Tips

5 Signs You’ve Gone Too Far With Your Fantasy Novel

Today, I share 5 signs you may have gone too far with your current fantasy novel.

Fiction writing requires a bit of immersion into you story. Fantasy requires an author put on a squirrel suit and jump in for a deeper excursion to truly get the experience necessary for bringing readers along for an entertaining ride. Here are 5 ways to know you’ve gone too far but I can’t tell you how to get back – that’s your own problem… However, I can offer a few suggestions that might help you re-gain perspective:

  1. One of your characters actually threatens you. Fantasy worlds are by their very nature dangerous, places that are unstable in any number of ways. That doesn’t even cover the places your characters travel and visit right through any number of dangerous scenes and settings. The nerves or your characters can easily get frayed and they may turn on you with whatever weapon they have at hand (and fantasy characters often have a weapon at hand). If you are in a bar or tavern, offer them a drink. If that fails, my advice is back away slowly, maybe with an apology for crowding them, and just shift to another scene. Maybe things will be a little less tense in another scene or the character will be too busy to notice you.
  2. You go drinking with your characters, have such a great time you wake up dressed like one of them and find you’ve been given a prized item that’s integral to the story. No, you can’t keep that gift so find a way to politely give it back and try not to go that deep with your characters again. It just gets awkward for you, the characters and the people around you in real life. Honestly, that’s getting a little off-balance.
  3. You go running and feel like you’re in that scene where there’s a devastating retreat. Take a deep breath, it’s ok, that’s just in the book. This is just exercise and there is no one chasing you with a battle-ax to grind. It’s just running. But it is good to keep in shape just in case you do need to retreat, right?
  4. You start speaking one of the languages used in your book. This is getting pretty serious since no one around you understands what you are saying. If you really keep going that deeply into the book, no one will be able to read it in that language. You might try getting out of your writing sphere and re-join the real world, try talking to someone about something trivial. Maybe watch some day-time TV – maybe.
  5. Maniacal laughter erupts from your lips as you near the end and kill a few beloved characters. Just back away from the computer, go do something else. It’s just a book. Deep breath. No, don’t go play that video game. Go to the museum or something. Just remember, you are not the villain here.

Notice: This is all tongue and cheek except my character threatening me since one of them is based on my dogs. However, my dogs just like to bark and growl for the fun of it so the first one really doesn’t count that much.

About the Author

I’m P. H. Solomon and I live in the greater Birmingham, AL area. I strongly dislike yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, I perform such duties to maintain a nice home for my loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In my spare time, I ride herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, I enjoy reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, I also have a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone my writing. My third book of The Bow of Hart Saga fantasy series, The White Arrow, will be released October 2017. I’m also a contriubtor to Story Empire and a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

This blog is about my writing, other authors, writing-related topics and my chosen genre – speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy to be specific). Join me regularly as I highlight other writers and share my journey as an author. See my Contact page for more information.

Advertisements

What’s New for 2018 Part 1: This Site and New Groups

I’ve been taking my time assessing last year and planning for this year, partly because I’ve been sick but also because I’ve been assessing what directions I need to focus my efforts for 2018. Today, I’m addressing changes to my website/blog and tomorrow, I’ll get more detailed about my writing plans for the year than I did in my previous post.

Site Plans for 2018

I have a number of goals with this site that I’d like to address this year. I have previously posted a lot about Scrivener on my blog which has been great. However, since I’m contributing over on Story Empire with similar content, I’m going to post most of my new Scrivener tips there, leaving my site for more content around fiction – mine and whatever I run across.

As far as the site, I think I’ve outgrown the current free-hosted model so, as the year progresses, I’ll likely migrate toward a self-hosted site. I simply need the ability to do more with this site than in previous years which requires the flexibility to work with more plug-ins and widgets than currently available. WordPress’s free-hosted model has been an incredible help for almost 4 years now but it’s time to grow and develop the site further.

Regarding content, my plan is to offer more news about my writing as I have several projects in the works (more about them tomorrow). Additionally, I want to post more commentaries about my published books and other fun tidbits around them. I plan to post these types of blogs on Thursdays much like this one though with some variety. Also look for plenty of posts from my feature, “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” as I am able to find guest posts or interviews from other authors or people related to speculative fiction. I hope to have a few starting this month as time allows.

On Tuesdays, I want to take some of my short stories and post them as serials for readers to enjoy. I have a number of stories just lying around doing nothing and gathering digital dust so they may as well be brushed up and posted to be read which is what was intended for them. Look for one to begin next Tuesday.

I’ll continue post the Fun Friday feature where I’ll mix in some polls, writing ideas and a few, fun oddball notions otherwise.

Other Developments

Also this year, I’m starting a couple of groups for readers to join for preview content of books and even some ARC opportunities. One group is under development on Facebook. I’ll announce that as soon as I have it ready to go.

The other group is underway as a Q&A group on Goodreads which I posted about last week. This is a place where anyone can join and ask me questions about The Bow of Hart Saga. I’ll host Q&A’s several times this year as there are new developments with books and releases. If you are interested in the current on just click the button on the right for more information.

Additionally, I may host a more private group on Goodreads like the one on Facebook where readers can enjoy alpha/beta content, provide feedback and receive ARCs and other freebies.

Overall, the year should be busy and fun with a number of new developments with my website, blog and groups. Join me tomorrow as I reveal my specific writing plans for the year. Thanks for reading today. Feel free to leave you questions and thoughts in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Scrivener Tips Pt. 2: Compiling

Compiling Conundrums

I’ve recently begun preparations for sending the manuscript of The Bow of Destiny to my editor. The manuscript needed compiling which I had never done for a book. I had compiled for a short story so that was rather easy. For a book there were a few more details required than I had previously experienced.

Manuscript Expectations

I wasn’t concerned with the format of my manuscript since it was consistent. However, I did want chapters without titles and a header. My first attempt did not work as I expected. The folder names became chapter titles and labeled scenes appeared in the text. This is likely because I originally used a general template rather than one specific to a novel. But no biggie, I started poking around and found settings in the compiler to help me get the manuscript to the appearance I wanted.

Custom Compiling

First, click on File and then Compile to open the Compiler:

Scrivener Compiler

Compiler MenuNote all the different categories on the left menu. Click on Contents and verify that everything for your manuscript is selected. You can use these to change settings in the compiler. When you start making changes it will change the “Format As:” to Custom.

For my purposes, the necessary changes were made by first clicking on Formatting and turning off all the check marks for title. This removed folder titles being used as chapter names so that only the chapter numbers remain.

To change the layout of a section click on a level to highlight it and then on the Selection Layout button.

Selection LayoutHere you can edit the beginning layout of a section. In my case I removed any text I didn’t want and added a few details.

Next I wanted to change my header. To do this click on Page Settings from the left menu of the Compiler and then type in or change the header settings. My screen shot above also shows an example. Not that “Not on Page 1” is not checked by default. I checked that and made sure that page one was counter by checking the second box.

 

Saving and Presets

Choose Compile FormatTo save these custom settings click Save and Close on the lower right. When you re-open the Compiler and choose Custom from the menu these will remain. However, you can also save your custom presets by clicking Save Presets in the lower left.

Choose Compile Preset

Once you’ve saved a preset you can load it by clicking on the Load Preset button in the lower left and scrolling down the list of standard presets to My Presets and choosing the one you want based on your needs.

Load Compile Presets

I hope this helps when you compile a manuscript. There are many other settings so take time to learn those according to your project parameters. 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:

the-bow-of-destiny-by-p-h-solomon

Amazon

About 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 spaIMG_4154-Editre 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.

080916_1940_AWildNightR3.jpg

Screenshots from my blog project

Just as a note: I am not affliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.