NaNo Announcement!

Pictured: Notes on “Reclamation”. 

So, today was going to be a nice, easy day. I’m transitioning to Monday and Tuesday as my weekend, so today is my “Friday”. Since I’m caught up on all my course work, all my deadlines are met, and everything is ready for next week, I thought I’d do some easy NaNo pre-planning. 

Well, I guess the juices are flowing today. I’ve been doing an intense amount of worldbuilding for “Reclamation”, the title I’ve picked for my NaNoWriMo novel this year. 

This will be the first time I ever try NaNo, despite having wanted to enter in previous years. You know the old excuse: “I just never had the time.”

Well, this year, I’m doing it. And I’m coming with an awesome story! While I don’t have a lot worked out, the basics are in my head. Characters are already starting to take shape and the setting is starting to solidify. 

It’s got a YA feel, which is kind of how I wanted to approach my first NaNo. It lets me be a little less deep and adult, and lets me experiment with pace and scope. 

(In contrast, Hellions [the original I’m posting tomorrow] is super mature, and focuses heavily on characterization.)

In other words: I get to be a little more imaginative and a little less explanatory. 

I’m excited to share the process with you guys as the story starts to take shape. I’ll be posting its growth through October, as all of us plan our respective pieces. Oh, geez! I’M SO EXCITED. 

Have any of you started your planning yet?? Let me know!

— R. 

Follow-up Friday: 22 September 2017

What a great week! I spent quite a bit of time exploring Seattle, and I’m pretty sure I’ve now done everything there is to do in the Emerald City. I drank local craft beers, took a boat tour through Elliot Bay, ascended the Space Needle, visited Pike’s Place, marveled at the Pacific Science Center. So much happened!!

We’re capping it off today with a visit to Bruce Lee’s gravestone to pay respects, then it’s time to head east.

For those of you not caught up, check out the stuff I posted up this week:

Writer Wednesday: Expectations

(Video Slam) Glitch

And don’t miss this special announcement for “Hellions”, the first installment of which is due on Monday!

Big things coming to fruition, lads and ladies! I’m so glad you all like what I’m doing. Thank you for all the support. I promise to keep giving it my all!

— R.

Today’s Office, 22 September 2017

Today’s office. 22 September 2017. 

I’ve been hard at work on “Hellions”, and I’m excited to release the first installment on Monday. You can clearly see my biggest fans awaiting its release with bated breath. (That’s Clyde Frog, Ziggy Stardust, and Moon the Cat.)

So, you want to know what “Hellions” is? Good thing you asked!

Hellions” — The forces of good and evil have been at war since time immemorial. Heroic archons have always done battle with the twisted legion of the damned. But, times have changed. Mortals aren’t as interested in right and wrong as they used to be. They’re far more… understanding. Facing the worst spiritual downturn in history, the corporations of good and evil have been forced to make an unholy alliance. There’s going to be a merger. Alastor, an upstart demon rising through the ranks, now faces new management: his angelic enemies. Tasked with turning new souls to faith and forced to work with his greatest enemy, Alastor must figure out how to break the merger before some goody-two-shoes snatches his corner office. It’s time to raise Hell.

This story is mature. It contains explicit language, excessive violence, drug use, and sexual content. You have been warned.

— R. 

Today’s Office, 21 September 2017

Plugging away at the library today. I’ve just finished up the video for tomorrow’s slam, “Glitch”. (Actually, due to a mistake, I already posted it. If you know where to look, you can see it ahead of my posting it on the blog!)

Now, time to switch gears and hammer out some homework. After that, I might be able to get some polishing done on that Hellions scene for Monday.

I’m so excited!

— R. 

Today’s Office, 20 September 2017

Today’s office. 20 September 2017. 

It’s Wednesday, baby! You know what that means. All my writers pals checks out this week’s Writer Wednesday right here

Lots to do today, and we’re off to a great start! Woop woop!

If you were curious about Hellions in the announcement yesterday, you’ll be getting more information on that this Friday. 

Love you all! 

— R. 

Writer Wednesday: Expectations


I spent this past weekend at the wonderful Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington. (It’s a really amazing place, and you should check it out if you get the chance.) After hanging out with dinosaurs and butterflies and re-learning how awesome physics is, I popped into the Planetarium for a show about… well, planets.

I was super pumped. Out of the countless amazing things I love, space and its exploration are way up on the list. I was prepared to sit back and be shot through the stars; to swim around nebulae and climb the Pillars of Creation.

That’s… not what happened.

Most of the show, the host (shoutout to Rin!) spent her time asking questions that derailed her train of thought. All of the topics she tried to get to were interrupted by the audience. (Super unfortunate! She was an entertaining and knowledgable host.) I grew upset because I realized that there were a lot of people who didn’t understand the very basic things the host was trying to explain. It made for a very annoying experience. This is basic gradeschool science! I thought. This is atrocious.

I walked out of that planetarium mad. For a little while.

When I looked back on it, I realized my initial judgment of the situation was extremely harsh. It’s true that some people don’t understand the basic concepts of our local solar system. But, that’s why (hopefully) they went to the planetarium in the first place. To learn. And just as they don’t know the basics of something I love, so I probably don’t know the elementaries of whatever they find fascinating.

A good lesson there, for sure. Patience and understanding. But, how do we apply these lessons as writers? Why am I posting this story on Writer Wednesday?

I think there’s a general fear among writers–perhaps even specifically sci-fi/fantasy writers–that people aren’t going to “get” what we’re trying to say. There’s a thousand different ways this can translate. Should you explain that magic system more thoroughly? Is there a reason to detail the scientific processes of the ship’s power core? Is my character’s philosophical question too deep? Do I look stupid or pretentious when I say things like this?

The answer to all of those is different for everyone. For me, it’s: maybe… but so what?

We everyone to read our stories. It’s natural. We love our characters and our worlds and our magics. We want to share that with everyone, and watch them fall in love with our worlds as much as we have. Some people might! Some people won’t. Some people will put the book down because of the cover, or the title, or the name of the POV character. Some people won’t ever see your book, because they don’t visit the part of the store it’s kept.

A lot of people don’t even read fiction.

A lot of people don’t even read.

That’s totally okay! I hope to attract those people to read my work, but I can’t be upset if they don’t want to. I can’t be upset if they don’t like it. This goes for people who pick it up in the stores and people who browse past it on the Web. It goes for editors who pass on the manuscript.

All we can do is write the things we love to write. We write what we observe and what inspires us. We do it because we love it, and we sell our books because we want people to have them (and because we need to eat). If you put your love into your work and don’t worry so much about how that work will be judged, the work itself will feel more genuine. In turn, more people are going to want to read it…because it will be awesome.

We don’t need to worry about judgment. We don’t need to mold our work into shapes that other people want. We should always make the choice that we think is best for the story. (Spoiler: sometimes that means trusting an editor’s advice, and sometimes it doesn’t.)

If you judge your work with too critical an eye, you begin telling the story and not the characters. The characters should tell the story. The world should speak for itself. If they’re crafted and curated with love, they will. Characters want to tell their own stories, and worlds want to show themselves off. (That’s why we feel such an urge to write them well.) Let them do that. No one wants to read a book that sounds like a history book. They want to see the story unfold through the eyes of the protagonists.

You can’t tell a flower what to look like when it blooms. But you can tend to it as it grows and appreciate what it is.

If you put love into what you do, you have succeeded. You will draw readers, and some of those readers will like your work. Some of them will ask for more. Some of them will drool impatiently over your release dates. Some of them will think your work is a burning pile of garbage.

But, good or bad, none of that will matter. Because you love what you do.

And you love your work.

So someone else will too.

– R.

Ronin likes to hang out in museums and learn more about the visitors than the attractions. He wants you to look at his cool stuff! That is, if you want. You can find his writing on Tumblr, WordPress, and Facebook. Subscribe to his Youtube channel for videos every Friday.

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Teach peace.