Monday, November 15, 2010


I got one copy of Meskka back from a reviewer.

There's a reason all the writing websites and books say to have someone else look at your writing when you think you're done.

My word count is now about doubled, and about 4 hours worth of dancing have been removed. :)

(That is, if you count missing "a"'s as words. And apparently I can't spell "minutes")

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

First, if you haven't voted yet, please go do so now. It might be a little late to say this, but also make sure you know who you're voting for, and why.

As for my writing, yes, I'm still at it, just not much to report lately. Meskka is still being reviewed, and when I get it back I'll revise it once more, then it will be off to submission!

I'm also still working on A Wizard of Aarde, it's still in the very early first draft stage. I'll post more on then when there's more to say.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Alkask picture

I found a planet making tutorial at:
So there is now a picture of Alkask, homeword of the Meskka on the books website.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Still working on that query letter. I'm reading all the samples that I listed in the last post, and attempting to summarize the plot catalyst for my book. I'm also reading the back cover copy for some of my favorite sci-fi books as well.

In a non-related note, I should not spell-check one of these posts sometime, just for fun. As much as I love to write and read, and can spot a spelling mistake once it's made, I have no clue how to spell some words.... (I've confused spell-check on many occasions...)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Query Letter

I'm working on a query letter now. They seem to be as much of an art form as novel writing, with no of the fun of being able to make up details. ;)

I'll post what I come up with when I finish.

Sources that I used to figure out what to do and what not to do include:

How to write the pitch paragraph:

What to do: (The various sample queries.)

Query Shark:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

So you want to write a novel

I've always loved to read, and I've liked writing too. Then, I got the idea for Meskka, so I wrote the book.

When I started this process, I knew I wanted to get it published, but had no idea how to go about doing that.

Naturally, the next step was to poke around the internet to find out what to do next, as well as get a few books on editing.
One of the most helpful sites I've found was Kristin Nelson's blog: Kristen has her own literary agency, and on her blog she gives all sorts of helpful information on writing, editing, and getting published.

Other good resources are guild websites for the genre you're writing. (Such as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America -

We'll see over the next few months or years how well I've learned from the different books and websites. ;)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Point of View

I'll talk about point of view today. I have a lot of time to ramble at the moment, as I'm waiting for my reviewers to read the draft I sent them then point out all the mistakes I missed. (OK, I do have other things to do to, but...)    ;)

I'll assume everyone reading this knows what point of view is. I don't really consider myself enough of an expert to lecture anyone on the best way to write it, or which POV is the best. So, what is this post about, you ask? If you've read the sample chapter on the website, you'll see that I use the third person POV. I want to talk about why I chose that, and why I like it.

I prefer the 3rd person omniscient POV for a few reasons. One, most of the books I've read use that POV, so it's what I'm most familiar and comfortable with. Another is that feels the most natural, for me, to write in.
The main reason I like it as a writer though, is the flexibility that it gives in telling the story. I like being able to see the same scenes from the perspective of different characters, and to tell different parts of the story at the same time.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How many drafts?

How many drafts will I go through before the book is ready?

Short answer: I don't know.

For me the first draft is the raw finished book, and then I create a new draft every time I go through and make changes. Sometimes it will be just grammar and spelling, sometimes adding new material, and sometimes re-writing whole sections.
I'm not sure yet how many drafts I'll go through, I want to make sure the book is as good as I can get it, but on the other hand if I wait until it's "perfect" I'll never send it out.

Right now, I'm happy with it, but I want to see what my reviewers say. I may do a little polishing to the draft then send it, or I might make another draft version. For example, I'm toying with the idea of re-writing the whole ending. I'm happy with the way the story ends, but I'm not sure it's written in the best way. I'll post more on this after giving it some thought and getting some feedback.

Monday, September 6, 2010

3rd Draft Done

I just finished the third draft of Meskka!

Now, to send it out to my helpful reviewers, then start draft 4!


I feel like talking about inspiration today. I've seen interviews and articles where a writer talks about what inspires them, and invariably in the comments someone accuses them of just ripping off another show or book. Or sometimes you see this on fan sites for different books or TV shows. There's always someone complaining that whatever they're talking about is "just another Star Trek rip-off" or whatever.

Sometimes, this is obviously true (Not to pick on a certain "Madagascar" rip-off, but....). Other times there's a universality of themes. (Like the pictures you've seen around the internet comparing the plot lines of Harry Potter and Star Wars, or Avatar and Pocahontas.) There are only so many basic plot-lines. Pick a story, any story, and someone somewhere has told it before. What makes them interesting are the different characters, different settings, and different ways of telling them.

There's a difference between re-telling a story differently, and being inspired by it. A lot of the times when I see someone accused of "ripping-off" another story (and I've read both stories in question), I can see where the writer was inspired, but don't agree that the story was "just a cheap rip-off."

So, what is inspiration to me? To me, inspiration is not liking someones work so much that I just want to copy it, but being intrigued by an idea, or perhaps a minor detail, and then letting my imagination wander.
I often read fiction this way. I'll "see" a part of the setting that's only mentioned in the story to establish a location or attitude, or tell us something about a characters interests and I'll let my imagination wander off for a bit and explore before getting back to the main story.

So what inspires me? Just about everything, really. Star Trek is one example. If you've read the sample chapter of Meskka (link is to the right somewhere) then you see the similarity between the command structure on board a ship, and the positive outlook of the future, to name a few. This doesn't mean though, that I've just taken and re-named the characters and called it my own, or cloned anything verbatim.

I was originally going to list a few of the things that have inspired me most for Meskka, but thinking about it further I don't see the point. Inspiration is supposed to get the ball rolling, but not make up the main content. I really don't think about what inspires me until after the story is written, then when I'm editing I can see similarities. (Then I look specifically to make sure I didn't unconsciously steal material.)

Where do the rest of the ideas come from? To be honest, I have no idea. Parts of it are mis-mashes of a bit here, a piece from there, a "what if...", and sometimes an idea just pops into my head. I have an over-active imagination, it's fun to just let it run wild sometimes.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Project

Some of you may have noticed a new project in the list off to the right.

First, don't worry, I haven't stopped working on Meskka. I just had another idea that I had to get down before I forgot it, so I started writing and have the rough draft of the first chapter done.

I'm still working on editing Meskka, and hope to have that done before the end of the year. (Yeah, I've said that before.) Right now, I finished that additional scene with Jake, and have started a re-read from page 1. The things I'm looking for right now are: spelling and grammar; sentence flow; character and scene descriptions; dropped plot lines; and anything else that doesn't sound or feel right.

One example: I was reading along and a sentence didn't sound right. After I read it a few times, I relized I had ended it with a preposition. It's much better now. ;)

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Hi, my name is Aaron, and I'm writing a Sci-fi book. I'll be posting status updates, insights, and other information about the book here.

Check out the website for the book at:

(if anyone's wondering, the blog is new, the older posts have been brought over from when this blog was just a page on the website. And yes, I hope to make newer posts much more interesting.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Still working, slowly but surely. When I first started this project, I didn't think it'd take anywhere near this long.
And it wouldn't have, if I made the same amount of time to work on the book each day. Real life tends to get in the way.

What I'm working on now is going back through and filling in detail where needed. Most writing sites tend to tell you to write one big draft, then edit out all the filler. I tend to write the basic story, then come back and fill it in. A few examples:
I'm not very good at character descriptions. Reading back through the draft, I can see that I start talking about a character, but didn't describe him at all.
I'm also still working on the scene with Jake mentioned a few posts down.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I've been working on the book... slowly. All kinds of things are interfering. I keep telling myself I'm going to makes sure to get at least an hour of writing or editing or something in per day but....

This is kind of cool. There's a website called "I Write Like..." that analyzes your writing to see who you write like. Apparently I write like Arthur Clarke. I was hoping for Anne McCaffery, but I can't complain.

I write like
Arthur Clarke

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Well, I've finished the 2nd draft, and started the 3rd.
Many of you are no doubt wondering what was done in the second draft, what's in the 3rd, and how many drafts there will be.
These are good questions. ;) For the 2nd draft I read through quickly and fixed all the spelling, grammar, and typos that I could find doing a quick read through. The 3rd draft will be edited for voice, tense, story flow, and showing vs. telling.
No, that probably doesn't require another draft, but this way I have a (reasonably) clean copy to go back to if I royally screw something up.
For my helpful proofreaders, please send in anything you have to fix. I'm sure I missed a bunch of grammar errors, and what would be most helpful would be to point out if I brought up a plot point early in the story and didn't follow up on it. (Some of these are intentional, and will be followed up on completely in later books, but I want to make sure I didn't skip follow up on them completely.)
One of the main things I'm working on in this draft is editing for showing vs telling. As an example of this, at one point in the story, Tomed outlines in a meeting some information that Jake got for him. In the third draft I'm adding a scene that follows along with Jake as he gets this information. This gives us some more action instead of just listening to characters talk about things. Also, it lets me flesh out the character of Jake some more.
Well, that's all for this update. Hopefully the first of many that actually details what I'm doing instead of just blathering. I need to add comments to this update feed... in the meantime, please feel free to e-mail updates to me at yoda47 at jedisaber dot com.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I've got to get better at updating. Oh well. Only a few people even know about this site at the moment anyway, and I'm not sure any of them check it. ;)
The first draft is now done! Yay! Now the hard work begins!