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Articles about the genre of fantasy, including published works and gaming, especially Dungeons & Dragons.

A Slight Change of Direction

After spending a bit of time on another writing project, I have recently returned my attention to Paragon’s Call. Part of that effort has been evaluating the plot I have mapped out and determining if it will go in the direction I need.

I got that worked out and adjusted the plot line better to my liking, then returned to composition. I’m now up to a little over 63,000 words, with a half dozen chapters remaining. For scale, both book one Ohlen’s Arrow and book two Ohlen’s Bane are about 64,000 words each.

My plot adjustments have shortened the overall length of the novel by removing three chapters that didn’t add much to the book. I learned back in my screenwriting days that if a scene can be removed without altering the pace or plot, it doesn’t belong.

More importantly, my plot adjustments have changed the role of the antagonist in the book. Specifically, I added a new antagonist that will will play a bigger part in subsequent books.

Wait, what? Did I just indicate there will be more after Paragon’s Call?

Paragon’s Call and NaNoWriMo

I have been making slow but relatively steady progress on Paragon’s Call, splitting my time with another writing project. I’m at about 53,000 words, which puts me at just over half-way through the overall plot. I estimate Paragon’s Call will be around 100,000 words, maybe a bit more. For perspective, Ohlen’s Arrow and Ohlen’s Bane were each about 64,000 words.

November is NaNoWriMo … National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in the month, with the specific goal of writing something every day for 30 days straight. I appreciate the concept and motivation for NaNoWriMo, but use a different approach. Rather than writing every day, I write only on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and crank out anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 words in a weekend.

Michael J. Sullivan short story contest results

Although the winner of Michael J. Sullivan’s short story contest hasn’t been announced, or even decided as of this writing, I did find out that my submission, The Orphan’s Maker, did not make it into the final round.

My story made it into the top 15, from a large group of quality applications, so I consider this a win. The story itself is going to become the Prologue when I release all three books on paperback for The Taesian Chronicles, so the effort wasn’t wasted.

I appreciate the consideration Michael gave to my story, and to Robin (his wife and editor), for her courtesy. I wish the winner luck, and I wish Michael great success with The Death of Dulgath.

Prequel short story and a Michael J. Sullivan contest

Back in July, I submitted a short story to a contest held by popular fantasy author Michael J. Sullivan. He is going to be releasing the final book in his Ryria series, The Death of Dulgath, and in an effort to help budding authors, is planning to include a short story in that release. He held a contest to determine the winner.

I wrote a short story called The Orphan’s Maker that is a prequel of Ohlen’s Arrow and submitted it to Sullivan.

I found out yesterday that my story has made it into the top 15 out of 176 submissions. I’m very excited about this, as you can imagine, as the exposure would be a huge boost to my writing career. Even if I don’t win, I already consider this a win. Sullivan, and his wife Robin, were kind enough to provide me feedback and advice on Ohlen’s Arrow. They are both tremendously busy people, yet they find time to give back to the writing community. The opportunity to have a short story included in the release of The Death of Dulgath is huge.

Let’s keep our collective fingers crossed that The Orphan’s Maker moves up the list as the contest progresses. Stay tuned.

Mid-August update

Paragon’s Call has seen some progress, although not as much as I’d hoped. I’ve been working on some unrelated short story projects, and as is often the case during July and August, I’ve been out of town on weekends.

Fortunately, I have reached a turning point in the plot of Paragon’s Call where the action changed — think of it as the beginning of Act II — and it’s the part of the story I’ve been looking forward to writing the most.

Ohlen’s Arrow reaches #2 in Amazon Fantasy best seller list

I started a five-day promo on Amazon where Ohlen’s Arrow is a free Kindle download through Friday 7/10/2015. It started at #4,793 amongst free books for Kindle (Fantasy) and by the end of the day reached #2!

Ohlen’s Arrow free on Amazon for a limited time

Ohlen’s Arrow is free for the Kindle on Amazon.com from Monday July 6 through Friday July 10th. Ohlen’s Arrow is Book One in The Taesian Chronicles.

Vengeance drives him. Will honor save him?

A savage tribe of cru’gan brutally slaughtered his family, orphaning Ohlen when he was still a boy. Twenty years later a ferocious attack driven by a mysterious witch sends him on a perilous journey to rescue his best friend’s child. His choice between vengeance and honor will determine not only his own fate, but the fate of those he loves.

Be sure to check out book two, Ohlen’s Bane, also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iTunes Bookstore.

Paragon’s Call update, progress

This is just a quick update on where I’m at with Paragon’s Call. I’m about 25,000 words into the story so far and after reading over what’s in ink, I’m very happy with the progress. I think this book will have a higher production value and overall maturity to the writing style and plot … mature, as in professional, not mature as in adult. If that makes sense.

New, combined site

If you have visited www.ruckerworks.com before, you may notice the format has changed. Previously, I had several blogs and different sites for each book and yet another for the series. I decided to combine them all into one, and this is it!

Stay tuned for more updates.

Paragon’s Call has begun

After about a month of planning and research, I have created a Plot Event List and have begun primary composition of the third book in the Taesian Chronicles. At this point, my working title is The Paragon’s Call. Stay tuned on that.

My production rate is currently averaging 3,100 words a day, but unfortunately I’m only writing one day a week. Part of my problem is I rarely have the creative energy to write in the evenings after work. If I could do that, then I’d have my book written in a month.

As has been the case with my first two books, Ohlen’s Arrow and its sequel, Ohlen’s Bane, I’m relying heavily on the brilliance that is called Scrivener, from Literature and Latte. This program is a serious productivity tool for writers.