For the last few years I have been using the term ‘World Building’ incorrectly. I always took it to mean the Tolkien-like appendixes and appendices that some authors chose to but in the front and backs of their books, often with maps and diagrams and schematics and character histories that had little to nothing to do with the story at hand, and which I often found exhausting.
However, my fellow author JJ King has recently educated me that this is not the case: World Building can simply be the slow process of letting the reader know what can and cannot happen in your world, a set of rules that you write by and provide information on on an as-needed basis, ideally.
I say that I used the term ‘World Building’ incorrectly because I only associated it with the sort of pedantic info-dumps I try to never do, but apparently this is just bad or expositive World Building. Good World Building can happen organically an naturally, giving small snippets of the larger world in book after book… much like I did with the Engen Universe. I was embarrassed to learn that such a pivotal term had escaped my vernacular, but such is life, we all have our knowledge gaps.
Since then I have spent months ruminating on all the wrong-answers I have given regarding World Building in my previous Writing Panel experiences. After some serious thought, I think I’ve come up with the ideal World Building scenario for those who have an exhaustive world and cast of characters in their heads without knowing where to start – and it works for any genre!
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Bestselling author Matthew LeDrew returns to his horror roots in the terrifying new novella, Reptilia. When an aggressive new virus breaks out at a small town hospital, its up to a small team of doctors to try and figure out the source of the contagion before it’s too late!
This might have to be my final post under the ‘Distractions’ banner, if only because I will, very soon, not be able to abide distractions anymore. That is to say, as of January 1 2018, I will be going Full-Time writing and publishing through Engen Books.
This is a massive step forward for me personally and for the company as a whole. We’ve made great strides in the last ten years helping to build ourselves as Atlantic Canada’s premier small-press, indie, and genre publisher. We’ve taken on a massive amount of new projects and new authors which has helped expand our library exponentially. This is going to give me the time to really pour gasoline on that process. We’re going to be expanding into new areas and taking on new authors, as well as making sure our existing stable of amazing talent like Ali House, Ellen Curtis, Amanda Labonté, and Paul Carberry remain focused and driven to succeed.
It isn’t, however, without risk. While we’ve had an amazing year in 2017 and this was a part of a 5-year plan for us, this wasn’t a strategically-planned and calculated move. This came out of necessity because of some upheavals in my person life that I’ll disclose as I become able. Suffice to say, we’re viewing this as a positive and bravely making this leap forward. 🙂
As a part of this building though, we’re going to be needing the support and patience of our fans more than ever. There are going to be some changes. First and foremost will be an increased focus on Kindle and other eBook formats, as there is very little overhead to producing fiction in those methods. We have a dedicated print fan base we know, and our most popular titles (like the ‘From the Rock’ anthology series) will still be available in print day-of release, but some titles may see a digital-only release for short periods of time so that we can bring our work to those who want it. Continue reading Going Full-Time | Distractions | Matthew LeDrew’s Blog
Black Womb, the original novel from Matthew LeDrew, has gained #1 Bestseller status on Amazon, in both the ‘Superhero’ and ‘Coming of Age’ Fantasy categories. The novel peaked at #86 on the Amazon.ca Free Kindle Store ranks. Engen Books would like to congratulate LeDrew on this achievement.
The novel peaked on September 24 2017, less than two weeks after Engen Books’ collection of Linda Blagdon’s poetry became the #1 Bestselling Canadian Poetry book, attracting the attention of both local and national media.
Continue reading Black Womb becomes a #1 Superhero Bestseller on Amazon!
Have you always wanted to bring a novel to publication? Slots are still open with “Novel Writing Foundations,” a 6-week course lead by the author of over a dozen novels, Matthew LeDrew!
Novel Writing Foundations: Starting Right to Make sure you Cross the Finish Line!
“THE presents ‘Novel Writing Foundations: Starting Right to Make sure you Cross the Finish Line,’ a 6-week adult learning course aimed at making sure authors writing for both pleasure or publication start off with the right tools to ensure their work reaches fruition. This course will feature a mix of short instruction and group feedback on your work led by Matthew LeDrew, the author of 17 novels and partner at prominent local fiction publisher Engen Books.” For additional information or to register please call 753-3972 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Each class will be a combination of group manuscript assessment, short lecture, and interactive discussion. Classes will be fluid and will cover the topics needed by the authors and their work, but LeDrew will also have some fundamentals prepared to generate discussion.
Fundamentals that will be covered include:
- Idea Generation
- Structure of a
- Character Creation
- Show, Don’t Tell
- Scene Construction
- How to manage multiple storyarcs to a satisfying conclusion.
Jacobi Street is a uniquely dark and twisted tale woven by the extremely talented Matthew LeDrew. The main characters are easily relatable and you feel attached to them right from the beginning. The relationships and interactions of the main characters never feel forced or out of character while still remaining complex and natural at the same time. LeDrew has a natural talent for this type of character development and this talent has shined brightly in Jacobi Street.
LeDrew has done an astonishing job establishing the atmosphere of Jacobi Street by bringing the street itself to life. Jacobi Street will instantly be pictured by the reader and they will feel like they have been there before. Every city has a “Jacobi Street” and LeDrew draws the reader into the story by allowing us to picture ourselves in the back alley of The Menagerie looking at one of Sloan’s paintings.
The story at first allows the reader to get settled in and feel like we have just moved into a artist paradise on Jacobi Street. The story revolves around Bob, a struggling artist who works at The Menagerie. While at first glance Jacobi Street appears to be a beautiful place to live be we quickly discover that Jacobi Street is located in one of the darkest corners of the Engen universe. The mood instantly takes a shift towards the dark and mysterious nature, and this is where LeDrew ignites the readers interest. From the moment a mysterious painting enters The Menagerie, LeDrew starts to accelerate the tempo of the story and he does not let his foot off the gas even when we reach the end of this dark path.
While remaining true his unique talents that have spawned his own genre of horror, LeDrew has shown his growth and devotion to story telling. This will arguably be the darkest story from the Engen universe but even after ten years of writing LeDrew is still able to paint a horrifying tale with his writing.
It’s my birthday, and so I’m going to let myself do something I rarely do: I’m going to make a purely self-interested post. I don’t typically, in fact the “Distracted” series has waned a bit because I often second-guess myself as to whether or not a post is too self-indulgent, but today on August 19th I’ll let it go. I’m not discussing books or comics or anything close to my medium that could be considered remotely relevant to my position here at Engen Books: these are my top 10 favorite movies of all time. 🙂
I love film. If I could have done it DIY like I did with writing novels, I would have pursued it. I love every part of film, and I feel like I spend a great deal of my time unconsciously trying to turn novels into film, from a writing standpoint.
Bare in mind, “Favorite” does not mean that I objectively think these are the best films of all time: much smarter and more studious people can debate that. These are my favorite, which I judge based on a simple metric: movies I feel the need to rewatch over and over again, typically at least once a year.
10. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: A bit of a cheat, three movies, but I could never decide between them (that’s a lie: Fellowship) and, when I watch them, I tend to watch them all back to back. On the rare times I get catastrophically ill, these movies are usually my comfort viewing: I’ll put the extended editions on back to back and just lay in bed and escape into Peter Jackson’s vision of Tolkien’s world until I feel better. These are perfect films, in my opinion, are this is one of the few entries on this list I’d make a case yes, deserve to be in the ranks of the greatest films of all time (again, Fellowship, everyone loves Return for reasons that allude me).
However: The less said about the Hobbit trilogy, the better. Continue reading Top Ten Movies of All Time | Distractions