Infodumps and How to Use Them

The sequel to Doomwalker has been mostly written for awhile now, but it needs heavy edits. I hit the first big info dump last night, having prepped myself with one of these.

Infodumps have a bad rep. “Show don’t tell” is a good rule, but it’s got limits. Use it for characterization or- and this is important- plot. Sometimes, though, you need to just lay out the background of what’s going on. Subtle little nods to the situation going on aren’t going to cut it.

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KZ’s Hallmark Christmas Movie Drinking Game

Pour some Rudolphtinis, spike some hot chocolate, or go the easy route of the writer and keep a bottle of wine on hand. It’s time (past time, really) for my Hallmark Christmas movie drinking game.

I warn you, if you follow all of these, you won’t last long.

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Doomwalker is out now!

In Doomwalker (Book 1 of the Paladin Trilogy), Paladin Valen must face his dark destiny in a world on the brink of war. At his side is Maryx, whose own faith demands she accompany him to whatever end.

Are you looking for a tale of heroism in the face of doom and fear? Do you want to join a band of brave men and women as they face threats known and unknown in a fresh new world? The Paladin Trilogy offers all this and more.

Book Review: The Sculpted Ship

There’s a certain sub-genre out there that I can only term “entrepreneurial fantasy”. It is not about fighting off threats or battles or life as someone already in authority, inherited it earned. It is about being an ordinary person with some heart and some smarts and then building a business in a fantasy or sci-fi world.

The Sculpted Ship by K.M. O’Brien is just such a book. Anailu Xindar is a starship engineer who can finally achieve her dream: her own ship. And the one she gets is a lovely dream of ship, except that it is not fully functional. This is the story of how she gets it back into the sky.

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Atmosphere in Writing

Writing a story is akin to an abstract painting in a number of ways. You are, indeed, directly telling others what is happening…but you are also communicating how it feels to be there.

Take a look at this lovely Monet.

It is a depiction of a seaside cliff, yes, but it also tells you how it feels to there. The sun, the wind, and the smell of the sea are there, somehow. It’s not a picture merely regurgitating what the artist sees- it is telling you of an experience.

Storytelling should do likewise. We call it atmosphere and it is mercilessly hard to define but you notice right away when a book doesn’t have it.

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Announcing Doomwalker

My dark fantasy novel is now out for eBook preorder! It will be out on November 21! Paperback release forthcoming.

This dark fantasy novel is the first book of the Paladin Trilogy.

Dark powers are on the move in a world on the brink of chaos…

Paladin Valen has hunted the broken remnants of the dead elven gods all his life. Now he is tasked with delivering a warning from his goddess. Called ‘Doomwalker’ for reasons he does not understand, Valen makes his way toward the great capital city of Crownshold with a sense of duty and foreboding.

He crosses paths with the elf Maryx, a spy for the doomed kingdom of the elves.
She is bound to him through childhood oaths that connect her to the terrible destiny of the ‘Doomwalker’.

War is coming to the land and it is hard on their heels. Accursed warriors stalk the woods and an army moves towards the city with no sign of their passing but burning villages. Valen and Maryx’s fate looms over them, though just what that fate will be, neither can tell

Earth-Moon Weirdness

When it comes to writing sci-fi, there are lots of ways to create interesting planets that are not “one biome from Earth, but everywhere”. This perfectly respectable in soft sci-fi and may be possible for the likes of ice planets (Hoth) or desert planets (Tatooine), considering the conditions that create tundra and dune seas. They’d probably be far more inhospitable than often depicted, however.

Part of this is because so many factors go into what makes a world habitable, all of which are derived from the habitability of our own world, since it’s all we got to go off of. And our little blue and brown and green marvel is quite strange, even within in our solar system. Nothing else works quite like it does in a number of ways.

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Book Review: The Sun Eater Series

I stumbled across this wonderful space opera by stumbling across the author on social media, going on to prove that Twitter is not only poisonous. It really is a great series, hitting all the crazy space opera notes you might want.

What does the Sun Eater series offer? Well. What are our space opera staples? Strange politics and cultures? Check. Sufficiently advanced technology? Check. Long lost and mysterious history beyond our ken? Check. Aliens, battles, references to this, that, and the other? Check, check, check. All of it with a unique spin making it well worth a read.

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