Choices

The Bow of Destiny Commentary Pt. 1: The Beginning

the-bow-of-destiny-by-p-h-solomon1I thought it would be interesting to share some commentary about the beginning of The Bow of Destiny now that the book has been out for a while, sold well and the next book should be released in just a few months. The Bow of Destiny has a curious beginning for many people that’s at once perplexing, confusing and intriguing. This effect is done on purpose and I’ll share a bit about it now.

The Bow of Destiny is written using the technique of deep point-of-view where readers hopefully become deeply engaged with the perceptions of the point-of-view character. There are a few other aspects mixed into this, one being that there are little, to no, dialogue tags in the book – all the dialogue is contextual. Secondly, with the deep point-of-view, internalization is signaled – or tagged – with physical actions by the character. As such, the internal thoughts, mood and emotions of the character are not italicized since these are deep enough into the chracter-reader engagement to not be set apart in such a way. Lastly, when italics are used it is for a specific, ongoing experience for the POV character. In such cases, hallucinations, dreams, memories, visions and other such experiences of the character are italicized as a special indicator that something different is happening for the character. I also used a present tense instead of past tense to cue the reader that this is a present experience for the character. It’s important to note that the tense only has changed and not the character POV.

There are other details to consider in the opening of the book of which a reader should be aware. For instance, Athson is hunting small game when the story begins and he has a choice between his prey, a pheasant and a wild rabbit. This signifies that Athson will be presented with choices all along his upcoming journey in the series. Athson believes that he’s making the best choice for his shot with his bow and arrow – the easiest one. However, when presented with more information, he makes a split-second decision and changes his aim to the pheasant.

AthsonThis quick change from rabbit to bird amid varying wind conditions shows that Athson is an expert with the bow. He is also functioning under the belief that he makes good and wise decisions with the information he has. Thus the stage is set for him to begin making decisions which become increasingly difficult and challenging to him and the overall outcome. This one decision shows both what the character thinks about himself and his relationship to his world and that this belief will be challenged in ways he has not considered.

Athson is a challenging character for many reasons, some of which I’ll get into during some upcoming commentary about him in this opening set of scenes. However, Athson’s choice, mixed with the discussed aspects of writing this blog series, couple to allow the reader to experience Athson’s belief in himself for good or bad.

Next week, I’ll dig a little deeper into this opening scene and attempt to offer a bit more about Athson’s state of mind. I found this scene difficult, tricky and daring all at once so there are a lot of layers to what’s going in with Athson that set the stage for the whole story. Thanks for reading today. Please leave comments below and check back next week for another post about this topic.

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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5 Ways You Can Harness Your Limited Writing Time

LeftHandIn a post last week, I wrote how I wanted to take better advantage of time by breaking one habit – believing limited time meant I had no time to write. But what ways can a writer re-gain control of their daily opportunities to write? Here are a few strategies I’m trying. Again, the idea isn’t to frantically write in every spare moment but to find ways to be a bit more productive instead.

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  1. I’ve stopped believing I don’t have time. This habit formed over time when I was tired, rushed or distracted. It was a slippery slope of one day that coalesced into many. I now look for spare moments and decide whether I actually have time to write – really write, not just post on social media where I end up wasting more time.
  2. Make notes – I’m using features in Scrivener to make notes about my thoughts when I stop writing. This way I have a reference on which to re-gain my creative mindset when I have those small bits of time to write. Too often, I don’t use the time because I don’t know where to start – or how. Shifting gears between tasks in a busy day means creativity gets buried. Having a reference point gets me started.

Doodling3. Try a short, creative exercise – getting back to creativity means shutting down your practical mental state. You can do this rather quickly by writing a few brainstorming words about your topic or story. Doodling in curves, especially in color, can help too. But again, being time conscious means that you don’t take too long at this. I suspect that the more you practice changing mental gears the better you become. Likewise, I think that stopping these exercises means you lose the ability to be mentally nimble.

  1. Building on the notes – try journaling earlier in the day where you focus your effort on your story and other projects. As you journal imagine aspects of what you can write during the day and note these. Are there fictional conversations that you can distill from your thoughts as well as other details. If you have other projects, what ideas do you want to address. This brings all those vague notions from your mind so that you have something definite about which you can write when ready. The main idea is to journal with the purpose of bringing ideas to the forefront and then having them ready to use at a moment’s notice.

SunDial5. Don’t waste valuable minutes when time is short and you can’t get busy on a particular project. If you have other projects to work on like writing a blog post be ready to shift to that and accomplish something. Just making progress writing is positive enough to keep you going later. Also, I’ve found that being creative one way actually stimulates my writing in other ways. If you want to use small blocks of time then use them any way you can just have a fall-back plan if your stuck.

What strategies do you have for writing in limited time? Do you find that you often think you don’t have time to write but spend the time on something unproductive? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

  BarnesandNoble      Smashwords

ibooksdownload      Kobo

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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10 More Ways to Survive a Monstrous Halloween Encounter

Halloween can be a tough time of year. After all, you have to go out at night when all the monsters really get out. You could run into nearly anything at this time of year – and it gets dark early! Want to go for that evening run? You better be prepared for anything from the menacing neighborhood dog to – gulp – a werewolf. Here are some thoughts on how to survive an encounter with a werewolf and maybe even make a friend.

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Snarling Dog1. Be prepared for this possible encounter in several ways. First, remember that a wolf wants to chase something so don’t run – and certainly don’t scream since both reactions will just get this monster’s prey instinct going.

2. The next way to be prepared is to go out with some dog treats. This is a great way to make friends with a menacing dog – right? Just think of a werewolf as merely a troublesome dog – just one that needs a bit of special handling.

3. Remember, a werewolf is a person too – just confused by the sudden change into a dog. Wouldn’t you be? So do what you should with a dog and calmly take charge of the situation. Toss some treats to the werewolf while using some reassuring words in a calm, firm voice all in an effort to gain its trust.

4. Really take control by getting some training done without hesitation. Think you can’t? Many dogs will learn to sit rather quickly and this is a person inside a wolf’s body so they should pick up commands rather quickly. To do sit, show the treat and then, while saying, “sit”, move the treat over the werewolf’s head. I know these are big but they slouch and much like a dog, they should sit when interested in the treat. Remember to give the treat palm up.

5. You really don’t want to get bit by a werewolf because, well, you don’t want to be one. To discourage mouthing and snapping like a dog teach this monster the “leave it” command. This means pulling back you hand and saying the words, “Leave it.” This should work since you’ve already gained a certain amount of trust.

Just an aside here, but you can try escaping anyway but you may need some help!

6. Need to get this big beast under further control? Teach it the “down” command. From a sitting position and a treat in your hand, say, “Down,” as you lower your hand between its forepaws. The werewolf will be so interested in the treat it will go down. Repeat a few times to re-enforce these commands (get the werewolf up by using the word and raising a treat over it’s head).

7. If you think this might become a monthly issue make sure to keep a big chew-bone handy for full moons.

8. Also, if you find that you werewolf wants to jump up on you – and many dogs do – simply turn away without saying a word so that it learns it will get no attention whatsoever from you. It will learn that the behavior isn’t acceptable.

9. If this is a recurring issue and you find that said werewolf is having a tough time with good behavior, try to talk about what’s really going on with a dog behaviorist. Seriously, these trainers can do a lot of dogs, why not werewolves?

10. Last thought, if the werewolf sleeps on your porch or in your garage take care how you treat the person in the morning. Leave them a change of clothes nearby so they can get dressed and offer them a good breakfast. After all, they’ve been a wolf all night and that can be a little disconcerting as well as embarrassing. Oh, and don’t offer them food like it’s a treat and certainly don’t use commands on them – that’s just awkward.

At this point, you’ve hopefully made a friend out of both wolf and human. After all, dogs are man’s best friend, why can’t werewolves be included too?

BOD FinalIf your good with dogs, what’s your best tip for handling a werewolf? What do you think would be a favored treat by a werewolf? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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