Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mood Music


Working on a high fantasy novel or anything that requires that particular ethereal mood? Here is my top ten picks.
  1. Clannad
  2. Enya
  3. Loreena McKennitt
  4. Hayley Westenra
  5. Qntal
  6. Secret Garden
  7. Vangelis
  8. Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones)
  9. Bear McCreary
  10. Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings)
Turn on the tunes, escape to a new world, and write on!  


OP vs. NOP

If you are like me, then you can quite possibly be a little of both. Some writers like to follow strict guidelines. They will map out their entire novel with a structured outline, sometimes ending up with outlines a hundred pages long. This works very well... if you're that type of person, if you like to know what's going to happen before it actually does. 

A completely fictitious example of an outline that I just free-styled for your entertainment and educational purposes:

I. Amelia is born in a small village where the people all have blue hair.

  • A. Amelia is born with pink hair
  • B. Amelia can make flowers grow with her singing voice and the other village girls are jealous
  • C. Amelia is kidnapped by a group of girls as a joke, and locked in a hidden cage.

II. Amelia is rescued by a foreign magician who happens to walk by and hear her singing
  • A. The magician wins Amelia over with his excellent dancing skills
  • B.The magician let's Amelia work for him and showcase her magical skills
  • C. The magician falls in love with her
  • D. They get married and find that with the combination of their powers, they can create the greatest, most magical singer/danger the villages had ever seen.
  • d. Amelia gives birth to their little treasure, Gaga.
III. Gaga changes the world


That was just a brief showcase of what you can do with an outline. It can feel a bit restrictive for some, while it can relieve some of the pressure for others.

I enjoy the surprises you find when you refrain from using an outline. Although sometimes, I use a mixture of both methods. I usually start at the beginning and let the characters guide the story. Whenever I feel as though the writing has become a little lack luster, or feels forced, then I may do a brainstorm, jot list, or a simple outline to keep me focused. However, I find that whenever I try to follow an outline, the plot always takes an unexpected turn. Of course I don't want to stifle that creativity by forcing it to follow a predetermined path. Sometimes, you just have to let the words flow. 

Remember, there is no wrong way or right way. This is purely a question of preference, and I believe you must try both methods and see what gold it yields for you.

Write on!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Writing Tip #1 Utilize Your Dreams

Dreams and nightmares can be a writers saving grace. I just had a week of writers block, but something that can help you push through is a daily writing quota. I force myself to sit down everyday and write 1000 words. They may not always be the best 1000 words I've ever written, but you'd be surprised by what you come up with. Pushing through that initial resistance can yield gold.

Last night I had a nightmare. Don't worry, it happens to me...every night. As a writer, I use this frightening material to my advantage. I keep an open notebook and a pen on my nightstand, so that when I wake up, I quickly jot down what I saw in my dream and how it made me feel. This helps me remember my dreams, and in time, you can train yourself to be more lucid during your dreams. Such a skill encourages those dreams and nightmares so that you can use them. 

Some nights, I even focus on a part in my story that needs help, and guess what, I dream up a solution. Journaling is a vital part of being a writer. You can find inspiration in your subconscious thoughts. Set a daily quota and keep to it. You'll be surprised by the results! 

Write on!

World Building

As I work on completing The Chronicles of Koa, and wait for Rise of the Flame to be edited, I reflect on what I love most about creating stories. World building is one of my favorites aspects of the writing process. How else can you create an entirely new world? What can be more fun and exciting? 

 In Rise of the Flame, I have created an entirely new world that is sectioned into realms where each race is separated. Along with the creation of unique races and enhancements of mythological creatures, I have also drawn maps and geography for my world. Each detail adds truth to this land that you've created. Rules and consistency with use of power and physics can give your story that extra edge.

 In the Chronicles of Koa, I have made a sub-world, parallel to ours. The Netherworld is an interesting place. There is a back story that combines history, mythology, and even religion. Such aspects make the world a bit more tangible, where the reader can immerse themselves and visualize this new world.  So far, each chapter presents new surprises and special little details that I never even expected! These are the things that make me rush home to my lap top or pen and pad.

K.N. Lee

Hello everyone and welcome to Write Like a Wizard,

I am K.N. Lee, fantasy writer, blogger, and freelance writer. This blog is dedicated to the writers journey. By no means am I an expert, but I have been writing for decades now with some success and I know how hard, yet exciting the journey can actually be. After various creative writing classes, writing conferences, books on writing, and completing my own fantasy trilogy called Rise of the Flame, and a dark, modern, fantasy, The Chronicles of Koa, I feel that it would be fun to talk about the process. Maybe my journey can help other writers. Please, keep checking in for writing tips and new content. 

The journey to creating fascinating characters and building entirely new worlds, begins now!