Planning a full year of work might seem like a bit of a fool’s errand. After all, something is bound to happen which will blow up my plans. We live in what feels like a truly destabilized time, and last year was one of my worst in recent memory. But with all that in mind, the only thing we have control over is ourselves. I really want this year to be better, and for me, feeling better has always involved storytelling.
It’s done. The second draft of The Birch Island Chronicles has been completed.
I’ve had to dig deep and stay on task to accomplish this goal. Long shifts in the old editing mines are harsh, though. It’s dangerous down there in the dark. So it’s best to go in with a partner.
I’m still working on my second draft. I’ve nearly finished the basic grammar and typo editing and will soon be moving on to passive language, description, and the topic of this blog – dialogue.
As you know I closed up my NanoWriMo challenge on day 13 but I’ve been picking at my novel actively since then. My new book, The Birch Island Chronicles, is at that awkward stage now where it’s got all its structure but it probably isn’t worth reading. I need to get it to readable so I can get some feedback on it.
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In other news, He Plays She Plays is back in business!
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Today I broke one of the biggest rules about first drafts. I did a bunch of editing. I read through all my work from yesterday, fixing grammar and filling gaps. I won’t be doing that again tomorrow, I swear!
I got a late start to my first day of NaNoWriMo (NaNo), but I still managed to crank out 3801 words which I’m pretty happy with.
I know it’s been a while. I had a family emergency and while it’s not fully resolved yet my stress levels are now back to a point were I can writing again.
Ok, I can admit when I’m wrong. I was wrong about this guy.
After a couple of weeks off, I’m back to work. This time, on a pair of outlines. I have one for the book I want to write for NaNoWriMo and another for the one I’m working on in the meantime. Beyond basic plotting I also have to wrap my mind around a bunch of new characters. For a job like this, I’ll need the help of someone who is a real character themselves. And with that in mind… look at this abomination!
Hello all. Last night I finished my novel.
I’m going to try and make this update as brief as possible. To linger would be sending a mixed message. I’m nearly done with my book. Still working on the title, but I digress. If I focus and keep at it, I will be sending it out to my first round of beta readers this … Continue reading Writing Partner: Letting Go
It’s going to be a short blog today. I’ve just spent the last nine hours writing, so I’d like to look away from a screen soon. However, I’m thrilled with my progress and wanted to share. I just finished (hopefully) the last bit of net new content for my novel. So now all … Continue reading Writing Partner: A Milestone
I’m not sure how many of you are in my general geographical area, but I’m currently toughing through a bit of a heatwave. I’m not very good at dealing with the heat. I prefer to live at about 18 degrees Celsius, when things approach 40 I’m having a very bad time. It has been challenging … Continue reading Writing Through a Heatwave
She’s finished. Here is the new centerpiece for my wife’s Age of Sigmar Army!
When we last spoke, I was working away on my editing and painting baby dragons. I only mentioned one, but I wanted to test out two paint schemes for the mother dragon. I wanted pink to be the contrasting color, but I wasn’t sure if the primary color should be black or white.
Here are the results of my testing:
As promised, I have finished constructing my new writing partner, and I must say, it is a majestic piece.
Hello all, When we left off with this latest batch of writing partners, we had a group of half-finished ghosts and skeletons but a completely finished writing project. Usually, I choose to stop painting at the end of a writing project, but these guys needed just a bit more work, as you can see below: … Continue reading Writing Partner: Repurposing Inspiration
It’s been a while. This edit of act 2 took longer than I expected. In the end, my writing partners did too. In fact, they aren’t finished…
I just wanted to announce that season 2 of my podcast He Plays She Plays has just launched. You can check it out on our brand new website, heplayssheplays.ca.
This post has been a long time coming. I mentioned a few times that I was building a group of scary bois to paint while I edit the second act of my book. They took a long time, but here they are:
I managed to finish the two stories I was working on in time to submit them to their competitions. It was down to the wire, and if I’m honest they could have used more time, but I’m happy I pressed myself and finished
Hello all, It’s been a while since my last post. January was another month where life got in the way of writing. I’m thankful I have stable employment, especially during such a trying time. Still, over the last month, it took a bit more out of me than usual. Truth be told, I haven’t had … Continue reading Mazes: A Weekend Double-Feature
As I discussed in my last post I took a break from my book to write a new short story. It was a weird one and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Well, I finished! It’s also turned out quite well. What’s more surprising, is that this project’s writing partners turned out pretty nicely in their own right.
As a reward to myself, I decided to take a break this week and work on a new short story. As usual, it’s a weird one. A strange combination of the occult stuff I tend to write and click-baiting, meme inducing, article titles. Because I suddenly had a new story on my hands, I proceeded to the next step. You know what it is.
I’ve finally finished editing the first act of my book. As expected, chapter 6 got the most work, but I honestly think this rough 100 pages is much better now. I’ll need to take a look at the second act and figure out where the problem chapters are so I can pick new writing partners.
I recently took part in a Christmas themed one-off D&D session. We did it over Zoom, but it was still great to roll some dice again. I didn’t use my normal random number character building methods for this character, but I still think it’s pretty neat.
I know people who have said they never use outlines, but I guess I always assumed this was an exaggeration. I thought that what they meant was that they didn’t have pages of bullet points and chapter breakdowns like I use. I was wrong; some people go in with very little prior planning and still manage to have a working story at the end. It seems magical to me, but it does happen. However, is it right for you?
In the next tent-pole chapter our protagonists will be at a location with all the principle murder suspects. In this edit/re-write I’ll be focusing on emphasizing these suspects and strengthening red-herrings for the plot. Because of this, I have chosen to represent each character with a unique figure to paint. Introducing, the unusual suspects!
Two weeks ago as I was finishing my first big chunk of editing in the third draft of my novel the worst case scenario happened: my computer crashed while saving and the file corrupted.
I’m writing today to share some good news: one of my recent short stories has been published!
I was watching The Haunting of Bly yesterday and reminiscing about how much I loved The Haunting of Hill House when I remembered something. I wrote a silly rap song about the series last year. This seems about as a good an opportunity as I’ll ever get to share it. I hope you enjoy!
As I promised, I worked on the goblin warband “Zarbag’s Gitz” as a partner project. He isn’t finished yet, but this is where I’m at now.
It’s time to work on the hook. For this task I’ll need to call on a little goblin friend.
Before I start discussing my plans for the rest of 2020 I want to close two remaining loops. What happened to that other story and writing partner? A few posts ago I mentioned writing two short stories and finishing two painting projects by the end of September. That didn’t happen sadly. Work is still extremely … Continue reading Closing Up 2020
Its blade may be dull and its armor rusted but don’t underestimate the danger of this machine. It has one goal and it will never stop.
I have mentioned a few times that I have been recording a podcast with my wife titled He Plays She Plays. We’re now up to 8 episodes!
Fixing up two old minis while working on two new stories.
The final part of our exploration of playing Fallout on the tabletop.
Now, in preparation to discuss this topic, I finally had an excuse to crack the book open. However, when I began reading it, doubt crept into my mind. Had I made a mistake?
A few months ago, I was picking some brains for ideas for this series. I told my friends I was going to be writing about story-telling through gaming and asked what topics I should discuss. One of them gave me this little gem: “You should figure out how to make Fallout 76 good!”
Check out the third episode of He Plays She Plays in the player below! It’s mostly about FF7 but expect the usual amount of banter.
For this task I knew it would be hard to pick a writing partner. I’m going to be writing multiple pieces with only the genre of horror and the theme of myth connecting them. No one miniature would do. Some tasks need an army. This one needed two.
I finished my travel writing story and I’m pretty happy with it! Fingers crossed it makes the top ten for the contest I entered. I’m also pretty happy with how my octopus turned out.
Check out the second episode of the He Plays She Plays podcast!
As usual I sat down to this project with a miniature on the corner of my desk. I made my decision based on regional flavor. I picked a giant octopus.
I just wanted to make a quick post highlighting a project I’m working on with my wife. We just launched the first episode of our podcast He Plays She Plays. It’s a gaming podcast where we discuss the games we play together.
Not as cute as the monsters in my book but it has it’s own charm.
Sometimes you just can’t avoid it. You work as hard as you can, try and put it off by working on new projects. Sometimes it can’t just be about the art… sometimes you need to try and sell something. That’s what I’m working on this week, writing and sending out query letters for a book … Continue reading Writing Partner: A Cute Creepy Crawly
Among the refuse, Clot found peers. The rats were like him: dirty, despised, discarded. But they were also strong. He saw in them the fire of survivors. That was something worth embracing.
I’m going to break down an old strategy I have for making engaging NPCs and player characters for tabletop RPGs.
You might be wondering: Jacob, you’re a writer trying to promote his craft, so why write about games? The answer to that is actually pretty simple: I write about them because they inspire me.
They help me write and by the time I’m done a project I usually have a fully painted mini.
I wasn’t aware how much publishers rely on self promotion these days and I’ve spent the last 10 years working on my storytelling. I never learned how to sell my own works.
My name is Jacob Marsh and I’m just your average everyday fishman.
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