Frett dooodlee

D&D Character Backstory

Hi everyone,

Today I have something a little different. My wonderful SO, whom also drew the doodle of my character above, and I were talking about making up backstory for our Dungeons and Dragons characters. So, I thought it would be fun to write a quick little introduction for my character. Up until this point he only had a few traits. A Tiefling, bard, with some magic spells, and a pet donkey named Brad. In true pantser style, I wrote the whole thing in under an hour without any further planning. Since I have yet to show any writing, I thought it would be fun to share. It is pretty random and silly but that’s kind of what our group dynamic is.

 

Frett the Bard and Brad the Donkey

Hi, my name’s Frett and I’m a bard. I travel from village to village playing shows, and trying to become the best musician this world has ever known! That may be a little over-ambitious but Brad’s always told me if I want to be a star I should aim for the stars. Oh, that’s right, Brad is my companion, my manager, and my mentor. He’s also a donkey. According to him, he was once a famous Oscar-winning actor, whatever that means, in some other universe before being reincarnated into this world.

 

My story begins several years ago in a small village near an active volcano, not the safest place for a village, I know. The village and the mountain it was on were known across the land for its concentration of extremely rare minerals and precious metals. It was especially lucrative for our village, being mosty Tieflings, we could stand the heat where no other species could. So for generations our village mined and sold the finest materials on this side of the Bearavo River.

 

I’d always expected to become a miner myself at some point, as was expected of my family lineage. However, one thing set me apart from the others in the village. I loved music. Now, I’m not saying the rest of them didn’t enjoy music, but for me it was something special. When I was younger a traveler came through the village looking to trade for some precious metals. He was a salesman but also a novice bard. It was the first time I’d ever seen a musical instrument. It had a large wooden body, larger than even my own at the time, and several tightly wound strings. The sounds it made were like the voices of the celestials. Not that I’d ever actually met a celestial.

 

My parents saw my interest and to their later dismay, convinced the man to part with his instrument and teach me how to play it in exchange for a discount in the materials he needed. As if blessed by the deities themselves, I was absolutely terrible at it. However, that did not discourage me one bit, for I practiced everyday. In the mornings and in the evenings, the sound of my song could be heard throughout the village. Eventually, I became quite adept at playing songs and creating them. My lute became a part of myself. While they suffered quite a bit in the early years, the villagers came to quite enjoy my music.

 

Sadly, I eventually came of age where I needed to start working in the mines. It was grueling work but I did learn quite a bit. While music didn’t come as naturally to me, I did have a knack for certain spells. Including healing and some low level fire and ice spells that were fairly useful in the depths of the mines. However, music was still my first love and it broke my heart to not be able to play as much as I once had.

 

Before heading to work one day, I decided I would not go without my beloved instrument any longer. So, I took it with me into the mines and began to play whenever I had a few moments to spare. During our breaks the other miners would gather around as I sung songs of far away lands and heroes of old. At the time I believed it was the closest I’d ever get to fame, and honestly, may have been okay with that. The happiness and energy I was bringing to my fellow miners and what they were feeding back to me was something I’d longed for. Then one day the foreman showed up.

 

What sort of awful things could have happened to make a man so bitter as to despise the joy of others. “If you ever bring that thing back into these mines, I’ll have you removed from them permanently.” The other miners turned away and went back to work. Not that I truly blame them, the mines were the only way to make a living in this village and no one wanted to risk losing that.

 

“Hey Kid,” a voice called out to me. “You’ve got talent, and it’s wasted down here in these mines.” My eyes wandered the cavern but the other miners had all disappeared into the tunnels. “Over here,” he called out. A short gray donkey, packed with supplies and a small wagon appeared in the light of the fire.

 

“Did you just speak?” It was the first time I’d ever spoken with an animal and I was quite confused.

 

“I did,” he responded. “That thing in your arms belongs in a mineshaft as much as you do.”

 

“Meaning… Not at all?” I asked.

 

He nodded his head and sniffed loudly. “That’s right. Get outta here, go share your gift with the world.”

 

Somehow the words of that donkey telling me to follow my dreams sparked something deep inside of my heart. If this wasn’t a sign of bigger things to come I don’t know what is. “You’re right, mister donkey.”

 

“Call me, Brad.”

 

“You’re right, Brad. I’m going to become a musician and bring my songs to the world.” I turned back and looked at him. “You should come with me.”

 

He tilted his head. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in show business but it sounds a lot better than spending the rest of my life hauling ore to the surface.”

 

I grinned and unhooked the wagon from his back. “Let’s go,” I said, removing my helmet and tossing it to the ground.

 

“So, Brad and I left the village with what little possessions we had and set off on the journey to become famous. That’s how we ended up here. “

 

The girl sitting across from me at the table sipped her drink nodded slowly. “Thanks for the backstory but all I asked was why there is a donkey in the tavern…”

 

Look at that, I can write a thousand words in an hour! Are they good words? I don’t know, but it’s a start. Thanks for reading!

Screenshot of Page saying The End

My Second Novel is Finished

Hi everyone,

It took a little longer than I had hoped but here we are on the 10th of January, 2022 and I have completed my second Novel! Totally at 80,746 words, it took me 70 days to complete. Not too bad for having to work full-time and doing writing sprints in my car every morning. It was quite an adventure!

The story went places I never expected and into spaces I’m happy it ventured. Part of the fun of not outlining is seeing where things develop on their own. I started with a main character, and a rough idea on where I wanted to end. The big surprises were just as surprising to me as they happened in real time while writing. Including a certain throwaway character with one line becoming not only a major player in the story but a main character herself. Within three chapters my tiny outline had been derailed, for the better I think.The characters grew on me. They grew with each other. They pulled themselves through the story no matter how rough things got.

My own personal journey with this story was also quite an adventure. It was the first time I’d committed myself to finishing a new novel in over 10 years. I learned a lot while editing my first novel and decided that I was going to try something different with this one. Instead of staying in my comfort zone of a single person, first-person viewpoint, seeing things, learning things along with the main character, I decided to try multi-POV and third-person. I have to say… It was painful. I struggled so much and it shows. I’m going to have a lot of editing to do just to fix how its voice, let alone the developmental and line editing. However, I’m happy I tried something new and made myself get through it. It’s an experience I won’t forget and hopefully some of the things I learned will help me find better ways to write in the future.

That being said, going forward I think I want to go back to my first-person viewpoint for my next novel. Something about living the story through the point of view of the main character feels so much more natural to me. I’m still looking forward to editing my manuscript after letting it rest for a few months. I’m planning on starting work on my next story idea soon while this one rests.  That way when I come back to it several months from now I can read it with fresh eyes and hopefully gain some perspective on its flaws. At least that is my hope for the process. The last time I let a story rest, it was for 11 years. I’m hoping no more than 6 months for this one.

Well, thank you all for reading my rambling once more. I swear I write these things right before bed and end up going on and on about everything. Please do not take these posts as a quality check for my writing! I write them completely spontaneously without checking or editing them.

Also, this song popped up on my random songs playlist while I was finishing up my novel and it is amazing! I already liked Mandy Harvey’s music but somehow never heard this song. It’s beautiful!

 

 


I just thought of an idea… Maybe I should do dream posts. Sometimes my best random ideas come from dreams. I usually write them in my notebook right when I wake up if I think it’s something interesting. My latest scribbles say “A multi-level university for wizards with different belief systems working together.” Okay. Rambling done. Goodnight all!

Work in Progress Update!

Hi Everyone,

It’s been a bit since my last update. I finally hit 75,000 words on my work in progress, Lies Beneath the Sea! I know what you’re thinking… Weren’t you at 73,000 words like 2 weeks ago? Yes… I was. I hurt my back a week before Christmas and was bedridden for almost a week and a half. During that time I could barely move let alone work on my story. So that set me back quite a bit. Luckily, I’m improved quite a bit and have been trying to get back into my writing habit. I can’t let it stop!!!

So this morning, I hit 75,000 words! That was my minimum goal I wanted to meet with my story and it looks like I’m heading passed it. I’m still estimating finishing around 80,000 words for this first draft. I’ve got quite a lot of editing to do on it at some point… It feels like it’s somewhat of a mess right now but I guess that is what first drafts are supposed to feel like. I’m excited and eager to get started on my next project.

This may be my last update of the year but if something drastic changes… Like I pull a few all nighters over the long weekend and finish my story. We’ll see! Happy New Year everyone!!!

Procrastination

I’m currently writing here instead of working on my novel because… I don’t know I really shouldn’t be. I’m going to a small holiday get-together with my coworkers tomorrow evening. It’s not something I’d normally do but I feel like I’ve been really neglecting them recently. But that’s gonna put a damper on my writing tomorrow evening… This morning instead of getting to do my early writing before work I went to get my Covid booster shot. Luckily no major side effects and I’ll hopefully be fairly protected going forward.

I keep seeing stuff about this new Spiderman movie… I’m really starting to want to break my movie quarantine and go. The last movie I saw in theaters was Sonic, right before Covid became a problem here. I was thinking about breaking the quarantine for Dune and am kind of sad I didn’t… But the more I hear about this Spiderman movie, the more I want to sneak out of work and go watch it. I don’t know if I can wait for the On Demand version!

Update on my NaNoWriMo Novel

Hi everyone,

I set my new finishing goal for my NaNoWriMo Novel to be around 75,000 maybe 80,000 before the end of the year. I’m still hoping to reach that goal and finish my story. I’m at 66,000 words now which is pretty exciting. That’s less than 10,000 to go until I’ve met my ultimate goal. Depending on how fast the ending creeps up on me I’m fairly certain I am going to land somewhere between 75k and 80k. Though maybe some fun side plots will end up taking me passed 80k. I was worried for a while at where my ending was going, where the plot was going, but after a late night revelation I think I see the path ahead! I’m looking forward to finishing this story and giving it some breathing room really soon.

One of the reasons I’m eager to move on is because I have some really fun ideas in my head that I want to start working on for the next project. There are two projects that are standing out to me the most. One as I may have mentioned previously, taking place in my first novel’s universe. Not a continuation but another story set in the world.

The other idea is completely random and actually sounds like a lot of fun. I want to write a Western Fantasy SciFi Mashup. Western being Old-West. An old-west style setting but with creatures, magic, technology? I don’t know. It sounds completely nuts and that’s why it seems like so much fun to try.

Westerns are something I’ve never been into, unless Back to the Future 3 counts. However, my grandma loved them. There’s only one real western I’ve ever seen, True Grit. My grandma was a fan of the original and was absolutely excited to see the new version. She’s sat through countless hours of every type of movie us kids ever wanted to watch (she loved it though, she was one of the biggest movie lovers I ever knew). Anyways, despite my disinterest in Westerns I went with her to watch it. Holy crap, if it did not become one of my favorite movies.

After recently rewatching the movie, which inspired this newfound interest in writing my own weird pseudo-old-west novel, I also found out that True Grit was in fact a book itself. Who knew?! I haven’t read it yet but I’m working on getting a copy to read through as part of my “Research” before starting this next project.

Look at that, I think I just finished talking myself into making that my next project. Unless I can write two novels at once… Stephen King must be writing at least ten novels at any given moment, right? I can handle two.

Thanks for reading my rambling! Until next time, take care!

LIES beneath the sea chars

I won NaNoWriMo 2021!

I won NaNoWriMo on November 30th at 50,157 words! Just because I won doesn’t mean I’m stopping yet. I’ve revised my goal to 75,000 words(maybe more) and given myself until the end of December to complete my story Lies Beneath the Sea. Oh boy is this story a mess! I have so much revising and editing to do to make the story work once I finish up. Even so, I’m super excited to have completed the goal for November and proven to myself that I can actually still write something new. Then to further my excitement towards finishing this novel, my wonderful and supportive significant other drew my main crew of characters. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful person in my life!

While I feel like I’m comfortably in the final third of this novel, I’m already thinking about what I want to write next! I’ve got a few exciting ideas that I’m really hoping to flesh out once I have some time. One of the ideas is actually a prequel to my Last Angel novel. It’s funny that I’ve never considered writing any sort of multi-book series. I tend to focus want focused, self-contained stories. However, this character has such a vivid back story that I’m really wanting to jump back into it.

Speaking of which, I’m participating in the PitMad event this year for my novel The Last Angel! Which happens to be tomorrow… I’m pretty nervous. I wrote out my short query tweets and scheduled them early so that I can just avoid Twitter all day and try not to send myself into a panic attack.  I really hope that I’m representing my novel well in these few brief sentences and that someone finds them engaging enough to give me a like. I know I’m going to spend all day tomorrow wondering what’s happening…

If for some reason you are an agent visiting my website after seeing my tweets… Hi… I hope we get to chat soon…

Until next time my friends!

My drawing is the one on the right if there was any confusion.

NaNoWriMo finish line is in sight!

Hi everyone!

Rather than adding to my word count on my story I decided to do some rambling here on my blog. I’ve been super busy with NaNoWriMo! I’m over 30,000 words already and nowhere near finished! It’s been quite a challenge to keep the momentum going, mainly because I had very little planning between the opening and ultimate ending of the book.

However, things are all beginning to fall into place now and it is so exciting! I am definitely going to need to do some heavy editing and rewriting of the earlier chapters to make sure everything aligns with what’s happening now and going forward. Overall, I’m super excited to be closing in on the 50,000 word goal and planning on going further into December.

I’ve been making a ton of new writing buddies on Twitter, hopefully I’m not annoying them! It’s quite out of character for myself to like and comment on random people’s tweets but how else are you supposed to make friends? Seriously asking,…

I’m up early this morning working on my 280 character #PitMad pitches for December 2nd. I’m a little nervous throwing myself out there but I’ve got to do my best to get my novel out there. I’m so proud of it and I hope it can someday bring comfort or even a little joy to a single person out there.

Is that enough rambling? No not yet! I’ve been watching Arcane on Netflix and it is amazing! I wasn’t sure how well I’d enjoy the story. I’ve tried playing League of Legends a few years back and just couldn’t get into the gameplay. It’s blown away all expectations and all of the characters are so interesting and full of depth. My favorite character is definitely Vi. She is badass and awesome! She also happens to favor one of my characters from my novel both in looks and personality.

A funny related story to this. When I did play League of Legends however many years ago… Vi was the only champion I bought and played as because I thought she looked a bit like my character Neva. Now, Vi in Arcane looks even more similar! (See the picture above.) Anyways, now I’ve revealed why I am totally biased towards Vi being my favorite character. In case there is any confusion, my drawing is the one on the right.

NaNoWriMo Profile

Oops, I missed a month.

Hi everyone,

I completely missed October for any updates on my blog! I’ve been super busy with work and home life but… I’ve started NaNoWriMo!!! As of this post I’m just under 8500 words! How crazy is that?

I maybe have already said this but I’m attempting something new with this project. For this story I’m attempting to write it all in third-person perspective. Normally, I write in first-person because I really like to live through the eyes of my characters. However, I wanted to try something new and challenge myself to do it differently this time. Hopefully, it doesn’t come back to bite me in the end. It’s definitely a different feeling but I’m liking my characters and trying to build them and the world they see as best as I can at this stage.

It’s been a while since I’ve worked on anything new and I don’t like to plan too much out before hand. I guess I’m a pantser in that way. I really enjoy seeing things unfold, not knowing whats going to happen next. However, it’s already led to an entirely unplanned new main character coming into the story. She just popped up in a scene with my main protagonist and jumped into the storyline. How fun is that!?

The whole thing has been fun so far! I’m trying to stay active on Twitter with updates and make new writing buddies both there and on NaNo’s website. There are so many awesome people in the world, I wish them all luck in completing NaNoWriMo.

Anyways back to work. If I could write novels like I ramble in blog posts I’d have that 50k words done in no time at all.

P.S. I updated my website to make it look a little more professional, including redrawing my avatar.

New Novel

I’m currently planning out my next novel… I can do this. I’m ready to push myself through Nanowrimo and complete a second novel!

Now I just need to concentrate and stop procrastinating.

If anyone wants to become writing buddles, feel free to add me!

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/ebalderson

 

P.S. I just finished the audiobook for I, Robot. It was super interesting. I’ve got Foundation on hold at the library when it becomes available! It should be interesting after finishing the series.

Since I’m back in the office now I’ve been trying to fill my days with audiobooks. I just started Tempest Runner by Cavan Scott.

Star Wars High Republic Novels

Reading Star Wars Novels

Hi everyone,

I finished reading two books this week! Star Wars The High Republic – The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott, and Leia by Claudia Gray.

I really only started reading Star Wars books during the pandemic to help deal with waiting for new seasons of The Mandalorian.

My first Star Wars book was Ahsoka by EK Johnston! Ahsoka is one of my favorite characters in Star Wars and it was extremely exciting to read how her story continued after Clone Wars and before Rebels. This was before the last season of Clone Wars premiered and before she appeared in The Mandalorian.

So, that’s where I started. I followed up by reading Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray. Qui Gon Jinn has been my favorite Jedi since I first saw him in The Phantom Menace. While my parents definitely had exposed us to the original trilogy, I hadn’t quite clicked with it until watching The Phantom Menace in theaters. It was such a huge event and everyone was so hyped up to see it. My parents made it a whole family event, we went to a premiere at midnight and absolutely loved it. Qui Gon was the coolest and still remains my favorite. Reading the book was actually the time I’d gotten into any Qui Gon material aside from the Clone Wars.

After finishing that I needed something new to get into. I learned that EK Johnston, who wrote the Ahsoka novel, had a few novels about Padme Amidala, Queen’s Shadow, and Queen’s Peril. I actually binge-read both novels over the span of a week. They were so interesting and went into a character I didn’t really know that well. They added so much to her that I had to go back and rewatch the prequels just to imagine how things fit in. I’m really excited to read the next one, Queen’s Hope when it comes out! Also, more recently I read EK Johnston’s novel Aetherbound which was also a really fun read and I can’t wait for another. I really enjoy EK Johnston’s novels, they resonate with me well and I can’t put them down.

At the beginning of the year, these Star Wars High Republic novels started coming out. I’d preordered Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule and blew through it! Luckily they release 3 at a time. I read A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland, and Into the Dark by Claudia Gray right after. Not to mention the multiple comic series releasing every month.

Now there’s a second wave a books out starting with The Rising Storm and I just finished it! I took my pacing a little slower this time because it’s fun having something to look forward to reading every night. Now I’ve got the next two novels in this wave to read as well as a manga and audio drama! High Republic stuff is keeping me really busy!

Leia was one I started and finished recently as an audiobook. It’s amazing how much faster the workday goes when listening to a good audiobook. Since this is my third Claudia Gray book, I’ve found that I really enjoy her storytelling as well. I can’t wait for her next High Republic book The Fallen Star…in another 4 months.

So now I’m currently reading Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel Jose Older. I’m really enjoying it so far! I also just started watching Foundation on Apple TV+ and I am really excited to keep up with that every Friday.

Well, I’m definitely categorizing this post as rambling because I definitely went on and on about stuff. I better go be a little productive over the weekend!

Thanks for reading.

 

P.S. Star Wars Visions was amazing! Go watch it. The Ninth Jedi was definitely my favorite but the Lop and Ocho was also a really close second with it’s worldbuilding. I really want some full length series out of this!