It’s impossible to be a writer, at least a good or even competent one, unless you’re also a reader. It’s from books that a writer learns how to put words together (or how not to in some cases), how to plot, how to pace, and how to create characters. …
The Hunt (free; urban fantasy, slight folklore): When winter comes, he feels the call again.
Blood Claim (.99; urban fantasy, smutty): Antisocial mage Valentine Greyfeather is used to working alone and being his own boss but gets more than he bargained for when an underwater demon lays claim to him. In a life or death situation, only a stronger claim can save him - like one made by his new partner, Kellan.
Darkly Dreaming (1.99; urban fantasy, fantasy, mild horror, supernatural; possible trigger warning for homophobia in Last Cigarette): Short story collection.
Troll Farm: a short little soft horror story about a reporter who visits a goat farm run by trolls.
Tiger, Tiger: a college student encounters a type of incubus and discovers there’s a beast inside all of us.
The Pusher: a cubicle slave learns that dreams are like drugs, and carry their own price
Last Cigarette: the power of love and friendship, and the cost of hate.
Un Histoire Officielle de Bob et Les Zombies (.99; horror, smutty, sarcastic humour): Not in French. A sudden outbreak of zombies on a hot summer day sends college student Dane and frozen yogurt stand employee Killian running for their lives through a Canadian mall.
Soch Writes (my website, all stories posted on it are free but I’m not going to say no to donations; general warning for smuttiness, language, violence, and assholery)
Ashfall (prologue only; fantasy; sequel to The Rising Fire, which is off at Harper Voyager somewhere)
Bonewitch (WIP; urban fantasy):
Arden Viljoen is a bonewitch, a magic user who uses bones to cast spells and can speak to/see the dead. After stealing part of a dead man’s finger, she finds herself haunted by his ghost, who claims to have been murdered and demands she find his killer. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Arden’s been on the radar of a slightly obsessive cop named Caleb O’Riley, and his interruption early one morning causes her to bind the ghost to the fingerbone instead of banishing him. When she’s attacked shortly after by a strange creature, she finds herself caught up in the plans of an ancient mage who is determined to destroy her and steal the life of the ghost’s older brother.
Ricochet Effect (WIP; sci-fi): College students Nila and Sireno make a decent living off competing in online tournaments in the global network NetLife, but after meeting the mysterious Ricochet, they discover parts of NetLife aren’t as friendly as they appear.
Sand Wolf (WIP; urban fantasy): Werewolves and magicians, oh my.
Silent Desert (WIP; urban fantasy, fantasy):
A rogue storm sweeps Ciaran overboard during what’s supposed to be a holiday boating trip with his boyfriend Alejandro, sending him to a desert in another world - a world where those without magic are put down like rabid animals and a king will sacrifice his own son for his kingdom.
Isendiar is the eighth son of the Desert King, bred and raised in the belief that his only existence in life is to be sacrificed to his father’s god. Protected by his bodyguard, Azima, and forced to remain celibate so he won’t go to his sacrifice sullied, he spends most of his time playing around and generally being spoiled - until he and Azima rescue a stranger in the desert.
On Earth, Alejandro is desperate to find Ciaran again, even though everyone thinks he’s insane to think Ciaran is even still alive - everyone except his best friend, Brandon. Brought together with a witch named Shoshanna Rose and a psychic named Nabila, Alejandro and Brandon must figure out where Ciaran is and how to get him back.
Splinters (complete but unedited; edited version will be on Smashwords; urban fantasy): War is on the horizon between the Fae and the ruling humans, but all Solan Yorke wants to do is get through his last year of school without anyone finding out he’s not human.
Winter King (technically a novella; will be more set in this world; urban fantasy): When his boss goes missing, Nikhil Chakravarthy will do anything to find him, even if that means getting tangled up with a mysterious runaway named Jess.
The Fifth God (current WIP; fantasy):
A thousand years ago, a group of Elementalists split a warring nation in two, separating magical Mihavar from science-minded Avernon with the great river Calanaia. The two countries continued to grow apart from one another but while Mihavar became prosperous, Avernon became overcrowded and jealous.
A thousand years later, a priest of the fire god Firenze finds a newborn baby on the steps of the temple. Named Daimeric di Firenze, the baby is raised in the temple until, at the age of ten, he tests for magic in all four elements. The first Elementalist in 500 years, he is sent to be trained at the Academy of Mages in Avran Avar, where he is watched closely by the ruling Council of Mages.
When Daimeric graduates at 18, he expects to be sent to the front lines to help guard against attack from Avernon. Instead, the Council assigns him four new students to mentor, in hopes of teaching him self-control and respect for other people, even those weaker than him.
These students - tough, rough-and-tumble Niamh; mischief-maker Luca, second son of a king; thoughtful, sweet-tempered Lore; and sensitive, loyal Korivenya - are forced not only to adjust to their new lives and each other, but also must earn Daimeric’s respect - and in doing so may save both countries from another war.
Blood Bond (sequel to Blood Claim; urban fantasy): Still partners whether they want to be or not, Kellan and Valentine must put aside their differences if they want to save Kellan from his own past.
Cold Seep (fantasy): Ocean-dweller Azhorai meets a sea witch.
Death Comes For The Hero (urban fantasy, supernatural; possible trigger warning for suicide): Depression, angels, and the love of friends.
Fire Dance (urban fantasy); Sebastian ‘Bash’ Uyende is given the chance to travel to another world to complete an anthropology project. While there he discovers jealousy can run deep, even between brothers.
Hard Words (urban fantasy): Betrayal hurts the most when you’ve finally started to trust someone.
Junk (urban fantasy): When Evarin Kim picks up an old lock from the local junk table, he does it on a whim. Putting his old high school combination number into it dumps a green-eyed, lion-tailed stranger into his kitchen and sends them both on the run from what the stranger claims are angels.
The Problem With Werewolves (prequel to Sand Wolf; urban fantasy): Is that they’re possessive, cranky, and have a tendency to make Yoah’s life difficult.
Stormchaser (urban fantasy): Picking up a Storm Lord’s mask sends Maverick on the wildest tornado chase of his life - and reveals a few things about his partner that he could never have expected.
Blog: Total Word Domination
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1. Let your characters speak to you
Most people have encountered this before: you’re merrily writing along when suddenly your characters start staging a mutiny. You want Susie to fall in love with Bobby, but as you type she’s rejecting Bobby and running off with the milkman instead. This is not a bad thing. It means you’re creating characters who are starting to take on a life of their own instead of just being puppets you maneuver into place. Just run with it and see where it takes you. You might surprise yourself with what opens up before you.
2. Write all the time—but give yourself breaks too
I’m a firm believer in the butt-in-chair method of writing. Turn on your favourite tunes, turn off the internet if you can’t make yourself stop surfing Tumblr every five seconds, and get your fingers tapping on that keyboard, or moving that pen. It’s hard, especially with the five million and one distractions that everyone has running around them at any given time, but you’re not writing if you’re busy squeeing over the latest Supernatural, or texting your BFF, or cleaning the bathroom (which is often my method of procrastination). Set yourself a goal, even of only a few hundred words, and write.
On the flip side of that coin, it is actually okay to let yourself take breaks, especially if you really get into the groove and realize you’ve just written 6000 words in a few hours. Try to time it for when you reach a milestone, such as the end of a chapter, or even the end of a particular scene. I wouldn’t recommend just leaving in the middle of a scene, because it can then be difficult to get back into the flow of where you were. Treat yourself to a snack or go outside for a bit to recharge, or maybe answer those fifty e-mails from concerned friends and family. Then get your butt back in that chair.
3. If you want to write a novel, write a novel
I see advice saying to start with smaller things and work your way up, but the only thing that’s going to teach you how to write a novel is actually writing a novel. A blog post won’t teach you the correct pacing, and neither will a short story. This holds true for any format of writing you wish to do. If you want to write poetry, how is writing prose going to help that? This is not to say that you should pick one format and stick to it. All kinds of writing will teach you valuable skills and eventually you will be able to cross those skills, creating some sort of hybrid monster to take over the writing world.
4. It’s okay to suck
As Ernest Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” It is perfectly okay to suck, but it’s not perfectly okay to let that discourage you from writing. Nobody sits down at their computer and writes a masterpiece on the first go. You will write clunky sentences, your characters will do stupid things, you’ll completely forget about that plot point you put in 70,000 words ago. And that’s fine. Wail and gnash your teeth over it, rend your clothes, and then sit your butt back in the chair and keep writing. Practice is the only way you will improve, no exceptions. Give yourself a pass for that incomprehensible gibberish you wrote at 3 am while hyped up on coffee and mini chocolate bars, mark it, and leave it alone until you’re finished and can go back to edit.
And consume other media. Play those video games and see how they lay out the story. Watch TV and see how the plot is presented. And read, read, read. You can’t expect to know how to write if you don’t read, because reading is an act of learning, whether you do it for pleasure or because you’re in high school English and you have an essay due the next day. By reading other stories, you will learn how a plot is laid out, how characters are created and moved through the story, how to set up your pacing, and how to construct language. If you don’t read, you will not learn the skills of creating and telling a story. Plain and simple.
This short story was originally written as a Christmas gift and as such will always be free, so I’m uploading it here. You can also download a free copy at Smashwords here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/152334. If you enjoy, please, take it, distribute it, just don’t try to claim it’s yours, and a link of some sort would be nice. Hope you enjoy.
This is my personal blog (warning, it’s generally NSFW) and I thought I’d reblog this short story here too.