When to Introduce the Story

So I realized with Adrienne’s story, I have a question for my readers. So far, her story is set after she has already developed a good deal of skills. Her story is not a coming of age story. It is not about her become a stronger what-have-you.

Not that there isn’t any character development. It is as much character-driven as plot driven.

But. Perhaps I’m too used to writing fan-fictions.

I almost feel as if I -can’t- introduce her, introduce the story, at the point I intend to, because she would seem to powerful.

So, after all the preamble…

Do you have to introduce your character before they become ‘powerful’?


Writing as the Opposite Sex

So in one of my fanfictions, as I’ve mentioned, I’m doing a fair amount of the writing from a male perspective rather than a female perspective. In this case I do specify sex instead of gender because I have written some female characters who were a little gender-off. Whether they acted more like boys or what isn’t the issue.

Actually writing from the perspective of a male character has been an odd experience for me.

Not bad, not necessarily hard, just really odd, and for some reason, a little uncomfortable. Which is probably why I don’t do it too often.

I’m not sure why it feels a little uncomfortable to write first person as a male, but I think it lies with a fear of getting it wrong.

I’ve never been a man (barring reincarnationist theory), so it is an odd experience. I don’t want to get it wrong, as I’ve seen before, perhaps more often with men writing female characters.

In the end, though, there isn’t really a ton of difference, I don’t think, if I avoid over stereotyping. We’ll see though.


New Scheduling

Hey everyone.

So I’m going to be trying a new schedule here soon so bare with me. I want to try to update daily instead of weekly. I haven’t decided if I’m doing it by topic, by story, or by progress (and keeping to one story at a time). If you have an opinion, let me know, I’d love to hear it!

I am also going to start linking to other blogs and other websites soon as well.

Whether it’s because I liked their post that day, I feel the author needs some love, I was inspired, or they included some useful tips and information.

Book reviews and non-story related technical topics (such as general commentary, nonfiction writing and general writing tips) are going to be on my other blog The Caffeinated Writer. Yes, I will include links as it updates, but that blog will be updating slower than this one, and I don’t want to completely flood this blog.

Dragon Age Origins Fanfic Starter

This is the small free-writing that inspired my Dragon Age Origins fanfic. Written January 23rd. Not sure where the idea came from, but it popped up, I wrote it and here it is, unedited. [ For better or for worse.]

The five of them huddled over the papers, all with slight frowns on their faces. Three of the papers were ancient beyond belief. It was a wonder that they were still intact. Indeed, none of them wanted to touch the documents more than they had to. A map sat next to the treaties, and they were staring at them in silence until one of them finally spoke up.
“I think… We should find the Dalish first.” The woman suggested with a frown, four pairs of eyes turned to her as she pointed at a spot on the map.
The reactions were varied. Alistair, a former Templar and the senior Grey Warden, pouted a little bit. He had been adamant in his desire to go to Redcliffe first. Neria, the elven mage, nodded thoughtfully, though her decision may have been rooted in her desire to see the Dalish. Daveth, the cutpurse and pick-pocket, nodded despite looking a bit skeptical, as if anywhere was good enough, but it was Aedan, the human nobleman whose home she had come from, was giving her an amused, patronizing sort of look. He still didn’t trust her judgement.
“Care to explain?” He asked in what was very likely his least patronizing tone. She shot a glare up at him before she spoke.
“I think that we should go with the hardest to convince to the easiest to convince.” She said shortly. This recieved another questioning look as the man raised an eyebrow.
“And why will the Dalish be hardest to convince?” He asked. For a moment, she said nothing, grinding her teeth a little before she let out a sigh.
“First off, the Dalish will be the hardest to find.” She explained carefully, making sure they all heard her, “Second of all, since they’re wanderers, since we’re, well, a group of largely humans…” She indicated towards everyone except for Neria, who nodded a little, “They could easily cast it off as a human problem. Third? They’re wanderers, why should they help us instead of simply leaving Fereldan for now?”
“You think they would abandon us?” Neria asked, slightly disbelieving now. Beatrix shook her head slightly.
“No, but out of all of them, they have the least to lose if they do not join us. Since the Dales fell, they have no one homeland. They’re wanderers.” She explained, before moving on, bringing her finger to rest on the Frostback Mountains. “The Dwarves will be easier to convince, though only slightly. They’ll be more willing to believe that it’s a Blight since the Deep Roads clear out a bit during them, and they hate the Darkspawn. It will be more convincing them to come to the surface to fight than anything else.
“The Mages already -had- forces at Ostagar, their Fereldan, and if we come with the promises of the other two groups, it’s only a matter of seeing how many forces we can get.” She moved her finger to Lake Calenhad where the Circle lay before finally resting it on Redcliffe, “And from what Alistair is saying, Arl Eamon will fairly easy to convince.”
She looked up at the group and noted the change in expression. Alistair was still pouting, but he seemed to agree with her. Neria had the look as if it had already been decided. Daveth wore a similiar look, but with a small smirk in her direction, and Aedan’s was an appraising look that rested firmly between a scowl and a smirk. Eventually, however, he nodded. It was decided, and she repressed the satisfied smile that tugged at her lips.
Aeden, she knew, would always be the hardest to convince in their group. She had spent too much time as his servant and she winced slightly at the thought- in his bed. After the first night they had fled Highever, and Duncan had likely heard their previous’ nights endeavors (and the story of how she had joined their little group), he had suggested that they should not sleep together anymore. In a way that had all but forbidden it. He had explained to her, later on, that he had done so for her benefit. It did not matter who she slept with, he had said, but if they were both to be Grey Wardens, he needed to see her in a different light. Not as his servant. It was working, somewhat. She knew that he still didn’t see her as an equal, she doubted he ever would.
Not my best, but giving you a little sample. The actual story has changed into an experiment. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s first person for the whole story, switching to a different character in each chapter. Each character’s perspective provides a different challenge.
Aeden [Cousland Origin] is arrogant, and narcissistic, with an entitled attitude, a rather “typical” warrior noble. He is, however, also a charismatic and fair leader.
Beatrix is a free-spirited, casual tomboy who never aspired to more than the servant life and is very loyal to Aeden. But she finds her new freedom liberating and her attitude towards others lies somewhere between reckless and suspicious.
Niamh [Surana Origin] is quiet, analytic and very detail oriented. She’s also a naive wonder-struck romantic who hasn’t been outside the tower since she was a child.
Daveth is a thief and a pick-pocket, thank you very much. Raised in a small village, ran away when he was young, he is probably the least traditionally educated of the group.
Getting each character to sound balanced, genuine and [in Daveth’s case especially] realistic, will be interesting. It’s also definitely an experiment in creating and writing well-balanced characters. Especially when they’re the ones telling the story.
I’ll post a link when I start posting chapters. Ta-Ta!

Races for Novel!

Alright, so I mentioned that I would be updating with race images soon, right?

Well, here they are!

Most of the Races included in the Novel

On Deviantart

In order from left to right:

Korrigan (Female)
Haltija (Male)
Sidhe (Female)
Human (Male)
Huldra (Female)
Urisk (Male)
Tomte (Female)

More information to come!


Writing with an Outline

When I write, there is usually no real structure behind the process. The moment takes me and within seconds I’m scribbling (or typing) away a wonderful scene. Most of my writing is done this way. I get a general idea of a plot, I only begin to develop characters, and soon I’m running with it.

But I suppose I can only sprint for so long?

So I’m testing something, with one of my most recent fanfiction. Actually writing with an outline. Since it’s based on a video game (Dragon Age II), I already know the basic timeline of events, but I’m also trying to fill in the gaps in the game. (There are two three year ‘gaps’ that will be featured in the story that I’ll be filling.)

So I have a pretty solid structure already set up. Then I decided to outline the chapters. I want to make sure I keep a regular updating schedule for this fanfiction. So I decided there are two things I should do in order to achieve that: Have a minimum of 10 chapters ready before posting the story online, and then I decided that it might just be a good idea to have a vague outline.

For a lot of them, they have the in-game quest name(s) listed and nothing else. Others have a small note. Such as “Ch. 6: A New Home? The Hawkes reclaim the Amell Estate,” which is the chapter I’m on right now. While some chapters are up to a full paragraph of summary.

So far, I have up to Chapter 30 outlined in this way, and the next 10-15 are after the first ‘gap’, and it’s more decided if I want to include more before ACT II and what I want to include during that time. Then the ‘Champion’ gap, and ACT III. Epilogue may end up being its separate story.

I’ve never done outlines before, although many people swear by them. So, I’m giving it a try. In the mean time, here’s a “deleted scene” from the story…

“You know, Ophelia, with how you skulk about, you could get just about as much info in this town as I do.” Varric teased as the woman stepped out of the shadows, the door closing to his private room. Damian, she noted, had the sense this time not to jump when she appeared. He had done so many times when they were growing up that she would scare him easily. She smirked slightly as she sank into a chair at his table, not even waiting for them to be seated.

“It’s served me well so far.” She answered breezily, shrugging simply as her brother took another seat at the table.

“I am curious how you got to be so good at it, though.” The dwarf asked as he sat down at ‘his’ seat, indicating Damian with one hand, “Your siblings are no where near as quiet as you.”

“You can hear Carver from a mile away, however…” Her brother muttered.

“I had to be the one to sneak up and find out what the Templars were doing, even when we were young.” She explained, “I had no magic, so the Templars couldn’t sense me. Doesn’t mean they couldn’t hear me though. When I was young, they simply assumed I was a curious child, but they’d insist on bringing me back to my parents. So I learned to hide better. I’m so good at it, as you say, because I’ve been doing it my whole life. Shadowing Templars to make sure they didn’t know we were a family of apostates…”

“I still always chuckled when you call us a family of apostates, sis.” Damian said with a wide grin, she shrugged, having heard it before, but Varric raised a brow at the mage, so he explained, “Technically, according to the Chantry, only half of us would be considered apostate. Mother just calls us a family, never mentioning apostate, and rarely mage. She doesn’t care, but Carver likes to differentiate himself. He’s not an apostate, just related to a couple.”


This also means that I can write whatever scene I want to in the mean time. So let’s see how this works out.

Novel Info (for fun)

So I mentioned in my last post that I was creating races for one of my novels. Well, first off, I’ll inform you: It’s not just a novel. It’s a world that I intend to have more than one novel set in. Including a series of short stories following around a character named Mairwen.

Mairwen’s story is set some 100 years before the novel I am currently writing. Yes, they tie in, but only marginally. As a matter of fact, these two plots started as vastly different as two fantasy based stories could be.

Mairwen’s story was meant to be a low-magic based fantasy, with her, very cliche’d, as a member of a rare race of magic beings. Focused more on episodic struggles than anything large and epic.

Alyse’s story (the novel), was originally meant to be a send in to Wizards of the Coast for their Forgotten Realms setting. When the landscape of Forgotten Realms changed drastically to tie in with fourth edition, my story ended up being a moot point.

Both stories were put aside for quite some time. Until I got the insane idea of  combining both of them. Yet somehow it’s been falling into place quite nicely. Tying in the stories in a way that makes sense gave me some issues at first, of course. Especially since I didn’t want either main character to be related to any of their party members.

So off to create a world (that currently has no real name) for stories that cater to a variety of characters. With plenty of subtle and overt social commentary and fantastical adventures!

I will be posting bits and pieces of the story’s information on here, as well as short stories that will introduce the characters and the world. Why? For fun.