decisions before.

Keri regretted her current decision to guide Gerek and his men through Toirmait, or “The Dark Lands,” as it was known by outsiders. The lands were hers; to her and her people, these were sacred lands. The Shaemis kept its secrets.

The Dark Lands, Gerek now knew why people oft referred to this territory by that name. The land was barren, nothing grew in these parts: Charred trees and shrubs were all that remained, they scattered sparsely across the great expanse in a patchy form. The sky was with dark and grey with stratus clouds. Gerek and his men struggled under its gloom. Gerek knew of the dangers within the boundaries of The Dark Lands. Bogs of poisonous gases and water, quicksand and sinkholes, Gorgens and Snarecaps beasts of man-eating flesh. These traps lay scattered the countryside making their trek to Kirell even more dangerous. This was unmapped territory. Gerek relied on Keri’s lead to guide their way safely through the dangers, and for this, he paid her well.

Keri gazed at Gerek and his men, “Hurry up you slugs. It is almost night; we must be there before sunset.”

You cannot believe what fate awaits us if we delay much longer. If you believe you have paid a great price with the loss of half your men, if you do not hurry, we will all surely die.

Gerek shivered, the hair on the back of his neck stood up. He looked to his left, then to his right, and finally turned to the rear.

Nothing.

He chuckled to himself, You dunce, why are you being so foolish?

Still he could not shake the feeling they were being watched.

Gerek promised the men a share of the great treasure to secure their services.

Thieves and scoundrels the lot of them.

Gerek cared not whether they survived this quest or not. He only cared only to acquire The Cau.

The company marched cautiously onward. Occasionally, Keri backtracked before continuing in a different direction; she rarely explained herself to the others mumbling to herself before moving onward.

By sunset, Gerek spied a structure in the distance. Kirell, the Temple of Kael – The Destroyer. They had arrived. Gerek shoved his way forward as he raced toward the entrance of shrine.

Keri lit four torches distributing them to Gerek, two hirelings, and herself. Gerek and Keri took the lead, while the other two men covered their rear. Down and down, and down they went. The walls in the stairway were damp and grimy. They slowed their pace lest they fall off the side to their death. Once at the bottom, Gerek ordered his men to stay.

Gerek and Keri weaved through the corridors until the reach the inner-most chamber.

There ahead stood a statue of two figures, the first figure and the shorter of the two was struggling to reach and grasp the object in the taller figure’s hand.

Keri witnessed the exhibit.

It is as if they were imprisoned for all eternity. What a terrible way to go.

Gerek rushed over to seize the orb.

“Wait you fool,” hissed Keri.

Gerek snarled, “You only wish the prize for yourself.”

Gerek seized the stone from Kael likeness. The stone flared to life. He cringed in pain; the fire began to burn within the palm of his hand.

Gerek realized his mistake too late. Try as he might, he could not shake the stone loose. The fire continued to burn and burn. Gerek shrieked with pain. The fire intensified until it consumed Gerek. He wailed a final time.

The stone dropped to the floor, and Gerek was no more.

Keri grinned smugly.

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My goaI is to continue writing in the evenings and weekends until I complete the first draft.

It feels good to be back at it. In the next few weeks, I will have news that I hope will excite my readers further.

—Robert Confiant  October 2018

 

I am a re-reader

I am a re-reader. If the book is enjoyable, then I will read it again. I do this for movies as well.

reading

Currently, I am re-reader the Harry Potter series; although, I am not doing so all at once. I do read something new between every book, or two.

I am on a young adult genre kick though. Call it, “Indirect research,” as I write YA Fantasy. I do not; however, stick to just the Fantasy genre. I read other types of materials. I find reading this material helpful to my writing as it has been a very long time since I was a teenager LOL.

I read a lot of fiction. I no longer read a lot of non-fiction, but I do have some mythology references, foreign language references, and some writing references. The references come in handy.

When I first got back into writing, and I began to take it more seriously I decided to take a few writing courses. One of my favorite writing courses was a grammar refresher course at UBC. The grammar refresher was very helpful. Although, I still have a long way to go before I become a good writer. I have observed improvement over the years, so I keep at it (Those who are familiar with this blog will know that “Improvement” is one of the criteria for me to remain doing something, or staying with a thing I am currently doing). Besides I love to write.

I am an avid reader and writer. It can be difficult trying to balance my time between these two activities, but I manage. I used to fret if I spent more time with one over the other. I don’t let it bother me anymore as both reading and writing are important.
—Robert Confiant 26 September 2018

 

 

This writing craft proffession is odd

Awake and writingThis profession called, “Writing,” specifically the craft of writing is odd. Some days, it comes easily and naturally, while other days, one draws a blank. In my case, I pretty much write something every day (I just don’t always post it).

I don’t always post because it is not post worthy in that it is horribly written, or uninteresting. Yes, I jot down every idea even if the idea is crap. Sometimes, I need to think about a revision. If I believe the piece to be salvageable, which if I am being honest, and I am, is not always the case. I am not as shame to admit that some of what I write is crap. I know everything I write needs editing, but if one is not signed on with a publishing, this can quickly get costly. As a result, I do my best to self-edit before I post to my blog.

Ideas, I have a lot of them. That part of writing is not too difficult for me. The difficult part is getting the idea onto paper in an interesting and presentable fashion. This is not always easy, but like every craft, I discovered that one improves over time. You should read my very early stuff. I have and I’ve revised a lot of it. For many of us who call themselves writer’s. I think the issue of: “When is a piece of writing complete,” is a struggle in, and of it. I am pragmatic about this. I post it when the article becomes a complete thought; otherwise, I would never publish.

So, yes writing is a strange craft. I can no longer stop writing; it’s in my blood. I love it. It gives me a purpose. It also leaves a legacy for me. As a gay man without children, I find this has become important to me and I find writing accomplishes this need of having a legacy. I just hope to hone my craft and that I continue to improve to become a better writer.
—Robert Confiant 25 September 2018