Thursday, August 19, 2010

...and the Rejection Letters start trickling in.

Good day loyal readers,

So far I have sent out a total of 9 query letters: 5 for Son of Ogres and 4 for Nanuq.

Son of Ogres: 2 form rejection letters.

For those of you who are not in the know, there are two types of rejection letters you get from agents.

The first is a personalized letter that mentions your book by name and perhaps the agent mentions some specifics about the book/characters/plot that they liked, but they just felt they were not the right fit.

The second is the form letter that agents send out to writers without making any changes to the text first. It is the digital version of a big rubber stamp. I personally have nothing against form letters. It is quick to use and allows the agent to get back to what they need to do: sift through their email inbox looking for that next elusive treasure. But there are some sensitive wannabe writers who find form reject letters at the very least unhelpful and at worst a slap in the face. If their book idea was rejected, they want to know why. Was it too long? Too short? Was it the plot or the characters or the setting or ??? Was the query letter itself poorly written? How can I fix it? What changes can I make that you won’t reject it a second time? Some amateur would be writers will send a reply email demanding to know why the agent did not accept their book and telling them that they will be sorry they passed up on the next Stephen King/JK Rowling/Tom Clancy.

But I digress…

The long and the short of it is that agents only get paid when their clients get paid. If they spent all their time telling writers they rejected what was wrong with the queries or their books or whatever, then they would be broke. So in my books a form rejection letter is okay by me.

So for your edification, I am posting the two form rejection letters I got from agents this week. I am not including their names or agencies because I wouldn’t want to embarrass them for turning down the next Stephen King/JK Rowling/Tom Clancy… (:


Letter #1

Thank you very much for reaching out to me and Folio Jr. for representation. I very much appreciate hearing from you. Due to the large volume of submissions that I receive, it is impossible for me to answer every query individually, however I assure you that your material was carefully evaluated. After consideration, I regret to say that your project is not right for my list at this time. As you know, this is a subjective business and another reader may feel differently. I truly wish you all the best in finding a wonderful representative to champion your work and much success in your journey toward publication.

Letter #2

Thank you for telling me about your book, but I wouldn't be the right agent for it.

Please know that another agent is likely to feel differently and will know exactly where to send your work. I wish you the best in placing the manuscript elsewhere.


And there you have it!

Chapter Ten of RUST has been posted

Hi All,

Just a note to let you know that I have posted Chapter Ten of RUST to DosStoc.com. Below is the link:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/51110866/RUST---Chapter-Ten

Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gave myself a heart attack this morning...


I had finished writing Chapter Ten of RUST this morning, and of course I went back to reread what I wrote in order to "brush it up" with a few minor edits. So I get to the section where Rifter is about to show the clan elder the Talisman...and I find it missing! I find a gap almost a page long has been deleted from my chapter. So I'm panicking, wondering if I accidently highlighted it and deleted because my palm brushed the touch pad on my laptop.



Umm...on a side note, before I continue on with my story: those touch pads are a pain in the hiney! When I am writing on the bus, and I forget to turn it off, my curser cursor jumps all over the page whenever my hand brushes the pad. I will be typing away merrily and all of as sudden my letters will no longer be appearing…and then I realize the curser cursor has jumped higher up the page and I am writing in the middle of a word of near perfect prose…sigh.


Okay, back to our regularly scheduled post.

So I thought I had accidently deleted a page worth of story by way of the old Touch Pad of Doom! So I find myself faced with a dilemma that I am sure all writers dread: having to rewrite from memory something that you already wrote, but lost somehow. As the saying goes that lightning never strikes in the same place twice, it is hard to recreate the original prose in the same way.

I remembered some of the key phrases, but as I was writing it again I was sure I was missing some special nuances of the original text. I stared at my monitor and cursed my carelessness.

Then I remembered the blog post I wrote yesterday…

I had thought I had copied-and-pasted the text from my story into the blog post…but instead I CUT-and-pasted! My work was saved, all 340 glorious words of it. Thanking my lucky stars, I reinserted the missing prose and then saved it in IN THREE PLACES!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nearly finished Chapter Ten of Rush


So I was writing on the bus this morning and I am nearly finished Chapter Ten. I would like to offer some more insight into the mind of writer…or at least into the mind of this particular writer. As I have mentioned before I write a chapter-by-chapter outline before I start writing the actual book. But this process only takes you so far. Here is an example.

This selection comes from Chapter Ten of RUST. Our hero Rifter has arrived at the town of Clan Hearth, which has roughly ten times the population of his clan, Deep Fathom. His clan was attacked by the Quickening Spear Clan, and his clan elder, Red, was mortally wounded in the attack. Red gave Rifter an amulet which he calls the Talisman, which glows blue when touched by human skin. It is believed to be a key that leads to paradise, which supposedly resides in the highest level of the world of RUST.

In this chapter Rifter has just met elder of Clan Hearth, Lorkin, and his apprentice, Sammel. Rifter was introduced to them by Meah, a girl whom he met in the tunnels leading to Clan Hearth:

Meah told Lorkin how she met Rifter and what had happened to his clan. The older man shook his head sadly as he listened to her tale. She also told him about Red’s Talisman.

“May I see it?” Lorkin asked in almost a whisper.

Rifter lifted the amulet out from under his shirt, holding it by its leather thong.

“And it glows if you touch it?”

Rifter demonstrated by touching it with one finger. Sammel jumped back as the Talisman bathed them all in a soft blue light.

“It must surely be a sacred gift from the Old Ones.” Lorkin said breathlessly. He lifted a trembling hand up, but seemed fearful of actually touching the amulet.

“Red said it wasn’t made by the Ance—Old Ones.” Rifter glanced down at it with reverence. “He said it was beyond their ability to construct, that it must have been made by others.”

“Blasphemy!” Sammel cried out, his face reddening.

Rifter was startled by the apprentice’s outburst. The word was meaningless to him.

“Now, now, Sammel.” Lorkin put a restraining hand upon the younger man’s shoulder. “Do not be so harsh. His ways are not our ways.”

“But clearly this Talisman was created by the Old Ones. It should belong to the Temple and not be in the careless hands of an ignorant savage.” The apprentice glared at Rifter like he had just stolen his food.

Sammel suddenly lunged for the amulet, but Rifter easily dodged his clumsy grasp. Meah let out a little shriek and Mekah nearly fell off her shoulder.

“Sammel! Stop!” The Elder roared as he grabbed the apprentice by the arms, showing an amazing strength that Rifter did not expect.

“I think I’ve seen enough, Meah.” Rifter dropped the Talisman back under his shirt and turned to leave.


At this point I had no idea what to write next. Does Rifter walk right out of the Temple, with Meah trailing behind him? Does Lorkin stop him somehow? If he does, what would make Rifter stop? These were all the thoughts that were going through my head as a sat on the bus, staring at the laptop screen, my hands poised over the keyboard. Below is the decision I came to:

“Please wait.” Lorkin cried.

Rifter paused, torn between showing respect to a clan elder and his desire to get away from the angry apprentice.
“Sammel, please leave now.”

The younger man hesitated, gave Rifter a hard stare, and left the Temple.


So there ya go--a glimpse under the hood of my writing process.

Cheers!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dove back into RUST this morning


After being away for awhile, I am now back in the world of RUST. I was worried that I had lost a whole chapter of that book when I misplaced my flash drive, but I found Chapter Ten whole and unscathed. :: whew! :: It took a bit of rereading to get my mind back into the flow of that world and its main character: Rifter. I think that is the same process for both readers and writers when they have stepped away from a story too long. I imagine that guys are getting a bit concerned that I will not be able to meet my goal. I still have two books to finish and I only have five months left in order to accomplish that task.

Let’s see…I am ten chapters into RUST, and I have it outlined to be twenty-three chapters (including the epilogue), so I have roughly thirteen chapters to go there. As for FLAME, I am nine chapters into it, and I have it outlined to thirty-nine chapters, so thirty to go there.

So 30 + 13 = 43…and there is a 147 days left in the year…147/43 = 3.41…or roughly one completed chapter every three and half days…

:: Faints ::

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lost my flash drive :(


I suffered every teckie's nightmare--I lost my flash drive. Thank goodness I keep copies in other locations--like my laptop--but I lost the most recent draft of my novel Son of Ogres. So I find myself having to redo that edit again. It will only take a couple of days, but nobody likes having to redo what they thought was already done.

Sigh...

PS: No word on the submitted query letter yet...I will keep you posted.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sent out my first query letter of the year!


So I just sent out my first query letter of the year for Son of Ogres. Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Finale (hopefully) version of my query letter for Son of Ogres


This is my hopefully final stab at this query letter template. It's short, sweet and I think it has a hook for the reader.



Dear Agent,

Brue and Mark are twin brothers, unaware of each other’s existence, because they were raised in different dimensions. Their great-grandmother was an ogre, but only Brue inherited her tremendous size and strength. Brue lives on Pharll, a world of magic and chaos, while Mark was found as an orphan on Earth. Brue leads a small band of loyal followers in a struggle to end slavery on Pharll. Eighteen-year-old Private Mark Sampson has been recruited for a top-secret assignment: to journey to another dimension.

Brue and his band are meeting with little success. The slavers are too many, plus they have dark wizards and evil monstrosities on their side. Mark prepares to journey to another dimension, with no choice in the matter and no idea what he will find on the other side. Little does he know that the general who recruited him has his own secret agenda, an agenda that could get Mark killed.

My young adult fantasy, Son of Ogres, book I of The Sentinels of Pharll series, is complete at 80,000 words. I am a member of YALITCHAT and Gather.com where I participate in writer support groups.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,




James Baron
http://james-baron.blogspot.com/

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Trying out for Wipeout Canada


There is a TV show in the States called Wipeout, where contestants run a large obstacle course built over water. As you run the course, there are certain obstacles that interfere with you...like boxing gloves on sticks, or swinging booms on pendulums...or the big balls!!! The big balls are these 4 red giant foam stuffed balls that the contestants have to run across to get the other side. They are very bouncy. As you try running across you tend to bounce...a lot...and rarely to people make it across. Usually they just—you guessed it—wipe out! It is a hilarious show and I recommend that you all see it sometime.

Now why am I devoting a post to this TV show you might ask? Wellll...they are creating a Canadian version of the show and took applicants for it online...and I applied:

http://www.tvtropolis.com/wipeout/index.html

So right now they are calling people back for face-to-face interviews, and I am hoping that my wonderful, entertaining personality shown through enough that they will want to take a second look at me. If I do make it, they will be filming the show in October in Argentina. Yes, that’s right, I said—er—typed Argentina. I have to have a valid passport—which I do—and they will pay all travel expenses.

So of course I will let you know if I get picked—or not.

Wish me luck!!!
-James

Monday, July 5, 2010

Query letter for Son of Ogres - Version 2


Hi all,

I got some really good feedback on my first attempt at writing a query, and I am hoping that this second version is an improvement. I am stepping away from the synopsis route and trying to give my two main characters a voice. I also hope it will entice an agent to want more. I humbly await your comments...


Dear Agent,

Brue and Mark are twin brothers, but they are unaware of each other’s existence, because they were raised on different worlds. Brue Overhill lives on Pharll, a world of magic and chaos, whereas Mark Sampson was found as an orphan on Earth. Their great-grandmother was an ogre, but only Brue inherited her tremendous size and strength. The people of his village call him Son of Ogres, and strangers speak of him in hushed tones.

After avoiding capture by slavers, Brue devotes his life to trying to end slavery on Pharll. He has a small band of loyal followers, but they are meeting with little success. The slavers are too many, plus they have dark wizards and evil monstrosities on their side. Even Pharll’s evil goddess is frustrating Brue’s efforts. The young giant also struggles with being a leader when he is just eighteen. Perhaps his quest is doomed to failure and he should quit before they all die in vain.

While Brue fights slavery on Pharll, his brother Mark has his own problems. Private Mark Sampson is taken to an underground base to participate in a secret project: to explore another dimension. It seems his former mentor, Dr. Zonov (who mysteriously disappeared three years before), invented a device that can open a portal between dimensions. Mark is nervous of the prospect of journeying to another dimension (who wouldn’t be?), but he doesn’t have much choice in the matter. And it seems the general who brought him in has his own secret agenda. Mark wonders what will happen when the portal is finally opened…and what could come out of it.

My young adult fantasy novel, Son of Ogres, book I of The Sentinels of Pharll series, is complete at 80,000 words. I am a member of YALITCHAT and Gather.com where I participate in writer support groups. I am seeking your representation to sell my novel to a publisher. I am also working on 3 other novels you might be interested in: Nanuq, a children’s book; Rust, a Sci-Fi novel; and Flame, a thriller.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,


James Baron
http://james-baron.blogspot.com/


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Son of Ogres Synopsis v.2


So here is my second draft of my Son of Ogres Synopsis. This one has more heart and soul, plus it goes to 2 pages. Hopefully this one reads better.


Son of Ogres Synopsis v.2
by James Baron


Brue and Mark are twin brothers, but they are unaware of each other’s existence, because they were raised on different worlds. Brue Overhill lives on Pharll, a world of magic and chaos, whereas Mark Sampson was found as an orphan on Earth. Their great-grandmother was an ogre, but only Brue inherited her tremendous size and strength. The people of his village call him Son of Ogres, and strangers speak of him in hushed tones.

On the day Brue turns fifteen he is trying to work up the nerve to talk to Shaleana, but she’s afraid he’ll step on her. Despite his formidable appearance, he is not a warrior. He just wants to be a farmer like his father, get married and have children. If only Shaleana could see past his hulking exterior and into his heart, then his dreams might be fulfilled. Unfortunately for Brue, Shaleana fearing him is the least of his worries when a slaver in disguise comes to Deervale. Rankmar has heard rumors of a giant living there and has come to investigate. He spots Brue at the Harvest Night Festival and decides to capture him for a hefty commission.

Rankmar waits until Brue is alone on the farm and attacks with four of his men. Brue is terrified and confused. Why are they after me? Then he discovers they are slavers and he fights desperately for his freedom. Brue has never held a sword before, much less used one in a fight, but he picks one up and with his great strength subdues the slavers. Later, Captain Stroggins of the town guard tells Brue to flee and never return, for the slavers will come back in greater numbers. The young giant leaves Deervale, but returns days later; he desperately needs to see his parents one last time. He arrives home and finds his mother and father dead, killed by the slavers in retribution for his escape. Brue buries them and vows he will end slavery on Pharll.

Three years pass and Brue has been joined by a small band of loyal companions, who aid him in trying to stop the slavers. In a world where the different races mistrust others at best, and try to kill each other at worst, Brue’s group is unique. His greatest friendship is with Bordel of the pix, a small race known for their fearlessness and agility. The exiled elven brothers Highborn and Skykey wield magic to aid in Brue’s cause. Gedin hates humans as all dwarves do, so why he helps Brue on his quest is a mystery.

As Brue struggles with being a leader when he is only eighteen, his brother Mark has his own problems. On Earth Private Mark Sampson has been unexpectedly called back from the Persian Gulf. He is taken to a secret underground base where he meets General Taylor Murphy, who tells him he is needed to join a team for a special assignment. Mark is surprised to learn that his mentor, Dr. Zonov (who mysteriously disappeared three years ago), had invented a device called the Dimensional Rifter. The general tells an incredulous Mark that this machine can open a portal between dimensions. Murphy hopes that Mark’s friendship with the missing scientist will aid the mission when they explore another dimension. Mark is nervous of the prospect of journeying to another dimension (who wouldn’t be?), but he doesn’t have much choice in the matter.

On Pharll Brue small band is having little success in their fight with the Slavers Guild, and when Highborn is killed in a raid, Brue considers giving up on his quest. He had hoped that others would be inspired to take up the cause, but they have been fighting this battle alone. The slavers are too many, plus they have dark wizards and evil monstrosities on their side. Brue fears all his friends could die and their deaths will be in vain. But later that night he is visited by the Guardian, who tells Brue that he is a Sentinel of Pharll. The Guardian provides him with a key to could destroy the Slavers Guild.

While Brue is dealing with a wondrous revelation, Mark has stumbled upon one more sinister. Mark and his friend Captain Andy Pritchard have discovered that the government is unaware of General Murphy’s secret project. The general has been working with a multi-millionaire scientist who has been using his money to finance their own private scheme. But Mark learns this too late, for the base is on lockdown and the final portal generation test is about to begin.

As Mark is trying to warn the government, Brue and his friends have finally reached the slaver stronghold. Using a combination of stealth, magic and brute force, they managed to infiltrate the fortress and access its lowest levels. At the bottom is a great cavern supported by a single pillar of stone. Skykey uses his magic to turn stone to sand and the column collapses. The elf was then supposed to teleport them to safety, but his wand was destroyed in the fight and the companions are forced to flee down an unknown tunnel. Unbeknownst to them, the fortress is saved from destruction by Pharll’s evil goddess—The Adversary. She makes a deal with Rankmar, who sends his slavers, dark wizards and their monsters after Brue.

The companions reach the end of the tunnel and discover a vertical pool of multicolored light. Skykey senses that it is magical in nature and that it could be a gateway leading to safety. Taking a leap of faith, they jump through, with enemy hot on their heels. On Earth a scientist activates the Dimensional Rifter and a portal appears in the lab, which Brue and his friends leap out of.
Will Brue and his brother Mark be reunited? Find out in the next book.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Synopsis review from Leatrice McKinney on YALITCHAT


Here is the critique I got on my synopsis from Leatrice McKinney on YALITCHAT. Very helpful. I will be posting my revised version soon.

Hi! Good morning. It's rather early for me and already I'm throwing typos all over the place, so please bear with me in my earthly endeavors.

After reading this over once just to get a feel of it, the first thing that leaps out at me is the transition from past to present, or rather Pharll to Earth, are a bit jarring. It doesn't mesh, even at the end when Brue and company, and bad guys, come to to Earth through the portal. It reads like two completely different stories that have no connection, and though that's essentially what they are until the end you have to find some sort of flow that will bind the synopsis together.

Example: Paragraph 2 going into paragraph 3, there could be some sort of set up to cushion the drop from this fantastical realm into 90's American. Try and incorporate it into the hooks, something along the lines of "Brue isn't the only one faced with troubles". Something more grabbing than that, but that's the idea. "Back on Pharll" is okay. "Switching back to Earth" give it a sort of mechanical feel. Maybe something like "while Brue and his friends manage to escape the evil goddess, on the Earthen realm Mark his friend". Show a bit of a connection between these words as we get closer to the point where they collide.

One other thing that jumped off the page was this sort of rigid take on the story, via the words chosen to express the critical points of the characters' journeys. For instance, in paragraph one we are given the tried and true teenage complication of getting the girl. Brue's goal is made all the more harder to attain by the part that he's a giant. The word challenge just doesn't seem to do the situation justice. It's too sterile. You challenge your friends to a game of mortal kombat, for Brue this is rocking his young world in all the wrong ways. It's more than a challenge, it's a disaster and whoever is reading this should get a taste of how he views it. Another example is the phrase fast-forward three years. It reads very technical. Not technology technical, but step-by-step. Like a recipe. Add 2 cups Ogre and 3 cups slaver, bake on high for 30 minutes. Sorry for the poor attempt at humor, just in a good mood today. The synopsis, as a summary of the story that dives into this wonderful world, should guide a reader through it as opposed to give directions. Maybe that's my personal edge on things shining through, I'm not sure, just giving it as how it comes across to me which is all I can do really.

Next is paragraph by paragraph. Paragraph 1: We go from reading about complications right into this issue with the slaver that has arrived in town. It's really abrupt and there's no explanation of how one situation effects the other, and with the word unfortunately beginning the transition, it hints something is troubling the waters, only here the waters are somewhere else. Maybe try "Unfortunately for Brue, Shaleana fearing him is the least of his worries". Kinda cliche but its just to make a point.

Paragraph 2: Who are these companions? Do they have names? How did they join Brue? Are they Ogres too or Elves or dwarves? Are these the same slavers from his town/village/place of residence or is this a reference to all slavers in general. Are the slavers the biggest complication on this world or are they a stepping stone in Brue's destiny as a sentinel. We get a lot of nice bits about the story but they could be a little juicer, breathe some life into it. It sounds like it is a phenomenal tale, let the synopsis reflect that.

Paragraph 3: Already addressed the transitions. This might be tapping into the manuscript and not the synopsis but being someone's next-door neighbor comes across as awkward when described as a personal connection. Are Mark and the doctor friends? If so, say they are friends and not neighbors. If they are just neighbors, and Mark is the last person to have any sort of lengthy contact with the man, then something else other than "personal" should be used to describe it. Personal gives a feeling of intimacy.

Paragraph 4: This tidbit of information about what Brue is up to is important but I think it's oddly placed. Looking over things again, I think the flow would be strengthened if the information in paragraph 4 was included in the final paragraph. The break in what is going on with Mark and the General is unnecessary unless something huge is going on. So, continued talking about mark, then come back to how Brue breaks into to the lair, big fight, they have to book and then they spot the light. That way, the tension with the face off with the Adversary isn't broken by a "meanwhile on planet earth" moment.

Paragraph 5: All's well for the most part. The only thing that nudges at me is the embezzling of billions of dollars. That just seems a bit outrageous, like no one is going to notice that much money just up and disappearing. They catch people who do much less. It just seems too fantastical and comes across as a "really? come on" moment instead of the punch I'm sure was the goal.

Paragraph 6: The light at the end of the tunnel is a huge cliche. Beware cliches. A dead end doesn't have to be in a tunnel. It could be at the edge of a cliff or getting trapped in a canyon. Also, this is the first time we've heard anything about any dark wizards and monsters. Try and introduce them somewhere else early on cause it seems like, if all of that AND a goddess was in the castle, then the guardian and his key to destroying the slavers didn't do much but land them in trouble.

All in all it's a bit stale, please don't hate me, and lacking any sense of feeling from the character. I don't feel Brue's frustration in dealing with Shaleana, nor his fear for his parents. I don't feel his drive for wanting to stop the slavers. I don't feel the peril when he goes into the castle and has to leap through this strange glowing door or face certain doom. And with Mark, I don't feel the mystery behind what he's been called to be a part of. All of the pieces of the story are here, they just have to be woven together and given a good helping of soul.

Friday, June 25, 2010

RUST - Chapter Nine now Online...hey, that rhymes!


The lastest chapter in the RUST Saga...yes, I am calling it a saga...is now posted. Enjoy.

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/44978782/RUST---Chapter-Nine

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Son of Ogres - 1-page Synopsis


Here is my 1-page synopsis for Son of Ogres. All feedback is welcome.



Son of Ogres Synopsis
by James Baron

On the world of Pharll, Brue Overhill is just turning fifteen and is worried about getting the girl he likes to like him back. His challenge: he’s over seven feet tall and stilling growing, because he is part-ogre. Shaleana always seems frightened whenever he comes near her, as though she thinks he’ll step on her. Unfortunately for Brue, a slaver in disguise arrives in town and is determined to capture the young giant for a hefty commission. Brue manages to escape, but his family suffers the slaver’s deadly retribution.

Fast-forward three years and Brue has been joined by a small band of loyal companions, who are aiding him in trying to stop the slavers. They meet with little success, and when one of his friends is killed in a raid, Brue gives up on his quest. That night he is visited by the Guardian, who tells Brue that he is a Sentinel of Pharll. The young giant has a special destiny and the Guardian gives him a key to destroying the slavers.

On Earth it is 1990 and eighteen-year-old PFC Mark Sampson has been unexpectedly called back from the Persian Gulf. He is taken to a secret underground base where he meets General Taylor Murphy, who tells him he is needed to join a team for a special assignment. Mark’s next-door neighbour, Dr. Zonov (who mysteriously disappeared three years ago), had invented a machine that can open a portal between dimensions. The general hopes that Mark’s personal connection to the missing scientist will aid the mission to explore another dimension. But General Murphy has a secret that could jeopardize the mission and perhaps all their lives as well.

Back on Pharll, Brue and his friends have traveled for many days and have finally reached the slaver stronghold. Using a combination of stealth, magic and brute force, they managed to infiltrate the fortress and access its lowest levels. But their plan to destroy the stronghold is thwarted by Pharll’s evil goddess—The Adversary.

Switching back to Earth, Mark and his friend Captain Andy Pritchard have discovered that the government is unaware of General Murphy’s secret project. The general has used billions of embezzled dollars to finance his own private scheme. But this knowledge comes too late, for during a routine test, a large dimensional portal is created.

Brue and his companions are chased down a tunnel by the slavers, dark wizards and their monsters, only to arrive at a dead end. Before them is glowing circle of light. Taking a leap of faith, they jump through...and find themselves on Earth, with the enemy hot on their heels.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Query Letter for Son of Ogres - First Draft


Hi all!

Here is a query letter template I am trying out for my Young Adult fantasy novel: Son of Ogres. I have based the format on a query letter that was posted on http://queryshark.blogspot.com/ that got a rave review from Janet Reid. I am hoping this format works for my story as well.

So I am requesting feedback--good and bad--on this letter. Does it grab you? Would you be interested in seeing more if you were an agent for YA lit? Please let me know!


Dear Agent,

On the world of Pharll, Brue Overhill is just turning fifteen and is worried about getting the girl he likes to like him back. His challenge: he’s over seven feet tall and stilling growing, because he is part-ogre. Shaleana always seems frightened whenever he comes near her, as though she thinks he’ll step on her. Unfortunately for Brue, a slaver in disguise arrives in town and is determined to capture the young giant for a hefty commission. Brue manages to escape, but his family suffers the slaver’s deadly retribution.

Fast-forward three years and Brue has been joined by a small band of loyal companions, who are aiding him in trying to stop the slavers. They meet with little success, and when one of his friends is killed in a raid, Brue gives up on his quest. Then that night he is visited by the Guardian, who tells Brue that he is a Sentinel of Pharll. The young giant has a special destiny and the Guardian gives him a key to destroying the slavers. But will it be enough?

On Earth it is 1990 and eighteen-year-old PFC Mark Sampson has been unexpectedly called back from the Persian Gulf. He is taken to a secret underground base where he meets General Taylor Murphy, who tells him he is needed to join a team for a special assignment. Mark’s next-door neighbour, Dr. Zonov (who mysteriously disappeared three years ago), had invented a machine that can open a portal between dimensions. The general hopes that Mark’s personal connection to the missing scientist will aid the mission to explore another dimension. But General Murphy has a secret that could jeopardize the mission and perhaps all their lives as well.

A young adult fantasy novel, Son of Ogres, first book of the Sentinels of Pharll series, is complete at 80,000 words.

Thank you for your time.
James Baron

Finished my third draft of Son of Ogres


This morning on the bus I finished my third draft of Son of Ogres based on the editing done by Tom from YALitChat--thanks Tom!!!

Next step is to work on the Query Letter template and a one page Synopsis. Both have been written before when this novel was in a different format, so they will have to been rewritten--or written from scratch, depending on how it looks from my first pass.

I'm going to tackle the Query Letter first since it is shorter, and quite frankly I'm more pumped to write it.

Once I am finished and satisfied with the letter, I will post it to YALitChat and Gather to get some feedback, plus I will post it here for you guys. I will do the same for the Synopsis afterwards. When I am satisfied that both are polished like fine silver, I will start looking for agents to send them to.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

PS: A shout out to Jamila for joining my list of followers. I hope you find this blog interesting and entertaining.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ditching the Book Title - Week # - Day # format


So I figure at this stage of the game I'm not going to bother keeping track of what day or week I am working on a particular book. As titles go, I find in retrospect they are pretty boring and don't say a lot about the content of the post.

So this morning I wrote about our young hero Rifter arriving at cavern that is home to Clan Hearth. He is stunned and amazed by the sight. Clan Hearth has a population of over a hundred people! Rifter's clan of Deep Fathom numbered less than twenty. The most strangers that he has ever seen at one time is six. He is also surprised how old some of the people are, and yet they do not seem to suffer from Tunnel Rot, which is a disease that affects all of Rifter's people as they get older. Clan Deep Fathom's elder Red was thirty-six cycles old, and he looked really, REALLY old. But the warrior Tor from Clan Hearth is thirty-eight cycles, yet he looks fifteen cycles younger in Rifter's eyes.

So that is a brief recap of what I have been writing about lately. Please check out the links in the left hand side panel listing my books if you want to read the chapters written so far.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm baaaaaacccckkkk!!!!


I'm baaaaaacccckkkk!!!!

I finally got back to writing today after what appears to be a 22 day gap. I finished off Chapter Eight of RUST on the bus this morning, so that really felt good. I am planning to do so more editing of Son of Ogres at lunch time, thanks to editing/proof reading that was done by my friend Tom I met on on YALitChat.com. We traded books, so I critiqued his YA book Eden's Rat, while did Son of Ogres. He did a really good job of it too! Asked some questions and made some comments I hadn't considered, so I really look forward to making those changes to my manuscript.

I think I am ready to start my agent hunt now for that book. I will keep you all filled in on the process in the days and weeks ahead.

It's good to be back!

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/38592185/RUST---Chapter-Six

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/38717545/RUST---Chapter-Seven

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/43888283/RUST---Chapter-Eight

Continuing on my write of passage,

James Baron

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May is a bad month for blogging


Hi folks,

As you may have noticed I haven't had much to say this month. I am still writing, but its been at a slower pace these past few due to other commitments. I think I can still hit my target, but this week I will not be adding to much to my word count--if you know what I mean.

One of those commitments resulted from becoming a member of a website devoted to people who write--and read--Young Adult books:

http://yalitchat.ning.com/

So I am getting feedback both on Son of Ogres and Rust. I decided to introduce Rust as a YA book since two of the main characters are teenagers. This doesn't necessarily mean this is how I will market my book to agents, but at least it is a possibility.

I am getting some very useful feedback and I hope I am giving some in return. I haven't doing as much on Gather.com lately... :: Bad James :: ...but there are only so many hours in a day, eh?

Well, I will post more when I have more to say.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It’s my 20th Wedding Anniversary today! w00t!


So 20 years ago today my wife and I got hitched. No big plans tonight since she is taking a night class tonight, but there is a 4-day long weekend coming up…

Has it really been 20 years!?!? I have known her longer than I have not known her. On one hand it doesn’t seem that long, and on the other it seems like she has always been in my life. I guess that is one of the paradoxes of true love, eh?

Sigh… :-)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You can now DOWNLOAD my chapters


Dear faithful readers,

It has come to my attention that nobody has been able to download my chapters for the DocStoc website. I had set the copyright setting to "Traditional" and this means you cannot download it...which I didn't know until my buddy informed me his son was going to read NANUQ but he couldn't print it out!

So I have changed the copyright setting to "Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs"...which in short means you can now download or print my chapters.

Here is the location to go to access all the chapters I have posted so far:

http://www.docstoc.com/profile/jamesbaron

Enjoy!

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

RUST - Week Six - Day One


Got back into the world of RUST this morning on the bus. Yesterday I was working on completing my 2nd draft of SON OF OGRES--which I did--and then I emailed it to my proof reader last night. When he gets the time he will take another stab at it. I am practically shivering with excitement about sending this puppy out to agents.

So I working on Chapter Five and managed to get onto page two while on the bus. I am really looking forward to writing the interesting part of the chapter and see if it grabs the reader like it hope it does. I want to convey a sense of awe and wonder in my young hero Rifter, and to have the reader feel that as well.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron


Monday, May 3, 2010

Proof reading Son of Ogres - Part II


So my proof reader and I were going over my YA/Teen novel, SON OF OGRES, last week. So he spotted some interesting errors, problems that I had missed. Here are a few of them for your reading entertainment:

"Beside him sat a large box of broken pottery. Jagged pottery shards were covered with drying blood. A single tooth lay by the box, broken off at the root."


Proof Reader: Umm...why is there a box of broken pottery in the barn? Isn't that a strange thing to have just lying around?

"Stroggins led him out into the cool night air. Only Mother was out tonight; her light cast a soft glow to the surroundings."

PR: You might want to mention Mother is the name of the moon first...

"The companions stopped at the last town before Nialicburg where they purchased a wagon to hitch to their pair of pack mules. "

PR: Where did the pack mules come from? You never mentioned them until now.

"I am going to be in big trouble if that old dwarf finds out what Tal’rai really means in pix, Bordel thought as he drew nearer to the chamber."

PR: We are near the end of the book and you've only mentioned this express Tal'rai once before in the previous page...you might want to mention early if you want this comment to have any impact on the reader...

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Proof Reading Son Of Ogres


Hey All,

I was using Google Voice Chat to talk to my proof reader over making changes to SON OF OGRES. It's pretty darn good for talking to someone who is very far away and doesn't cost you a dime in long distance calls. Plus I could just plug in my headphones into my laptop, which left my hands free for typing.

So we finished the book, so now I have to go over the stuff I said I would change, then I will send him the new draft and we start the cycle all over again. He made some darn good catches, and I am grateful for that. If he hadn't, then my first agent might think I was suffering from brain damage when I sent him/her my manuscript...

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FLAME - Week Four - Day Two

So I am back to riding the FLAME train this week. I finished Chapter Eight and now I am onto Chapter Nine. Chapter Eight needs some cleaning up before I can post it, like replacing "A cabin on Lake Blah Blah" with the name of an actual lake near Miami, FL. I also need to look up the addresses of Japanese Steak Houses in the area. That kind of stuff to give the story a more authentic feel...if ya know what I mean, Vern?

New RUST Chapter Uploaded


Hello faithful readers...

Yes, that sounds pretty conceded, but there ya go. Anyhoo here is another RUST chapter for your reading pleasure:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/36095234/RUST---Chapter-Four

And please.....don't be shy in telling me what you think whether you comment here or send me an email. I can handle the criticism...or the praise. ;-)

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo - The Aftermath


Just got back from the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, and I am exhausted! I posed for a lot of pictures and handed out a couple dozen cards promoting this blog and my challenge. It was a lot of fun. The Wolverine claws looked great and didn't get them confiscated-whew! I entered the costume contest--didn't win--and there were lots of excellent costumes to see.

Below is a Predator costume that took the guy almost a year to make. Great Details.





Below is a group shot of Marvel characters. From left to right: Dead Pool, Blue Girl, Dark Phoenix, Wolverine, Beast and below is Mystique.







And here is one of me with Yoda! Do or do not! There is no try!



Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Want to make your own metal Wolverine claws?


Glad you asked! My cousin's husband Vic saw that some people wanted to know how we made the claws so he put up a Instructable @ http://bit.ly/c68wnc

Check it out to see the process we went through to make those great claws!

RUST - Chapter Three now up


As promised, Chapter Three of RUST is now up on DocStoc. Enjoy:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/35385661/RUST---Chapter-Three

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

RUST - Week Five - Day Three


Finished Chapter Three on the bus this morning and now I onto Chapter Four. I will give it another pass and hopefully post it to DocStoc at lunch. I think this story has great potential...now let's see if I can live up to it.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

PS: Dyed my beard black to get read for Calgary Comic Expo on Saturday. Arrrrr!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NANUQ - The whole book


Here is a link to NANUQ, the whole book as one document...'nuf said.

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/35147319/NANUQ---A-Childrens-Book

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Homemade metal Wolverine Claws


Here are some more pictures of the metal Wolverine claws that I made with Vic. This is the first set. The second set should be finished this week.

http://twitpic.com/1h1wz0

http://twitpic.com/1h1wtq

http://twitpic.com/1h1vbt

Pretty wicked, eh?

First completed set of metal Wolverine claws


Here are my promised pictures.

http://twitpic.com/1h1wz0

http://twitpic.com/1h1wtq

http://twitpic.com/1h1vbt


Pretty darn cool, eh?

Monday, April 19, 2010

NANUQ - Week Eight - Day One


Still working on my 2nd draft of NANUQ...

I've been busy with other stuff...what can I say? I am going to the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo next Saturday, April 24th.

CalgaryExpo.com

I will be dressing up as Wolverine and entering the costume contest. My cousin's husband Vic and I wielded together a set of Wolverine claws out of metal. We finished the claws for one hand, so we just have to find time to finish the other set. They look pretty wicked! I will post some pics later.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NANUQ - Week Seven - Day Three


I finished writing the first draft of my second book this year: NANUQ. I am quite please with my progress so far on my challenge. Here is a link to the final chapter:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/34114708/NANUQ---Chapter-Thirteen-–-The-Conclusion

I have just merged all the documents together into a single manuscript. It came out to 14 chapters, 16,000 words. I will give the whole document a second pass, then I will send a copy to my Mom, my Dad and my proofreader/editor to look over to see if it can be improved.

Very exciting!

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Monday, April 12, 2010

NANUQ - Week Seven - Day One


Here are the next three chapters of NANUQ. I am still working on the last chapter. When it is finished, I will post it as well.

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/33804063/NANUQ---Chapter-Ten

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/33819491/NANUQ---Chapter-11

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/33819686/NANUQ---Chapter-Twelve

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I just joined Twitter - @JamesBaronBlog


So I just joined Twitter:

@JamesBaronBlog http://twitter.com/JamesBaronBlog


One of my relatives, Vic Hlushak has been tweeting for three months now and has 1700 followers:

@drvicdotca http://twitter.com/drvicdotca

He and my current boss have both suggested I sign up on Twitter so I can tweet about my blog updates and about my experiences writing four novels in one year. I will probably tweet about other stuff too.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Thursday, April 8, 2010

NANUQ - Week Six - Day Four


I effectively took a week off from writing for Spring Break. I started up writing again today and I am now working on the last chapter of the book. I was looking at my docstoc stats for my chapters (I have 20 posted now) and I have had 480 views, 42 of them for NANUQ - Chapter Nine. It is possible that a lot of those hits are from search engine spiders...but who knows. It appears my chapters are being read...I just don't know by how many people.

Anyhoo, just thought I'd share.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

NANUQ - Week Five - Day Three


Wellll...I have been doing some rewriting of the past NANUQ chapters based upon information I got from my dad regarding Churchill. I thought I would do some cleanup before I do the final push to finish the book. I am also driving to work this week since Yvonne has spring break off, so no writing on the bus. So not much progress on the writing front this week, or most of next week either...but sometimes LIFE takes precedence.

But when I do get back on it, I will be writing with a vengeance to get the my 2nd book finished and off to proof reader.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Story Time - “I’m finally dead. Now what?”


“I’m finally dead. Now what?” Mark Twain grumbled as his soul pulled itself loose from the cooling corpse that lay on its deathbed. As he predicted, he had died the day after Halley’s appearance in the skies above Redding, Connecticut. He remembered writing last year these words: “I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'” And go out he did.

As he felt his spirit tugged upwards, he glanced down at his empty husk. “Damn I sure look ugly. I would suggest they have a closed casket at the service if anybody could hear me.”

Picking up speed, he passed quickly through the ceiling of his bedroom (this was a somewhat dizzying experience as his vision was momentarily obstructed by wood grain and a rather busy termite) and popped up into the attic. At this point he seemed to take a right angle and sailed through an old wardrobe (his scarlet and grey gown from Oxford was in sore need of cleaning from all the lint) and burst out into the open air. The sun was shinning and the sky was such a deep expanse of blue that it would have made his heart ache if he still had one.

As he zipped along over the tall oak trees of his neighborhood, Mark Twain began to wonder if someone should be with him to usher him into the next phase of his existence. “I guess somebody—or something—is moving me along, so I guess I shouldn’t worry about it. Though it would be nice to see Ol’ Henry so I can thank him for all that money he lent before he passed on.”

Up, up, up he went, soaring high above the Connecticut countryside. The blue of the sky became deeper and deeper, and soon he could see stars twinkling overhead. “It’s strange to see the stars in the middle of the afternoon. At least it looks I heading the right direction…though I am sure Hades would have been interesting, too.” He chuckled.

Into the blackness of space he flew, with the Earth spread out below him like a massive multicolored quilt. He was positively giddy with delight. “If I had known being dead was so marvelous, I would have left sooner!”

The Earth began to recede, becoming a ball of blue and brown and swirling white. Mark felt a pang of loss as he continued to pull away. Then he noticed a light above him.

It was Halley’s Comet, its long tail stretched out like the wake of the fastest schooner in the universe. Crystals of ice glitter in the sunlight like a million billion diamonds in trail it left behind.

Faster, faster, faster he raced through the darkness, his target clearly the comet head. “I wonder if I will need a key to get inside or will I have to knock and wait patiently for someone to let me in?”

Now he was above the tail, flying over it like an undulating snowscape. “Can’t be too much longer now...” And in a flash of light he was in.

Mark felt his spirit surrounded by an infinity of facets reflecting the light of the sun ahead. It was like skiing down a slope a brakeneck speed on a mountain without end. The rush was exhilarating.

“Samuel,” Came a voice from nowhere and everywhere.

“Eh? Nobody calls me Samuel anymore. It’s Mark Twain thank you very much.”

“Okay…Mark then. I have a proposition for you.”

“Which is?…”

“You have two choices. You may return to Earth to be born as a child with no memory of your past life…”

“Or?...” Mark prompted impatiently.

“Or you may continue riding the comet on its journey out of the solar system and into the hidden mysteries of space.”

“Hmmm…” Twain pondered. “How soon do I have decided?”

“After the comet swings around the sun, it will pass by the Earth on its way out. You must decide by then, Mark.”

“Well…alright then…this will take some considerable musing on my part, whoever you are. Both choices have there pros and cons, I am sure…but for now just let me enjoy the ride.”

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Story Time - Don't pay the ferryman...



Talal fed and watered the horses before he joined his companions around the campfire. His manservant, Sigmund the Elder, was slowly turning the spit on their evening’s meal, his lean frame wrapped in a wool robe. On the spit was a small octubruin, skinned and gutted, that had wandered too far from its pack. Just one of its eight legs would make a full meal for the three men. The rest would be dried and salted for the journey ahead.

“'Tis a cold night, by the Oracle.” Marcus said, pulling up the zipper on his down-filled coat. It was an antique passed down many generations, each patch a badge of honour. There was faded label inside that read in the ancients’ script that it had been manufactured in 1968. The coat was a bit tight on his bulky frame, but Talal’s man-at-arms did not seem to mind.

“Here, have some hot rewberry cider.” Sigmund said as he passed over the dented kettle that had been sitting by the fire. “It has a bite to it, but it will warm thee up but good.”

Marcus grinned and poured a healthy shot of the potent drink into his clay mug.

“Don’t drink too much, dear friend.” Talal warned as he carved off a piece of the octubruin, its rich meat steaming in the cold night air. “We must wake early on the morn if we are to catch the ferry. It’s a full two day’s ride to the Black River and it only runs once a day.”

Sigmund shudder.

“Don’t worry, Sigmund.” Talal chided. “Nothing will go wrong. That ol’knob of a ferryman can’t hurt us as long as I carry the talisman.” Talal held up the golden amulet he wore around his neck, the blood-red gem at its center reflected the firelight like a dying Cyclops’ eye.

“Please I bid thee put it back, sire.” Sigmund said, making the sign of the Oracle on his forehead. “May the sweet Oracle protect us if you ever lose it.”

Talal chuckled, but put the talisman back under his tunic.

“Now eat up so we can get to sleep. I don’t want you falling off your horses tomorrow.”

#

Talal and his men arrived at the banks of the Black River just as the sun was about to set, its dark waters sluggishly churning past. The Black River was wide; his far shore unseen in the fading light. There were no vessels in sight.

“The ferry is not here.” Sigmund said with undisguised relief. “Perhaps we’ve missed it.”

“It’s coming.” Talal said simply as he got off his horse.

The sun seemed to be yanked below the peaks of the distant Jagged Tooth Mountains, plunging the landscape into twilight.

As if on cue, a creaking noise could now be heard drifting across the water. Sigmund pulled his robes tighter around his thin body.

In a few moments a dark shape materialized out of the dusk: the Black River Ferry. The vessel was ten paces long and five paces wide, large enough to easily transport a dozen men and their mounts. At the back was hooded figure leaning on a long pole, pushing the ferry towards shore.

The horses whinnied in fear, rolling their eyes. The three men had to struggle to keep them calm and under control.

“Hocus-pocus.” Sigmund muttered darkly under his breath as he held his mare’s reigns tightly.

The ferry pushed its flat prow onto the bank, forming a natural ramp. There were no railings to protect one from falling into the dark waters.

“Hail Ferryman.” Talal called out loudly. “My servants and I seek passage across the Black River.”

“Three Imperial Crowns each…paid in advance.” Issued a gravelly voice from the blackness of the hood. A skeletal hand reached out, palm up.

Sigmund whimpered and Marcus took half a step back.

“We shall pay thee when thou get’s us to the other side.” Talal said smugly as he pulled out the talisman from his tunic.

The hooded figure cringed as though repulsed by the amulet. They could all hear an angry hiss.

Tightly gripping his horses reigns, Talal led it onto the ferry.

Once they were all on, the ferryman used his pole push away from the bank. The shore quickly vanished into the darkness—the ferry carried no light. The only sounds were the horses’ frighten breathing and the water brushing against the shallow hull.

Feeling bold, Talal strode towards the bow where the ferryman stood. “Tell me, good Ferryman. Will the voyage be long?” Talal took delight as the figure leaned back from him.

“We shall arrive in two candles’ time, my lord.”

“Ahhh…good.” Talal resisted the urge to pat the ferryman on the back. No sense pushing his luck.

He walked to his two men who were comforting the horses.

“See, I told you no harm could befall us as long as I had the talisman.” Talal said proudly as he held up the talisman on its golden chain.

He saw Sigmund’s eyes grow suddenly wide, a gasp escaping his thin lips.

Talal laughed. “Stop worryi—“

Talal felt himself yanked to the side as long, waterlogged pole was thrust through the gap between the amulet and his body. There was a sharp jerk and the chain snapped, the talisman spinning off into the air and vanishing it then night.

Marcus pulled out his sword, while Sigmund fainted dead away. Clutching his neck in pain, Talal turned around and found himself face to skinless-face with the ferryman, its hollow sockets glowing with unholy fire.

“I think it is time we renegotiated the terms of our agreement, my lord…”

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron




Friday, March 26, 2010

NANUQ - Week Four - Day Four


I was working on Chapter Twelve this morning. I only have one more chapter after this, since I will be ending it on Chapter Thirteen...I think...we'll see...

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

NANUQ - Week Four - Day Two


Yep, after I finishing my first book, Son of Ogres, I decided to quickly wrap up my second: NANUQ. I am now writing Chapter Eleven, and figure I only have at most three more chapters to write and I am done.

I am on a roll!!!

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Monday, March 22, 2010

SON OF OGRES - Week Three - Day One


I finished it!!! :: does a happy dance ::

I finished writing my first book of the challenge: the young adult novel: Son of Ogres. I have emailed it off to my proofreader/editor to have at it and hopefully I will have something publishable when it is all said and done. This is all very exciting because it means I have more time to devote to my other three books now.

I must might pull this off...

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron


Saturday, March 20, 2010

RUST - Week Three - Day Six


Well here is Chapter Two of RUST. Enjoy!

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/30470328/Rust---Chapter-Two

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Thursday, March 18, 2010

RUST - Week Three - Day Four


I am about halfway through Chapter Two and I just introduced the main antagonist. He is one bad ass. It will also be the first action scene, which I just started writing before too many people got on the bus for me to write. By the by, have any of you tried typing on a laptop when you can't have your arms at your sides because there is a person squeezed in beside you? It's a total pain.

Sooo....ahhh...I got an email from the website that hosts my chapters, and it indicate each of my NANUQ chapters has be read 21 times....and I only have 8 followers! Who is all out there who is reading my stuff? Let me know. Do you like it? Does it suck? Leave a comment or send me an email at wave.yesreply@gmail.com so I am not writing here in a complete vacuum.

Glad I got that off my chest...

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

RUST - Week Three - Day Two


Book III – Science Fiction - RUST

Rust is a world composed almost entirely of rusting metal wreckage, stacked layer upon layer upon layer. In this world is a young man, a scavenger, who searches for fungi to feed his clan. The story begins when the man discovers that the rusted bridge that he needs to cross to get to a large toadstool patch has collapsed into the rusted chasm below. The scavenger needs to find a new source of food or his clan will perish from starvation.

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/29678099/RUST---Chapter-One

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/30470328/Rust---Chapter-Two

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/35385661/RUST---Chapter-Three

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/36095234/RUST---Chapter-Four

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/37627076/RUST---Chapter-Five

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/38592185/RUST---Chapter-Six

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/38717545/RUST---Chapter-Seven

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/43888283/RUST---Chapter-Eight

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/44978782/RUST---Chapter-Nine

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/51110866/RUST---Chapter-Ten


Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron










Monday, March 15, 2010

RUST - Week Three - Day One


So I finally finished Chapter One!!! Yippee!!!

I told you it takes a lot of work to get that first chapter done for a book. I will give it another look over to make sure it looks good and then I will post it here for you to read.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

4 More NANUQ Chapters


Here are four more NANUQ Chapters!!!

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/29525577/NANUQ---Chapter-Six

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/29528102/NANUQ---Chapter-Seven

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/29528171/NANUQ---Chapter-Eight

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/29534436/NANUQ---Chapter-Nine

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm overcome with emotion...


So I am working on Chapter Nine of NANUQ and I am writing this really hard scene, and by hard I mean it is very emotional. It wasn't hard to write because the words just flowed out of me and into the laptop. It was hard because I was literally getting choked up as I wrote. I swear I came this close (holds his fingers about an inch apart) to crying. And I haven't finished it yet cause my bus ride had reached the end.

So here is the amazing part, I think: It is one thing to be reading a story, get caught up in the characters and what they are going through, and find your emotions being pulled this way and that.

But to be the writer...to be the one who is fabricating the story...creating the characters...giving them their words...describing their actions...and still get so caught up in what he is writing that he has a lump in his throat as he is typing furiously away on the bus...it just amazes me.

Even now, as I write this blog entry an hour afterwards, I still feel my sorrow tugging at me. I really don't know how to adequately describe this. I'm a writer (or at least I think I am!) but it's hard to find the words to do justice to what I am feeling right now.

I think this really speaks to the power of the written word. That words can not only move the people who read them, but the also the person that writes them. It would be one thing if I was writing about real people...and about real events that had actually happened to them. But these characters only exist in my head! They can only express themselves when I write their words on paper (figuratively speaking, of course). Events and actions can only occur if commit them to my laptop's memory.

Now sure, this stuff could just exist in my head. I could think about it and dream about and never write a single word of it and it would be mine, all mine, Muuuhhhaahhhaa etc. etc. And these thoughts, these musing could affect me emotionally, just as your thoughts and musing can affect you. But I think its different when you take all those thoughts and feelings and put them down on paper. They have to be more congruent...more linear. Grammar and spelling imposes itself, and you can't just pour out images and scenes onto the page...you have to write them! You have to describe what is going on...determine how much detail you should go into...and how much to hold back.

Writing is a solitary process in one sense, but also a very public one in another. When I am writing, I am alone. It doesn't matter if I am riding on a bus with fifty other people--they are not participating with me in the process. I. AM. ALONE.

But in another way I know that these words that I am typing right now will be read by others...by you! I am laying bare my soul as it were. My words, my characters, my stories will either move you or they will not. It is my duty, my obligation to make sure that words I am writing do move you. I need to make you see what I see...hear what I hear...to eavesdrop on the thoughts of a young boy whose father might be dead or lost or...?

Will I succeed? I sincerely hope so. I am doing my darnist to transport you along with me on this ride. There are plenty of seats, and the cost of admission will be the price of a fairly thin paperback. (That's if it gets published, of course.)

Anyways, enough of my ramblings. Thank you for listening...er...reading.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron



3 MORE FLAME CHAPTERS!!!


I said I would add my latest FLAME chapters to site, and here are the links. Enjoy!

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/28803995/FLAME---Chapter-Five

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/28804508/FLAME---Chapter-Six

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/28804690/FLAME---Chapter-Seven

I have also added chapter links to the side menu which lists the books. If you click on "Chapters" on the side, you will be taken to a blog post that lists all the existing chapters for a particular book. I will be updating NANUQ later this week the same way.

NANUQ - Week Three - Day Four


Where have you been, James!??

Ummm....doing stuff. I have been writing, so no worries there. I am just about finished Chapter Seven of NANUQ, so I am guessing I will have the first draft finished by the end of Week Five, which is near the middle of May. Once it is done I will be sending a copy of the word document to my volunteer proof reader to go over it, then I will do the required clean up. After that, I will start shopping it around to agents.

So where are we at in the story? Well, once I finish Chapter Seven, I will post it and Chapter Six on the document hosting site, with links on this blog.

I personally think this is a really good story. It will probably need some work in the editing department, but the story itself I think passes the sniff test.

Anyways I have got to get ready to go to work. Later, gators.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Thursday, March 4, 2010

FLAME - Week Three - Day Four


Is it Thursday already? I have been writing, but I haven't had much time to blog about it. I had game night on Tuesday and then yesterday I went to a high school play that my nephew was performing in: Kiss Me Kate. Great show by the way.

I have been working on my first two Buka chapters. Buka is a tribal medicine man who is the descendant of Perais, who was the apprentice who escaped the destruction of Atlantis. Buka will be made aware of the alien god's return and will try to stop him. I will be posting more FLAME chapters this week so you can read 'em.

By the by, please feel free to comment on the chapters in this blog if you so desire...

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Son of Ogres - Week Two - Day Four


Now up to Chapter Thirty-Eight of my rewrite. If I push I might get it finished this weekend and then I will email it to my volunteer proofreader to look over. Once we are both satisfied with it then I can start shopping it around to agents who specialize in Young Adult fiction. Wish me luck!!!

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Son of Ogres - Week Two - Day Two


G'day folks! I am on Chapter 31 of my rewrite of Son of Ogres. I figure I am at the 2/3rds mark for this book. It feels strange to rewrite characters I have been so familiar with for sooo long (twenty years for those of you just tuning in). Making them younger can be challenging especially in terms of dialogue, both spoken and internal. They way they react to the other characters who are now in many cases older than them have to be different. Discussions they once led are now conversations they have to follow.


I have done rewrites of this book before. In one interesting case, one of the characters switched genders. My wife Yvonne suggested the main character should be a woman instead of a man. I really fought her on that one because that was a big change in how I envisioned the protagonist. But she eventually wore me down and I changed the character to be female, and it ended up being the better choice.


Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron

Friday, February 19, 2010

NANUQ - First Chapters


Book II – Children’s and/or young adult - NANUQ

It is a children’s story concerning a young boy living in the town of Churchill, Manitoba in the sixties. The boy’s father goes out for a snow mobile ride on Hudson’s Bay and never returns. A search party is organized and they find skidoo tracks that lead to a hole in the ice. Everyone believes that boy’s father went through the ice and drowned, but not the boy. That night, the boy is visited in his bedroom by a polar bear that can speak and tells him his name is Nanuq (which is Inuit word for polar bear).

By the by, I was born in Churchill in the sixties, so I know a thing or two about the place.


http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25918099/NANUQ---Prologue

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25918797/NANUQ---Chapter-One

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25918798/NANUQ---Chapter-Two

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25919642/NANUQ---Chapter-Three

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25918800/NANUQ---Chapter-Four

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25918795/NANUQ---Chapter-Five

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/29525577/NANUQ---Chapter-Six

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/29528102/NANUQ---Chapter-Seven

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/29528171/NANUQ---Chapter-Eight

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/29534436/NANUQ---Chapter-Nine

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/33804063/NANUQ---Chapter-Ten

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/33819491/NANUQ---Chapter-11

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/33819686/NANUQ---Chapter-Twelve

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/34114708/NANUQ---Chapter-Thirteen-–-The-Conclusion

Thursday, February 18, 2010

FLAME - First chapters


Book I – Thriller - FLAME

The story is about an alien being that interacts with outside world using fire. It crash landed near Atlantis 14,000 years ago and soon the local population was worshiping it as a god. The alien is a being composed of energy and its matter is contained with a metal sphere. It is able to read the thoughts of those around it and punishes them by burning them if it doesn’t like what they are thinking. After the destruction of Atlantis we fast forward to modern times, where a Canadian archeologically team is searching for Spanish shipwrecks off the coast of Cuba. Only they discover something else...Atlantis.


http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25821676/FLAME---Prologue

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25906654/FLAME---Chapter-One

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25907098/FLAME---Chapter-Two

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/26111962/FLAME---Chapter-Three

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25917306/FLAME---Chapter-Four

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/28803995/FLAME---Chapter-Five

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/28804508/FLAME---Chapter-Six

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/28804690/FLAME---Chapter-Seven

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

RUST - Week Two - Day Three


This has been a slow week for writing. I had the Monday off since it was Family Day in Alberta, and then I had game night last night and I ended up reading the rules on the bus so I would be ready to play after work (it was Game of Thrones--very good game!)

So today I continued working on Chapter One of RUST. I am finding the first chapter to be a challenge because I have all these ideas in my head as to how to introduce: a) the main character, and b) the setting. I am trying to bring my readers into a new world with a new culture and environment. Plus I have the main character for them to meet--and hopefully like or at least sympathise with--in the first page.

So I got past page one today, and I consider that an accomplishment. I hope at this point I can pick up some steam and charge through to end of the chapter.

By the by, I am still planning on trying to find a place that I put these chapters so you, my loyal followers, can read them without having to create a new account and password.

Continuing on my write of passage,
James Baron