Black Fields: First Entry

Let’s talk a bit about my current writing process. I have mentioned before that the project Black Fields came to (temporarily) replace For Her Moon which hurts me a lot, but it was a necessary change. I would never recommend to work on something else if you have not finished one thing first, because you’re never going to finish anything if you pile up your duties. However, things change when you had been stuck for a long time and the process stops completely. If you see a dead end and you don’t see a way to return to the road you were looking for, take a different street. Again, it is not recommended but it is not bad, either. You already know there was a dead end there, and by the time you decide to continue thorough the first journey you will know to avoid a certain path.


 

My brain


When I reached that dead end I found myself in a dark alley, figuratively speaking; I did not know what to do, and when your projects don’t go the way you want it’s easy to feel completely useless. Not everyone is like this, I know, and I am glad. Unfortunately for me, I can’t help but feel that way. A few years thinking about this cool fantasy project, and just when I thought I had it all figured out, I realized there were many things missing. I cannot explain exactly what happened, I just feel that the characters and certain events are leading to nothing. I could not feel any emotion on my own creation. And the simple and yet important magic system I wanted to add did not feel organic; it was forced at a point I should not tell until I get back to that first project.

Black Fields

The project Black Fields is too literal. You’ll know why next year. For now, I’m only telling that that dark alley transformed itself into this story. A story where there’s no light. Only at a certain hour where a dim light shows up. Revered as a deity, people uses it to see their surroundings.

I kinda feel sorry for them because there’s not much of a difference when it illuminates. Even if that small community the story focuses its first chapter on, the tale is going to head into a different direction as it goes forward. They are in a situation where the only thing they have to worry about is to remain alive as long as possible. Uncertainty. Something tells me as I write that there’s no such thing as hopes and dreams, only the expectancy for death. A feeling a person gets when there’s nothing to lose or to fight for.

I’ll share more on the next report.

abstract black and white blur book

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Note taking

I’ve been taking notes. One of the things that helped during a writing process is to DO IT non-stop. I used to believe that we need to take care of each paragraph we have written before heading to the next. That was a huge mistake; rookie mistake. Many writers say that we need to go forward and edit everything once you’re finished. That is why I write notes, too; some ideas come up after two or three chapters, and these new ideas may or may not be in conflict with some of the lines on the previous chapters.

Yes, indeed, if you think about it, this process becomes more difficult because that’s going to force you to read YOUR whole story many times, and every time you will need to make corrections; add or remove full paragraphs until you feel happy with the project. And once you feel very happy with it, guess what? CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have finished… the first step. Now it is the turn of the beta readers and editors.

I am getting too far ahead, though, and this is not the point of this entry, right? Although I think this is a good way to start. Writing some reports, telling a bit about its process and keep doing everything.

Progress

The progress has been very significant, but not much considering I have started on July. By the moment I have finished writing this first official entry my word count is a bit above 21,000. I cannot tell you enough how excited I feel to show you the final product.

I am not sure how would people receive a story like Black Fields but my curiosity is really high! I really hope you like the book I am writing. If you don’t, feel free to write a honest review about it. I am always open to criticism.


Music to write

I usually write in silence, sometimes I don’t. The music I listen to while writing is anything instrumental; I feel any lyrics could be very distracting when you need to concentrate. When it comes to videogame soundtracks you’ll find a lot of treasures there for any mood. I wish people would take the original soundtracks more seriously, they don’t  know what they’re missing.

The music of a visual novel called VA-11 Hall-A made me fall in love. The visual novel itself is one of the best thing I have ever “played” (if you could call it that), and with the soundtrack as a complement to the story is just phenomenal. The name of the song I shared represents exactly the opposite of Black Fields, but one cannot deny the possibility of hope, even in the darkest situation you might face.


And this is the conclusion of my first report. I am still afraid for the final work. This is going to be a self-published novel, I don’t have any plans for querying; this is my debut (in English) novel, and I think keeping myself with the “indie” status while making  myself a name, if that ever happens, will be better than just trying to make it into a traditional publisher house.

Applying for the “big league” is something I’d love to do in the future. For now, let’s just do baby steps. I don’t want to rush things out before releasing my ideas first.

By the way, the only plan I have for sure after I’ve finished my novel is to take a three-month break before starting the next. I will be able to return with the normal scheduling here.

Nothing more to report here, so I wish you have a great week. Enjoy your time as much as possible. I know this “new world” is getting crazier everyday. I would have said that we’d learn from our mistakes to prevent a pandemic or any other kind of disaster… but we all know how humans work.

Peace, I’m out of here to continue the journey through the Black Fields.

Se you all!

The Fields

now or never quote

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Ladies and gentlemen,

This is me again with one of the so many posts about my fantasy projects. I have mentioned that every update will be added to the Project Journal section of this humble little page, and at the top of the home screen until I come up with a new post.

The good news are that everything is coming along just fine. I feel ready to start sharing bits from that project I have been working lately. For Her Moon can go to hell for now, because we’ll be visiting the black fields very soon. By very soon I mean somewhere in 2021. As much as I wanted to say that it’d be released this year, plans change, and I believe it’s for good this time.

The bad news, however, is that all of this will stop me from doing  any more reviews for a while. As much as I love to play, watch animes, I think I can step away; take a little break until this has been finished.

I’ll keep reading books. For entertaining  purposes, not for content to be added.

Black Fields was originally planed as a novella. The idea that invaded my mind when the project (and most likely official title) Black Fields came into my brain is that the book would be too short to be considered a novel. That has changed; I couldn’t find a way to make the story short. I feel excited to show you the final product. Though I must say that writing using English, my second language, has been a nightmare. One thing is to write stupid posts like these once or twice a week, and a whole different thing and level to write a literary work.

I have a person, a native English speaker, willing to help me do the beta reading; that comforts me a lot. The problem is that I am so afraid that his eyes start to bleed thanks to me. I should prepare myself to be sued by his wife. I guess there are risks everywhere. Ha!

One more thing, though, and that is that I have been asking myself if it would be a good idea or not to write here on my blog (again, on my Project Journal section) daily, or every two-days a report. Of course, it would not be something dumb like:

“Yeah! I did it! I wrote [insert your favorite number] word today. I AM RAD!” PERIOD

No, I want to write a full report telling the number of words I’ve written, perhaps put a graph just for the visuals; talk a little about my characters and the world itself, just hints to avoid any weird to-be-considered-spoiler thing. Maybe talk a bit about what’s the inspiration behind a scenario and the music I was listening in the process.

I welcome any ideas.

For now, I am going to leave it here. Need to figure out things.

See you all soon!

An Indie Title

Twitter, my favorite social network, I can’t explain why but I love it so much! I rarely check Facebook nowadays. I do have a “like page” on Facebook for this website/blog, everything I post here automatically publishes to FB, but I don’t go there and I don’t even have the link displayed anywhere on this J. D. R. Writes site.

Sometimes I go and explore social media randomly and find news, trending topics, and thoughts from other users. This time I came across a tweet that got my attention, and not because it was popular or had a lot of numbers, but it reminded me a lot of conversations I had in Juarez with friends and acquaintances about the independent movement.

This is the tweet, by Nicole Tone.

screenshot_20200108-143158_twitter6144413369428605045.jpg

Follow her on Twitter

It is incredible to read this years after having all these conversations about the indie scene. Back in 2012 I had a few discussions about artists and the new platforms in which they could have their work published; thanks to the internet many doors have opened for content creators. Blogs, YouTube videos, among other platforms are there, waiting on the web for anyone to take advantage.

The problem that I had back then, is that in my country the support to artists that weren’t on TV or radio 24/7 is from little to none. The first thought people adopted was that “if isn’t on TV or isn’t famous, then it automatically sucks.” And well, we already have a whole different idea about the TV nowadays, right?

Same music all day all night

To me, it was frustrating to look at bands playing in bars amazing music with no payment at all, and no support from the crowd, those bands were basically just a background sound. And the people that went to those music bars, only wanted to listen to covers. New covers, no! They wanted to listen to the so-called “classics” Spanish rock bands like Maná, Caifanes, and Fobia. Same when they played English music–Metallica, Nirvana, Radiohead, and the most popular songs from the 80s and 90s.

Remember, “if it wasn’t on the radio, it isn’t good. So don’t even bother about playing original songs.” Still angers me to hear this.

Many books to read, people stalled based on a false self-proclaimed intellectualism

Literature is a beautiful art that is difficult to appreciate, and it’s usually misjudged by those who don’t even take the time to actually read something.

Why is it difficult to appreciate? Maybe it sounds like I am exaggerating things here, but let’s think about it: when you listen to your favorite songs, you can do it anywhere, and it takes one button to start appreciating it, or just making it your companion while you relax, work, exercise, or want to fully listen to it. An illustration, a painting, photography, or any visual art, they have the advantage that the image is there for you to watch; you might look at the colors and figures and come up with different meanings, for your eyes a red and blue means one thing, and for my eyes the same colors have something completely different to tell; it is a matter of perspective, even when you just want to appreciate the beauty of the painted landscape or human body.

Literary works, though, are a different story. You have pages among pages with only text on them. And the same amount of attention is needed, whether you want to read a fiction novel or a philosophy book. Yes, the philosophy book is heavier than the fiction novel, but to get inside the story or the thoughts of the author, you have to read every single word on every single page. Now, imagine yourself, tired from work, or doing your homework, cleaning your home, or walking around—try to pick a book while you do one of the mentioned activities. It won’t be comfortable. Sure, we have audiobooks, and they totally rock; but they also have a problem: you need to pay attention to every word—the author might be in the middle of a description of a fantasy world, but you ended up distracted by other thoughts, maybe thinking you forgot something. If that happens, you have to rewind a little, and that’s also a distraction.

I am ashamed to admit that a majority in my country, Mexico, don’t have the habit to read. I don’t really feel that it’s a huge problem if your interest is not focused on literature. The problem begins when the few people that read, they have a focus on the classics—it’d be nice if it was just that. No, they aggressively bring the classics as an intellectual self-proclamation. And this is exactly the issue here, which is so alike to the time when some thought that “if it is not well-known, it sucks,” but this goes to a next level: “if it isn’t a well-known classic that was written for one the greatest minds in [whatever] century, then it sucks!” or the worst of the worst: “there aren’t good Mexican writers.” Yeah, because I am sure they, at least, had tried to give an opportunity to many writers, Mexican or not. I’ll write a full post about my fellow Mexicans and their thoughts on literature in the future—for now I’ll get a general overview of the indie authors.

Indie works matter?

Of course. And nowadays indie works get more appreciation than they did a few years ago. Even people have a better reception of others that talk about independent musicians, and not to mention independent movies. Some independent movies are more likely to be categorized in the Art sections. This is indeed revolutionary, with the internet and all the information that’s there, anyone with a certain amount of funds (at least for a good recording equipment) has the chance to do something. Same applies to music, of course.

Literature, again, is another story.

Dear indie writer

I know your struggle. It is even hard for people to pick a book that is not on the best seller section of your favorite bookstore. And it is hard to get information about a book because our only guide is a synopsis on the back and a few reviewers on YouTube and blogs (and they rarely cover an indie book); don’t forget that the majority of these booktubers and book bloggers are small, they don’t get many followers as I believe they should. I understand, though, that is not so entertaining to watch/read them, they don’t have many visual aids. When youtubers talk about games or movies, they can borrow clips (though I believe they have more restriction to take clips from movies), or post photos and speak about it and make memes out of the images. Booktubers, well, they can quote a few things and speak about it or joke, but it isn’t as appealing as a photo, don’t you think?

There are a lot of independent platforms to self-publish, Amazon KDP being one of the most relevant, and it is as cheap as you want or as expensive as you want (one doesn’t mean better than the other).

Talk about low budget

Some writers only care about writing a story. A book shouldn’t be judged by its cover. Unfortunately, the cover is the presentation, the first thing a customer is going to see when exploring a bookstore or any online retailer. If someone is looking for new books, I am sure that they’ll ignore the books with a cover with just a title and its author. So the first recommendation, and I believe anyone would say the same, is that you commission a cover that makes it attractive for a potential customer. Or if the author is also an illustrator, you’re great!

Editing. One thing that many aspiring authors ask is if it’s enough read and re-read your book to edit it by yourself, and that’s a HUGE NO! Yes, if you want to write, you have to read and re-read your own work and polish it as many times as you like. However, YOUR editing, not matter how many times you change and edit it, that’d be just the FIRST RECOMMENDED step. Just take in account that it’s harder to detect our own mistakes, and this is a reality. A second, and maybe a third, person is recommended, too, in order to find other mistakes you didn’t even consider. This could be a bit tricky, though, because if you choose a family member or any friend to help you edit, then they might go soft on you and won’t even tell you a good critique to avoid any conflict or hurt feelings. The problem is, that if you get a customer and the work isn’t too well-polished (there’s not a perfect piece of art, so don’t look for perfection either), could mean a one-star review (even it your work doesn’t deserve that low review), and the greatest problem with this, is that most people don’t even read the reviews—the moment they see the one-star review, they’ll just pass. Extremes aren’t good, and I know many one-star reviews are there just because that customer didn’t like the book.

Indeed, maybe a book is the cheapest art to make, but as cheap as it might be, the effort put in a good story, characters, world-building, and even a small thing as a synopsis, is big and tiring. And maybe sometimes with the risk of getting nothing in return. it is discouraging.

Conclusion

Whenever you see an author, give him/her an opportunity. There are a lot of independent authors with digital books for less than four dollars (of free if you have Kindle Unlimited), or other authors that have their book completely free on Amazon, just building a fan base and looking for reviews. Or bloggers that just write their own stories for free.

Have a look, write them a nice comment. And sharing is caring!


Feel free to tell me your opinion on indie authors, or artists in general. Do you have any blog or book available on Amazon?

If you like my content, follow my blog. If you want to talk to me directly, follow me on Twitter!

Thank you for your time.

A Blog: For Her Moon, Pt 3

Third update of my project called For Her Moon, until I come up with an official title for the novel. I’m a NaNoWriMo participant–you can follow my progress more directly on my NaNoWriMo by clicking HERE!

NANO NOV05 2019

There’s not much to say about yesterday–it was a busy day and I wasn’t able to write more than a few hundred words. I declare November 5th that I have failed.

Well, I guess I just need to keep writing and see if I today gets better.

Thank you for reading me!


Are you participating on NaNoWriMo? Feel free to talk about it on the comments below.

Feel free to follow me here and/or Twitter if you’d like. Say hi!

A Blog: For Her Moon, Pt 2

Today’s update for yesterday’s progress.

I managed to hit 4,212 words! It doesn’t seem like much (because it isn’t), but after a few corrections I had to make, I feel like I’m on fire!

You can directly follow my NaNoWriMo word count by clicking HERE!

NANO NOV04 2019

Still on the first chapter of my novel. I thought it’d be shorter, but I believe it was necessary to extend its length. This first chapter I’ve been focusing on character building and some mundane activities to introduce them to the reader. I am doing the same thing with world building. Though the world building is not so big of a deal, because it is an urban fantasy set in a small town in the United States of America.

So far, I am having a lot of fun writing my characters, and I really hope you enjoy reading me once this book is released, hopefully by the second half of 2020.

Thank you for reading me!


Are you participating on NaNoWriMo? Feel free to talk about it on the comments below.

Feel free to follow me here and/or Twitter if you’d like. Say hi!

A Blog: For Her Moon, Pt 1

This is my first NaNoWriMo progress update. You might want to see my updates here or take a more direct look at my NaNoWriMo page HERE!

As you already know, I’ve been writing a novel. The project For Her Moon was originally meant to be published later this year 2019. Unfortunately my muse left for a good amount of time. She returned with all of her power and punched me in the face. Thanks to that, my brain started to function as intendedor maybe not as intended, but at least I can write now.

I have officially started writing the novel on November 1st, just in time for NaNoWriMo 2019 and to pretend I’m playing a videogame. I believe it would be a BIG mistake to participate if I do it as work. And I must admit that my first approach to writing is thanks to Eartbound (Mother 2).

To the point: I’ll be writing my novel Monday through Friday and try to update my blog with new information about For Her Moon every day (along with the NaNoWriMo progress). Saturdays and Sundays, though, it’s going to be my break from the job and my novel. I’d like to be fresh whenever I write. So here I it is:

NANO NOV01 2019

I managed to hit 1,452 words on Friday, November 1st, while I was writing a certain gaming blog that’ll be published on November 7th—if you like videogames, you probably know what November 7th is. As for Saturday and Sunday, there’s no progress; I won’t be writing anything related to my novel those two days, as I have mentioned above.

Progress so far

There’s not much to say at the moment. I introduced the setting and the two protagonists. Both are University students that went to a not-so-popular restaurant and have a normal conversation about having a party next weekend.

Interesting? I guess notan introduction to the characters and the current word count won’t tell you anything, of course. Let’s wait and see what happens next!

Thank you for reading me.

Tomorrow I will post my today’s progress!

Are you writing a novel? Are you participating on NaNoWriMo? Feel free to talk about it in the comments below.


I must admit I’m loving what I have so far, but I am so afraid (and shy) to share more details about it. That’s why I decided to vaguely tell you a little about For Her Moon with these NaNoWriMo updates.

Feel free to follow me here and/or Twitter to know what’s coming. Or just to say hi!

Should I Participate on NaNoWriMo 2019?

Logo_of_National_Novel_Writing_Month

NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) is basically a way for–aspiring or veteran–writers from every place on Earth to gather and share with its community their work. NaNoWriMo has a goal: 50,000 words during November. That doesn’t mean your novel has to be 50,000 words; it is just a goal for anyone to reach and motivate them to keep going!

For some people this might be weird in many ways because it’s hard–almost impossible–to write something good within a time limit like that. That’s not the point though. If I have to describe it myself, I’d say this is a place where you challenge yourself, like in a videogame, to DO WRITE that story that’s been hidden in your head for so long. To me, this could be myself playing the role of a developer creating a new IP (intellectual property) from the beginning to the end. Still, I know this keeps the same thing floating: it is almost impossible to write a good story in a month, taking it that 50,000 words is the minimum count for something be considered a novel. Specially if you have the dream to write an epic fantasy like The Lord of the Rings (Tolkien), The Stormlight Archive (Sanderson), or similar.

I believe the main purpose of NaNoWriMo is to enjoy yourself writing. Interact with the community, see if it has any resources to help you in your writing quest, or simply to push those words out of you!

We need to remember something: there’s not a perfect  creation out there, and even those things you felt well-polished (poems, songs, games, books, TV shows), required a lot of repetition and editing.

NaNoWriMo is just here to let YOU see your own progress; that project, or story, you always wanted to see on paper, to be printed on paper or just digitally for others to read. That’d be just the first step! After you’d completed this challenge, CONGRATULATIONS, you’ll find yourself taking the second step: EDIT!

EDIT EDIT EDIT! NOT ONCE, NOT TWICE! Edit as much as needed. Start by yourself, read and correct your story, your grammar; remove everything that seems out of place, or add is something’s missing. It might take two or more readings, but once you’re done, look for someone you trust and is willing to give you a hand and good critique on your work. Same as the previous step, do it more than once or twice if possible. This is your creation after all, you might want to make  it look good!

"Keep your head in the clouds and your hands on the keyboard."
Marissa Meyer

To summarize, I think NaNoWriMo is a good web resource for writers, specially aspiring ones, to make their work a real thing and not just a daydream photo. After beating the challenge, go and make your girl/boy look pretty/handsome!

Should I participate? I’ll probably do, now that I am talking about this.


Personal note: it feels weird to talk as if I could actually give any advice when I haven’t achieved anything as a writer, to be honest; I am writing my first book in this language, and it’s being a hell of a challenge.

I guess this whole post/article/blog is just for me, trying to give myself that advice no one has ever given to me. If this post actually helps someone else, I’ll feel very happy.

Update: Hello, Writing Community

Finally, a time for myself.

Why am I here now? It is a good question, it’s been a while since that last time I posted something on this blog. I know it looks like mere procrastination, and indeed it is 50% true, but I am also having a lot of difficulties writing.

I’m trying to write a novel, a project called For Her Moon (also created a hashtag). It was intended to be the first book of my urban fantasy series, which I rather not reveal anything yet, and that is because everything I had written as my “first revision” was TRASH to me. I need to RE-do the whole thing. It’s funny that the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of books lately, like Sanderson’s, Kristoff’s, among others’, it’s not helping me write, BUT actually improve the whole writing. I should be grateful and frustrated at the same time.

For now, I’ll keep writing a lot. Not only that, but also write about the things I’m doing and entertaining myself to; make reviews or impressions out of them. I know it’s going to be fun! I added an Entertainment section at the top of this not-blog for it!

I am also debating myself into writing my very first novel that was originally in Spanish as monthly web series (translated to English, of course).