Tag Archives: Writing about writing

THE ULTIMATE EXERCISE IN WORLD BUILDING | Patreon Blog

Matthew LeDrewFor 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!

The rest of this post can be viewed for as little as $1 for any of our Patreon subscribers! Click here to go to this post’s page on the Engen Books Patreon!

Advertisements

Coming Soon: The Write Project Podcast!

podcast01As announced previously, Engen is going to be kicking things up a notch with an all-new twice-monthly podcast starring Amanda Labonté, Ellen Curtis, and Matthew LeDrew! Each 60 minute episode will have three topics / segments: Writing Chat, Publishing Chat, and General/Reviews Chat!

The Write Project Podcast starts in November as a part of the Engen Books / The Tutoring Center’s NaNoWriMo 2017 celebration! Subscribe to the Engen Books YouTube channel and make sure and hit the bell icon when you do, and you’ll be notified when we upload new episodes! ❤

Going Full-Time | Distractions | Matthew LeDrew’s Blog

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

“We were on a break!”

I’ve been a bit neglectful.

See, I started to panic about the progress of a story I was writing. I was wondering if it was going to be long enough; if I had enough plot; if I was only writing things for the sake of filling up the word-count; if I’d taken the right direction or if I was way off course.

Doubts, man, they can really get in your head sometimes.

So I took a break. I stopped staring blankly at the screen, writing half a sentence and then deleting it. Instead, I worked on a couple short stories. Then a couple more. Then I was chatting with someone who’d read The Six Elemental and that gave me an idea for another short story. Then I got distracted by an old novel I’d written a few years ago and sunk WAY too much time on that (long story short: I decided to move from first person POV to third person, and now I’ve basically got to re-write the entire 50,000 words).

But last week I decided to go back to that first story, and you know what? I started to fall in love with it all over again. I was getting new ideas, fixing problems, making motivations clearer… It was like meeting up with an old friend.

When I’m in between edits, I’ll try to take a break from what I’m working on. It gives me a chance to come back to it anew and see things that I might have missed because my face was jammed so close to it. But there are times that I need to take a step back from a project because something isn’t working, and I need the space to realize what the problem is.

It can be tough to step away. It might feel like you failed your work or your characters, or that now you’ll never get it finished. But the best part is that you can always go back to it. And sometimes, when you come back, you might see that you were actually doing a pretty great job.

 

Vampires, Publishing and Promoting, Oh my! | The Writer’s Block | Avalon Expo

The Newfoundland Vampire author Charles O’Keefe takes us through the publishing and promotion of vampire and genre fiction in the province, August 27 from 2:00-2:30PM.

Charles O’Keefe lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and cats, Jude and Eleanor. He is a co-owner of a beauty business and enjoys many hobbies and activities that include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, Pilates, Ingress and of course fantasizing about vampires. He is currently with Four Phoenixes Publishing and is very happy there.

Since 2015 he has published 4 books in The Newfoundland Vampire series, including Killer on the Road, The Gathering Dark, and The Chaos Stories.


Continue reading Vampires, Publishing and Promoting, Oh my! | The Writer’s Block | Avalon Expo

Writing Fantasy and Paranormal | The Writer’s Block

The next Writer’s Block course we’d like to announce as happening during Avalon Expo is Writing for Fantasy and Paranormal, which is tentatively scheduled for Saturday August 26th from 2-2:50PM!

The panel will be hosted by Heather Reilly (Binding of the Almatraek) and Amanda Labonté (Call of the Sea, Supernatural Causes), two of the leaders in genre writing in the province, after the explosive success of their duo at Sci-Fi on the Rock 11!


Continue reading Writing Fantasy and Paranormal | The Writer’s Block

The Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel Ever! | The Writer’s Block

Everyone knew this one was coming: It’s the next installment of the Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel Ever! Social norms and politeness go out the window as authors argue over the ‘correct’ answer to your questions! This event will finish off The Writer’s Block at Avalon Expo, and be 90 minutes long, going from 3:30pm-5pm on Sunday, August 27, 2017!

Continue reading The Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel Ever! | The Writer’s Block